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Big 12 Championship Game matchup could be set this weekend


DALLAS (AP) _ The matchup for the Big 12 Championship Game could be set in stone this weekend.

No. 1 Oklahoma (8-0, 5-0) plays Saturday at No. 23 Texas A&M (7-2, 5-1) with a chance to clinch the Big 12 South Division title. No. 4 Nebraska (8-1, 5-1) clinches the North title with a win at No. 16 Kansas State (8-2, 4-2).

Oklahoma is the only undefeated I-A team in the country, and is trying to improve to 8-0 for the first time since 1987.

If Oklahoma and Nebraska win their respective games Saturday, those two teams would meet again Dec. 2 in Kansas City. The Sooners beat the Cornhuskers 31-14 two weeks ago to take over the No. 1 spot in the national polls.

In other Big 12 games Saturday, Iowa State (6-3, 3-3) plays at Colorado (3-6, 3-3); No. 19 Texas (7-2, 5-1) goes to Kansas (4-5, 2-4); Oklahoma State (2-6, 0-5) travels to Texas Tech (6-4, 2-4); and Baylor (2-7, 0-6) plays its final home game against Missouri (2-7, 1-5).

Before claiming the South title, Oklahoma has to do something it has never done: win in College Station. The Sooners are 0-4 on the Texas A&M campus, including a 29-0 loss two years ago. Oklahoma won 51-6 in Norman last year.

But Texas A&M is 0-8 against No. 1 teams. The Aggies' last such game was in November 1977, a 57-28 loss to Texas.

Nebraska has won 30 of the last 31 games against Kansas State, but that lone Cornhuskers loss since 1969 was two years ago in Manhattan.

Third place in the North is on the line when Iowa State plays at Colorado, which set a conference record with 14 sacks in a 28-18 victory over Missouri last week.

The Cyclones, already with their first winning season since 1989, try to rebound from their 56-10 loss to Kansas State last week. They seemed hung over from the euphoria of a week earlier when they became eligible for their first bowl game in 22 years.

There is no quarterback question this week for Texas at Kansas. Major Applewhite is out with a sprained knee and Chris Simms will be the starter again. That should mean an expanded role for Hodges Mitchell, who last week had a career-high 229 yards and has had 552 yards during the Longhorns' four-game winning streak.

Oklahoma State plays its first game since coach Bob Simmons, its coach the past six seasons, resigned under pressure. His resignation is effective at the end of this season, which will be his fifth losing season.

Texas Tech coach Mike Leach isn't sure what affect Simmons' pending resignation will have on the Cowboys, who have lost six straight games.

After playing four straight Top 25 teams, including two No. 1s in a three-game span, Baylor finally gets somewhat of a breather. The Bears are playing a Missouri team that has the same overall record. The Tigers are traveling to Waco for the first time since their three-overtime 49-42 victory in 1996

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