Now the Big 12 South race becomes interesting.
Oklahoma's victory over Texas Tech on Saturday night meant many things. It meant Oklahoma, Texas and Texas Tech became deadlocked in a three-way tie atop the division with one week to play. It meant Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford replaced Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell as the latest Heisman Trophy front-runner. It meant Oklahoma (10-1, 6-1 Big 12 Conference) positioned itself to clinch a berth in the Big 12 championship game against Missouri on Dec. 6 in Kansas City with a road victory against rival Oklahoma State next Saturday. It meant Oklahoma's late-season charge impressed voters enough to push the Sooners ahead of the Longhorns in both human polls despite Texas' victory over Oklahoma in October.
It meant debate has only begun.
"Obviously, now we're in the mix with everybody," Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops told The Associated Press on Saturday night. "With the way we played, you would think ahead. The logic of whether to put us in front of Texas? If you can't do that because they beat us, then you've got to keep Texas Tech in front of Texas. What's logical for one is logical for the other."
Therein lies the problem. If each of the Big 12 South leaders wins this week, the highest-rated team in the BCS rankings will earn an appearance in the Big 12 title game. In addition to Oklahoma’s trip to Stillwater, Okla., Texas (10-1, 6-1) hosts Texas A&M on Thursday and Baylor travels to Texas Tech (10-1, 6-1) on Saturday.
Oklahoma increased the possibility of playing for its eighth national title. Oklahoma stands at No. 3 in the BCS rankings, a two-spot improvement from last week and only .0084 points behind No. 2 Texas. Alabama stands atop the poll for the fourth consecutive week. Florida and USC complete the top five. Texas Tech fell to No. 7 after carrying national championship ambitions into the weekend. Missouri ranks No. 13, no change from last week.
The human polls made Oklahoma’s move possible. Oklahoma ranks second in the USA Today Coaches’ poll, gaining three spots from last week; Texas had an open date Saturday and remains at No. 4. Oklahoma ranks third in the Associated Press poll, a spot ahead of Texas.