It has been a multi-team race most of the season. Now, entering the 15th and final week of the regular season, three Big 12 teams remain tied with identical 7-1 conference records, and all three are in action this coming weekend on what the rest of the college football world is calling Championship Saturday.
The top four teams in the Big 12 will go up against each other on Saturday in two games, both with potential championship implications. Oklahoma State hosts archrival Oklahoma in the 108th edition of Bedlam football, an early kickoff Saturday morning. An Oklahoma State win ensures the Cowboys of no worse than a tie for the Big 12 championship.
If the Cowboys lose to Oklahoma, however, Baylor, a 49-17 loser to OSU just a week ago, will have a chance to claim the conference crown outright with a victory over Texas. A Texas win at Baylor, combined with an Oklahoma State loss, would award the Longhorns their fourth Big 12 football crown.
So, much is at stake in the final two Big 12 games of the regular season. Oklahoma State is the only team that control its own destiny. Win and they’re in. Otherwise, all bets are off, and the Baylor-Texas showdown in Waco becomes the defacto conference championship game, with both teams entering the game with one conference loss.
The regular season is over for the other six teams in the conference, and TCU, West Virginia, Iowa State and Kansas are literally done until next season. Only Kansas out of those four teams did not go to a bowl game last season, as nine of the 10 Big 12 teams went bowling in 2013.
Big 12 Football Week 15 Power Rankings
1. Oklahoma State Cowboys – It is Oklahoma State’s title to lose, but hated archrival Oklahoma stands in the way. The Sooners have won eight of the last 10 meetings and five of the last seven games played in Stillwater.
2. Baylor Bears – Art Briles’ bunch will no exactly what they need to do, and whether it will matter, because the OSU-OU game will be over by the time the Baylor-Texas game kicks off.
3. Texas Longhorns – Longhorns need the most help of the three remaining title contenders, and the also have the most difficulat assignment in having to play Baylor at Baylor on Senior Day and in the last game at old Floyd Casey Stadium.
4. Oklahoma Sooners – Sooners are playing the role of spoilers this season, and there is no way they would rather end disappointing year than with a victory that would knock their in-state rivals out of the conference championship.
5. Kansas State Wildcats – Great end to their season, with five victories in their final six games. Unfortunately, the Cats lost four of the first six and three in succession to begin the conference season.
6. Texas Tech Red Raiders – A tale of two seasons for the Red Raiders. They went 7-0 in the first half, then reversed field, going 0-for in their final five outings.
7. TCU Horned Frogs – A year to foget for Gary Patterson. The Horned Frogs have gone 11-14 in their first two years in the Big 12 (4-8 in 2013) after going 77-13 in seven seasons before that in the Mountain West Conference.
8. Iowa State Cyclones – The Cyclones saved the best for last, setting season highs in rushing, passing, total offense and scoring in a road win over West Virginia. Unfortunately, it was only their third win all season, but their second in a row.
9. West Virginia Mountaineers - Hard to figure out this team. They are the only team to beat Oklahoma State, but they lose to Iowa State and Kansas.
10. Kansas Jayhawks - The Jayhawks actually made forward progress this season, winning a conference game and three games overall. Kansas’ last league win before this season was on Nov. 6, 2010, against Colorado.