My, how times change.
When the Big 12 began, Oklahoma State reeled off nine consecutive wins over Baylor. And for the most part, these weren’t good Oklahoma State teams.
On Saturday, the Big 12 may come down to Oklahoma State and Baylor. The former has become one of the top programs in the Big 12 in recent years, and the latter has become an offensive juggernaut with national championship implications.
It’s not often the conference title runs through Waco and Stillwater, so soak it up in Week 13.
Week 13 Previews and Predictions: ACC | Big Ten | Pac-12 | SEC
Big 12 Week 13 Game Power Rankings
All games Saturday. All times Eastern.
1. Baylor at Oklahoma State (8 p.m., ABC)
This game could end up the de facto Big 12 championship game and a referendum on Baylor’s spot in the national picture. A win likely moves Baylor ahead of Ohio State in the BCS standings and cements Bryce Petty among the top Heisman contenders. To achieve that, Petty and a wounded Baylor offense will need to overcome a ball-hawking Oklahoma State defense. The Cowboys have forced a turnover in 18 consecutive games, including three interceptions against Texas last week. Petty has thrown one interception all season and none since Oct. 5. The quarterback has been the constant for the Baylor offense which has lost Lache Seastrunk (groin), Glasco Martin (knee) and Tevin Reese (wrist) to injury. Only Reese has been ruled out for this game. The Bears haven’t missed a step despite the injuries. Meanwhile, Oklahoma State has found a lineup that works in recent weeks with Clint Chelf at quarterback and Desmond Roland at running back. Baylor leads the Big 12 in yards per game in November while Oklahoma State is fourth.
2. Oklahoma at Kansas State (noon, Fox Sports 1)
Oklahoma’s season is an interesting spot to say the least. The Sooners finish up with road trips against Kansas State and Oklahoma State. Meanwhile, OU’s offense is in a state of flux. Trevor Knight will replace Blake Bell as starting quarterback, the Oklahoman reported. Knight began the season as the starter but has seen more playing time in the last two games against Baylor and Iowa State. A concussion for Bell has handed the job to Knight against the Wildcats. Knight rushed for 123 yards on 10 carries against Iowa State while completing 8 of 14 passes for 61 yards. Running back Damien Williams and Lacoltan Bester are also expected to miss the Kansas State games with suspensions. Kansas State remains one of the hottest teams in the Big 12 — outside of Baylor and Oklahoma State — with four consecutive wins.
3. Kansas at Iowa State (8 p.m., Fox Sports 1)
Could Kansas be on the verge of its first Big 12 win streak since 2008? Kansas didn’t just scrape by West Virginia last week. The Jayhawks grabbed a lead and led comfortably thanks to 211 yards form James Sims. Iowa State has been more competitive at home, including a 31-30 loss to Texas and 21-17 loss to TCU.
Big 12 Week 13 Pivotal Players
Listen to Athlon Sports writers Braden Gall and David Fox discuss Baylor-Oklahoma State and preview Week 13 in this edition of Athlon Sports Cover 2 Podcast.
Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State
The Cowboys cornerback is making a bid for All-America consideration with six interceptions this season. His two picks against Texas, including an interception for a touchdown, essentially sealed the game for Oklahoma State. On Saturday, he’ll be facing one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the country, plus a dynamic set of receivers. Levi Norwood, a No. 3 receiver two weeks ago, caught seven passes for 156 yards for two touchdowns against Texas Tech.
Pat Colbert, Baylor
Not all of Baylor’s injury issues on offense have been limited to the skill positions. Starting left tackle Spencer Drango will under surgery for a ruptured disk in his back, leaving the position to first-time starter Colbert. Oklahoma State’s starting defensive ends, Tyler Johnson and Jimmy Bean, have combined for 6.5 sacks this season.
Clint Chelf, Oklahoma State
Baylor has had mixed results in defending the quarterback run game, which has become a key once Chelf has taken over. Kansas State’s Daniel Sams rushed for 199 yards against Baylor while the Oklahoma duo of Trevor Knight and Blake Bell combined for 22 yards. Chelf has been solid as a passer, with or without top receiver Josh Stewart. Stewart did not play against Texas, and Mike Gundy has declined to give injury updates on his top downfield threat.
Brennan Clay, Oklahoma
A new quarterback and no Damien Williams may put more on the shoulders of Brennan Clay against Kansas State. Clay has worked in committee at running back this season, but he’s shown plenty of ability to break the big run. He’s averaged better than 12 yards per carry against TCU and Iowa State this season. Kansas State allows a Big 12-low 122.1 rushing yards in conference games.
Dylan Schellenberg, Kansas State
The Wildcats have allowed both of its last two opponents to pass for at least 70 percent. One was Texas Tech (understandable). The other was TCU (less understandable). Four-year starting safety Ty Zimmerman spent the end of last week’s game against the Horned Frogs on crutches with a right leg injury. Oklahoma’s passing game is suspect, but it’s hard to imagine the Sooners not testing an unknown at safety in Schellenberg.
Big 12 Week 13 Picks
Oklahoma (+4) at Kansas St
Kansas (+5.5) at Iowa St
Baylor (-9) at Oklahoma St