- Brandon Chatmon, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Big 12 Conference race is heating up. It's pretty simple -- Baylor, Texas and Oklahoma State will play each other down the home stretch of the season which will decide a champion.
Let’s quickly review the Big 12 three-way tiebreakers. They’re always worth knowing:
1. The records of the three teams will be compared against each other (head-to-head competition).
2. The records of the three teams will be compared against the next-highest placed teams in the conference in order of finish (fourth, fifth and sixth).
3. The highest-ranked team in the BCS – unless two of the tied teams are ranked within one spot of the other. In this case, the head-to-head results of the top-two ranked tied teams shall determine the BCS bowl representative (this stems from the 2008 OU-Texas controversy).
Here’s how the conference race is shaping up:
It’s pretty simple for undefeated Baylor (8-0, 5-0). If the Bears continue to win, they’ll be crowned Big 12 champions. They could still win the league with a loss, particularly if they fall to Texas Tech this weekend or TCU on Nov. 30 because that would mean they knocked off Oklahoma State and Texas, their main competitors at the top of the standings.
Texas continues to win, even if it isn’t pretty. The Longhorns (7-2, 6-0) control their own destiny and would be Big 12 champs if they win out. If they lose to Texas Tech, they could still win the league with victories over OSU and Baylor but their odds decrease if the Cowboys or Bears knock them off. They could also set up a faux-Big 12 title game if they lose to OSU, who then falls to Baylor while UT beats Texas Tech. In that scenario, a win over the Bears on Nov. 7 would give UT the head-to-head nod.
OSU (8-1, 5-1), even with its loss to West Virginia, will win the Big 12 if it wins out. If the Cowboys lose a game, their chances pretty much disappear as its unlikely both the Bears and Longhorns drop two games in the home stretch of conference play. The next two weeks will decide the Cowboys fate as they head to Austin this weekend before hosting Baylor on Nov. 23. Even if they win both games, don’t overlook their Bedlam battle with Oklahoma on Dec. 7.
18hMax Olson and Matt Fortuna