Texas-Baylor Preview

While it needs help to reach a BCS bowl game, ninth-ranked

Baylor still has a chance to earn a share of its first conference

title in 19 years.

No. 23 Texas, however, will also be looking for a piece of the

Big 12 championship – and a potential BCS berth – while trying to

spoil the Bears’ attempt at pair of records in their final game at

Floyd Casey Stadium on Saturday.

Baylor (10-1, 7-1) needs a win and an Oklahoma State loss to

Oklahoma earlier in the day to have a chance at claiming the

conference’s BCS berth and their first outright league title since

1980. The Bears were among five teams who shared the 1994 Southwest

Conference crown but only because unbeaten Texas A&M was

ineligible due to NCAA sanctions.

“It would be tremendous for Baylor University, for our football

team and everybody that loves this university,” coach Art Briles

said. “It would be one of the defining moments, I think, for Baylor

football.”

The Bears are in position for their first Big 12 title only

after hanging on for a 41-38 victory at TCU this past weekend.

Terrell Burt’s interception off a deflection near the end zone with

11 seconds left sealed the win, which followed a 49-17 drubbing at

Oklahoma State on Nov. 23.

Baylor returned two other picks for touchdowns while its offense

was held under 400 yards for the first time in 38 games. The Bears

still remain on pace to top Houston’s NCAA record 624.9 yards per

game from 1989.

They’re averaging 635.1 yards, and their 55.4 points per game is

just behind Army’s mark of 56.0 from 1944. They need a combined 119

points against Texas (8-3, 7-1) and in their bowl game to own that

record.

The Longhorns, though, are coming off a dominant 41-16 win over

Texas Tech, which averaged 37.5 points in its first 11 games. Texas

entered that game after having a string of six consecutive

victories snapped with a 38-13 loss to Oklahoma State on Nov.

16.

Longhorns coach Mack Brown knows his team will have an even more

difficult task keeping Baylor out of the end zone while trying to

spoil the Bears’ last game at their 63-year-old stadium. The

program will move to an on-campus stadium next season.

“(Briles) has a great football team. It’s a team that’s in the

top 10. It’s a team that’s playing before their largest crowd in

the history of Floyd Casey Stadium. Last game there. It’s for a

championship. It’s a great challenge for us and our team,” Brown

said.

Baylor is seeking a school-record 11th win in a season and an

unprecedented 10th in a row at home. The Bears also have won five

straight home games against ranked opponents.

“When you’re at home, you’ve got to use it to your advantage,”

Briles said. “I know it’s going to be a great crowd. That will be a

great benefit for our football team.”

Texas will be attempting to clinch at least a share of its first

conference title since 2009, a season that ended with a loss to

Alabama in the BCS championship. The Longhorns were hoping to

return but have gone 18-16 in the Big 12 and 30-19 overall since

that game.

If Texas’ seniors can’t earn a share of a league title, the

class would be the first since 1989 to fail to accomplish that

feat. The Longhorns didn’t look like they were going to be in a

position for a conference championship after starting 1-2 and

putting Brown squarely on the hot seat.

Like Baylor, they need a win and an Oklahoma State loss for a

BCS berth.

“What we told the guys is if you win the game on Saturday, you

will be champs. The game before us is something that’s out of our

control. Let’s worry about how we play,” Brown said.

Texas avoided a third straight loss to Baylor with a 56-50 home

win on Oct. 20, 2012. Running back Joe Bergeron scored five

touchdowns, one shy of matching Heisman Trophy winner Ricky

Williams’ school record.

The Bears had dropped six straight home games to the Longhorns

before a 48-24 victory in the most recent matchup at Floyd Casey on

Dec. 3, 2011.