Oklahoma State moved up to No. 3 in this week's BCS standings, and with the nation's No. 10 team coming to Stillwater on Saturday, that'd normally be a good thing.
It's hardly bad, but with its current circumstances, Oklahoma State has almost no chance at the title.
Alabama's regular season is over and the Crimson Tide is well ahead of the Cowboys. The gap is enormous. Even if it beats the Sooners, Oklahoma State won't get the kind of boost it might have after Oklahoma lost to Baylor two weeks ago.
LSU has one game left, but zero losses. Even if the Tigers lose in the SEC Championship game on Saturday night, the timeliness of its loss may not matter.
LSU has proven to be the nation's top team, and with a loss, would still have a superior resume to Oklahoma State.
The Cowboys, of course, have only themselves to blame for this. Take care of business as a four-touchdown favorite against Iowa State, and this conversation never had to happen.
Win, and you're in. Oklahoma State put itself in that position over its first 10 games. It took itself out after its 11th.
There remains only one possible scenario that could land Oklahoma State in the national title game, and it's a stretch.
If Oklahoma State can beat Oklahoma handily -- think four touchdowns -- and make a strong impression on voters on the season's final weekend, it might get a boost.
It still wouldn't be enough.
LSU would need a loss worse than Oklahoma State's. A close loss to Georgia, the nation's No. 14 team, wouldn't qualify. LSU would somehow need to lose in similarly embarrassing fashion, badly enough to make voters reconsider the notion that LSU is the nation's No. 1 team.
Again, think four touchdowns.
That would probably be enough to push Oklahoma State into the national title game against Alabama, but after LSU's win over Arkansas and Alabama's win over Auburn, it's clear that the national title is almost entirely out of Oklahoma State's reach.
Here's where the rest of the Big 12 checked in:
Oklahoma was No. 10, despite being ranked in the top six of five of the six computer rankings. Oklahoma is No. 10 and No. 11 in the human polls.
Kansas State is No. 11.
Baylor is up to No. 17, the school's highest ranking ever. Baylor's even No. 7 in the Massey and Sagarin computer rankings.
Texas is up to No. 22.
Missouri debuted in this week's ranking after beating Kansas on Saturday, grabbing the No. 25 spot. Once again, credit the Big 12's strength in the computers, despite Missouri's 7-5 ranking. Missouri is No. 16 and No. 15 in the Massey and Sagarin rankings.