Oklahoma State football took control of its College Football Playoff path on Saturday night with its 37-33 win against Oklahoma at Boone Pickens Stadium.
The Cowboys got their first Bedlam win since 2014 against their in-state rival. Just as importantly, the Cowboys now have a clear path to reach their first-ever College Football Playoff. Though currently ranked No. 7, OSU has a compelling case to be included as one of college football’s four best teams after the round of conference championship games in the first weekend of December.
Here are the game results next week that would pave the way for the Cowboys to reach the CFP:
1. Big 12 title game: OSU beats Baylor
Let’s not mince words here: Baylor is a talented team and OSU shouldn’t overlook the Bears in the slightest. The two-loss Bears are fresh off a 27-24 win against Texas Tech at home in Week 13 and feature a slew of playmakers on the both sides of the football.
The Big 12 title game is the first result that OSU fans need to be concerned with in terms of the Cowboys competing for the national championship. OSU defeated Baylor 24-14 in October.
2. SEC title game: Georgia beats Alabama
While there was chatter earlier in November about a two-loss Crimson Tide qualifying for the CFP based on a number of metrics, that seems much less likely now.
Alabama is coming off two relatively unimpressive victories (just don’t tell Nick Saban) against SEC foes Arkansas and Auburn. The Razorbacks put up 35 points and nearly 500 yards of offense on the road against the Tide. Alabama then needed four overtimes and a late-game comeback to defeate a 6-6 Auburn team in the Iron Bowl.
Even a close loss to Georgia should send Alabama outside of the top four.
3. AAC title game: Houston beats Cincinnati
The Cougars finished the regular season with an 11-1 record and will give the Bearcats another ranked opponent to play in the American championship game. If the undefeated Bearcats trip against the Cougars, it would clear a spot for OSU to enter the top four.
Even with a close win in this game, Cincinnati should safely be included by the CFP Committee among the four CFP teams.
4. Big Ten title game: Iowa beats Michigan
The Wolverines dominated the line of scrimmage in their 42-27 win against Ohio State on Saturday. If there’s any letdown after this win against its archrival, though, Michigan would tumble down the rankings and the Big Ten would be shut out of the CFP.
A Michigan win against Iowa, coupled with its win against previously No. 2 Ohio State, would probably keep the Wolverines in the top four.