Oklahoma State will have a lot to say about the final outcome of the 2013 Big 12 championship, and the Cowboys will get there chance to be heard immediately, with games at Texas this weekend and back home to face unbeaten and fifth-ranked Baylor the week after. The Cowboys (8-1, 5-1), are ranked 12th this week in both the BCS standings and the AP poll (10th in the USA Today Coaches Poll).
If the Cowboys can get by the next two weeks and stay alive with back-to-back wins, and that would be a big “if,” it will set up a potential three-way tie between Baylor, Texas and Oklahoma State at the top of the conference stansings, similar to what happened in 2008 when Oklahoma, Texas and Texas Tech finished with the same record atop the Big 12′s South Division.
If the above scenario were to play out over the next two weeks, and assuming that Texas would get by Texas Tech and Baylor by TCU and Tech leading into the final game of the regular season, it would set up a dramatic final weekend on Dec 7. While the other BCS conferences were holding their championship games, the Big 12 would be holding its own version of a league championship, with Texas at Baylor and Oklahoma State hosting in-state arvhrival Oklahoma, with the conference crown hanging in the balance.
There’s a lot of fo0tball to be played ahead of that, however, but week by week we’ve seen things get a little more clear in terms of separating the contenders from the pretenders.
Big 12 Football Power Rankings In Week 12
(Last week’s power ranking in parentheses)
- Baylor Bears (1) - Playing the best of anyone, but performance over the next four weeks will be the ultimate test.
- Texas Longhorns (2) - Almost saw their dream slip away at West Virgina. Horns will have to play better at Oklahoma State if they want to continue the dream.
- Oklahoma State Cowboys (4) - The next two weeks (against Texas there and back home to host Baylor) will determine the Cowboys’ fate in the conference race.
- Oklahoma Sooners (3) - Sooners have become the walking wounded in more ways than one. Title chances are over; playing for pride from here on out.
- Texas Tech Red Raiders (5) - With Baylor and Texas remaining on the schedule, the Red Raiders’ may end the season similar to last year - with five losses in their final six games – despite starting out 7-0.
- Kansas State Wildcats (6) - Wildcats have a good chance of running the table in final three games and ending regular season at a very respectable 8-4, 6-3 in the conference.
- West Virginia Mountaineers (8) - Dana Holgorsen’s team plays well at home (had they held on and beat Texas, the Mountaineers would have been 4-1 at home) ; not so much away from home, where they are 1-3. Final two games are very winnable (at Kansas and home vs. Iowa State).
- TCU Horned Frogs (8) - It’s been a very disappointing year for a team ranked in the top 25 to start the season. Frogs must win out (vs. Kansas State and Baylor) just to equal Gary Patterson’s worst season in 13 years as TCU head coach.
- Kansas Jayhawks (9) - Three more chances this fall to avoid a third-straight winless season against Big 12 opponents.
- Iowa State Cyclones (10) - Easily the worst season in the five that Paul Rhoads has been the head coach of the Cyclones.