Baylor Football: Back-to-Back Big 12 Champs!
The Bears did what they needed to do on the field Saturday night, claiming a decisive victory over No. 9-ranked Kansas State to become just the second back-to-back Big 12 champions in league history.
Baylor took a 7-0 lead just 95 seconds into the game and led the rest of the way, beating the Wildcats 38-27 in the regular season finale. Head coach Art Briles’ squad tied last year’s school record with its 11th win of the season and became one of just two Power-5 teams to repeat as conference champions again this year.
[LINKS: Photos || Video highlights || Purchase 2014 Big 12 Champs gear || ESPN Instant Analysis || Sports Illustrated reacts]
Afterward, head coach Art Briles made his case for the Bears to be included among the four teams named to the first-ever College Football Playoff, which will be announced Sunday at 11:45 a.m. on ESPN. “Take the top 10 universities in the nation, put ’em on the wall, take the names off, and look at their resumes, and then find four that are better,” said Briles. “We probably had the best road win in America this year [at Oklahoma]. We beat a top-5 team, we beat a top-10 team. … Look at the resumes, and then make a decision.”
Adding to Baylor’s case, the Bears are one of just six teams with less than two losses, and the only one of those to be 3-0 against teams currently ranked in the top 20 (including two wins over top-10 teams). Baylor also has America’s top offense for the second straight year, and has won 10+ games in three of the last four years — a first for the program.
All this talk, of course, came after Baylor served as the host for ESPN’s College GameDay on Saturday morning. Hundreds of students camped out overnight Friday to secure their spot in the crowd, leading to an impressive turnout for the three-hour live show.
[ESPN GAMEDAY PICS/VIDEO: Students camping out || Photos from the day || Top GameDay signs || Video highlights || GameDay’s moving feature on Phil Bennett coping with the loss of his wife]
So what’s next for Baylor? The College Football Playoff committee will announce its selections Sunday at 11:45 a.m.. Three more possible Baylor destinations (the Cotton, Fiesta and Peach bowls) will announce their match-ups between 11:45 and 1:45 p.m., and other bowls will follow after that Sunday afternoon. Stay tuned to baylor.edu/fanzone, baylorbears.com/bowlcentral, and Baylor’s social media platforms for bowl information as soon as it’s available.
Sic ’em, Baylor football!