NORMAN — The stage is set.
Oklahoma and Iowa State are in the Big 12’s championship game, scheduled for Dec. 19.
The Cyclones have Saturday off to rest before making their first trip to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
OU, which clinched its sixth consecutive championship game berth with a 27-14 over Baylor, has a detour.
The Sooners have a makeup game with West Virginia on Saturday and will kick off at 11 a.m. in Morgantown.
OU’s regular season finale doesn’t hold as much weight compared to what it would have been if the Sooners and Mountaineers played on Nov. 28, as scheduled.
The best OU can do is inch closer to a 10-win season and perhaps give itself a better shot at an at-large bid for a New Years 6 bowl if it doesn’t beat Iowa State a week from Saturday.
OU head coach Lincoln Riley isn’t thinking about any of that.
“We’re not worrying too much about what’s to come in the next couple of weeks,” Riley said. “I think just for our football team, we need to play games. We’ve had so many bye weeks. ... Just for us to play the quality of ball and to make the improvements that we need to make, we need to play. I’m excited that we have the opportunity to play.”
The Sooners’ players seem to feel the same, especially after their performance against Baylor.
Left tackle Erik Swenson and the Sooner offensive line struggled against the Bears’ defensive front. And while OU still managed to prevail, Swenson would like to get back on the field as soon possible.
“It’s a little frustrating,” Swenson said. “You want to prove to everyone out there that we are the unit that we think we are and we want to show the whole world that, too. Hell, I’d play right now if I could.”
Baylor out-gained OU’s offense, 288 total yards to the Sooners’ 269. The Bears picked up three more first downs and passed for 70 more yards.
OU didn’t score its first touchdown until 1:04 remained in the second quarter and broke a 60-game streak of scoring 28 or more points.
“As an offense last week, we didn’t play to our standard and so if anything, we need to get right before going into the Big 12 championship,” OU H-Back Jeremiah Hall said. “The fact that we didn’t play good last week is making us push the gas even harder. That’s our mentality for the week. We’re not really worried about the Big 12 championship.”