Oklahoma State has clinched a spot in the Big 12 Championship game, but the Cowboys have a great deal to play for when they close out the regular season schedule against Oklahoma. Not only is that Bedlam, but the Pokes could knock the Sooners out of the title game with a win and an accompanying victory by Baylor over Texas Tech, which would put the Bears in Arlington to face the Cowboys.
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TCU and West Virginia need wins to become bowl eligible and join Oklahoma State, Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas State, Texas Tech and Oklahoma in that group. Texas and Kansas cannot reach the six-win threshold.
If both win, one team will be shopping for a destination, as the Big 12 has only six contracted bowl spots, plus a seventh flex pick between the Armed Forces and First Responders Bowl.
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Texas owns the league’s longest losing streak at six, which is the Horns’ most extended drought since 1956. Oddly enough, West Virginia has been involved in both of those skeins. In 1956, the Mountaineers won 7-6 on the 40 Acres, beginning a losing skid of eight consecutive games. WVU just handed the Horns the latest defeat in their current litany of defeats, topping UT 31-23 in Morgantown.
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TCU scored for the 366th consecutive game last week, moving past Michigan (365, 1984-2014) for the second-longest streak in NCAA history.
Kansas State (7-4 / 4-4) at Texas (4-7 / 2-6)
Fri., Nov. 26 12:00 PM* FOX
Texas is going to break out at some point. Will it be in a finale that might carry little meaning? It’s in just these sorts of games that the underdog, out of nowhere, often springs a surprising effort, and that’s the call here. Kansas State is good, and has played much more consistently than the Longhorns, but UT gets the upset.
TCU (5-6 / 3-5) at Iowa State (6-5 / 4-4)
Fri., Nov. 26 4:30 PM FS1
Two teams built on defensive fundamentals and solid play — both of which are also closing out disappointing regular seasons — meet with a bowl on the line for TCU. It’s hard to figure out why ISU has come up short in some games this year, but last week it was fairly fundamental — a letdown at quarterback. That doesn’t happen this week, and the Cyclones keep the Horned Frogs out of the postseason and boost their own stock just a bit.
Texas Tech (6-5 / 3-5) at Baylor (9-2 / 6-2)
Sat., Nov. 27 12:00 PM FS1
Baylor has transformed itself from a loose, sling it all over the lot program to a disciplined one (it took a while, of course) that plays excellent defense and doesn’t make many mistakes. In many ways, the Bears are similar to Iowa State and Kansas State, and one positive is that in tight games and key situations, they usually don’t fall apart. BU continues that narrative, and gives themselves a shot at a title game appearance with a win.
West Virginia (5-6 / 3-5) at Kansas (2-9 / 1-7)
Sat., Nov. 27 7:00 PM FS1
West Virginia is the second of two teams needing a win to become bowl eligible, and the Mountaineers get the job done. It won’t be easy — this is not the Kansas of the last decade — but the Jayhawks are still a couple of steps away from being able to build winning streaks, or a winning monthly record in the Big 12.
Oklahoma (10-1 / 7-1) at Oklahoma State (10-1 / 7-1)
Sat., Nov. 27 7:30 PM ABC
Oklahoma State has, on a number of occasions, had a lot to play for in Bedlam, but on most of those has fallen short. Not this time. Oklahoma is a notch below its teams of previous years, and while that’s still very good, the way the Pokes ride the range on defense would make Pistol Pete proud. The Cowboys knock OU out of the title game with a victory on their home turf.
* All game times Eastern