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As the final slate of games arrives for college football in week 13 there is a lot on the line for many teams. Conference championship games, college football seeding, and even head coach interviews.
With so much attention being on the next LSU Tigers head coach, there are two games that could have massive implications for athletic director Scott Woodward. Teams in contention and still playing for a conference title won’t be interviewing for a head coaching position.
A pair of games in the Big 12 Conference could determine if the Tigers have to wait yet another week to interview some of these names. We start down in Waco, Texas.
Texas Tech at Baylor
Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
The Baylor Bears and Dave Aranda will play their final regular-season game at home at McLane Stadium. They host the Texas Tech Red Raiders and are looking for redemption from last year in which a late field goal from Jonathan Garibay send Baylor home with a loss. That isn’t an important detail, what is important is the outcome of the game.
Aranda and the No. 9 ranked Baylor Bears will kick their game off at 11:00 a.m. CT. Provided they win, and they should as 14.5 point favorites the pressure will then be on Oklahoma. A loss removes Baylor from any shot at a Big 12 title game and opens up the schedule to interview for an opening, such as LSU. A win and all eyes will immediately turn to the state of Oklahoma.
Oklahoma at Oklahoma State
Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman
Much like the Bears will have eyes on the Bedlam with Oklahoma State hosting their biggest rivals, the Oklahoma Sooners, many will watch Tech and Baylor. If the Bears lose then this game doesn’t matter in terms of who plays in the Big 12 Championship. However, neither one of these teams will mail it in for that scenario due to what is on the line.
On Tuesday the College Football Playoff rankings were released. Oklahoma State was the highest-ranked Big 12 team coming in at No. 7 and Oklahoma is No. 10. If Oklahoma wins this game then they will move up and have an outside shot at the CFP. Their lone loss came to No. 9 Baylor. However, Oklahoma State has a good shot being No. 7 already. Wins over Oklahoma twice or the Sooners and Bears help their case.
The key here isn’t the seeding but what could come of the game. If the game is Baylor vs Oklahoma State next week in Arlington, Texas, does that put a potential interview on the table for Woodward with Lincoln Riley? His name has been brought up recently and it’s very likely he doesn’t leave Norman. The thing to remember is timing is everything.
If the title game is Oklahoma vs Oklahoma State in round two, then that would open up Aranda for interviews with LSU and likely USC. It wouldn’t be shocking to see Florida and AD Scott Stricklin come calling.
Plenty of action to pay attention to outside of Baton Rouge as the race for the Big 12 Championship comes to a head on Saturday.