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AMES — A week after asserting itself in the Big 12 championship race after beating then-No. 8 Oklahoma State, Iowa State lost all the ground it made up.
The Cyclones lost to West Virginia on Saturday, 38-31, dropped out of the AP Top 25, and now have two conference losses.
Oklahoma made the conference championship last year with two Big 12 losses but Iowa State still has a tough road ahead of it.
The Sooners are still unbeaten and Oklahoma State and Baylor each have just one Big 12 loss.
The Cyclones play Texas (4-4, 2-3) on Saturday night at Jack Trice Stadium. And Texas has shown it can play with anyone.
Texas was leading the undefeated Sooners for most of the game on Oct. 9 until the Longhorns fell apart late. It was the same story against Oklahoma State the next week.
Last week, Texas lost its third game in a row, again by a single score, this time to Baylor.
After Texas, it’s a road trip to Lubbock, Texas, to play Texas Tech (5-4, 2-4). Coach Matt Campbell is undefeated against the Red Raiders during his Iowa State tenure and Texas Tech fired its coach, Matt Wells, midseason.
If Iowa State wins both, it still has an outside shot at the Big 12 championship game, but it’ll need help from the teams playing Oklahoma State and Baylor.
Of course, Oklahoma State, Baylor and Iowa State all still have to play Oklahoma.
The Cyclones get the Sooners on Nov. 20 at Norman, Okla.
Oklahoma is undefeated but hasn’t looked like a world beater. Oklahoma barely beat Kansas and was behind for most of the game.
After the Oklahoma game, Iowa State’s last game of the season is in Ames against TCU. The Horned Frogs (3-5, 1-4) haven’t been good this year and haven’t shown signs of being able to turn it around.
This Cyclones’ season hasn’t quite gone how many expected it to go, but there are still chances to make a statement, even if ISU doesn’t return to Dallas for the Big 12 championship game.