Baylor had lost 11 straight games at Oklahoma dating back to 1974. The closest the Bears had come to leaving Norman with a win was in 1997, but instead Baylor went home the way they have 10 other times. That all changed on Saturday as a big day of college football kicked off with a loud statement from No. 12 Baylor (8-1, 5-1 Big 12) blowing out No. 15 Oklahoma (6-3, 3-3 Big 12) by a final score of 48-14.
Baylor turned this game around in a hurry in the second quarter. Trailing 14-3 after one quarter, the Bears scored 21 points in the second quarter and never looked back. After storming to a 24-14 halftime lead, Baylor’s pass-heavy attack continued to move the football with Bryce Petty having a field day against the Oklahoma secondary. Corey Coleman was the big target receiver with over 220 receiving yards, but it was the running game that helped punch the ball across the goal line with authority against the Sooners. Baylor’s Shock Linwood, Devin Chafin and Coleman combined for four rushing touchdowns all from inside the five-yard line. Baylor scored 38 unanswered points en route to the victory. Prior to this year, the most points Baylor had scored in any game at Oklahoma was 34 (in 2012).
Oklahoma was handed another blow as well with quarterback Trevor Knight having to be carted off the field after taking a hit while on the move. Knight left the field pointing his finger to the sky to a nice ovation, but the extent of the injury is unconfirmed. Knight had a rough afternoon, completing 12 of 27 pass attempts for 146 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. Knight also rushed for 46 yards before being brought down by three Baylor players in the fourth quarter.
Baylor needed a statement, and the Bears got one. Baylor has now defeated two teams ranked in the top 15 by the College Football Playoff selection committee. Will that be enough to convince the committee to evaluate Baylor a little differently in the next batch of rankings served up on Tuesday night? Keep in mind Baylor has also defeated TCU, a team ranked in the committee’s top 10. If TCU beats Kansas State, Baylor would have an identical record with 2 top 15 wins to TCU’s four (counting Oklahoma and Oklahoma State with top 15 AP rankings at the time games were played). Baylor’s non-conference results still lack much to brag about, and TCU’s just got a little stronger with Minnesota blasting Iowa in the Big Ten.
The flip side of this is how it should be very likely Oklahoma drops from the rankings entirely. With three losses, including two at home, where the Sooners drop will be something to pay close attention to as well.
Baylor’s biggest game the rest of the way this season will be the regular season finale at home against Kansas State. Regardless of what happens in the night game against TCU, Kansas State should be a well-respected opponent for Baylor at the end of the season. The Big 12 could very well be on the line in some capacity as well. Baylor is off next week but will end the season with a home game against Oklahoma State, a neutral site game with Texas Tech and the home game with Kansas State.
Baylor has now won three of the last four meetings with Oklahoma. The result ends up keeping Baylor in the running for a second straight Big 12 championship, while Oklahoma falls farther back in the Big 12. Could this possibly mean there is pressure on Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops? That topic may pop up on some level, but Stoops always seems to have a team capable of bouncing back. Oklahoma still has a good chance to end the season in a high note. The Sooners travel to Texas Tech next week and Kansas visits later in the month. Oklahoma should be able to pick up two more wins before hosting Oklahoma State in the regulars season finale. That would give Oklahoma a shot at ending the season with 10 wins with a bowl victory. Oklahoma has had at least 10 wins each of the past four seasons and 12 out of the 15 previous seasons coached by Stoops.