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No looking ahead for league leaders

AP Sports Writer

Oklahoma and Kansas State have a huge game coming up.

No, it's not the Big 12 title game Dec. 2 in Kansas City. The coaches for each team say they're looking only at this week's opponents -- Texas Tech for Oklahoma, Missouri for Kansas State -- and no further.

"We still have two Big 12 South games remaining, so we have to be a little more focused" than teams closing out the season this week, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said Monday on the coaches' weekly conference call. "We're just focused on playing a good Tech team that's coming off an excellent win."

The top-ranked Sooners (9-0, 6-0 Big 12) took firm control of the South Division with a 35-31 victory over Texas A&M on Saturday.

They finish the regular season with games at home against Tech and on the road against Oklahoma State.

Stoops was asked what thoughts he had about Kansas State's 29-28 victory over Nebraska, which left the Wildcats in great shape to reach the title game and set up a rematch with the Sooners.

"I have no thoughts," Stoops said. "If we're in a position where that becomes a factor, I'll watch it with great interest and I'll have an opinion then."

No. 9 Kansas State (9-2, 5-2) needs only to beat Missouri this week to advance to the conference title game. The victory over Nebraska cleared the Wildcats' path to the North Division title, but coach Bill Snyder stressed that it didn't clinch it.

"Our approach was that it wasn't for the title, because it wasn't," he said. "This is the North Division championship game coming up, and that's the way we've approached it. I would hate to think anyone could lose sight of what's at stake here."

Iowa State's victory over Colorado on Saturday gave the Big 12 seven teams that are eligible to go to a bowl game. But how many are BCS-bowl eligible? In the first two years of the Bowl Championship Series, only the winner of the Big 12 championship game has gotten a BCS spot.

"I don't think there's any doubt there should be people looking at our league each year to have two teams in the BCS," Texas coach Mack Brown said. "I think this league now is in a position to get two teams there every year because of the competition."

Iowa State coach Dan McCarney said he hopes two teams from the Big 12 would be considered worthy of BCS bids.

"I don't think there's a better conference in college football than the Big 12," he said.

Snyder said he hasn't given any thought to the BCS picture.

"I'm just hoping like blazes we can play well enough to get ourselves somewhere," he said.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "You try to flush last year's game. That certainly isn't a pleasant memory. Anybody that played in that game, though, remembers it." Missouri coach Larry Smith, on whether he would use last year's 66-0 loss to Kansas State as motivation this week.

EXTRA POINTS: Kansas coach Terry Allen, whose team has lost three straight to drop to 4-6, hinted about the importance of winning this week's game with Iowa State. "We have to play under the assumption that our future is at stake with it," he said. ...

Oklahoma State coach Bob Simmons is nursing more than a bruised ego this week. His team lost 58-0 to Texas Tech on Saturday and Simmons came away with a knee injury when he got wiped out on a play along the sideline. "I went down like an oak tree," he said. ... Baylor coach Kevin Steele said his contract extension is a tribute to his team. "They felt like it was a sense of accomplishment for them, and rightfully so. It is," he said. He also said the extension "sends a message to recruits across country that our president and board of regents and athletic director are very committed to turning around this thing, and it isn't an easy process." ...

Texas A&M coach R.C. Slocum said he's happy the Aggies' next game is against Texas, given the disappointment of Saturday's loss to Oklahoma. "Our team was completely deflated after the game," he said. "I'm glad we do have a game like the Texas game. Certainly if there's a game you can bounce back for, that should be it."

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