Inspired by our friends over at the Big East Blog, it's time to forecast the bowl picture across the Big 12. Five Big 12 teams are already bowl eligible. Four more teams are stuck on five wins entering Week 12, and we'll break down each fringe team's chances to make it to the postseason.
Next up: Iowa State.
Wins: Northern Iowa, Iowa, Connecticut, Texas Tech, Kansas
Losses: Texas, Baylor, Missouri, Texas A&M
Nov. 18: vs. Oklahoma State
Nov. 26: at Oklahoma
Dec. 3: at Kansas State
Breakdown: Beware, Cyclones. As you can see, it's about to heat up for Iowa State, which is lined up to face the Big 12's top three teams in its final three games. The Cyclones will be underdogs in each, and the problems for Iowa State have been clear: It has beaten the Big 12's bottom two teams, but been blown out by every other Big 12 team it has faced. Texas A&M's 16-point win in Ames is as close as Iowa State's gotten to a third Big 12 win. Texas and Baylor both won by 23 and Missouri won by 35. With the competition about to heat up further, it's clear Iowa State will have to play its best game of the season to get a sixth win.
Kansas State presents the best opportunity, and anything else would be a mammoth upset. A midseason switch from Steele Jantz to Jared Barnett has provided a nice spark for the Cyclones, but they still lack a big-play offense. Running the ball out of the zone read with Barnett and scatback James White is the best offense the Cyclones have, and they do it well from time to time. The front seven for each of the next three opponents will be difficult, though.
Paul Rhoads is great at nabbing wins when we least expect it, and he'll need to work some magic down the stretch to push Iowa State into the postseason for the second time in three seasons.
Chances the Cyclones qualify for a bowl: 12 percent