NewsOK: Oklahoma City News, Sports, Weather & Entertainment

Tramel: OU-Texas in Arlington is a distinct possibility

Big 12 Championship Game possibilities are boundless as the conference football season crosses the midway point. Twenty-four of the 45 scheduled league games have been played, and at least six teams still remain in the hunt for Arlington, Texas.

That’s counting 3-2 West Virginia but not 2-3 TCU. I think the Horned Frogs are better than the Mountaineers, but WVU still gets to play Texas, OU and Iowa State. Opportunity remains for West Virginia. Not so much for TCU, which already has played OU, Texas, Iowa State and Kansas State. A 6-3 team isn’t likely to finish as high as second (the top two teams make the title game), and even if TCU somehow did, the tiebreakers don’t favor the Frogs.

But some enticing matchups are possible in the Big 12 title game. Let’s look at a few:


Could Sam Ehlinger quarterback for a sixth time against the Sooners? It’s possible and doesn’t require a ton of crazy results.

If OU wins out, the Sooners finish 7-2. That would mean another loss for OSU and West Virginia.

If Texas wins out, the Longhorns finish 7-2. That would mean another loss for Iowa State, Kansas State and West Virginia.

If both OU and Texas win out, they are at 7-2. If OSU beats Kansas State (this Saturday in Manhattan) and otherwise avoids an upset, the Wildcats would finish with at least three losses and OSU would finish 7-2.

So that leaves Iowa State. If the Cyclones beat K-State and otherwise avoid an upset, they would finish 7-2. If K-State beats Iowa State but loses to OSU and Texas, it would be back to the Sooners and Longhorns alone at the top.

A four-way tie between OU, OSU, Texas and Iowa State would result in OU and Texas advancing to the title game, since they would be 2-1 vs. the teams with which they would be tied.

A three-way tie between OU, OSU and Texas would result in an OU-Texas title game, since both would have beaten OSU.

What if Kansas State gets in the mix? Well, if KSU beats OSU and Iowa State, and loses to Texas, the Wildcats could finish 7-2. A three-way tie between OU, Texas and K-State would go to a lower tiebreaker. How did the teams fare against the No. 4 team in the league? If the No. 4 team was OSU, all would have beaten the Cowboys. So to the No. 5 team, ostensibly Iowa State. Texas and KSU would have beaten the Cyclones, so that would eliminate OU.

If you want OU-Texas, you need OSU or Iowa State to beat Kansas State.


OU needs to win out to make it to Arlington. So that pins another loss on OSU and necessitates the Cowboys otherwise winning out.

For the Sooners and Cowboys to be alone at the top at 7-2, a few things need to happen.

West Virginia needs to help. If the Mountaineers beat Texas or Iowa State, that would get an extra defeat on one of those contenders. If the Kansas State/Texas/Iowa State trio of games against each other resulted in a 1-1 split, KSU and Texas would have three losses, so Iowa State would need another defeat. That could come from West Virginia.

If OU, OSU and Iowa State finish a three-way tie, the tiebreaker would drop to how they fared against the No. 4 team. If that’s Texas, OU would advance, and then OSU would advance because it beat Iowa State. If the No. 4 team is Kansas State, OSU and Iowa State would make it to Arlington, because the Cowboys would have beaten KSU and the Cyclones might have. And it wouldn’t matter, either way, because if OSU advances, that leaves ISU and OU, and the Cyclones advance because they beat the Sooners.

It’s a much-more muddled path to a Bedlam rematch than it is to an OU-Texas rematch.


This one is relatively simple. If the Cowboys and Longhorns win out, they meet in Arlington. OSU would be 8-1, Texas would be 7-2. OU would have at least three losses (courtesy of Bedlam), KSU would have at least three losses and Iowa State would be at best 7-2, with a loss to Texas.

No Oklahoma team

A Big 12 title game without OSU or OU? It could happen.

The easiest path is if Kansas State and Iowa State win out, except for the game they play against each other. If that happens, both are in Arlington. Both would hold the tiebreaker over OU.

If KSU wins out and Iowa State otherwise wins out and OSU otherwise wins out, K-State and OSU would meet in Arlington. So it’s a narrow path to an Oklahoma-less title game.

Here’s the fun part. Each week, all these scenarios get a little less complicated. Well, not next week. Next week, only two Big 12 games are scheduled -- Baylor at Texas Tech and TCU at West Virginia. Not much changes there.

Related Photos
<figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - " title=""><figcaption></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 ›