No. 6 Baylor right at home for Big 12 title push
Coach Art Briles and No. 6 Baylor feel right at home, whether playing in their new campus stadium or anywhere in the state of Texas.
That sets up the Bears nicely for a closing three-game stretch when trying to win their second consecutive Big 12 title and making a final push for a possible spot in the first four-team playoff. They have won 14 consecutive home games, and 18 in a row overall inside the Lone Star State.
''We had some really good games where we had some really good support, and I think gaining momentum through the years like the game with Kansas State in 2012 kind of gives you an idea that we've got a chance to be pretty good when we play here,'' Briles said. ''I think everything accentuates positives, so I think as we have grown, that's grown with us.''
Baylor (8-1, 5-1 Big 12, No. 7 CFP) is back on the Waco campus to play slumping Oklahoma State (5-5, 3-4) on Saturday night, when the Bears are wearing all black and fans are being encouraged to do the same. Then comes the annual trip to the Dallas Cowboys' stadium about 100 miles away to play Texas Tech before the Dec. 6 regular-season finale at home against No. 12 Kansas State.
''This is where we want to be. We've got a great crowd every time we come out, so we want to show out for them. It's hard not to play good at home,'' said senior quarterback Bryce Petty, 10-0 in his home starts with 28 touchdown passes and only three interceptions. ''So for us, the schedule is definitely nice on the back end. We just have to take care of everything we can take care of that's in our control, and keep it rolling.''
In four games since moving into McLane Stadium this season, Baylor is averaging 59 points a game.
The Bears' 14 wins in a row at home match No. 2 Alabama for the longest active streak, one more than Marshall and two more than No. 1 Florida State. They are 23-1 in Waco since 2011, the best home-field record for any FBS team in that span that began with the Heisman Trophy-winning season by quarterback Robert Griffin III.
Their winning streak includes a 52-24 win two years ago over Kansas State, then the No. 1 team in the Bowl Championship Series standings. Baylor beat Oklahoma 41-12 last November in its first designated blackout game, which came exactly a month before closing out a half century at Floyd Casey Stadium with a win over Texas to clinch the Bears' first Big 12 title.
''It was fabulous last year. I've been fortunate to be in a lot of atmospheres and I would rate that maybe as the best,'' Briles said about the blackout games. ''Our crowd was unbelievable. They were there way before the game started and they were anxious and ready and excited and very supportive. It was a big night for Baylor. I'm excited about it.''