If you're surprised by this, well, then you haven't been paying much attention. Bill Snyder has done this throughout his coaching career albeit it often goes to a player the Cats have just played as was the case earlier this year when he sent a letter to NDSU quarterback, Brock Jensen.
On Saturday, Texas Tech tight end Jace Amaro took a big hit against Baylor that left him down on the turf. On Monday, Amaro received the following from Snyder who penned the note to Amaro sending his best wishes.
THE upmost respect to Kansas State and Coach Snyder, great program and an even greater coach. Huge fan. pic.twitter.com/fjeflBLU47— Jace Amaro (@J_ACER22) November 18, 2013
There's really not much to say except that's about as cool as it gets.
During Monday's Big 12 coaches call, Snyder was asked about such letters - not Amaro's specifically - but in a general sense.
"I appreciate opponents that prepare well and play well and show quality principles and values. The letters I've sent to players over the years, and coaches for that matter, just sharing my appreciation for what they do, how they've prepared, how they've played. It's just recognizing them for what they do," Snyder said.
Amaro and Texas Tech had played Kansas State the week prior and obviously he left an impression on Snyder as he does most of the opposing coaches he faces. But for Snyder to take the time to write him a note takes it to an entirely new level.
With another week in the books, you would think the Big 12 race would start to clear up a bit. Maybe it has, but even with the season down to just three weeks, there's more plausible outcomes than you can really wrap your head around.
Here's a few of the most likely scenarios as to how the Big 12 will race will play out, although calling a couple of these "most likely" is stretching the truth more than a little.
Baylor wins out beating Oklahoma State, TCU, and Texas capturing the league with a perfect 9-0 conference record. That's nice, easy, and doesn't involve any brain cramping.
Clean, but still a tie:
Oklahoma State beats Baylor and Oklahoma to close the season. As for the Bears, after the loss to Oklahoma State, they finish the season with wins over TCU and Texas creating a tie atop the standings with 8-1 records.
In this scenario, the Cowboys would head to the Fiesta Bowl by virtue of their head to head victory over Baylor.
Baylor can still win the Big 12 even with a loss to Oklahoma State.
In order for it to happen, Oklahoma State would need to lose to OU and the Bears would need to close out with victories over TCU and Texas. This happening is entirely possible when you think about it.
Can Texas still win the Big 12 outright?
Yes, even after their loss to Oklahoma State, the Longhorns could still find themselves as Big 12 champs all by themselves.
How can it happen? If Texas beats Texas Tech and Baylor to end the season they'll finish 8-1. Considering the Baylor loss to Texas, the Horns would also need Baylor to lose to either TCU or Oklahoma State. If the Bears lose to Oklahoma State, then Texas would also need the Cowboys to lose to Oklahoma in the season finale.
Is a three way tie possible?
Yes, although with the way the schedule shapes up, it's not likely.
For it to happen, Oklahoma would need to lose to Kansas State (giving the Sooners three Big 12 losses) which could open the door for a tie between Texas, Oklahoma State, and Baylor. It would also be possible if Baylor lost their three remaining games for their two be a three-way tie between OSU, Texas, and OU but now we're getting really crazy. Does your brain hurt yet? Mine does.
How about a four way tie?
Yep, it's still possible believe it or not. Here's one scenario where it could happen and one in which Sooner fans would probably be happy with:
Texas - loses to Texas Tech, beats Baylor.
Baylor - loses to Oklahoma State, beats TCU, loses to Texas.
Oklahoma State - beats Baylor, loses to Oklahoma.
Oklahoma - beats Kansas State, beats Oklahoma State.
If the season played out like that, all four teams would finish with a 7-2 conference record. What was -at one time - the Big 12's favorite saying? "One true champion" thanks in a part to the nine game round robin schedule. Very true except when there's a four way tie. Conference championship game anyone?
So really when you break it down, there's too many moving parts to feel good about any of the above scenarios. If Baylor is truly as good as we all think they are, the Bears winning out remains the most likely to actually happen. After that, it's anyone's guess as to how this will go down especially if Oklahoma State beats Baylor.
All we really know at this point is that as far the Fiesta Bowl goes, Baylor and Oklahoma State still control their own destiny while Texas needs some serious luck on their side.
Baylor also has a shot at the national title game but that only happens if they win the Big 12 undefeated and even then, they'll likely need help to get there (which is another post coming this week).
Really my only advice here is to enjoy the next three weeks wherever your fandom lies. Three weeks, that's it. That's all we have left. Hard to believe, really.
Saturday night against Texas Tech, Baylor got punched in the jaw, got back up, and did what they've done all season. At the end of the night, it was another ho-hum 678 yard, 63 point performance.
The Red Raiders played like they were shot out of a cannon during the game's first quarter. They built leads off 14-0 and 20-7 and looked unstoppable on offense. And you know what? As well as they played, they still trailed after the first quarter, 21-20.
That's a testament to just how good this Baylor team is and can still be. Levi Norwood's 58 punt return for a score and the ridiculous interception by K.J. Morton of a Baker Mayfield pass at the line of scrimmage didn't hurt, either.
"The thing I was impressed about, this is what I told our players, it looks impressive if you're ahead of a team 14 at half. When you're down 14-0, down 20-7, you withstand that surge against a good team, come back and finish the way we finished as a team, to me that is impressive," Art Briles said following the game.
Bryce Petty was his usual dominant self tossing three touchdown throws of 40, 31, and 58 yards finishing the night with 335 yards passing without an interception.
"The whole thing to me falls on Bryce Petty and our offensive line. I think our offensive line is a dominant factor. I think Bryce Petty is playing as well as anybody in America right now," Briles said.
Speaking of that offensive line, it was once again the Bears' rushing game that drove a stake through the heart of another opponent. Baylor was without their top two backs, Lache Seastrunk and Glasco Martin, but like last week, Shock Linwood stepped up and the Bears ground game didn't miss a beat.
Linwood finished with 184 yards on 29 carries and Devin Chaffin joined the party, as well, finishing with 100 yards on 11 carries.
Baylor ran the ball 57 times versus 31 passes but finished with nearly identical yardage, 340 yards rushing to 335 passing. It's that balance to go along with some of the best skill players in the country and that tremendous offensive line that make the Bears so hard to defend.
Defensively after giving up 27 points in the first half, the Bears surrendered just seven points after the break as their offense took over and pulled away. This isn't necessarily a great Baylor defense, but it doesn't have to be great with the tools they have an offense. It is, however, one that is improved and has the capability to create turnovers and keep Baylor in any game they play.
Now with Texas Tech and Oklahoma in the rear view mirror, Baylor moves onto what figures to be their toughest game of the season when they head to Stillwater next Saturday. Baylor struggled, at least by their standards, in their one true road test of the season in Manhattan against Kansas State. They'll face a similar environment in Stillwater leaving some to wonder if a tough road environment is the medicine needed to keep Baylor's offense in check.
The Big 12 title will on the line, and for the Bears, their national title hopes, as well. Baylor has passed the last two tests with flying colors, but like Kansas State found out last year, any time you take title hopes on the road late in late November, it can be a dangerous proposition.
The Bears should know all about that, however. It was them that dashed K-State's title aspirations - not to mention the Heisman campaign of Collin Klein - in a game that started this current 13 game winning streak. This time around the shoe is on the other foot with Baylor coming in as the team fighting for a national title. What a difference a year makes, but for Baylor, hopefully the end result is much different.
It's over, finally.
The last 27 times Kansas has taken the field against a Big 12 opponent, they've walked away losers.
That changed on Saturday thanks to James Sims and a Kansas rushing attack that piled up 313 yards on the day, 211 coming from Sims alone. The Jayhawks beat West Virginia 31-19 for their first Big 12 victory under Charlie Weis.
Kansas also ended the Mountaineers hopes of playing in a bowl game this season. West Virginia needed to win its last two games to keep alive their bowl streak which dated back to the 2002 season. The Mountaineers now join TCU, Kansas, and Iowa State as teams from the Big 12 that will be home for the holidays come December.
Kansas started true freshman quarterback Montell Cozart for the first time this season. He only threw the ball 12 times completing five for just 61 yards. He did add 60 yards rushing, however, complementing Sims whose 211 yards were a career high and the 14th time he has rushed for over 100 yards during his KU career.
During the Jayhawks last Big 12 win over Colorado in 2010, Sims also played a huge role rushing for 123 yards and four touchdowns when he was just a freshman. “I feel like this one is better,” Sims said. “Because when we got on top, we stayed on top.”
The Jayhawks now head to Iowa State next Saturday night to play the Cyclones, a team also searching for their first Big 12 win of the season. The Jayhawks then finish the season at home against instate rival Kansas State.
However those two games play out, KU is already assured of winning two more games than they won in 2012. And if they beat Iowa State, they'll avoid finishing with the worst record in the Big 12 for the first time since the 2008 season when they won four league games.
Saturday's win was a step in the right direction, albeit a small one, but after 27 straight conference losses, the monkey is officially off their back.
“Let’s start with the kids who have been here five years and gone through multiple coaches and everything with that,” Weis said. “They’re the ones that you feel best for. But I also feel good for all our students and fans that endured those losses.”
Below is a video of the postgame celebration. Watch until the end, and you'll see the goalpost come tumbling down
#10 Oklahoma State (8-1) @ #24 Texas (7-2)
Oklahoma State began this season as the preseason favorites to win the Big 12. Then came the collapse in Morgantown to open Big 12 play when the Cowboys didn't look like favorites to win anything.
Since then all the Pokes have done is change quarterbacks - again - and won five straight to put themselves right back in the thick of the Big 12 race.
Texas, on the other hand, went through an even more dramatic turnaround that included two lopsided losses, the firing of their defensive coordinator, and the loss of the starting quarterback to a likely season ending concussion. Through all that, Texas somehow managed to pick themselves up off the mat and win six straight Big 12 games leading to Saturday's showdown with the Cowboys.
The Longhorns enter Saturday's game minus two key pieces that played key roles in their resurgence, running back Johnathan Gray and defensive tackle Chris Waley. Both were lost to season ending injuries last week during the overtime victory over West Virginia.
The good news for Texas is that they still have Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron in the backfield. Brown has seen plenty of action over the last four weeks even with Gray in the lineup. Over the last four games, Brown has carried the ball 88 times for 379 yards and seven touchdowns leaving Texas is good shape in the running game.
The Cowboys muddled their way through and easy victory over Kansas following impressive wins over Texas Tech, Iowa State, and TCU. The move back to Chelf at quarterback has provided stability, but this is still far from the same offensive unit we became accustomed to over the past several season.
Keys to the game:
1. Texas has improved immensely in defending the run since Greg Robinson took over as defensive coordinator but you can bet the Cowboys will test the interior of UT's line especially with Waley sidelined. If the Longhorns can keep Desmond Roland and company under control, that opens the door for.....
2. Texas' pass rush. The Longhorns' defense is second in the Big 12 with 26 sacks. On the flip side, the Cowboys have only surrendered eight sacks on the season. If UT's run defense can force the Cowboys into obvious passing situations, can their rush get home? The Cowboys have been superb in keeping their quarterback's backside clean this season and they'll need it to continue to give the Chelf the time he needs to move the ball through the air.
3. Is Josh Stewart playing? Stewart left the game last week against Kansas with an ankle injury and his status for Saturday's game is still up in the air. If he's on the field, it goes with saying, the Pokes offense will benefit.
4. Winning on third down. The Cowboys defense leads the Big 12 allowing opponents to convert just 29.6% of their third down opportunities including 0-for 29- when their opponents have faced third and seven or longer. If that number remains 0-for-something after Saturday, advantage Oklahoma State.
5. The turnover margin. Both Oklahoma State and Texas have benefited this season from taking the ball away more than they give it away. The Cowboys lead the Big 12 with a +11 mark in turnover margin. Texas is right on their heels with a +9 mark. If the game remains close as expected, whoever wins this battle very well could and should win the game.
The stakes can't get much bigger for Oklahoma State on Saturday. A win by the Cowboys and their march toward the Big 12 title continues. A loss all but eliminates them (even if not mathematically) from the championship chase.
The stakes are equally as big for Texas although since they have yet to lose a conference game, their margin for error is greater than that of the Cowboys. Even so, Texas would love nothing more than to remain in total control of their destiny and a win would accomplish that feat heading into their bye week.
These teams are near mirror images of each other on offense. Both can move the ball on the ground while their passing attacks have been hit and miss for most of season. Defensively, it's the same story. Both teams thrive on taking the ball away and have run defenses capably of slowing the other down.
What will be the difference on Saturday? The quarterbacks.
Each team will try and run the ball first Saturday, but who wins the battle between Chelf and McCoy is going to win the game. Reluctantly, I'm giving the edge to McCoy. Say what you want about the guy, but the fact is he's won some big games for Texas over the years.
Add another win to the list. In a game that won't be decided until the game's final minutes, UT's senior quarterback finds a way to keep the Texas train chugging forward with a late touchdown drive giving the Horns their seventh straight victory. Texas 31 Oklahoma State 27.
Man, it's a good time to be a Baylor Bear. With the football team riding an 8-0 start all the way to a number five ranking in the latest BCS poll, the Bears now have the man responsible for it all locked up for another 10 years.
On Wednesday, the school approved an extension through the 2023 season for head coach Art Briles essentially adding three years to his current deal that was put in place last year. The new deal will reportedly pay Briles over $4 million per season.
Chip Brown from Orangeblood.com even put the new deal at $4.5 million which would make Briles the fourth highest paid coach in the country just behind Bob Stoops and ahead of Urban Meyer. Yes, at Baylor. Unbelievable, isn't it?
I'm told Art Briles' new deal at #BU - 10 seasons thru 2023 - is for roughly $45 million (most of it guaranteed) w a buyout near $5 million.— Chip Brown (@ChipBrownOB) November 14, 2013
It's a great thing to see Baylor taking care of Briles. The turnaround he's accomplished at Baylor will go down as one of the greatest in college football history. Baylor was once an afterthought in the Big 12 and now they're on the cusp of not only winning the league, but playing for a national title.
However this season plays out, the foundation is in place and Briles has been the catalyst behind it all. Prior to Briles coming to Baylor in 2008, the Bears cycled through four coaches who managed to win all of 11 Big 12 games in the first 12 years the conference existed. Those 11 wins included just three against teams from the former Big 12 South and included four winless seasons in Big 12 play.
Just six seasons later, Baylor is set to move into a brand new stadium and are on a currently on a 12 game winning streak. There is talk of BCS bowls and national titles to go along with the Heisman trophy already mounted in their trophy case.
With the recent success, other schools are likely - if they haven't already - to come calling attempting to lure Briles away from Baylor. Not that is was likely before, but the new deal makes it even more unlikely he'll finish his career anywhere but in Waco.
Briles was born and bred in Texas and has found a home that will soon have the facilities and resources to compete with the Texas' and A&M's of the world. Not to mention, his connections in the state stretch far and wide meaning he'll have the recruiting ties to continue to lure the top high school athletes in Texas to Baylor. Oh, and averaging 61 points a game doesn't hurt his recruiting pitch, either.
Here are a string of tweets about the Briles extension from David Smoak who does a great job covering Baylor for ESPN-Central Texas, 1660 AM in Waco.
Art Briles 2 me on extension, "Honored & humbled that my staff & I are representing 1 of finest Universities in America for many yrs ahead"— David Smoak (@DavidSmoak) November 14, 2013
Ian McCaw also confirmed not only Briles extension, but his staff being taken care of as well. The stability on staff has been incredible.— David Smoak (@DavidSmoak) November 14, 2013
Baylor grad Bob Simpson, co-owner of Rangers & who @CoachArtBriles calls, "The Godfather," sent me this text on the Briles extension (cont)— David Smoak (@DavidSmoak) November 14, 2013
Bob Simpson on Briles extension, "Securing Art Briles for Baylor University on a long-term basis is simply brilliant," (continued) >— David Smoak (@DavidSmoak) November 14, 2013
More Bob Simpson "Kudos 2 Ian McCaw, Judge Starr & Board of Regents, BU will now join ranks of football elite year after year, how exciting"— David Smoak (@DavidSmoak) November 14, 2013
Now all Briles has to do is go win a Big 12 and national championship. The Bears finish with Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, and Texas.
It won't be an easy road but Briles has gotten the Bears this far so I'm guessing he'll figure out a way to steer the ship the rest of the way home. And even if the Bears stumble down the stretch, the future looks bright and Baylor has Briles to thank for that. Actually, I think that's what just happened on Wednesday.
West Virginia (4-6) @ Kansas (2-7)
After reading that headline, you're probably saying, 'is there one reason to watch this game?' No, this isn't one that's going to hit the national radar on Saturday, but that doesn't mean there aren't a few things to watch for when West Virginia heads west Saturday to take on Kansas.
After digging long and hard, here are 10 reasons to include this one in your channel rotation for the early round of games on Saturday morning.
1. Have you seen the early slate of games this weekend?
2. West Virginia needs six wins. Sitting at 4-6 with just two games remaining, West Virginia needs this win to go bowling. If they falter, it's going to be a long offseason in Morgantown.
3. Kansas has a 27 game Big 12 losing streak. Is that a reason to watch a game? Maybe, maybe not, but it has to end sometime, right? "We haven't won a Big 12 game since I've been here," Kansas offensive line coach Tim Grunhard said this week. "I'd like to win a Big 12 football game. We have a great opportunity this week."
4. Kansas is treating its final three games as their playoffs. "These are our playoffs," Weis said during his Tuesday press conference. Those playoffs will culminate with their pseudo bowl game to end the season against Kansas State. Playoff football is a good thing!
5. The spread is just West Virginia -7. This is the lowest point spread of any Big 12 game this season involving Kansas. In fact, it's the first Big 12 game opponent that isn't favored by at least 17 points against the Jayhawks. The odds makers - and hence the people placing their bets - are anticipating a closer game than some might expect.
6. Maybe a win will get Charlie Weis tweeting again. His twitter account has been silent since this tweet on October 17th.
I was asked about tweeting today. I really have nothing to say until something good happens. Keep quiet and just work harder! Rock Chalk!— Coach Charlie Weis (@CoachWeisKansas) October 17, 2013
7. West Virginia's injuries. The Mountaineers lost two more defensive starters for the season against Texas. That makes eight defenders that have been lost for the season, six of them linebackers. Add to that the injuries at quarterback, and it doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out what's been ailing the Mountaineers.
8. Can Kansas top the 20 point mark? The Jayhawks scored 31 in their season opening victory over South Dakota. Since then, KU has failed to top 20 points. Entering the tenth game of the season, that's a problem.
9. Who's playing quarterback for West Virginia? Clint Trickett left early in the game versus Texas after a crushing hit. He was replaced by Paul Millard - this week's expected starter - but there are also rumors swirling that Ford Childress - once thought to possibly be out for the season - is taking reps this week, as well.
10. Maybe Kansas will actually win. I've thought for most of the season KU would win a Big 12 game. It hasn't happened yet and if it doesn't happen on Saturday, next week against Iowa State may be their last chance. With WVU's mounting injuries, the uncertainty at quarterback, and the game being in Lawrence, this looks like as good a time as any to put the Big 12 losing streak to rest.
What happened to the season already? Here it is mid-November which means it's probably time to start throwing darts and seeing what sticks. That's about all you can do in trying to project bowl bids with four weeks of the season remaining and the Big 12 title still up for grabs.
But that doesn't mean we won't give it a shot.
To get started, let's begin with one big assumption, Alabama and Florida State run the table and play for the national title. Even if Baylor completes a 12-0 season, should Bama and FSU remain undefeated, they would likely squeeze Baylor out of the title game.
If anything changes at the top, that starts the domino effect through all the bowl games, obviously.
The other factor to take into consideration is whether or not the Big 12 gets two BCS bowl bids. This seems most likely in the following scenario:
Oklahoma State or Texas win the Big 12 and receive the automatic bid while Baylor finishes with one loss. Given the way Baylor has played this season and the media attention that has surrounded the Bears, it wouldn't be shocking to see them receive an at-large berth should they not win the Big 12 finishing 11-1 overall.
So with that, here's how it's looking now, again, assuming Alabama and Florida State play in the BCS title game.
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl:
Baylor vs. Missouri
How about a matchup for Baylor with their former Big 12 mates, Missouri? A game with Oregon would be ideal, but giving the ACC will lose FSU to the title game, the Orange Bowl probably won't let the Ducks slip far causing the Fiesta Bowl to have to look elsewhere. If not Mizzou, then South Carolina looks like the next most logical choice.
Keep Fresno State on your radar, however. The Bulldogs will get an automatic bid should they finish ranked in the top 12 of the final BCS standings. They are currently ranked 14th and are not likely to lose the rest of the season. Nothing against the Bulldogs, but this is one reason I'll be happy the BCS will be a thing of the past starting next season. (See Northern Illinois knocking OU out of the BCS last season).
Texas vs. South Carolina
What a turnaround for the Longhorns. They went from looking like six wins would be a struggle to nearly winning the Big 12.
Oklahoma State could also land here if they beat Texas this weekend, but for now, let's give the Longhorns the edge given the fact the Cowboys have yet to play either Baylor or Oklahoma plus they already have a Big 12 loss on their resume.
Valero Alamo Bowl
Oklahoma State vs. Arizona State
If the above holds true, the Cowboys would likely head to San Antonio to take on a team from the Pac-12. Given the fact Oregon and Stanford are both likely to be playing in a BCS bowl, the Sun Devils look like the team most likely to be next up.
Oklahoma could very well play in San Antonio, as well, depending on the outcome of the Bedlam game to finish the season.
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl
Oklahoma vs. Michigan
The Sooners also played here following the 2011 season (then the Insight Bowl). It's not the spot most Sooner fan were envisioning but since the possibility exists they could be matched against another college football heavyweight, maybe that would ease some of the pain. Probably not, but yeah, OU vs. Michigan does have a nice ring to it.
National University Holiday Bowl
Kansas State vs. UCLA
The Wildcats will be fighting for this spot with Texas Tech, most likely. It's very possible both teams could finish the season with 7-5 records. But given the fact KSU knocked off the Red Raiders and should have a better conference record as a result (5-4 vs. 4-5), let's give the edge to Bill Snyder's crew.
If you're going by the pecking order in the Pac-12, the Bruins look like a likely candidate to land here, but since they also played here last season (lost to Baylor) Oregon State could head to Tempe from the Pac-12, as well.
Texas Tech vs. Iowa
From 7-0 to the Texas Bowl. That didn't seem possible a few weeks ago, but it appears more and more likely the Red Raiders will drop the final five games of the season. Hey, look at the bright side Tech fans, at least they'll be playing in state even if Houston is a haul from Lubbock.
Iowa looks to be a good bet to be the participant from the Big Ten depending on how they finish the season against Michigan and Nebraska.
New Era Pinstripe Bowl
West Virginia vs. Houston
Some Mountaineers may not be happy with going back to the Big Apple, but given how things looked at midseason, it's a heck of a lot better than not playing in a bowl at all. West Virginia needs to win the final two games of the season in order to reach six wins, but since Kansas and Iowa State are the two remaining opponents, it's appears more likely than not they'll get there.
If WVU falters, that will leave the Big 12 short a bowl eligible team given the fact TCU is not likely to reach the necessary six wins. That becomes even more problematic should the Big 12 earn two BCS bowl bids.
After a 7-0 start to the season, Texas Tech has dropped three straight games to Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Kansas State. And if that wasn't bad enough, next up is Baylor.
The Bears are fresh of a 41-12 victory over Oklahoma and have dismantled nearly every team on the schedule. Baylor is sitting at 8-0 and after "only" putting up 41 against the Sooners, are still averaging 61 points a game while surrendering just 15.4 on defense, both tops in the league.
Kliff Kingsbury was asked during his Monday press conference about the point spread set for Saturday's game in Arlington which he hadn't yet seen.
When told it was 28, "Twenty eight? Yeah, that's probably about right with what they're doing. They've beaten everybody by 70 so far so that's probably about right. Yeah, we'll see. Like I said earlier, both fan bases get up with this game. They've very familiar with each other, and I expect our kids to play hard."
I'd say he handled that about as well as he could although you can't help but think that's a slap in the face for a 7-3 football team playing any opponent at a neutral site. Of course, who knows if coaches even concern themselves with such things.
From the odds-makers standpoint, you can hardly blame them. They can't seem to set the number high enough when Baylor is involved. The Bears have covered the spread in every game this season with one exception, their ten point victory over Kansas State in Manhattan.
Whatever they set the number at, people bet Baylor regardless. The Bears have won their eight games this season by an average of 45.6 points meaning Baylor has usually been about a safe a bet as a person can make.
When Kingsbury was asked about Baylor's weaknesses, "That's a good question. Still trying to find them. You turn on the tape and every time it flashes the scoreboard it's always 63-7 or 70-14. So it's really hard to find film that you see as useable game film because a lot of the times their back-ups are in and the game is out of hands. They're solid in every phase and playing with a ton of confidence right now."
It didn't affect the Bears' performance against the Sooners, but Tech will benefit from not seeing some of Baylor's best skill players. Wide receiver Tevin Reese was lost for the rest of the regular season with a broken wrist against OU and their top two running backs, Lache Seastrunk and Glasco Martin, left in the first half with injuries and are currently questionable for Saturday's game.
Losing your top two backs and best wide receiver against Oklahoma would normally grind an offense to a halt. Not Baylor, however. Shock Linwood, essentially Baylor's third string running back, came in and gashed the Sooners for 182 yards on 23 carries. Baylor is not only good, they're apparently also deep at the skill positions.
Facing Baylor's offense doesn't bode well for a Tech defense that has given up 139 points over the past three games. Look at that number closer and maybe it's not so hard to understand why they will be 28 point underdogs on Saturday after all.
1. (-) Baylor (8-0): Baylor passed its first major test of the season with flying coloring. The dominating victory over the Sooners didn't come without a cost, however. The Bears lost Tevin Reese for the foreseeable future and Lache Seastrunk and Glasco Martin are currently nursing injuries, as well. But this isn't the Baylor of old with the defense continuing to perform at another level. Up next: vs. Texas Tech (in Arlington).
2. (-) Texas (6-2): It looked like the Longhorns Big 12 title chances were about to take a major blow, but UT found a way and were able to get out of Morgantown with an overtime victory. Like Baylor, Texas suffered a couple major injuries with Johnathan Gray and Chris Waley now out for the season. The timing couldn't be worse with the biggest game of the season coming up this weekend. Up next: Oklahoma State.
3. (↑1) Oklahoma State (8-1): The Cowboys muddled through a 42-6 victory over Kansas setting up their show down with the Longhorns to stay atop the Big 12. In order to stay there, they'll need a better effort than what they gave against the Jayhawks. Up next: @ Kansas.
4. (↓1) Oklahoma (7-2): The Sooners chances of a Big 12 title likely ended with the loss at Baylor. This is still a team with a chance at 10 wins, however, although they need to figure out what continues to ail their struggling offense. Playing the Cyclones this week should help. Up next: Iowa State.
5. (↑1) Kansas State (5-4): And just when you thought the Wildcats were finished, they reel of three straight Big 12 wins. Considering they played Oklahoma State, Texas, and Baylor down to the wire combined with their latest three wins, it's safe to say this is a better team than their record suggests. K-State running the table is not out of the question. Up next: TCU.
6. (↓1) Texas Tech (7-3): Are the Red Raiders not as good as we thought? Probably, but this is still a team that is dramatically improved over the last season. A combination of a brutal schedule over the past three weeks and some critical injuries on defense have started to take their toll. All that said, they still have a chance to throw a wet towel over Baylor's season Saturday in Arlington. Wouldn't that be something? Up next: vs. Baylor (in Arlington).
7. (-) West Virginia (4-6): A win over Texas was on their fingertips but the Mountaineers couldn't find a way to close the deal. Now, they'll need to win their final two games in order to keep practicing into the holiday season. As bad as Kansas has been this season, West Virginia can't let their guards down. Up next: @ Kansas.
8. (-) TCU (4-6): Iowa State had the Horned Frogs on the ropes, but TCU responded with a late fourth quarter touchdown to keep their bowl hopes alive for another week. If they want to keep those hopes alive for a second week, they'll have to beat a Kansas State team playing their best football of the season. Up next: @ Kansas State.
9. (↑1) Iowa State (1-8): The Cyclones played well enough to win, but the results were the same. The Iowa State offense continues to have major issues and getting on track this weekend doesn't appear likely. Up next: @ Oklahoma.
10. (↓1) Kansas (2-7): Another week, another loss for the Jayhawks. KU's offense continues to have major issues and that's being kind. They'll now face a West Virginia team needing to win to get to a bowl game. Can they find a way to end their Big 12 losing streak? While it's not likely, I'm telling you, don't count the Jayhawks out of this one. Up next: West Virginia.
General College Football
Saturday Down South (SEC)
Holy Turf (Big 12 and SEC)
Pacific Takes (Pac-12)
Big 12 team sites are on the team specific pages