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Houston v Baylor Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

Well. Baylor lost again. But if you were looking for something new from this season, then this game had it for you as the Bears lost to one of the Big 12 newcomers for the first time in conference play! And they did it in OT! The Bears gave fans one extra hit of hope to make sure this disappointing season stung just a little bit extra.

After beating both UCF and Cincinnati on the road, the Bears only FBS wins this season, Baylor continued to look completely lost on offense for most of the game, falling to 3-6 on the season, losing to Houston 25-24 on the final play of OT. The Coogs went for 2 and converted to prevent a second OT, sealing the victory. It was a painful and inept football by both squads for the majority of the game. Houston wasn’t really the better team, just the team that was less bad. But, being less bad gets you the W in Waco this year. In a season where Baylor has 8 home games, the team is on pace to finish with a 1-7 home record, the only win being against FCS LIU, a team many weren’t aware had a football team prior to the season.

Baylor beat Houston in a lot of stat categories that don’t matter, and once again the Bears lost in the only stat category that does matter, points. Baylor had more first downs, almost 100 more total yards, won time of possession, passing and rushing yards, had about equal penalty yardage, and won the turnover battle. Add in the homefield advantage and you’d guess most P5 college football teams would win a game like this 99 times out of 100. But this is Baylor. Gaining over 400 yards isn’t enough when you can’t move the ball in the red zone. It was a maddening performance where Baylor, yet again, played great during normal times, but looked lost at the most critical of moments. At one point the Bears committed a delay of game after getting a holding penalty. They had multiple special teams blunders that took points off the board, and they couldn’t stop Houston in OT when the Coogs had to start at their own 40 yard line.

It’s, sadly, what we’ve come to expect from Baylor football this season. If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result, I’d argue most Baylor fans are excruciatingly sane, seeing the same thing over and over expecting the same result. The team went scoreless in the first half, and what fans did show up to the game mostly left, leaving the stadium looking like a prime time Pac 12 game.

Sitting at 3-6 on the year, the Bears must win out to make a bowl game. That would require wins at both Kansas State and TCU, along with a home win against West Virginia. The most Baylor thing about this season would be to win both the away games and lose the final one at home. It would be a fitting and poetic win to what has been a hopeless season. Something is foundationally broken with this team. It may be youth, it may be coaching, it may be recruiting, it may be all of the above. But there needs to be some serious soul searching, and changes, ahead of the 2024 season. The program feels as if it stands upon the edge of a knife, stray but a little and it will fail, to the ruin of all Bears. During a critical time in the college football landscape, Baylor cannot allow the 2023 season to be anything more than a forgotten, bad season. It cannot be a trend.

But, on a brighter note, basketball season is here. So take solace Bears fans, a distraction is coming. Please save us Scott Drew.