Percentage of bowl-eligible teams in the Big 12 is second-best in the nation and ISU has played 3 of them

Thirty-four football teams reached bowl eligibility before Halloween this year.

Six of them are from the SEC, five from the ACC and four from the Big 12.

As a percentage of conference membership, the SEC (.429), Big 12 (.400) and ACC (.357) rank 1-2-3.

Iowa State has already faced three of the four Big 12 bowl-eligible teams in its opening month of league play.

Twenty-five years ago, only 34 schools in total got to participate in bowl games. Today, there are 70 bids available.

With the inventory of bowls so dramatically increased, a preponderance to schedule weakly by some schools and more regular-season games today, qualifying for bowl consideration isn’t what it used to be.

Three of the already bowl-eligible schools (Buffalo, Rice and Oregon State) have not defeated a team with a winning record. Ouch.

The Big 12 set a college football record a year ago when 90% of its schools reached post-season play. The league will likely fall short of that mark in 2013, but four (of 10) have already qualified before the calendar turned to November.

Thankfully, three of those four league peers with bowl bids coming to them have already played ISU.