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Big 12 Football Preview: Championship Edition

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It’s Baylor vs. Oklahoma State in the Big 12 championship game!

Big 12 Football Championship - Baylor v Oklahoma Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

#9 Baylor vs. #5 Oklahoma State

Saturday, December 4th 11:00 AM CT, ABC

#9 Baylor (10-2, 7-2) had exactly what it needed to happen last weekend happen, with a win over Texas Tech and #5 Oklahoma State (11-1, 8-1) defeating Oklahoma. Not only did those outcomes put OU’s program into an absolute tailspin, but it secured a Big 12 championship meeting between Baylor and Oklahoma State, two of the schools that will be remaining in the Big 12. That is excellent news for the remaining and future members of the Big 12. There are huge implications behind this game as well. A win by Oklahoma State would almost assuredly put the Cowboys into the College Football Playoff. A win by Baylor would be a huge program builder for coach Dave Aranda (and, if a few things go the right way, could give Baylor its own shot at the playoff). When Baylor and Oklahoma State met in Stillwater back at the beginning of October, the Cowboys pulled away with a close, defensive, 24-14 win. Baylor was unable to get much going offensively. What’s somewhat concerning about that game is Baylor won the turnover battle 3-0 and still couldn’t pull off the win.

However, there is room for optimism. For one, this game is at a neutral site. AT&T Stadium should be a much easier venue to secure a win than the notoriously difficult Boone Pickens Stadium. Second, Baylor’s offense has continued to develop and improve since early October, averaging 30 points a game since they scored only 14 against the Cowboys. That stretch included tough competition like now #12 BYU and #14 Oklahoma. Further, while Oklahoma State clearly has the best defense in the Big 12, Baylor is no defensive slouch. As such, this will almost certainly be a close, defensive slugfest . Oklahoma State is favored by 5.5 in this one. We’re still waiting to see if Gerry Bohanon or Blake Shapen will get the start, but Shapen has played well in Bohanon’s absence so I am not terribly concerned one way or the other.

Even though OSU got the first win, it is so hard to beat a team twice in one season, especially when those teams are fairly evenly matched. Give me the Bears.

20-17 Baylor

FieldinOfDreams’ 2021 Prediction Record through Week 13: 56-19