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Opportunity arises for Oklahoma State

Oklahoma State has never made an appearance in the Big 12 title game, despite fielding solid teams for the past three seasons, including 18 wins over the past two.

In 2008, a pair of national title contenders within its division, plus another top 10 team in Texas Tech made a South title a near impossibility.

In 2009, Colt McCoy led a Texas team as a senior that made a beeline for the BCS National Championship Game, stopping on the way to collect a South title and a narrow win in the Big 12 Championship.

This year, it won't take any heroics for the Cowboys to take home the divison. They're the new favorites. By virtue of an impressive win against Baylor and an Oklahoma loss, Oklahoma State went to bed on Saturday night alone at the top of the league.

In the final year of the Big 12 title game, there's no doubt this is Oklahoma State's best chance to make its first appearance.

In the process, the Cowboys' schedule could allow them to clear a few hurdles that have previously proven too high.

Texas' win in Stillwater last year ended Oklahoma State's real hopes for a division title. Oklahoma and Texas both beat the Cowboys in 2008.

Oklahoma State hasn't beaten Oklahoma since 2002. No lead was big enough for the Cowboys to beat Texas since 1997. They've lost 11 consecutive games in Austin since 1944.

Last year looked like "The Year" for the Cowboys. Instead, it's lined up in 2010.

For the first time, Oklahoma State will be ranked higher than Texas when the two teams meet. Oklahoma is vulnerable away from home and must make a Thanksgiving weekend visit to Stillwater. Texas is flailing at the bottom of the division as losers of five of its past six.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma State has one of its best teams in school history.

New offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen not being given the Frank Broyles Award as college football's best assistant at season's end would be an insult to the game.

The Cowboys offense has been consistent for the entire season, and the only time its been held under 34 points came when it was forced to play without the nation's best receiver in Justin Blackmon. Quarterback Brandon Weeden, running back Kendall Hunter and Oklahoma State's offensive line with four new starters have shown up every week and done enough to climb to the top of the division heading into the second week in November.

It won't take anything extraordinary for the Cowboys to make history this year.

All it will take is Oklahoma State doing what it's done for the first nine games of the season.