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The Playoff Dream Lives: Baylor Blasts Kansas 61-6!

Oklahoma next week could be for the playoff

NCAA Football: Oklahoma at Baylor Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Baylor (11-1, 8-1) eviscerated Kansas (3-9, 1-8) 61-6. The Bears will take on the Sooners at 11:00 next Saturday in the Big 12 title game in Dallas. That one airs on ABC.

The Bears dominated the Jayhawks. Baylor scored their first touchdown in four plays. After Kansas elected to punt on 4th and 1 on the next series, Baylor needed one play to score again:

The Bears kept scoring. Baylor finished the first half with a 34-0 lead. James Lynch, Bravion Roy and James Lockhart gave the Jayhawks fits. When Kansas tried to go for another fourth down, Terrel Bernard and company were too much and stopped Kansas.

Roy left the game with an injury. The broadcast said he could have returned, but given the score, it wasn’t necessary.

Baylor’s defense mauled Kansas. Henry Black had an interception. Grayland Arnold had one. Blake Lynch and Zeke Brown added second half interceptions too. Kansas did not score until 1:30 left in the 3rd quarter. By then the Bears were playing their backups. Les Miles’ son, Manny, zipped a ball for a touchdown after scrambling around. Even on Kansas’ best play, it took quite a bit of luck to do anything against Baylor.

Matt Rhule’s team was better in every facet. The Jayhawks muffed two punt returns. Baylor recovered those. John Mayers made a pair of field goals. Kansas didn’t make much.

This was a statement win by Baylor. Texas needed luck to beat Kansas. Iowa State nearly lost to them. Texas Tech did. After two offensive drives, Kansas should have considered quitting. Credit to the Jayhawks for continuing to play hard when the result was certain.

Baylor’s path to the playoff still exists. Wisconsin finished Minnesota. That will ensure Ohio State is the Big 10’s only playoff participant. Auburn and Alabama are locked in a tough battle in the Iron Bowl. If the Tigers win, Alabama will be done. If Alabama wins, Baylor might jump the Tide—a team without a conference title and with only one top 25 win. Utah looms, but they need to beat Colorado and Oregon. Even if they do that, Baylor will have a case that their top 25 wins, and what would be their best win—a victory over Oklahoma next Saturday—triumphs over winning the PAC-12 and losing to USC.

The Bears have completed one of the greatest turnarounds in college football history. Two years ago the Bears secured their lone win in Lawrence. That team lost to Liberty and UTSA. They were blown out by Texas—a squad so far from back that most of their assistants will be updating Linkedin shortly.

Baylor’s not done talking about their place in history though. TCU and Texas Tech have the winter, spring and summer to wonder how everything went wrong this year. Baylor has next week to make what went wrong against Oklahoma irrelevant. The way they’ve played the last two weeks makes that a real possibility.