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Bears Fight Past Wildcats, 38-27, to Earn Second Straight Big 12 Title

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One. True. Champion.

Bryce Petty knows how many champions there are.
Bryce Petty knows how many champions there are.
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

I have no idea what's going to happen tomorrow morning with the College Football Playoff committee. With the other events of today - TCU expectedly demolishing Iowa State, Ohio State trouncing Wisconsin with yet another QB, and Florida State squeaking by yet another team - there are four teams and just two spots available. (Oregon and Alabama are obviously in, and honestly Florida State is, too. So only three and one, respectively.)

But let's not think about that right now. Your Baylor Bears just won their second straight Big 12 Conference championship. This time it is, technically, a shared title with TCU due to the ridiculous lack of a tiebreaker, but Baylor will get the conference's automatic bid to the New Year's Six bowls, if they do not make the playoff itself. If there existed a tiebreaker for the conference title, Baylor would win it. This is a big deal. Only two teams have repeated as champion, and both were Oklahoma in the same threepeat stretch from 2006 to 2008. That can never be taken away from us.

So let's get to the game. For the most part, Baylor's offense was pretty dominant over a K-State defense that is not often dominated. It was a banner day for the seniors on the offense, in their last game at home for their college careers. Bryce Petty went 34 for 40 for 412 yards, with one touchdown and one over-greedy interception. Antwan Goodley looked like the Goodley of last year, racking up nine catches for 116 yards and a TD. Levi Norwood, invisible for much of this year, had 7 for 62. Clay Fuller had a few big catches. All in all, the Bears gained nearly 600 yards against a defense ill-equipped to handle the combination of speed and physicality the Bears came to play with. If not for a really unnecessary interception in the end zone and a fourth quarter that breezed by, Baylor could have made a much bigger dent in the scoreboard.

The defense was a bag of mixed results, as it has been for stretches this year. The defensive line did an admirable job keeping contain on Jake Waters, stuffing him several times for huge stops when the team needed them most. K-State's running game was for the most part bottled up, as it has been this year. Tyler Lockett, however, went off for 14 catches for 158 yards, but never got behind the defense. He's still a legend - best of luck to him in the NFL. But the defense stiffened up at times in the red zone, holding Kansas State to two huge field goals in the third quarter while the Baylor offense responded with touchdowns. When the team needed it the most, Xavien Howard had a huge interception to end Kansas State's final drive.

Let's be sure to give all the due to this senior class, the winningest in Baylor history. Bryce Petty, Antwan Goodley, Levi Norwood, Clay Fuller, Troy Baker, Bryce Hager, and Spencer Roth have earned everything they have.

So now let's bask in the thrill of having claimed two consecutive Big 12 titles. I speak only for myself, but there's no reason to put an asterisk next to this one, no qualifiers - we are Big 12 Champions. Again.

Team Stat Comparison

KSU
BAY
1st Downs 27 34
3rd down efficiency
6-12 8-10
4th down efficiency
1-1 0-0
Total Yards 403 584
Passing 300 412
Comp-Att
22-27 34-41
Yards per pass
11.1 10.0
Rushing 103 172
Rushing Attempts
40 37
Yards per rush
2.6 4.6
Penalties 3-30 7-70
Turnovers 1 1
Fumbles lost
0 0
Interceptions thrown
1 1
Possession 34:47 25:13
Stats via ESPN
Finally, some words from Prashanth Francis, who also wrote a post-game article but was slower on the trigger:

Dear OurDailyBears readers,

This is one of the more difficult posts that I have ever had to write.

On the one hand, Baylor has now followed up its first Big 12 Championship with a second consecutive Big 12 Championship and has now ascended to levels heretofore unseen in Baylor Football history.

On the other hand, with the outstanding performances of Ohio State and yet another close win from Florida Stated, the odds that Baylor will make the final Top 4 of the College Football Playoff Selection Committee are incredibly small.

How to reconcile these highest of highs and most heartbreaking of lows on the same night?

Here at OurDailyBears, we have strenuously tried from our birth to present day to encourage a specific type or tenor of college football discussion. But tonight, I can not tell you how to react. If you want to focus on the positive, about the tremendous successes of this team and this group of seniors, you are more than justified in doing so. In fact, I would suggest that for this night at least, that is probably the most appropriate response.

For those who can't help but look forward, tonight is a night for a solemn resignation that while Baylor has achieved virtually all of its preseason goals, the performance is likely not filled with enough 'style points' to keep up with the other Power 5 Conference Champions, especially with the Big 12 not vociferously enforcing its tiebreaker formula.

So, eat, drink and be merry!

Or eat, drink and yearn over what could have been.

At the very least, end the night with a full stomach.

Cheers,
Prashanth