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Baylor vs. Kansas State -- GAME DAY -- Notes, Links, TV Schedule, Game Time

I'm out the door in moments for ESPN College GameDay, because the time has finally come!

Tom Pennington/Getty Images
5/5/7 BAYLOR (10-1, 7-1) vs. 9/9/12 KANSAS STATE (9-2, 7-1)
Dec. 6, 2014 | 6:45 p.m. CT
Waco, Texas | McLane Stadium (46,140)

Listen | Gametracker Gametracker | Game Notes Notes Gameday Central

OPPONENT: Kansas State Wildcats
ODB GAME HUB: Baylor Bears vs. Kansas State Wildcats 2014
MEET THE PRESS: Baylor vs. Kansas State
FIRST LOOK: Baylor vs. Kansas State
Baylor vs. Kansas State
Baylor vs. Kansas State
PODCAST: #60: Baylor Makes The Soul Happy
SB NATION BLOG: Bring On The Cats, at right
SPREAD: Baylor -7 (Open: Baylor -8.5)
WEATHER FORECAST: AMAZING, if slightly chilly.
BAYLOR UNIFORMS: We won't find out until tomorrow morning.

SB Nation Kansas State Preview Preview
Bears vs Wildcats coverage


The only player listed as questionable for the Wildcats that I can find is defensive lineman Travis Britz.

We thought Bryce Petty might be questionable, but then this happened:

We all know that Devin Chafin is out with his elbow injury. The only other questionable player, aside from those out for the season, is Tre'Von Armstead,who WILL PLAY today according to ESPN 1660's Craig Smoak.  That's excellent news.

Advanced Stats:

Take a gander while you've got a chance over at Peter's Advanced Stats post this week.  According to FootballOutsiders, we haven't seen a matchup this close since visiting Norman at the beginning of November.





Overall F/+ Rk 11 (25.7%)
18 (20.0%)
Overall FEI Rk 14 (.207)
25 (.157)
Overall S&P+ Rk 8 (244.0)
24 (222.5)
Field Position Advantage 6 (.558)
11 (.547)

Should be a good one.

Weather Report:

The latest weather reports have little to no chance of rain in the forecast and a temperature topping out around 67 degrees in the afternoon.  That's quite a change from last year's final game, to be sure.  One thing to note is that it could be somewhat chilly by the time the game ends, so keep that in mind.  The low Saturday night will be around 45.

Thoughts on the Game:

I have virtually none to share.  Jake Waters and Tyler Lockett are really good, and that will be a problem for a defense showing vulnerability (to be charitable) in the passing game.  Ryan Mueller is really good, too, and will give our offensive line quite the test.  Schematically, we've known for years basically what Kansas State wants to do: possess the ball as much as possible as both a way to deny it to you and to eventually score points.  If they can do that today, it will make our task-- looking as good as possible-- very difficult.  If they can't, we could have a bit of success against a defense that is good, not great.  Helpful in our quest (to keep KState from scoring many points or keeping the ball away from us) is a Wildcat offensive line that, as Peter so ably demonstrated, doesn't appear to be all that good this season.  That is not typical for Kansas State and should be a big red flag for them against a defensive line that still ranks quite high despite a subpar game against Texas Tech's Air Raid attack.

Also, as we discussed on the Podcast Thursday night, if I was to choose one area where I felt most confident for this team right now, it would actually be our rushing defense.  I anticipated based on past games that Kansas State will at least pay lip service to the run, and if we can put them behind the chains when they attempt to do so, all the better.  Still, when they have the ball the key is relatively simple (at least in theory): limit Lockett as much as possible to keep the big plays at a minimum.  That's something we haven't been doing a lot lately and need to fix (so much as it is possible to do so) immediately.

One last thing I definitely wanted to mention is the staple of the underdog: special teams play.  It seems like KSU is good on special teams every single year and 2014 is no different.  In fact, their special teams are the highest-ranked unit in the game by F/+.  Since the impact of things like kickoff or punt returns that don't have to happen (at least not frequently) are hard to gauge, it's hard to know whether this will be a huge factor.  But it might, especially if they can force us to punt to Lockett.  Don't say I didn't warn you.


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ESPN’s Chris Fowler takes in Baylor, ‘beautiful’ McLane Stadium - Baylor Bears Football
After more than two decades of taking ESPN’s "College GameDay" to campuses around the country, host Chris Fowler still enjoys visiting different places for the first time.

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If Baylor had sought the perfect marketing strategy for its regular season finale at McLane Stadium, the most savvy minds couldn’t have envisioned a scenario this grand.

Five things to watch: Arizona isn't a fluke; Baylor's big move | NCAA Football | Sporting News
NCAA college football news, standings, trade rumors, scores, schedules and more 2012-13 coverage on Sporting News.

Week 15 picks: Ducks get it done; FSU, Bama face title tests | NCAA Football | Sporting News
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Fifth-ranked Baylor is in the same position as a year ago, with its home finale being a de facto Big 12 championship game.


And, of course...