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Big 12 Football: Five Things We Learned In Week 13 Includes Texas Tech's Frustrations

The Big 12 Conference no longer has a championship game in football, but it is championship week in the conference as No. 4 Oklahoma State hosts arch-rival and No. 10 Oklahoma in Bedlam.

Oklahoma's Bob Stoops (left) and Mike Gunday of Oklahoma State
Oklahoma's Bob Stoops (left) and Mike Gunday of Oklahoma State

Thirteen weeks of Big 12 football action are now in the books and only one week remains. With realignment in the conference, which will now operates as a 10-team league, this will be the first year in Big 12 history that there will not be a conference championship game in football.

Despite this reality, the regularly-scheduled season-ending game between Bedlam rivals Oklahoma and Oklahoma State will decide who takes home the Big 12 crown for this season and the conference's automatic BCS bowl bid. There are two other conference games scheduled on what amounts to Championship Week in the Big 12, as it is in other BCS conferences around the country.

Kansas State will host Iowa State, two teams that have surprised college football experts this season. The Wildcats and Cyclones have won 14 games between them this season and both will be headed to postseason play. A win Saturday would give Kansas State a 10-2 overall record and an 8-2 mark against Big 12 foes. What's more, the Wildcats could end the season in second place in the league, depending on the outcome of the Oklahoma-Oklahoma State contest.

One other game is scheduled: Baylor is at Texas. Win or lose, the Bears are guaranteed no worse than a tie for fourth place in the standings. A win could net them third.

Here's what else we learned from Big 12 play on Saturday:

*Even if Kansas had won against Missouri in the 120th and possibly final edition of the Border Showdown in football, it probably would not have saved Kansas coach Turner Gill's job. The Jayhawks' ineptitude this season was just too much to take, even with three years and $6 million remaining on Gill's contract. It was so much that KU lost all but two of its games this season and the final nine in a row, but how the Jayhawks lost that mattered the most. Gill was 5-19 overall as the Jayhawks' head coach, and only 1-16 against Big 12 competition.

*Oklahoma's 26-6 win over Iowa State Saturday set up the highly anticipated Bedlam showdown between the Sooners and Oklahoma State for the Big 12 championship. An Oklahoma State win and the Cowboys earn the Big 12's automatic BCS bowl bid by virtue of claiming the conference title. If OU were to win, the same would be true for the Sooners. OSU is seeking its first Big 12 title in football in the Big 12 era, while Oklahoma has won six Big 12 championships. The Sooners also carry an eight-game winning streak over the favored Cowboys.

*Since upsetting then No. 3-ranked Oklahoma (No. 1 in the USA Today/ESPN coaches' poll), Texas Tech has not won a game. The Red Raiders have lost five straight games (to Iowa State, Texas, Oklahoma State, Missouri and Baylor), four of them blowouts and two of those at home.

*Going into the final week of the regular season, the conference championship will be on the line and the top four positions in the standings are up for grabs. If the teams that are favored this weekend (Oklahoma State, Kansas State and Baylor) hold serve, this is what the postseason would like for the Big 12's top teams: Oklahoma State (BCS Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, Jan 2 in Glendale, Calif.), Kansas State (AT&T Cotton Bowl, Jan, 5 at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, vs. SEC ), Baylor (Valero Alamo Bowl, Dec. 29 in San Antonio, vs. Pac 12). Oklahoma, which started the season as the nation's No, 1 team would fall all the way to fourth seed in the conference, which would send the Sooners to the Insight Bowl, Dec. 30 in Tempe, Ariz., vs. the Big Ten, a far cry from their team goal to begin the season.

*Baylor's convincing win Saturday over Texas Tech upped the Bears' season record to 8-3 and 5-3 in the Big 12. Even more impressive, Art Briles' team was able to stretch out a three-point halftime lead to a 24-point margin of victory, and without the services of Heisman candidate Robert Griffin III the entire second half after suffering a concussion late in the first 30 minutes of play. Baylor has won 12 Big 12 games in Briles' three seasons in Waco. The Bears won only 11 conference games in the league's first 12 years.