The eyes of Texas will be squarely on the Baylor Bears Saturday in the stadium finale at Floyd Casey Stadium.
But a peek or two to see what’s happening in the Bedlam game in Stillwater would be understandable.
The stakes could be very high for both the Longhorns (8-3, 7-1) and Bears (10-1, 7-1) if Oklahoma can pull off an upset of Oklahoma State in Stillwater. If that happens, the winner of the Texas-Baylor game wins the Big 12 outright title and an automatic BCS berth.
“We can’t control what happens in Stillwater,” Texas head coach Mack Brown said. “What we’ve got to do is make sure our whole focus is on our football team and what we’ve got to do to beat a really good Baylor team. Whatever happens will be good for us if we take care of our business.”
Brown’s sentiments were echoed by Baylor head coach Art Briles, who says his team won’t pay much attention to the Oklahoma rivalry game.
But for a conference without a title game, the scheduling gods got the final weekend right.
“We’ve got a job to do and our job is to go out and play at 2:30 and close out Floyd Casey like it needs to be,” Briles said. “Whoever made the schedule out is looking pretty smart right now. I don’t know how they did it but they hit on this one.”
Brown said one of the reasons he won’t focus on the OU-OSU game is because Texas has been in a similar situation before. Texas knew it had a chance to play for the national title in 2001 if it would have won the Big 12 championship game against Colorado but the Longhorns were upset by Colorado 39-37, ending those hopes.
Even if Oklahoma can’t pull off the upset, the winner of the Texas-Baylor game shares the title with the Cowboys.
Brown knows his team won’t have an easy task in slowing down Baylor, which makes the Texas offensive execution Saturday vital.
“Because they score so many points they make you have to do a good job every series you have the ball offensively,” Brown said. “That’s a concern because we haven’t been as scoring as many points as they have.”
Baylor’s averaging 55.4 points a game while Texas is scoring 33.1 points. As stunning as the Baylor offensive numbers are, the Bears have actually been below average by their standards the last two games. Baylor scored just 17 points in its loss to Oklahoma State and is coming off a 41-38 win over TCU.
While the Bears have already played 11 games Briles isn’t sure his team has completely clicked offensively.
“What’s crazy is we were sitting here talking this morning and it’s the 12th game of the year and we’re still trying to find our identity offensively,” Briles said. “We’ve had to make some adjustments and changes. We’re still in the process of trying to find out what fits us best. I think other people are in that situation.”