The Big News:
We lost, and that sucks. Losing always sucks, but now that we have more to lose, it sucks even more. Thankfully, we haven't done it all that much recently (and I hope we don't do it all that much in the near future).
Because of last night's result, which saw the Oklahoma Sooners end Baylor's unbeaten run in 2015, what should have been a transformative day in Baylor Football history, beginning with College GameDay and ending with the #BlackOUt, is tarnished somewhat. Gone are our dreams of an undefeated run to the CFB Playoffs. Gone, probably, is any real chance Corey Coleman had of winning the Heisman Trophy.
That being said, when I implied after the game here and elsewhere that the season was basically over, I was clearly wrong. If we win out, we can still get a third-straight Big 12 Championship. With some pretty incredible help, we might be able to make the CFB Playoff (though it isn't at all likely, and I won't be focusing on it). We're bowl-eligible, 8-1, and, as of this writing, ranked #10 in the AP Poll with three games to play. The idea that the season is in any way over is not only wrong; it's completely misguided. So I will apologize for that, a sentiment born of disappointment and frustration, to the extent it made the rest of the season meaningless. It isn't.
Losing still sucks, though.
Considering the foregoing, I'm not going to spend a ton of time on potential CFB Playoff scenarios. But I think we can say the following with some certainty:
- Clemson -- Will likely get UNC in the ACC Championship game with a trip to the CFB Playoff on the line. If they win out, they're in.
- Alabama -- Same as the above, except substitute Florida for UNC and "SEC Championship game" for the ACC one.
- Ohio State -- Looks like there's an elimination game with Iowa on the horizon in the B1G Championship game, assuming Ohio State beats Michigan State and Michigan to get there.
Just like last week, those three things are probably set unless something crazy happens. The intrigue comes at #4. With Baylor losing, OU and OSU are in the catbird seat from the Big 12 (despite OU having a loss, because it was early and they've played so well since). Baylor would need to win out, have OU lose, have ND lose, and then hope for the best.
If Oklahoma State wins out, I have to think they're in as the undefeated Big 12 Champion. The big question will be what happens if Notre Dame wins out (making their only loss the rain game at #1 Clemson) and Oklahoma does, too. Then we'll have to hear all about their respective games against Texas from two months (or more) ago and what that means for those two teams. For my money, give me Oklahoma.
Mark Seymour's Top 10:
- Ohio State Buckeyes
- Alabama Crimson Tide
Finishing out the Top 10 in some order:
Yeah, I'm on the UNC bandwagon. They've looked really, really good. They could beat Clemson.
Thoughts on the Game:
- OU deserves all the credit in the world for their game plan to stop our offense, which was to bottle up the inside run (a la West Virginia and KSU), bracket Corey Coleman, and force Jarrett Stidham to beat them through the other guys. Though Stidham put up a valiant effort despite apparently being injured on the first series of the game, it worked extremely well. After that first drive, the running game never really got going, Coleman was nowhere to be found, and OU clamped down on our offense for the rest of the first half, forcing a turnover or punt on four straight possessions.
- At the same time, I think our defense actually deserves a lot of credit for the way it performed on the whole. Yes, Samaje Perine had over 160 yards rushing. Yes, Sterling Shepard had 177 yards receiving. Yes, Baker Mayfield looked really, really good against us. But we knew those things were likely to happen against an explosive OU offense, and when the game could have gotten away from us in the second half, the defense kept it close enough for the offense to have a chance. There are clearly individual plays where things broke down, but overall, I was happy enough with that performance.
- To me, the Play of the Game happened on second and fifteen near the start of OU's last touchdown drive. On that play, Travon Blanchard drug down Baker Mayfield by the jersey on an incomplete pass to Shepard that would have set up 3rd and 15 with the Bears down 3. In so doing, Blanchard was called for (a correct) horse collar penalty that gave OU a first down and continued their drive. I want to make something clear: as I understand the rules that was the right call. It sucks that it happened, because I think that kind of play highlights the difference between what I'd call a statutory personal foul and a "dirty" play, but it happened. Had it not happened, I think Baylor would have stopped the third down and gotten the ball back. But it happened. Also, before anyone takes that the wrong way, I in no way blame Blanchard for that play. It's just an unfortunate sequence of events.
- During the game, I and quite a few others complained vociferously about the play-calling for our offense, which sought to run the ball even when the run was clearly absent. Later we learned that Stidham had been injured early and everything started making a lot more sense. I can't say for sure that his back injury, whatever it was, limited the offense in its scope, but it clearly seemed like our coaches didn't want to take any chances with him, and that cost us. I hope he's better by the time we play Oklahoma State this Saturday night in Stillwater.
- Last night, we saw the clear difference between a Seth Russell-led Baylor offense and one with Jarrett Stidham and basically nobody behind him (or at least nobody we would trust in that situation). Before the West Virginia game, the question was whether Seth would make teams respect his legs. After, we looked like the best team in the country with a QB that could make you pay. Then Seth got injured against Iowa State and we went back to the situation where, in order to open things up for Shock Linwood and Devin Chafin, we have to show some kind of edge threat. We didn't last night, and it severely hampered our offense.
- I got in somewhat preemptive trouble on Twitter last night regarding a possible "Look at how far we've come!" reaction to the loss considering I'd not actually taken that stance yet. I'll do it now. If you need any indication of how much things have changed, you should get it from the fact that OU clearly circled this game, our game, on their calendar. It was evident from their preparation, execution, and, most importantly, their reaction. That's the difference between being the hunter and the hunted, and I'm ok with that if it means we're near or at the top.
- I'd really like to hear from people in the stadium last night about the atmosphere, because it looked absolutely electric from the broadcast and having been there earlier for GameDay. Please share your stories/thoughts!
LINKS LINKS LINKS LINKS LINKS LINKS:
No. 4 Football Falls to No. 12 Oklahoma, 44-34 - Baylor Official Athletic Site
Baylor (8-1, 5-1), the first team left out of the initial four-team playoff last season, was sixth in the latest College Football Playoffs as an undefeated team with the toughest part of its schedule left.
College Football Top 25 Polls: Oklahoma, TCU up; Baylor plummets | Dallas Morning News
The Oklahoma Sooners moved up and Baylor Bears plummeted in the latest College Football Top 25 coaches poll.
Baylor playoff hopes in trouble after Oklahoma; top 25 NCAA football roundup - CBS News
No. 12 Sooners end No. 4 Bears' 20-game home win streak; Stanford, LSU, Utah also fall in upsets; top 25 college football roundup
CFB Rewind: So long, Pac-12; Oklahoma teams control Big 12 hopes - CBSSports.com
The Pac-12's top two teams fell on Saturday, while the Big 12 looks to be down to the undefeated Cowboys and one-loss Sooners. Here's how the world of college football stands after Week 11.
Black and blue: OU’s Mayfield carves up Baylor defense, playoff aspirations - WacoTrib.com: Baylor Bears Football
Baylor’s nation’s best 20-game home winning streak is over and its shot at the College Football Playoff is probably gone with it.
GameDay another tourist draw for Waco - WacoTrib.com: Business
The faces of Chip and Joanna Gaines of HGTV’s "Fixer Upper" and presidential hopefuls Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, along with Bill Cosby, made appearances in the crowd for ESPN’s College GameDay broadcast that shot live from McLane Stadium on Saturday.
Big 12 Week 11 Power Rankings: Oklahoma State now the lone unbeaten - Dallas Colleges Blog - ESPN
With Baylor's loss to Oklahoma, the Oklahoma State Cowboys are the only remaining undefeated team in the Big 12.
Baylor notebook: Win streak stops at 20; Coleman held scoreless; turnover issues - WacoTrib.com: Baylor Bears Football
Over the past few seasons, Baylor has built one of the top home-field advantages in the nation.
Playoff pulse: Scratch off Stanford; Baylor in big trouble - WacoTrib.com: Baylor Bears Football
Scratch Stanford off the list of College Football Playoff contenders. Baylor is in big trouble, too. And the Bears' loss could be Notre Dame's gain.
New bowl projections, with Notre Dame's College Football Playoff case topping Oklahoma's - SBNation.com
Picks and guesses for every bowl game, from the Playoff to the New Orleans. Let's disagree together as good friends!
College football rankings: Major AP Top 25 shakeup ahead of new Playoff rankings - SBNation.com
This post will be updated as more rankings become available.
TWEETS TWEETS TWEETS TWEETS TWEETS TWEETS:
TOUCHDOWN, LEVIATHAN— HALLRAISER (@edsbs) November 15, 2015
One of my favorite venues I've been to. Loved every aspect of it. Student section, setting itself, game ops, etc. https://t.co/UwGl5QKzCT— Kirk Herbstreit (@KirkHerbstreit) November 15, 2015
Love Baylor fans. Despite the loss, the atmosphere was INCREDIBLE— kellen™ (@TheKellenMond) November 15, 2015
Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) November 15, 2015
That's about it from me, everybody. Have a great Sunday!