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Will Oklahoma State clinch a spot in the 2021 College Football Playoff with a win over Baylor?

Oklahoma State is a fringe team to make the post-season. Would they lock up a spot in the 2021 CFP with a win over Baylor in the Big 12 Championship?

Oklahoma State Cowboys quarterback Spencer Sanders walks through a crowd of fans on the field after defeating the Oklahoma Sooners at Boone Pickens Stadium. Oklahoma State won 37-33. Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

Update 3:33 p.m. Oklahoma State comes up about 14 inches short, and the Baylor Bears win the Big 12 Championship 21-16. Oklahoma State will not play in the College Football Playoff.

The Oklahoma State Cowboys enter this weekend as the No. 5 team in the country, according to the College Football Playoff Selection Committee. But have they done enough to reach the final four and play for a national championship in 2021? We take a look below.

CFP implications if Oklahoma State loses to Baylor

They’re out. And while a New Year’s Six bowl berth would be likely, there’s simply no path forward for the ‘Pokes if they don’t win on Saturday. Baylor would overtake them in the rankings, and there’s far too many obstacles in the way. Zero path without a win.

CFP implications if Oklahoma State beats Baylor

With a win, Oklahoma State will likely need just one of the following three things to happen:

  • No. 1 Georgia to beat No. 3 Alabama (bigger is preferred, but any size victory should do)
  • No. 13 Iowa to beat No. 2 Michigan (this is closer, as there might still be a path if the Wolverines lose close, and the Cowboys win close)
  • No. 21 Houston to beat No. 4 Cincinnati (any margin of victory will be just fine)

Considering Georgia is a 6.5-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook, it’s pretty likely one of these scenarios comes to pass. Both Michigan and Cincinnati are 10.5-point favorites, and the only thing for sure is if Oklahoma State wins and Cincinnati loses, OSU is in.

So that’s where things stand as of now. You’d rather be Oklahoma State than any team outside the Top Four, and perhaps because of the quality of their conference championship opponent, you might even fancy them over Cincinnati as well.

So just win, ‘Pokes, and you are (likely) going to be participating in the College Football Playoff. But it can’t hurt to add on a few style points as well just in case.