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Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Big 12 title race update: Week 13

By David Ubben

Oh, K-State. I kind of hate you right now for making this post unbelievably complicated when it could have been so, so simple. A K-State win last week would have mathematically eliminated Texas and Oklahoma State from Big 12 title contention, but alas, Baylor wasn't going to let that happen. So here's where we stand with two weeks left of games:

Kansas State needs Oklahoma to lose to Oklahoma State or TCU and it must beat Texas next week to win the Big 12 title outright. It can share a Big 12 title with Oklahoma if both teams win out, or if K-State loses to Texas on the final weekend and the Longhorns lose to TCU this weekend.

Oklahoma can win the Big 12 title outright if K-State loses to Texas and the Sooners win out. That's the only way for the Sooners. If they win out and K-State does the same, the Wildcats would still get the Big 12's automatic BCS bid by way of the head-to-head matchup earlier this season.

Now, here's where it gets real complicated.

Texas can force a three-way tie if it beats K-State and Oklahoma loses one more game. In that case, all three teams would be 1-1 against each other, so the tiebreaker would be the BCS standings. The highest ranking gets the Big 12's automatic BCS bid, unless the top two teams are within one spot of each other. In that case, the head-to-head matchup takes precedence.

Oklahoma State can force a three-way tie if it wins out and K-State and Oklahoma lose. In that scenario, however, the Wildcats would still get the BCS automatic bid because Oklahoma would be 0-2 against the other two teams in the three-way tie and K-State would hold the head-to-head matchup against Oklahoma State, by way of its 44-30 win earlier this year.

Now, here's where it gets nasty. All four teams at the top of the Big 12 could easily finish with two losses apiece, but this can only happen if K-State loses to Texas, Oklahoma loses to Oklahoma State and beats TCU, Texas beats TCU and K-State and Oklahoma State wins out.

In that case, however, Texas would earn the Big 12 automatic BCS bid. The tiebreaker wouldn't reach the BCS standings. Oklahoma State and Oklahoma would both be 1-2 against the other three Big 12 champions. Texas and K-State would both be 2-1 and Texas would hold the tiebreaker over the Wildcats.

So, those are pretty much all of the possible remaining scenarios. You're welcome.

Here are the full Big 12 standings:

1. Kansas State (7-1)

2. Oklahoma (6-1)

T-3. Texas (5-2)

T-3. Oklahoma State (5-2)

5. Texas Tech (4-4)

6. TCU (3-4)

7. Iowa State (3-5)

T-8. Baylor (2-5)

T-8. West Virginia (2-5)

10. Kansas (0-8)