Big things at stake in Big 12
Sam Bradford has all the impressive numbers that go along with a Heisman Trophy campaign: a few dozen touchdown passes, an impeccable quarterback rating, and right around 2 miles of passing yards.
Graham Harrell has all that, too, plus a couple of late-season marquee wins to go with it.
When Harrell and No. 2 Texas Tech meet Bradford and No. 5 Oklahoma tonight, the Heisman race - as well as the national championship chase - will be center stage in Norman, Okla.
"A lot of people are talking about that, but it's probably the last thing that I'm thinking about this week," said Bradford, who leads the nation with 38 touchdown passes and has 3,406 yards passing.
Texas Tech (10-0, 6-0 Big 12) needs only to beat Oklahoma (9-1, 5-1) to clinch the Big 12 South and establish itself as the conference's clear front-runner for the national championship - and perhaps give Harrell an insurmountable lead in the Heisman race. Harrell has 36 TD passes and leads the nation with 4,077 yards.
An Oklahoma win would cause havoc for the BCS by eliminating one of the two undefeated major conference teams left. The road to the Big 12 South title could then be decided by the BCS rankings as Oklahoma, Texas Tech, and Texas would each have one loss, all against each other, entering the final week of the regular season.
Both the Sooners and Red Raiders were off last week, letting the anticipation grow only that much more with all that's at stake.
"They can't want it any more than we want it," Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said.
No. 7 Penn State will play a veritable Big Ten championship game today when No. 17 Michigan State visits Happy Valley. Win and the Nittany Lions (10-1, 6-1) clinch a spot in the Rose Bowl. If the Spartans (9-2, 6-1) win, they'll still need Ohio State to be upset by Michigan to secure the trip to Pasadena . . . All that stands in the way of a second trip to the BCS for eighth-ranked Utah is No. 16 BYU. The Utes (11-0, 7-0) can win the Mountain West Conference title outright, something the visiting Cougars (10-1, 6-1) accomplished the last two seasons . . . If 19th-ranked Cincinnati beats No. 20 Pittsburgh at home tonight, the Bearcats (8-2, 4-1) will become the odds-on favorite for their first Big East championship.