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
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
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.
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
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
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
“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.