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ESPN COLLEGE GAME DAY OPEN GAMETHREAD: Bedlam for Supremacy

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While this year's edition doesn't feature the highest ranked opponents, it does usher in a first...To the winner goes an outright Big 12 title.

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

NEVER

In the lopsided, if not storied, history of Bedlam, NEVER has an outright (no tiebreakers) conference title been on the line for BOTH teams.

Think about it:

  • 2013...OU was already out due to two losses, and a win would have left OSU tied with Baylor;
  • 2011...OU was already out with two losses, the win gave OSU the outright title;
  • 2010...An OSU win would have meant an outright Big 12 South title and a trip to the championship game. OU's win created a three-way tie and a complete mess;
  • 2009...Texas was already undefeated in the Big 12 South and both OU and OSU had losses;
  • 1988...Bedlam was in October, so no major end of season implications;
  • 1984...OU #2, OSU #3...but the winner would be tied with Nebraska;
  • 1976...Bedlam was again in October, and both teams had games with Nebraska remaining;

And it is all thanks to TCU.

The Horned Frogs had the elements on their side (Squinky setting us up?), as well as Baylor's third string QB. The biblical style flood engulfed both teams and allowed TCU's defense to put the clamps on Baylor's running game. Overtime and a tremendous fourth down stand would seal the deal and set up today's match up in Stillwater for all the marbles.

Thank heavens there is some football along the way today. The Big 12 has already seen Texas Tech remove Texas from bowl eligibility, along with the Frogs upset of Baylor. Too bad those games weren't the appetizer today for Bedlam tonight, because what we have to watch this afternoon is like having dog poo ahead of prime rib.

Iowa State, fresh off firing Paul Rhoads, travels to West Virginia for a noon Eastern tilt on FS1. The Mountaineers are bowl eligible and looking for a .500 Big 12 record.

Another title contest is taking place, but this one is for the basement. Shockingly, Bill Snyder's Wildcats travel to Lawrence with just one conference win, and face a Jayhawk football team trying to avoid the 2015 "ofer." Should Kansas pull off the upset, then they would all become West Virginia fans as Kansas State still has a game left hosting the Mountaineers. The Big 12 surprisingly doesn't have a tiebreaker set up for the bottom of the league, but we're calling it here for the head-to-head matchup. This one follows Iowa State-WV on FS1 at 4pm Eastern.

Thankfully, there are some other games out there that are of intrigue (rivalries) and could help out should OSU win tonight...

  • #8 Ohio State at #10 Michigan...12pm Eastern on ABC
    Would prefer Michigan here, which would take out the Buckeyes, but the Wolverines then have a shot at a Big 10 title game if Michigan State loses. The Big 10 provides the most obstacles to and OSU ascent to the playoff;
  • #14 North Carolina at NC State...3:30pm Eastern on ESPN2
    An NC State win would be preferable, as that knocks down the Tar Heels, who've been a popular playoff topic should they pull of the upset over Clemson in the ACC title game next week, which of course we would want them to win;
  • #2 Alabama at Auburn...3:30pm Eastern on CBS
    Would love to see Auburn win, which would knock Bama out of the SEC title game and the playoff;
  • #6 Notre Dame at #9 Stanford...7:30pm Eastern on FOX
    Have to root for Stanford, but too many are putting a two loss Stanford with a win over ND above a one-loss OSU with a conference title and two top 10 wins. Stanford still has the Pac 12 title game, so a win and a loss would be the best for the Cowboys;

In the end, I don't care about the playoff. OSU controls one thing, and that is win tonight and walk away with an outright Big 12 title. Both teams come in banged up, so this may be more about survival.

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GO POKES!!!