CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Big 12’s attention is on Kansas State’s national championship dreams, yet there is plenty left to be decided in the conference over the final weeks.
Six teams are bowl eligible, with Iowa State, West Virginia and Baylor still battling for chances to fill out the league’s bowl slots.
Kansas State (10-0, 7-0 Big 12) can clinch at least a share of its first conference championship since 2003 with a win Saturday night at Baylor. The Wildcats moved into the top spot in the Bowl Championship Series rankings after Alabama lost to Texas A&M.
“We’re just honored to be there,” Kansas State coach Bill Snyder said Monday. “I’m just going to encourage our guys to not change the way we approach things and try to stay grounded.”
With conferences limited to two teams in BCS bowls, four schools from the Southeastern Conference currently ranked in the top 10 will be left out, opening chances for teams like No. 13 Oklahoma and No. 18 Texas. If Kansas State gets the league’s automatic berth, the Sooners and Longhorns would be eliminated from consideration for at-large berths with another loss.
“There’s a lot of scenarios by the end of the year for everybody,” Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. “Everybody wants to define it already. Let’s face it, everybody had Alabama already going undefeated and that didn’t happen. So there’s a lot that’s going to happen in the next 2-3 weeks. There’s a lot of scenarios. Let’s just keep playing and doing our part.”
The Sooners (7-2, 5-1) have won five straight conference games since losing the opener to Kansas State. Oklahoma has road games remaining at Big 12 newcomers West Virginia and TCU sandwiched around the Nov. 24 rivalry game at home with Oklahoma State.
To stay in BCS contention, the Longhorns (8-2, 5-2) would need a home win on Thanksgiving against a TCU team that’s 3-1 on the road in conference play, then beat Kansas State in the regular-season finale on Dec. 1 in Manhattan, Kan.