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As the final weekend of the regular season of college baseball approaches, the race for the Big 12 title is still up for grabs. Four teams: TCU, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State, are still in contention. TCU and Texas Tech both have scenarios that would have either team win the title outright. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State cannot win the title outright but could share the title with one or two other teams. The only thing for sure is that OSU cannot be the No. 1 seed at next week’s Big 12 Tournament, thanks to being swept last week.

TCU has completed conference play and will play a non-conference series against Santa Clara this weekend. TCU finished Big 12 play at 16-8. TCU will be outright champions if Texas Tech can lose at least two games this weekend and OSU loses at least one game.

Texas Tech is currently at 14-7 and will host Oklahoma this weekend. They will be outright regular-season champions if the Red Raiders can sweep that series. Suppose they lose one, two, or even three games, and their fate changes.

Oklahoma is currently at 13-8 and travels to Lubbock. The Sooners must sweep the Red Raiders if they want one of two scenarios that give them a shared regular-season title and the No. 1 seed in the tournament.

Oklahoma State is also 13-8 and plays a series at Baylor this weekend. The Pokes must sweep their series to share the title with TCU or a three-way title with TCU and OU. Due to tiebreaker rules, OSU cannot become the No. 1 seed in the tournament.

Here are six different scenarios that will decide the next Big 12 regular-season baseball champion:

Scenario #1:
Texas Tech sweeps Oklahoma; Oklahoma State sweeps Baylor

Texas Tech would be 17-7 and outright champions. TCU and OSU would both be 16-8. TCU would be the No. 2 seed in the tournament based on their series win over OSU. OSU would then be the No. 3 seed.

Scenario #2:
Texas Tech sweeps Oklahoma; Oklahoma State loses one to Baylor

Texas Tech would be 17-7, TCU would be 16-8, and OSU would be 15-9. Tech would be the outright champions, TCU would be the No. 2 seed, and OSU the No. 3 seed.

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Scenario #3:
Oklahoma State sweeps Baylor; Texas Tech loses one to Oklahoma

We end up with a three-way tie with TCU, Tech, and OSU, all at 16-8. All three would share the conference title. That’s when the head-to-head records come into play. TCU won their series with Tech and OSU so that TCU would be the No. 1 seed. Tech then swept OSU, so Tech is the No. 2 seed, and OSU is the No. 3 seed.

Scenario #4:
Oklahoma State loses one to Baylor; Texas Tech loses one (or two) to Oklahoma

Any loss by OSU puts them behind TCU. Tech, with one more loss, and TCU would then be tied. Because TCU holds the tiebreaker, TCU would be the No. 1 seed and Tech the No. 2 seed. If Tech loses two to Oklahoma, TCU is the outright champion. Tech, with their tiebreaker over OSU, would still be the No. 2 seed.

Scenario #5:
Oklahoma sweeps Texas Tech; Oklahoma State loses one to Baylor

Again, any loss by OSU puts them behind TCU. In this case, OU and TCU would both be 16-8, but because of OU holding the head-to-head tiebreaker, OU would be the No. 1 seed, and TCU would be the No. 2 seed.

Scenario #6:
Oklahoma sweeps Texas Tech; Oklahoma State sweeps Baylor

Buckle up, folks. This one gets complicated. Not only does it involve the four teams we’ve been talking about, but it also involves Texas, West Virginia, whether or not the moon is full, and what direction the wind blows.

In this case, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and TCU would all be 16-8 and co-champs. But then the tiebreaker rules kick in. First, you look at the head-to-head. Oklahoma beat TCU 2-1, TCU beat OSU 2-1, and OSU beat Oklahoma 2-1. Inconclusive. Then, the Big 12 rules state that you look at who won the first game of the conference series. TCU beat Oklahoma, Oklahoma beat OSU, and OSU beat TCU on the respective Fridays. Again, inconclusive.

The next tiebreaker takes you to the next highest team and how the tied teams did against that team. For the sake of argument, let’s say Texas sweeps Kansas this weekend, and West Virginia sweeps KSU. That puts Tech, Texas, and WVU all at 14-10. Tech holds the tiebreaker over Texas and WVU so that they would be fourth. Texas has the tiebreaker over WVU, so they are 5th, and WVU is 6th. As long as Texas and West Virginia have the same result this weekend, the following steps are the same. If WVU outperforms UT, then we remove Texas from the equation.

Texas Tech is fourth. OU and TCU both swept Tech (remember, that’s how this scenario started, with OU sweeping). Tech swept OSU. So, that breaks the tie with OSU, and the Pokes drop to the No. 3 seed. But because OU and TCU both swept Tech, we still have a tie. So, then we go to Texas. The Longhorns beat both of those teams 2-1. So, we still have a tie. Then it comes down to West Virginia, possibly at 6th place in the conference, to be the tiebreaker. TCU lost their series to West Virginia while OU won their series. So, OU would be the No. 1 seed, TCU the No. 2 seed, and OSU the No. 3 seed. Now, who’s on first?

The bottom line for Frogs fans – is if there’s going to be a sweep this weekend in Lubbock or Waco, it better only be Baylor. Any other sweep by Tech, OU, or OSU gets us into complicated matters.


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