Baylor's 48-46 Win Over Texas Tech Didn't Really Help The Team's Playoff Chances.
As it stands right now, the Baylor University football program is one of the few remaining teams in the country with a shot at landing one of the four available spots in the upcoming, inaugural College Football Playoff. Unfortunately for the Bears, Texas Christian University is one of the other schools in contention.
So it's pretty clear at the moment: These heated Big 12 rivals aren't just playing for a conference championship any longer; they're competing against one another for a shot at the national championship. And they have to both win and win impressively if they want that opportunity.
On Thanksgiving day, TCU did its job: The Horned Frogs went down to Austin and emphatically beat up on the University of Texas Longhorns to the tune of a 48-10 final score, putting to rest any arguments about whether the team remains worthy of a playoff spot.
On Friday, it was Baylor's turn to put on a show for the selection committee. Alas, the team didn't put together quite the effort the Horned Frogs did. The game certainly lived up to its “AT&T Stadium Shootout” namesake, though. After going up 45-20 on Texas Tech, Baylor seemed to be rolling — and just about ready to put on its would-be show for the committee. But, as the game wore on, the Bears defense struggled to stop freshman Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who threw for 593 yards as well as six touchdowns on the day. Mahomes and senior wide receiver Bradley Marquez, who caught three touchdown passes, helped put their team in position to tie the game with less than two minutes left, but then failed to score on an attempted two-point conversion. In the end, the Raiders lost the game, 46-48. And Baylor lost its chance to impress the selection committee.
Afterward, Baylor head coach Art Briles defended the Raiders' 4-8 record and put on a strong front.
“Y'know, a desperate man is a dangerous man,” Briles said of Tech's performance. “We were dealing with a desperate man tonight, and we knew that.”
What the team is less certain of, along with what the selection committee thinks of its war with a desperate man, is the status of senior quarterback Bryce Petty who left the game due to a concussion.
With one game left in the regular season against a No. 12 Kansas State team, the Bears will need Petty — especially if the Bears' defense, a unit that gave up 707 yards of offense to Texas Tech, continues to struggle.
Granted, there are a lot of scenarios that can play out between now and December 7, when the selection committee will announce its final rankings. But if Baylor beats Kansas State and TCU holds off Iowa State, it will be interesting to finally see how the selection committee places the two Big 12 rivals in its poll, considering that TCU's lone loss on the year was, in fact, to Baylor. Baylor's lone loss, on the other hand, came to an unranked West Virginia team.
In the meantime, both the Bears and Horned Frogs must continue to impress.
Baylor running back Silas Nacita (31) slam dunks on the goal post during warm-ups before his team faces Texas Tech.
Baylor defensive end Shawn Oakman (2) hits Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes (5) after a pass. Oakman finished the game with three tackles for loss and a sack.
Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes (5) scrambles out of the pocket. Mahomes finished the game with 593 yards passing and six touchdowns.
Baylor wide receiver Corey Coleman (1) drops a pass along the sideline. Coleman finished the game with 57 yards receiving and one touchdown.
Baylor defensive end Shawn Oakman (2) meets Texas Tech running back DeAndre Washington (21) behind the line of scrimmage.
Baylor running back Shock Linwood (32) runs through the Red Raiders defense for a touchdown.
Baylor running back Shock Linwood (32) celebrates his first rushing touchdown of the game.
Baylor running back Shock Linwood (32) is forced out of bounds by Texas Tech safety J.J. Gaines (3).
Baylor running back Johnny Jefferson (2) celebrates his rushing touchdown.
Texas Tech wide receiver Jakeem Grant (11) catches a pass in the open field while falling down.
Texas Tech wide receiver Bradley Marquez (4) leaps over a Baylor defensive back to reach the end zone. Marquez was one of three Texas Tech receivers to have over 100 yards receiving.
Texas Tech wide receiver Bradley Marquez (4) trots into the end zone for his first touchdown of the game.
Baylor wide receiver Antwan Goodley (5) has a pass broken up in front of him by a Texas Tech defensive back.
Baylor defensive back Ryan Reid (9) breaks up an attempted pass to Texas Tech wide receiver Bradley Marquez (4).
Texas Tech wide receiver Bradley Marquez hauls in his second touchdown pass of the game.
Baylor wide receiver Corey Coleman drops a pass along the sideline in the second half against Texas Tech.
Texas Tech wide receiver Bradley Marquez celebrates catching his potential game-tying touchdown.
Baylor running back Johnny Jefferson (left) and defensive end Shawn Oakman (right) celebrate their 48-46 victory over Texas Tech at AT&T Stadium.