USA TODAY Sports’ Paul Myerberg breaks down the latest Amway Coaches Poll.


OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma State has had some heartbreaking Bedlam losses recently: 48-47 in 2018, 62-52 in 2017, overtime in 2012.

OSU also has had some let’s-get-this-over-with Bedlam losses: 41-13 a week ago, 58-23 in 2015, 27-0 in 2009.

Doesn’t really matter how you lose, they all count the same. Until they don’t.

And they might not all count the same in 2020. In this crazy season, it might come down not just to whether you won or lost, but how many you lost by.

The Big 12 football race hits the homestretch, with just two Saturdays left before the championship game. Consider this scenario:

Oklahoma wins out to finish 7-2. The Sooners will be a big favorite at home over Baylor and solid favorites at West Virginia.

OSU wins out to finish 7-2. The Cowboys will be solid favorites at TCU and at Baylor.

West Virginia wins at Iowa State. Not likely, but possible. The Mountaineers are playing much better.

Texas loses at Kansas State. Not likely, but possible. Longhorns offensive tackle Samuel Cosmi, a projected first-round draft pick, has left the team to concentrate on the NFL draft.

If those events happen, the Big 12 title game participants will be determined by margin of victory.

We would have a three-way tie for first among OU, OSU and Iowa State at 7-2, and each would be 1-1 against the other tied teams.

We would have a three-way tie for fourth among West Virginia, Kansas State and Texas, and the first-place teams would each be 2-1 against the fourth-place teams, which is the next criteria.

All three first-place teams would have beaten the seventh-, eighth-, ninth- and 10th-place teams.

Which brings us down to point differential. Iowa State beat OU 37-30, OSU beat Iowa State 24-21 and OU beat OSU 41-13. So the Sooners would be plus-21, the Cyclones plus-four and the Cowboys minus-25.

Setting up an OU-Iowa State title game.

The message is clear in college football. Never take your foot off the gas. Run up the score as much as possible.

I don’t like margin-of-victory criteria any more than you do, but I don’t have an easy answer for the Big 12. Round-robin schedule, top two teams play for the title? Unbreakable three-way ties are bound to arise once a decade or so.

The Big 12 twice had memorable three-way ties in the divisional days and relied on the Bowl Championship Series records to break the deadlock, when head-to-head failed. In 2008, OU, Texas and Texas Tech each were 7-1. In 2010, OU, OSU and Texas A&M each were 6-2.

The BCS picked OU both years. The