STILLWATER — It had been mere minutes since Oklahoma State had finished off its dominating 38-13 win over a ranked Texas squad on its home field.
But Caleb Lavey could already describe his emotions, knowing that mighty Baylor awaits.
“These are the ones that you live for,” Lavey said.
It's a clash at Boone Pickens Stadium between two teams ranked in the top 10 of the BCS standings. It can be viewed as a de facto Big 12 title game. And it features two new-age powers, with OSU projected before the season to win its second conference championship in three seasons and Baylor playing the role of popular sleeper pick that has surged into the national title race.
The No. 4 Bears will bring their dazzling offense — which racks up more than 61 points and 684 yards per game — and underrated defense to Stillwater, a place Baylor hasn't won since 1939.
The 10th-ranked Cowboys will counter with a stout defensive unit — which is tied for the national lead with 19 interceptions and has helped OSU lead the Big 12 in turnover margin (plus-13) — and an offense that has emerged in the last month.
With a backloaded Big 12 schedule, this game represents the toughest test both OSU and Baylor have faced thus far. It's the biggest contest of the day in college football, luring ESPN's College GameDay to campus. A primetime national television audience will be watching.
And the Cowboys, frankly, can't wait.
“I'm getting chills right now thinking about it,” offensive lineman Parker Graham said.
Oklahoma State and Baylor have been hit by injuries to key playmakers in recent weeks.
OSU: Josh Stewart, the Cowboys' top receiver and one of the best punt returners in the nation, missed the Cowboys' win at Texas with an ankle injury. His status for the Baylor contest is questionable, though there seems to be optimism that he will return.
Baylor: The Bears rolled up 63 points on Texas Tech even without three of its top offensive weapons in running back Lache Seastrunk (groin), receiver Tevin Reese (wrist) and running back Glasco Martin (knee). Reese is out for the regular season after having surgery. Seastrunk's and Martin's injuries appear to be less serious.