OU Seeks Second Place Finish

Coming into the final conference series, the No. 15 baseball team has a chance to climb into second place in the Big 12 standings with a three-game set against the Kansas Jayhawks in Lawrence, Kan. The Sooners (39-14) don't have a shot of winning the regular season title—the Texas Longhorns have already wrapped up that honor—so the goal is to end with the next best seed for the Big 12 Tournament.

OU needs some help to climb from third place to second from the two teams surrounding it in the conference – Kansas State and Texas Tech – and here are the different scenarios and what the Sooners need to happen to claim the No. 2 seed.

Here is where they stand now:

Team Record Winning Percentage This Weekend's Opponent
Kansas State 13-10 .565 @Texas A&M
Oklahoma 12-10 .545 @Kansas
Texas Tech 13-11 .542 @ Nebraska

If the Sooners sweep…they'll need Kansas State to lose at least one game, and whatever Texas Tech does won't impact OU's standings. This is a tall order because the Sooners have not swept a series during Big 12 play in 2010, Kansas is 15-5-1 at home, and it's never a good thing to depend on other teams to help determine OU's future. Even though it's not out of the question, sweeping to take second place will be tough.

If the Sooners win two games…they'll need Texas Tech to lose at least one game and Kansas State to lose twice in College Station, Texas. OU shouldn't have a lot of trouble winning this weekend's series. It is 6-2 in conference series, and the team is riding high after beating No. 14 Arkansas on Tuesday. All six of the Sooners' conference series victories have been when OU wins two games, so it is used to winning series in this fashion.

If the Sooners win one game…they'll need Texas A&M to sweep the Wildcats and Texas Tech to lose twice. Only one of OU's series losses has been of the 1-2 variety, and the Sooners have not done that in over a month when they played the Red Raiders in Lubbock. The fact OU is on the road and Kansas' impressive home record add some difficulty to this series, but OU pitching and high-octane bats should be enough to avoid two losses.

If the Sooners don't win a game…they won't have a shot of finishing second in the Big 12, and could slip in the standings if Texas Tech and Texas A&M have good weekends. It's hard to believe OU would be swept this weekend because OU is usually good for at least one high scoring game and a good start from one of its three starting pitchers, junior Zach Neal (7-2, 4.02 ERA), freshman Jack Mayfield (4-0, 1.29 ERA) and junior Bobby Shore (7-4, 4.34 ERA). So, don't count on the Sooners being swept because it has only happened once this season (against Texas) and the players know there's too much on the line to come out of Lawrence without at least one victory.

The first game of OU's series against Kansas is slated for 7 tonight, and the final two games will be at 6 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.

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