SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Oklahoma State, as the Big 12 champion playing in the Big 12's marquee bowl, is flying the Big 12 flag in Phoenix.
The league's perceived (and, perhaps, actual) strength will heavily hinge on Monday night's result.
"We all know that we get evaluated as a conference during the bowl season," said OSU coach Mike Gundy.
So, from what's happened in bowls so far, what can we know?
The Big 12 leads all conferences with a 5-1 mark with two bowls to play. The Pac-12, meanwhile, is just 1-4 in bowls, with the only win coming in Saturday's Sun Bowl, when Utah erased a two-touchdown deficit in the fourth quarter to beat Georgia Tech in overtime.
"I would think it would be irrelevant, but I think that it’s a good sign for us," Gundy said. "I think it’s important that your conference fairs well during bowl season."
Kansas State plays Arkansas in the AT&T Cotton Bowl on Friday to close out the Big 12 bowl slate. Oklahoma State faces Stanford in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on Monday night.
So far, the Big 12 is 2-0 versus the Pac-12 in bowls. Texas beat California in the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl 21-10. Baylor beat Washington in the Valero Alamo Bowl 67-56.
Arizona State lost to Boise State in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas and UCLA lost to Illinois in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.
What's it all mean?
I agree with Gundy. It's a good sign for the Big 12, even though the league perhaps had more favorable matchups than Pac-12 squads.
How do you get good matchups, though? By having good teams. Just sayin'.