K-State, meanwhile, has ripped off eight consecutive wins, including victories in Norman, Morgantown and Ames and over No. 18 Texas Tech at home.
The Wildcats' current position is one the Cowboys know well. Almost exactly a year ago, OSU was 8-0 with a Heisman candidate at quarterback when K-State came to Stillwater and nearly knocked off the then-No. 3 Cowboys in one of the most entertaining games of the season.
Lose in Manhattan, and OSU's final four contests will almost surely be about bowl position rather than capturing a second consecutive conference crown. And the Cowboys know K-State's discipline and consistency will make it very tough to beat at home.
But Saturday night presents a unique opportunity for the Cowboys — to both play spoiler and continue their own march to another Big 12 title.
“We've got all the motivation we need coming into this game knowing we've got to knock off No. 2 like we got knocked off last year (at Iowa State),” linebacker Alex Elkins said. “We win this game, we're back in the front-running spot with a chance to win a conference championship.
“Aside from everything that's happened this year, this is definitely going to be a great opportunity to showcase our skills, and prove to everyone that we're here to stay.”