Why Iowa State-Oklahoma State is the biggest Big 12 game of the week for Texas’ title hopes

·3 min read

Texas is on a bye this week, turning everybody’s eyes to the rest of the Big 12. Baylor is off as well, with the other eight teams set to square off on Saturday.

Iowa State’s home matchup against Oklahoma State is the most eye-popping of the four games, having major conference championship implications. Not just for the Cowboys and Cyclones, but Steve Sarkisian’s squad as well.

Before talking about Texas in the Big 12 championship, let’s recognize there are plenty of problems to fix in Austin. The last two weeks have been total breakdowns in the second half, throwing away golden opportunities. Sarkisian and his staff have to play nearly flawless football over the next five games to even have a chance of traveling to Arlington.

But we can still have some fun, right? In this scenario let’s (generously) assume Texas wins out.

In order to appear in the Big 12 championship, one of Oklahoma or Oklahoma State is going to have to lose three games. Having the head-to-head tiebreaker, only dropping two does nobody in Austin any good.

And if we’re being honest, the Sooners are winning out. Caleb Williams has transformed the offense, revitalizing the Lincoln Riley offensive powerhouse. Playing Baylor in Waco presents the best shot of Oklahoma losing but dropping two others seems unfathomable.

Oklahoma State is Texas’ best shot.

Ames, IA presents the first opportunity for a loss to be added to the Cowboys’ record. Iowa State is favored by over a touchdown according to Tipico Sportbook coming off two straight wins over the Kansas schools.

It’s a battle of the Big 12’s biggest overachieving team vs the Big 12’s biggest underachieving team. The talent is still there for Iowa State to make a deep run in the conference as well. A win against Oklahoma State could start their own championship run.

Since we’re playing the game, let’s count down a win for ISU.

From there, two more losses are needed. Here is how the remaining schedule would look for Oklahoma State.

  • Kansas

  • at West Virginia

  • TCU

  • at Texas Tech

  • Oklahoma

Bedlam being Bedlam, Oklahoma will win there. I’m sorry Oklahoma State fans, we all know how that story goes. So there’s one. We’ll add Kansas to the ‘no duh’ win section as well.

That leaves at West Virginia (0-3 Big 12), TCU (1-2), and at Texas Tech (2-2) to save the Longhorns’ season. The last of the three may present the best chance, with a close eye on TCU. If we’re being honest, it’s not the craziest thing to ever happen in the world.

Sarkisian said after the Red River Shootout loss his team wanted another shot at playing Oklahoma. Despite failing to back up his message a week later, hope is still there. Three losses, by the currently ranked No. 8 team in the country, are required.

Of course, everything written above comes irrelevant if Oklahoma State wins on Saturday. Iowa State getting a win is critical toward Texas’ Big 12 championship hopes. Otherwise, we may be getting back-to-back weeks of Bedlam. Once in Norman, another in Arlington.