WACO, Texas — By time No. 9 Baylor and No. 23 Texas kick off their regular season finale, they could be playing a de facto Big 12 championship game with a Fiesta Bowl trip on the line.
The winner of today’s game is guaranteed at least a share of the Big 12 title. The last game ever at Baylor’s Floyd Casey Stadium becomes even bigger than that for the Bears (10-1, 7-1) and Longhorns (8-3, 7-1) if sixth-ranked Oklahoma State loses at home against No. 18 Oklahoma earlier in the day.
“I think it will be a cherry on top if Oklahoma decides to pull out a victory,” Texas quarterback Case McCoy said. “Our job right now is to win a Big 12 championship, and that’s Baylor, Baylor alone. ... They’re saying exactly the same thing we are.”
Oklahoma State (10-1, 7-1) had convincing victories last month over Baylor and Texas. That assures the Cowboys a BCS berth if they win the Bedlam game, which should wrap up about the same time the Bears and Longhorns get started.
The Bears are looking for their first Big 12 title, and have never won 11 games in a season. They plan to keep their focus on trying to beat Texas, not what’s going to be happening about 350 miles away while getting ready to play.
“I’m not going to look for (that score),” Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty said. “It doesn’t matter what happens in Stillwater until after what happens in Waco.”
Baylor was anticipating the finale against Texas long before the season even began, knowing it would be Floyd Casey’s last game after 64 seasons before moving to a new campus stadium next year. Now the Bears have a chance to win a fourth league title there — they won outright Southwest Conference titles in 1974 and 1980, and were in a five-way tie when unbeaten Texas A&M was ineligible in 1994.