The next-to-last week of the regular season is approaching. Several games will be intriguing in the Big 12 with a big one settling the North Division title race set for Saturday night. It should be an intriguing week.
Here's a viewer guide to all of them. A four-star game means must-see television, and maybe even a game tape to be saved for posterity. Three-star games bear close observation. Two-star games are worth a quick glimpse or two for occasional score updates, but little more. And one-star games are indications that your time might be better spent getting your house ready for the in-laws to make their annual Thanksgiving Day appearance next week.
All starting times are Eastern for Saturday games, unless otherwise noted. Set your DVRs accordingly.
Kansas State at Nebraska (7:45 p.m., ESPN 360): The battle for all of the North Division marbles has some intriguing stakes even bigger than just the game. Kansas State and Nebraska were the two strongest Northern powers in the early history of the league. Bill Snyder and Bo Pelini had that celebrated dust-up after the 2003 game. And Snyder's team has been the surprise of the North this season. Snyder is a wily coach but will have a tough challenge against the fierce Nebraska defense.
Oklahoma at Texas Tech (12:30 p.m.): Oklahoma has struggled in its last two trips to Lubbock and will be playing to try to stop some recent bad karma on the road. Texas Tech's fluid quarterback situation might involve several playing again. Winner of this game likely is headed to the Alamo Bowl. Loser could drop to the Sun Bowl -- or below.
Kansas at Texas (8 p.m., ABC 360): This will be a sentimental game for Colt McCoy, Sergio Kindle, Jordan Shipley and the rest of the Texas seniors because it will be their last home game. Todd Reesing is coming home, too, after growing up in Austin. But this game might be most interesting to see how the "Fighting Manginos," as my colleague Rece Davis likes to call them, respond to all of the dysfunction around the program this week.
Colorado at Oklahoma State (7:30 p.m., Thursday, ESPN/360): It will be interesting to see if Oklahoma State quarterback Zac Robinson can recover quickly enough from the massive head-to-head shot he took from Tech's Jamar Wall to be back out there this week. This is a giant opportunity for the Cowboys to show the nation their worthiness as a BCS at-large team. Colorado coach Dan Hawkins will be trying to show he deserves another season with the program.
Iowa State at Missouri (2 p.m.): Both these teams have qualified for bowl games, but both would like another victory to spruce up their bowl credentials. Iowa State's plucky, undersized secondary will be challenged to stick with Danario Alexander, who is playing like the second coming of Jerry Rice over the last several weeks. Alexander can tie an NCAA record with another 200-yard receiving game. I wouldn't bet against him -- especially considering he'll be playing against Iowa State's diminutive secondary.
Baylor at Texas A&M (3:30 p.m.): The winner of this "Battle of the Brazos" can take another step toward bowl eligibility with a victory. The Aggies will qualify outright with a triumph. Baylor needs to win this one and its game next week against Texas Tech to get there. The Bears will be battling two significant historic trends as they haven't been to a bowl game since 1994 and haven't won at Kyle Field since 1984. Both are pretty significant obstacles.