Baylor's BCS dreams are hanging by a thread, but the No. 7 Bears - and their opponent Saturday, No. 24 Texas - can each still win the Big 12 title with a victory this weekend. If Oklahoma State loses to Oklahoma earlier Saturday, then either the Bears or the visiting Longhorns can win the conference championship outright. If Oklahoma State wins, Baylor will try to salvage a BCS at-large berth after scuffling to the finish line the last two weeks.
The Bears, who have not won an outright league title since 1980, were dominated 49-17 by Oklahoma State on Nov. 23 and barely squeaked by a 4-8 Texas Christian team last week. Still, coach Art Briles knows that an outright league title and a BCS berth would be extremely significant for his blossoming program, saying "it would be tremendous for Baylor University, for our football team and everybody that loves this university. It would be one of the defining moments, I think, for Baylor football." Texas also could sneak into the BCS party with a win and a loss by Oklahoma State, although the Longhorns need to start faster after falling behind at least 7-0 in each of their last three games.
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, Fox. LINE: Baylor -15
ABOUT TEXAS (8-3, 7-1 Big 12): The Longhorns have scored at least 30 points in seven of their last eight contests, thanks in large part to an improved rushing attack that rolled up 281 yards and three touchdowns against Texas Tech on Thanksgiving night. Case McCoy threw a pair of touchdowns against the Red Raiders and perhaps more importantly did not throw an interception for the first time in six games. On the defensive side of the ball, Baylor quarterback Bryce Perry will be under constant duress from Texas' talented tandem of defensive ends, Jackson Jeffcoat and Cedric Reed, who have combined for 19 sacks this season.
ABOUT BAYLOR (10-1, 7-1): Despite a pair of disappointing performances the last two weeks, Baylor has a chance to break the all-time record for points per game (56, 1944 Army) and yards per game (624.9, 1989 Houston). The Bears, who are currently averaging 55.4 points and 635.1 yards, have received a stunningly efficient season from Perry, as the junior quarterback has 3,557 passing yards with 28 touchdowns and two interceptions, in addition to 11 rushing scores. A fast start for Texas is even more critical when you consider that the average halftime score for the Bears this season is Baylor leading its opponent 34.9 to 9.7.
1. Texas has won 17 of the last 20 meetings, including a 56-50 victory last season.
2. Longhorns K Anthony Fera has made 15 straight field goals, tying the school record set by Phil Dawson in 1996-97.
3. The Bears have never won 11 games in a season, finishing with 10 victories in 1980 and 2011.
PREDICTION: Baylor 47, Texas 41