The move puts the Cowboys (11-1, 8-1 in Big 12) in position to finish off a near-perfect 2021 when they face the Baylor Bears on Saturday in the Big 12 Championship game in Arlington, Texas. The Bears held steady at No. 9 on Sunday.
Oklahoma (10-2, 7-2), meanwhile, won’t win the Big 12 title for the first time since 2014. The Sooners dropped to No. 13.
The Cowboys now represent the Big 12’s best chance to reach the College Football Playoff, though the teams in front of them all have a legitimate chance to make the field — No. 1 Georgia, No. 2 Michigan, No. 3 Cincinnati and No. 4 Alabama. Michigan is coming off an impressive 42-27 win over Ohio State in its annual rivalry game with the Buckeyes.
The Oklahoma State-Baylor game is a rematch, of course. The Cowboys defeated the Bears, 24-14, in their meeting in Waco on Oct. 3. At the time, the Cowboys were No. 21 and the Bears were No. 19. Both will meet on Saturday as Top 10 teams.
Plus, both are trying to end conference title droughts. Oklahoma State last won the Big 12 in 2011, while Baylor shared the 2014 Big 12 title with TCU.
If the Big 12 champion doesn’t make to the College Football Playoff, they would head to the Sugar Bowl.