In Allie P. Reynolds Stadium’s first season, it was the home to a conference champion, and Allie P. has the chance to go out with another.
Since Reynolds Stadium opened in 1981, 17 OSU teams have won conference regular season championships. Sixteen of those conference crowns came consecutively, as the Gary Ward-led Pokes won the Big Eight every season from 1980 (the year before Allie. P opened) to 1996. The Cowboys’ most recent Big 12 regular season championship came in 2014.
The Big 12 is down to a three-team race this season: Baylor, Texas Tech and OSU. The Bears lead the conference at 14-6, Tech is 14-7 and OSU is 12-9. The race is a bit awkward, as Baylor will finish the season having played one fewer game because its series finale against Texas was canceled due to weather.
Here are the scenarios of the Cowboys finishing Sunday as champions:
The Outright Win
For OSU to be the sole claim to the Big 12’s regular season throne, the Cowboys would have to sweep Baylor in Stillwater this weekend, and TCU would have to sweep Texas Tech in Lubbock.
Although that first clause isn’t the easiest thing to do, the second seems less likely. TCU has won it’s past two conference series, but the Horned Frogs haven’t swept a Big 12 foe this season. Tech is also on a tear, having won its past eight Big 12 games, and the Red Raiders are 23-5 at home this year.
The Shared Title
If OSU sweeps Baylor and TCU takes two of three of Texas Tech, OSU and Tech will share the Big 12 crown despite Tech having swept OSU this season.
Although it’s more likely TCU can take two games instead of three off Tech, it still doesn’t seem the most likely, with TCU being 10-11 in conference play this season. The last time TCU won a series against Tech was in 2015. That series was also in Lubbock.
The motivation for OSU, Baylor and Texas Tech is clear, but TCU also has something to play for.
As of this writing, the Horned Frogs are probably on the outside looking in in terms of making an NCAA Regional. TCU is 69th in the RPI and fifth in the Big 12. With that said, the Horned Frogs can climb that RPI with a strong showing against Tech, a team that ranks ninth in the RPI.
So, TCU isn’t fighting for a conference title, but the Horned Frogs are fighting to extend their season past the Big 12 Tournament in Oklahoma City.