ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Bryce Petty and fifth-ranked Baylor are going home after a close call. The Bears are on the verge of another Big 12 title and still in contention for a spot in the new four-team playoff.
The quarterback is confident the fifth-ranked Bears (10-1, 7-1 Big 12) will get that playoff chance as long as they take care of the first part in their home finale against ninth-ranked Kansas State.
“No doubt. It’s hard to say anything else but yes. Again, it’s out of our control until we win next week,” Petty said. “We win the Big 12 championship, and everything will fall in (place), I guarantee.”
Another thing Petty is sure about is playing in Baylor’s latest de facto championship game next Saturday night. He sustained a concussion midway through the third quarter against Texas Tech and could only watch after that as Baylor gave up almost all of a 25-point lead before a 48-46 victory.
“Definitely. Definitely,” Petty said soon after Saturday’s game when asked about playing against K-State. “Just a little dinger. I’ll be all right.”
For the second year in a row, the Bears finish the regular season at home with a chance for a league trophy. They already have consecutive 10-win seasons for the first time in team history.
While the other four power conferences play championship games next weekend, the Big 12 goes into the first Saturday of December with Baylor, fourth-ranked TCU and K-State tied atop the standings.
By time Baylor and Kansas State kick off, they will know if they are playing to win the title outright or share it with TCU. The Horned Frogs, whose only loss was at Waco on Oct. 11, are home against last-place Iowa State earlier in the day.
TCU, coming off a 48-10 win at Texas on Thanksgiving night, moved up two spots and jumped over Baylor in the new AP poll Sunday.
The College Football Playoff selection committee will ultimately decide if Baylor or TCU - or maybe neither or both - get in one of the national semifinal games. The Horned Frogs are fifth and two spots ahead of Baylor before the new playoff rankings come out Tuesday night. The final poll comes out next Sunday.
“It’s hard to repeat as champions. I mean, did anybody want to beat Muhammad Ali or Leon Spinks? I mean, who were they after more? I’m thinking Ali,” coach Art Briles said. “If you do it, that hat you’re wearing needs to have a feather in it because it’s hard to do. It’s extremely hard to do.”
Baylor held on against the Red Raiders (4-8, 2-7) at the Dallas Cowboys’ stadium after sacking Patrick Mahomes on a two-point try following his sixth touchdown pass - fourth in a row of at least 40 yards - with 1:42 left in the game. Mahomes set a Big 12 freshman record with 598 yards passing accounting for most of Texas Tech’s 712 total yards.
“We play to a certain standard and we didn’t play to that standard. We didn’t dodge anything. We just didn’t do what we needed to,” defensive end Shawn Oakman said. “We have high standards and we got lackadaisical. It’s very frustrating. We have to keep it up, keep up our intensity.”
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