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Major ramifications to transpire from Saturdays Bedlam game
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WACO, Texas (AP) — Let Bedlam ensue in the Big 12 South.
Along with instate bragging rights, the South Division title and a spot in the Big 12’s last scheduled championship game will be at stake when 10th-ranked Oklahoma State and No. 12 Oklahoma play their regular season-ending rivalry game Saturday night.
“We’ve put ourselves in a good position, so it’s our time to go to work and see what we can do,” Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden said. “We can control our own destiny. We’ve got Oklahoma at home. ... It’s going to be a good environment.”
The Cowboys (10-1, 6-1 Big 12) have their first 10-win season and clinched at least a share of the division title after a 48-14 victory at Kansas on Saturday. With a win over Oklahoma, they claim the South outright and go to the Big 12 title game for the first time.
“When we started the season, my message to them was, ‘You’re not as talented as the team that just left here, but that doesn’t mean you can’t win all your games.’ I’m not so sure I thought we were going to win 10 games when I said that,” OSU coach Mike Gundy said. “But it sounds like they bought into it.”
Oklahoma (9-2, 5-2) has been to seven of the league’s last 10 championship games and has won the last seven games in the Bedlam series. Last year, when Oklahoma State was in position to possibly become an at-large BCS team, the Sooners came in already with its biggest loss total under coach Bob Stoops and won 27-0.
After their only losses this season came on the road over the previous month, the Sooners are coming off a 53-24 romp at Baylor on Saturday night.
“We’re feeling good,” said running back DeMarco Murray, who scored two early touchdowns against Baylor and finished with 62 yards rushing and 120 yards receiving.
Oklahoma State and Oklahoma will know long before kickoff Saturday night if the winner of their game is going to the Big 12 title game — or if there could be a three-way tie atop the South Division.
“I told our players, they haven’t been here for 11 years, but a bunch of us have and we’ve been in this position nine times: going into the last game looking at an opportunity to be in the championship,” Stoops said. “So they ought to be excited about it. Oklahoma State is an excellent team and they’ve had a great year. We’re going to go in and we’re excited about it.”
No. 17 Texas A&M (8-3, 5-2) beat North Division-leading Nebraska 9-6 on Saturday night. The Aggies carry a five-game winning streak into their Thanksgiving night game against Texas that they have to win to stay in the title mix.
If there is a three-way tie, it will be settled by the BCS standings.
The highest-ranked team most likely goes to the championship game. But if the top two Big 12 South teams are back-to-back in the BCS standings, the winner of the head-to-head matchup between those teams will play for the league title.
In the new BCS standings released Sunday night, Oklahoma State is ninth, Oklahoma 13th and Texas A&M 17th.
Oklahoma is ending the regular season with consecutive road games for only the third time in 25 seasons. The previous two times, they won both games — including 2006 with wins over Baylor and Oklahoma State.
Murray turned a short pass into a 76-yard touchdown when he sprinted up the left sideline untouched, then scored on a 13-yard run minutes later Saturday night, giving Oklahoma a quick 14-0 lead over Baylor.
The Sooners also got their first defensive touchdown of the season on Ronnell Lewis’ 12-yard interception return to start the second half, forced a safety on a kickoff return and led 53-10 after three quarters.
“We just did what we usually do and it was about playing like we’re capable of,” Stoops said. “We had an opportunity to come down here and give ourselves a chance to stay in the championship hunt and that’s what we did.”
Landry Jones completed 26 of 39 passes for 325 yards and three touchdowns, including a 5-yarder to Ryan Broyles, who became the first Oklahoma receiver with more than 100 catches in a season. The Sooners have won all 20 games in their series against Baylor.
“We prepared in practice the way we should have and we played great. We executed all night long,” Jones said. “It’s good for us to win like this on the road. Keep our offense kind of on a roll. Oklahoma State is going to be a great challenge for us, especially going up there.”
Baylor (7-5, 4-4), wrapped up its first winning regular season since 1995, the year before the Big 12 began, despite losing all three of their November games — to Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and Oklahoma.
The Bears have to wait two more weeks before likely getting its first bowl bid since 1994. That would snap a 15-season bowl drought that matches the longest for a team from a BCS conference.
“Going into this game, we had already decided that once this game is over, the 2010 football season is over,” third-year coach Art Briles said. “Now we’ve got a one-game season coming up. It’s a bowl game. ... We’re not just satisfied with being in a bowl game. We’re going to go fight hard to win the bowl game.”