No. 20 UTSA Misses Out On Perfect Season With Blowout Loss At North Texas

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Average FPI Ranking: 37.7 

Bowl record: 5-2

Final AP Top 25: Baylor (5), OK State (7), Oklahoma (10) 

The Big 12's 2021 season didn't include a team getting a playoff bid. A big reason for that was Baylor's incredible goal-line stand against Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Championship Game to prevent a Cowboys touchdown that would have likely sent OK State to the semifinals. Baylor already having two losses entering that game made it virtually impossible for the Bears to get a bid. 

Still, Oklahoma finishing 11-2 but missing out on both the Big 12 Championship Game and a playoff bid was arguably the biggest blow to the conference. The Sooners have been the Big 12's only team to make it to the playoff since the semifinals began in 2014, making appearances in 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019. Despite defeating Texas in the Red River Rivalry in a game in which starting quarterback Spencer Rattler was benched for Caleb Williams, the Sooners lost to Baylor and OK State at the end of the season to dash any hopes of a playoff bid or a Big 12 title.

The bright spots for the conference were OK State and Baylor, who played a thrilling Big 12 Championship Game that Baylor won 21-16. Both teams won their New Year's Six bowl games too, as Baylor defeated Ole Miss 21-7 in the Sugar Bowl and OK State beat Notre Dame 37-35, overcoming a 21-point deficit to do so. 

But the Big 12 did quite well in other bowls, too. It finished 5-2 overall, with a 3-0 record against the SEC. Texas Tech dominated Mississippi State 34-7 in the Liberty Bowl, and Kansas State blew out LSU 42-20 in the Texas Bowl. 

While 2021 didn't see a Big 12 team in the playoff, the way it performed in bowl season makes it a decent year.  

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