Bedlam Ensues

There could be a three-way tie atop the South division.

There could be a three-way tie atop the South division.

Final Week: Everything Still At Stake

Only one week remains in the Big 12 regular season. One momentous week. The North and South titles and the corresponding spots in the final Big 12 Championship game remain up for grabs. And major clashes are on tap, with rivalries the rule in finalizing the conference title picture, as well as the bowl picture with BCS bids and more at stake.

Oklahoma and Oklahoma State took care of business — in a big way — setting up a Bedlam showdown in the South. The Cowboys rolled past Kansas 48–14, while the Sooners routed Baylor 53–24.

Up next: Bedlam, before a prime-time national television audience, with GameDay heading for Stillwater. For the Cowboys, it’s a shot at their first Big 12 South crown, not to mention their best shot at the Sooners in years.

“It’s all about OU,” Cowboy defensive end Richetti Jones told reporters after the KU game. “All week, that's all we are going to do — eat, sleep, drink OU.”
Said OSU defensive tackle Shane Jarka: “It’s definitely the biggest game of my life. I’m not exaggerating that at all.”

Texas A&M impacted both races, knocking off Nebraska 9–6 to keep the North in play, while also maintaining slim hopes for itself in the South.

Still, for the Cowboys and Huskers, the scenarios are simple: Win and they’re in. The Huskers must fend off suddenly hot Colorado, or have Missouri lose at home to the Jayhawks. Nebraska owns the head-to-head tiebreaker over Missouri by virtue of its 31-17 victory over the Tigers on

The Big 12 scenarios:

North Division

Can clinch the North Division with a victory over Colorado or a Missouri loss to Kansas.

Needs to beat Kansas and for Colorado to beat Nebraska. That would make the Tigers North Division champions.

South Division

Oklahoma State
The Cowboys can clinch the South with a victory over Oklahoma. A loss to the Sooners, plus a loss by Texas A&M, would put Oklahoma and Oklahoma State into a first-place tie but Oklahoma would have the head-to-head tiebreaker edge.
The Cowboys would fall into a three-way tie for first with a loss to the Sooners and a Texas A&M victory over Texas.

The Sooners must beat Oklahoma State on Saturday in Stillwater. If Texas beats Texas A&M on Thursday, an OU victory over Oklahoma State would give the Sooners the South title.

Texas A&M
The Aggies would finish 6–2 in league play with a victory at Texas on Thursday. If Oklahoma beats Oklahoma State, that would create a three-way tie in the South Division that would be broken as follows…

* If three or more teams are tied, steps 1 through 7 will be followed until a determination is made. If only two teams remain tied after any step, the winner of the game between the two tied teams shall be the representative.

1. The records of the three teams will be compared against each other
2. The records of the three teams will be compared within their division
3. The records of the three teams will be compared against the next highest placed teams in their division in order of finish (4, 5 and 6)
4. The records of the three teams will be compared against all common conference opponents.
5. The highest ranked team in the first Bowl Championship Series poll following the completion of Big 12 regular season conference play shall be the representative in the Big 12 Championship Game, unless two of the tied teams are ranked within one spot of the other in the BCS poll. In this case, the head-to-head results of the top two ranked tied teams shall determine the representative in the Big 12 Championship Game.
6. The team with the best overall winning percentage (excluding exempted games) shall be the representative.
7. The representative will be chosen by draw.

Oklahoma State 48, Kansas 14
Oklahoma 53, Baylor 24
Texas A&M 9, Nebraska 6
Missouri 14, Iowa State 0
Colorado 44, Kansas State 36
Texas 51, Florida Atlantic 17
Texas Tech 64, Weber State 21

Wrapping Up

The regular season ended for two schools — Baylor and Iowa State — with losses. Still, the Bears should play on, earning a bowl bid for the first time as a member of the Big 12. After a strong start, Baylor stumbled to the finish, losing all three November games to ranked teams.

“You never want to go out like that,” said Bears quarterback Robert Griffin III.

The Bears did wrap up their first winning season since 1995 and will await a call on their postseason fate.

For Iowa State, done at 5–7, the season’s end won’t be easy to digest. The Cyclones stood at 5–4 after beating Texas and Kansas to end October, but lost in overtime to Nebraska, then failed to get a needed sixth win in closing defeats to Colorado or Missouri.

Against Missouri, the Cyclones were without quarterback Austen Arnaud, who had torn knee ligaments in the loss to the Buffaloes.

“It’s extremely disappointing,” said Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads. “College football is about bowl games. Not having that opportunity is very disappointing because we had opportunities to get the six and beyond and we didn’t do that.”

Trips To Win

Texas A&M and Nebraska, two of the nation’s top scoring teams, managed nothing but field goals in College Station. Aggie kicker Randy Bullock’s boot late in the fourth quarter was the difference.
A record crowd of 90,079 roared when Husker quarterback Taylor Martinez threw incomplete on fourth down of a final drive, then stormed the field after the game.

A&M, once 0–2 in conference play, won its fifth straight game heading into a Thanksgiving Day battle with Texas.

“The consequences of winning are the expectations get higher,” said Aggies coach Mike Sherman. “We jumped over another hurdle and have taken another step. We still have another step to take.”

Nebraska returned home wobbly, with Martinez hampered by an ankle injury that forced him to miss much of the first half and play tentative afterward. And the Huskers will get a Colorado team riding a two-game winning streak and hungering for a bowl bid, after another spirited win over Kansas State put the Buffs at 5–6.

The Huskers quickly tried to move on from what happened at A&M.
“The game’s irrelevant,” Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said, echoing a message to his squad. “At the end, we still control our destiny.”

Player of the Week: Trent Hunter, S, Texas A&M. The Aggies junior picked off two passes in A&M’s win over Nebraska, helping stretch his team’s winning streak to five games to stay alive in the Big 12 South title hunt. Hunter also added four tackles as A&M held the Huskers to two field goals and 306 total yards of offense.

Coming Up

Game of the Week: Oklahoma at Oklahoma State. They call it Bedlam, for good reason, and this meeting is the most meaningful since 1984, when the team’s were ranked Nos. 2 and 3 and involved in the national title picture. The winner likely wins the Big 12 South and advances to the conference championship game with a BCS bowl on the line.

On the Spot: Taylor Martinez, QB, Nebraska. The Huskers freshman left the game at A&M, took a nationally televised berating from coach Bo Pelini on the sideline and later limped through the second half of a touchdown-less loss. Now the Huskers need a win over Colorado, which has suddenly rediscovered its offense.

In the Spotlight: The Cowboys Triplets. Only now are people catching on to Oklahoma State and its talented trio — quarterback Brandon Weeden, running back Kendall Hunter and wideout Justin Blackmon — even though they’ve been lighting up teams all season. They’ll get lots of love Saturday, with GameDay in Stillwater and the Bedlam showdown set for prime time TV.

Stock Rising
Brian Cabral, Colorado. Maybe the school should look inward in its coaching search to replace the fired Dan Hawkins. Cabral is a devoted Buff, as a former player and long-time assistant at the school. And there’s no arguing the results since he took over for Hawkins, with stirring wins over Iowa State and Kansas State.

Stock Falling
Texas tickets. Once a coveted commodity, tickets to Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium can now be had on the cheap. Apparently, only one struggling season is all it takes to keep Horns fans away. Premium seats were available for pennies on the dollar when Oklahoma State rolled into Austin two weeks ago and gaps of empty seats were seen for Saturday’s tilt against Florida Atlantic, when the Horns actually won 51–17. Now comes the real test: Will UT fans actually sell their seats to Aggies?

By the Numbers

10: Wins for Oklahoma State, the program’s most ever in the regular season.

18: Consecutive years of bowl eligibility for Texas Tech, attained with Saturday’s rout of Weber State.

90,079: Attendance for A&M’s game against Nebraska, a Kyle Field record.

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Athlon recaps the crazy week of action in the Big 12.

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