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What's In Store For Saturday's Big 12 Games
November 30, 2012
By Wendell Barnhouse | Correspondent

A season that started on the first day of September ends on the first day of December. After 14 weeks, the Big 12 Conference championship race comes down to two teams and two games - one that kicks off at 11 a.m. and the other scheduled to start at 7 p.m.

Oklahoma, the preseason pick to win the title, needs to win at TCU to start Saturday. If the Sooners can beat the Horned Frogs, they will then be in the position of rooting for their Red River Rival. Texas plays at Kansas State, a team picked to finish sixth, Saturday night.

The Wildcats (10-1, 7-1) can win the Big 12 championship with a victory over the Longhorns. Before it takes the field, Kansas State will know if Oklahoma (10-2, 7-1) has won and whether it is playing for the outright conference title or a share.

Either way, a victory would assure Kansas State the bid to a BCS bowl bid. The Wildcats, by virtue of their victory over the Sooners, have the tiebreaker edge.

If OU wins and the Longhorns beat the Wildcats, the Sooners would be Big 12 champs and earn the Conference's automatic BCS bid. Kansas State would also remain a strong contender for a BCS at-large bid.

"I think this is 11 of the last 13 years we've been in the last game with championship implications," Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. "It's always tough. It's hard to do. This game will be equally tough to go down and give ourselves an opportunity to win."

The Sooners' losses have been to two teams (Kansas State and Notre Dame) with a combined 22-1 record. Oklahoma has won seven consecutive Big 12 games - the last two by a total of four points. OU has won shootouts with West Virginia and Oklahoma State (in overtime) by the combined score of 101-97.

Kansas State's chances at playing for the national championship ended two weeks ago in a 52-24 loss at Baylor. The Wildcats have had the chance to regroup and they're facing a Texas team that they have defeated six of eight times in Big 12 games.

"We definitely need to get back on track. There's definitely that mentality," said quarterback Collin Klein, whose Heisman Trophy hopes took a hit in the loss to the Bears. "I don't know if I'd necessarily call it anger, but there's a lot of motivation and buildup of we just need to get back on track. Our last two performances haven't been stellar. There's a lot of motivation there. I don't know if it's anger, but there's some motivation, no doubt."

Saturday's games
All times Central

Oklahoma at TCU
Need to know: 11 a.m., Amon G. Carter Stadium, ESPN.
Records: Oklahoma 9-2, 7-1; TCU 7-4, 4-4.

Scouting Oklahoma: The Sooners need to win to put pressure on Kansas State, which plays Texas Saturday night. Oklahoma's offense has produced 103 points the last two games as senior quarterback Landry Jones has thrown for over 1,000 yards. OU's defense will need to focus on stuffing TCU's running game.

Scouting TCU: The Horned Frogs are seeking their first Big 12 home victory and will try to knock off two conference heavyweights in consecutive games. TCU leads the Big 12 in total defense as freshman defensive end Devonte Fields and junior defensive back Jason Verrett have been the league's top pass rusher and defender, respectively.

This and that: Oklahoma has won the Big 12 championship in every even-numbered year since Bob Stoops has been the coach. ... Under coach Bob Stoops, Oklahoma has won 12 consecutive games immediately following Bedlam. ... Since 2005, TCU is 31-4 in games in November or later.

Oklahoma State at Baylor
Need to know: 11 a.m., Floyd Casey Stadium, FX.
Records: Oklahoma State 7-4, 5-3; Baylor, 6-5, 3-5.

Scouting Oklahoma State: The defending Big 12 champions have a chance to finish in third place - a considerable accomplishment considering this has been a season of transition and injuries. Junior Clint Chelf is expected to start at quarterback; he's been productive and kept the Cowboys' offense in high gear.

Scouting Baylor: The Bears have gained bowl eligibility and will seek to finish the season by winning four of their last five. Senior quarterback Nick Florence leads the nation in total offense while wide receiver Terrance Williams averages 154 yards receiving per game. Baylor's defense is at its best when it wins the turnover battle.

This and that: Oklahoma State has won the last six meetings between the schools. ... Oklahoma State kicker Quinn Sharp, named an All-American by the American Football Coaches Association, is averaging 11.8 points per game. ... Baylor sophomore linebacker Bryce Hager is one of three Big 12 players with at least 100 tackles.

Kansas at West Virginia
Need to know: 1:30 p.m., Milan Puskar Stadium, FSN.
Records: Kansas, 1-10, 0-8; West Virginia, 6-5, 3-5.

Scouting Kansas: A loss would mean an 11-game losing streak to end the season and would extend the Jayhawks' Big 12 losing streak to 21 games. Kansas is second in in the Big 12 in rushing offense but that might not be enough against West Virginia. The Mountaineers' run defense is solid but they're last in the Big 12 in pass defense.

Scouting West Virginia: The Mountaineers gained bowl eligibility by winning at Iowa State and snapping a five-game losing streak. After starting Big 12 play with two impressive victories, closing with two wins would take the sting out of disappointing season. Quarterback Geno Smith leads the Big 12 in passing efficiency.

This and that: All 11 of Kansas' FBS opponents are bowl eligible and the one FCS opponent (South Dakota State) has reached the second round of the playoffs. ... Kansas has a rush of 55 yards or more in four consecutive games. ... West Virginia's Tavon Austin leads the Big 12 with 234 all-purpose yards per game.

Texas at Kansas State
Need to know: 7 p.m., Bill Snyder Family Stadium, ABC.
Records: Kansas State 10-1, 7-1; Texas 8-3, 5-3.

Scouting Texas: With David Ash questionable with a rib injury, the Longhorns will start Case McCoy at quarterback. In his career, McCoy is 3-1 as a starter in road games. Texas is last in the Big 12 in rushing defense and tackling has been a season-long issue. UT's defense will need to be at its best to stop the Big 12's top running team.

Scouting Kansas State: The Wildcats lost their shot at the national championship game but can clinch a BCS bowl bid with a victory. In the last two games, Kansas State has made more mistakes than it had been making in the previous nine games. Quarterback Collin Klein can boost his Heisman Trophy chances with a big game on national television.

This and that: Kansas State has 76 runs of 10 or more yards, second-most in the Big 12. ... Texas has allowed 82 runs of 10 yards or more, the most in the Big 12. ... Since 2007, Texas has been first in total defense each year. They go into the final week of the regular season ranked sixth in total defense.


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