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Big 12 football rankings: Oklahoma returns to No. 1

What a Saturday in Big 12 football. Woebegone West Virginia beat 24th-ranked Kansas State 24-20, in Manhattan no less, and did so with a last-minute interception deep in Mountaineer territory. And it was just the fourth-best game of the Big 12’s five-game slate.

OU beat Baylor 34-31 with a comeback for the ages; the Sooners trailed 28-3 in the second quarter. Iowa State beat Texas 23-21 on a last-play field goal. TCU survived Texas Tech 33-31, with a late Red Raider fumble likely the difference.

Only in Stillwater was a game void of much drama. OSU beat Kansas 31-13.

The results mean that OU and Baylor almost surely will rematch in the Big 12 Championship Game. If either team wins just one of its final two games, it secures a berth in Arlington.

Here are the rankings as we hit the homestretch of the season, with some bowl situations thrown in:

1. Oklahoma (9-1, 6-1): The Sooners’ College Football Playoff hopes are rising, just as Lincoln Riley said they would, as long as OU kept winning.

2. Baylor (9-1, 6-1): The Bears’ are a longshot to make the playoff, even by winning out to finish 12-1. Baylor didn’t get a lot of love from the committee when it was unbeaten. No reason to think it will start now. The bowl outlook for OU or Baylor is rather clear. If the Big 12 champion makes the playoff, the runnerup will be in the Sugar Bowl. If the champ doesn’t make the playoff, it will be in the Sugar Bowl, and the runnerup drops to either the Alamo Bowl (if it’s outside the committee’s final top 10) or the Cotton Bowl (if it’s inside the committee’s final top 10).

3. Oklahoma State (7-3, 4-3): For much of Saturday night, the Cowboys were on the verge of controlling their championship hopes. If OU had lost to Baylor, OSU could have made Arlington by winning out. Now, of course, the Cowboys need OU to lose to TCU. Alamo or Texas Bowl appears to be OSU’s best postseason fate.

4. Iowa State (6-4, 4-3): What a season for the Cyclones. ISU has played five games decided by two points or fewer; the ‘Clones are 2-3 in those games, plus a 34-27 loss to OSU in a game that was 27-27 midway through the fourth quarter. I still think the Camping World Bowl would like ISU over OSU, since the Cowboys were there just two years ago.

5. Texas (6-4, 4-3): Speaking of tight fits, the Longhorns are 3-3 in games decided by seven points or less. That’s an entertaining season. I think the Camping World and Alamo bowls both would like UT. The Texas Bowl, not so much, since the Longhorns were there in 2017.

6. Kansas State (6-4, 3-4): The Wildcats finish with Texas Tech and Iowa State. Anywhere from 8-4 to 6-6 is possible. And that’s a big difference in bowl assignments. The First Responders Bowl on the SMU campus comes into play at 6-6. The Liberty Bowl is possible at 7-5.

7. TCU (5-5, 3-4): The Horned Frogs might have to beat West Virginia to become bowl eligible. The Cheez-It Bowl or the First Responders Bowl seems likely for the Frogs.

8. Texas Tech (4-6, 2-5): The Red Raiders have two tough games to win in order to be bowl eligible – Kansas State and Texas.

9. West Virginia (4-6, 2-5):  Bad news for OSU – beating Kansas State allowed the Mountaineers to remain mathematically alive for bowl eligibility, means they’ve got more to play for Saturday against the Cowboys in Morgantown.

10. Kansas (3-7, 1-6): KU was eliminated from bowl eligibility, but still, a solid first year for Les Miles in Lawrence.

Related Photos
Oklahoma fullback Brayden Willis, center top, is lifted in the air by Oklahoma offensive lineman Tyrese Robinson, bottom center, after scoring a touchdown against Baylor during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. Oklahoma won 34-31. (AP Photo/Ray Carlin)

Oklahoma fullback Brayden Willis, center top, is lifted in the air by Oklahoma offensive lineman Tyrese Robinson, bottom center, after scoring a touchdown against Baylor during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. Oklahoma won 34-31. (AP...

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-8ec07c335d4c929122e734185e7c76cb.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma fullback Brayden Willis, center top, is lifted in the air by Oklahoma offensive lineman Tyrese Robinson, bottom center, after scoring a touchdown against Baylor during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. Oklahoma won 34-31. (AP Photo/Ray Carlin)" title="Oklahoma fullback Brayden Willis, center top, is lifted in the air by Oklahoma offensive lineman Tyrese Robinson, bottom center, after scoring a touchdown against Baylor during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. Oklahoma won 34-31. (AP Photo/Ray Carlin)"><figcaption>Oklahoma fullback Brayden Willis, center top, is lifted in the air by Oklahoma offensive lineman Tyrese Robinson, bottom center, after scoring a touchdown against Baylor during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. Oklahoma won 34-31. (AP Photo/Ray Carlin)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-267f872d09da803913b5cb36eac22476.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts warms up prior to an NCAA college football game against Baylor in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Ray Carlin)" title="Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts warms up prior to an NCAA college football game against Baylor in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Ray Carlin)"><figcaption>Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts warms up prior to an NCAA college football game against Baylor in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Ray Carlin)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-4a938cd919d194b2cb8157b8709616a7.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) attempts to recover a fumble while being tackled by Baylor safety Henry Black (8) and safety Chris Miller (3) during an NCAA college football game, in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (Ian Maule/Tulsa World via AP)" title="Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) attempts to recover a fumble while being tackled by Baylor safety Henry Black (8) and safety Chris Miller (3) during an NCAA college football game, in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (Ian Maule/Tulsa World via AP)"><figcaption>Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) attempts to recover a fumble while being tackled by Baylor safety Henry Black (8) and safety Chris Miller (3) during an NCAA college football game, in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (Ian Maule/Tulsa World via AP)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-421fd9c31420ae5b98f215dff16227e2.jpg" alt="Photo - Baylor wide receiver Denzel Mims, left, makes a 30-yard touchdown catch as Oklahoma cornerback Jaden Davis, right, defends during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Ray Carlin)" title="Baylor wide receiver Denzel Mims, left, makes a 30-yard touchdown catch as Oklahoma cornerback Jaden Davis, right, defends during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Ray Carlin)"><figcaption>Baylor wide receiver Denzel Mims, left, makes a 30-yard touchdown catch as Oklahoma cornerback Jaden Davis, right, defends during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Ray Carlin)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-79c072f1a90bc0f4abc63b450d8c6de4.jpg" alt="Photo - Baylor wide receiver Denzel Mims (5) catches a touchdown pass over Oklahoma cornerback Jaden Davis (4) during an NCAA college football game, in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (Ian Maule/Tulsa World via AP)" title="Baylor wide receiver Denzel Mims (5) catches a touchdown pass over Oklahoma cornerback Jaden Davis (4) during an NCAA college football game, in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (Ian Maule/Tulsa World via AP)"><figcaption>Baylor wide receiver Denzel Mims (5) catches a touchdown pass over Oklahoma cornerback Jaden Davis (4) during an NCAA college football game, in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (Ian Maule/Tulsa World via AP)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-26fef9ed3a7aab8f673bf3f875a875f6.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) and Baylor linebacker Blake Lynch (2) dive to recover a fumble during an NCAA college football game, in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (Ian Maule/Tulsa World via AP)" title="Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) and Baylor linebacker Blake Lynch (2) dive to recover a fumble during an NCAA college football game, in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (Ian Maule/Tulsa World via AP)"><figcaption>Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) and Baylor linebacker Blake Lynch (2) dive to recover a fumble during an NCAA college football game, in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (Ian Maule/Tulsa World via AP)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-38582b57c854718416edf35cbb4d4a3a.jpg" alt="Photo - Baylor safety Chris Miller (3), defensive tackle James Lynch (93) and linebacker Terrel Bernard (26) tackle Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) during an NCAA college football game, in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (Ian Maule/Tulsa World via AP)" title="Baylor safety Chris Miller (3), defensive tackle James Lynch (93) and linebacker Terrel Bernard (26) tackle Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) during an NCAA college football game, in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (Ian Maule/Tulsa World via AP)"><figcaption>Baylor safety Chris Miller (3), defensive tackle James Lynch (93) and linebacker Terrel Bernard (26) tackle Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) during an NCAA college football game, in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (Ian Maule/Tulsa World via AP)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-11df74d9a2cf320a70ac8222911c72ab.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma cornerback Parnell Motley (11) and quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) celebrate the 34-31 victory over Baylor following an NCAA college football game in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Ray Carlin)" title="Oklahoma cornerback Parnell Motley (11) and quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) celebrate the 34-31 victory over Baylor following an NCAA college football game in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Ray Carlin)"><figcaption>Oklahoma cornerback Parnell Motley (11) and quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) celebrate the 34-31 victory over Baylor following an NCAA college football game in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Ray Carlin)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-498deb4f06196d5eca7f74d0e397185a.jpg" alt="Photo - Baylor head coach Matt Rhule, left, and Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley hug after an NCAA college football game in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. Oklahoma won 34-31. (AP Photo/Ray Carlin)" title="Baylor head coach Matt Rhule, left, and Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley hug after an NCAA college football game in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. Oklahoma won 34-31. (AP Photo/Ray Carlin)"><figcaption>Baylor head coach Matt Rhule, left, and Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley hug after an NCAA college football game in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. Oklahoma won 34-31. (AP Photo/Ray Carlin)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-f2f7dba26268316a416725e970346d39.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma place kicker Gabe Brkic, right, kicks a 28-yard field goal as Connor McGinnis holds during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Baylor in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Ray Carlin)" title="Oklahoma place kicker Gabe Brkic, right, kicks a 28-yard field goal as Connor McGinnis holds during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Baylor in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Ray Carlin)"><figcaption>Oklahoma place kicker Gabe Brkic, right, kicks a 28-yard field goal as Connor McGinnis holds during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Baylor in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Ray Carlin)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-dd637ffa8c0525eaf28c5c5ba276e69d.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma running back Rhamondre Stevenson, right, is pushed out of bounds by Baylor cornerback Raleigh Texada, center, during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. Oklahoma won 34-31. (AP Photo/Ray Carlin)" title="Oklahoma running back Rhamondre Stevenson, right, is pushed out of bounds by Baylor cornerback Raleigh Texada, center, during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. Oklahoma won 34-31. (AP Photo/Ray Carlin)"><figcaption>Oklahoma running back Rhamondre Stevenson, right, is pushed out of bounds by Baylor cornerback Raleigh Texada, center, during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. Oklahoma won 34-31. (AP Photo/Ray Carlin)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-cb22d3bba35316d68876d167a28c2cc3.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma wide receiver A.D. Miller runs after the catch against Baylor during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. Oklahoma won 34-31. (AP Photo/Ray Carlin)" title="Oklahoma wide receiver A.D. Miller runs after the catch against Baylor during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. Oklahoma won 34-31. (AP Photo/Ray Carlin)"><figcaption>Oklahoma wide receiver A.D. Miller runs after the catch against Baylor during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. Oklahoma won 34-31. (AP Photo/Ray Carlin)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-5797e1f1c44ddcc47d3d818cba6c851d.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma offensive lineman Adrian Ealy (59) walks off the field following the team's 34-31 victory over Baylor in an NCAA college football game in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Ray Carlin)" title="Oklahoma offensive lineman Adrian Ealy (59) walks off the field following the team's 34-31 victory over Baylor in an NCAA college football game in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Ray Carlin)"><figcaption>Oklahoma offensive lineman Adrian Ealy (59) walks off the field following the team's 34-31 victory over Baylor in an NCAA college football game in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Ray Carlin)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-3bca1ca75c617ba1dda445a89fdd5c7d.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) stiff arms Baylor defensive tackle TJ Franklin (90) during an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in Waco, Texas. Oklahoma won 34-31. (Ian Maule/Tulsa World via AP)" title="Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) stiff arms Baylor defensive tackle TJ Franklin (90) during an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in Waco, Texas. Oklahoma won 34-31. (Ian Maule/Tulsa World via AP)"><figcaption>Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) stiff arms Baylor defensive tackle TJ Franklin (90) during an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in Waco, Texas. Oklahoma won 34-31. (Ian Maule/Tulsa World via AP)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-e11b255c4b0b404ea14dc0f776cf1b7b.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley watches warmups before an NCAA college football game against Baylor in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Ray Carlin)" title="Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley watches warmups before an NCAA college football game against Baylor in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Ray Carlin)"><figcaption>Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley watches warmups before an NCAA college football game against Baylor in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Ray Carlin)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-741c2b6d00516f657b2acfe0324a937f.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma cornerback Parnell Motley (11) and quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) celebrate with fans after their 34-31 win over Baylor in an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in Waco, Texas. (Ian Maule/Tulsa World via AP)" title="Oklahoma cornerback Parnell Motley (11) and quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) celebrate with fans after their 34-31 win over Baylor in an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in Waco, Texas. (Ian Maule/Tulsa World via AP)"><figcaption>Oklahoma cornerback Parnell Motley (11) and quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) celebrate with fans after their 34-31 win over Baylor in an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in Waco, Texas. (Ian Maule/Tulsa World via AP)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-2bc38524cf935639b439c376442db755.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts, left, carries the ball as Baylor cornerback Jameson Houston, right, defends during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Ray Carlin)" title="Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts, left, carries the ball as Baylor cornerback Jameson Houston, right, defends during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Ray Carlin)"><figcaption>Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts, left, carries the ball as Baylor cornerback Jameson Houston, right, defends during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Ray Carlin)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-6ca61eb038c6c279ad94acaae2a4c9f4.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma linebacker Brian Asamoah (24) celebrates with linebacker Nik Bonitto (35) after Bonitto got an interception that secured a 34-31 win over Baylor in an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in Waco, Texas. (Ian Maule/Tulsa World via AP)" title="Oklahoma linebacker Brian Asamoah (24) celebrates with linebacker Nik Bonitto (35) after Bonitto got an interception that secured a 34-31 win over Baylor in an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in Waco, Texas. (Ian Maule/Tulsa World via AP)"><figcaption>Oklahoma linebacker Brian Asamoah (24) celebrates with linebacker Nik Bonitto (35) after Bonitto got an interception that secured a 34-31 win over Baylor in an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in Waco, Texas. (Ian Maule/Tulsa World via AP)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-1df75badd24ac5e90703d9c401f0db9e.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley signals in a play from the sideline during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Baylor in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Ray Carlin)" title="Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley signals in a play from the sideline during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Baylor in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Ray Carlin)"><figcaption>Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley signals in a play from the sideline during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Baylor in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Ray Carlin)</figcaption></figure>
Berry Tramel

Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,... Read more ›

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