Big 12 football power rankings: Baylor Bears fall one game short of national stage


Heading into the final week of the regular season, many believed that Oklahoma State would have been on the doorstep to a national championship if they didn’t lose to West Virginia early on in the season. After a loss to their in-state rival, it turns out that Baylor was the team that was one game shy of reaching a national title.

Dec 7, 2013; Waco, TX, USA; The Baylor Bears celebrate their win over the Texas Longhorns in the last game ever at Floyd Casey Stadium. The Bears won 30-10. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Bears’ only blemish on their 11-win season was a 49-17 smackdown against the Cowboys in Stillwater late in November. That game featured a multitude of huge injuries for Baylor; they didn’t have their leading running back (Lache Seastrunk) or wide receiver (Tevin Reese). It’s not an excuse, but it was nearly 200 yards of offense absent from the biggest road game of thes season.

Instead, people will look back at the Bears as just another domino that fell in late November. Like so many other teams do.

Baylor knocked off Kansas State last year from national championship contention, which began this rise to dominance in the Big 12. Maybe instead of being sour toward not getting a chance at a team like Florida State or Auburn for all the marbles, maybe they can use this as a stepping stone and become the favorite in the conference for next year.

Until then, congratulations to the Baylor Bears. They are the 2013 Big 12 football champions.

  1. (6)Baylor Bears (11-1, 8-1) – Fiesta Bowl vs UCF
  2. (11)Oklahoma Sooners (10-2, 7-2) – Sugar Bowl vs Alabama
  3. (13)Oklahoma State Cowboys (10-2, 7-2) – Cotton Bowl vs Missouri
  4. Texas Longhorns (8-4, 7-2) – Alamo Bowl vs Oregon
  5. Kansas State Wildcats (7-5, 5-4) – Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl vs Michigan
  6. TCU Horned Frogs (4-8, 2-7)
  7. Iowa State Cyclones (3-9, 2-7)
  8. Texas Tech Red Raiders (7-5, 4-5) – Holiday Bowl vs Arizona State
  9. Kansas Jayhawks (3-9, 1-8)
  10. West Virginia Mountaineers (4-8, 2-7)
  • Iowa State finishes seventh in the conference, still above Texas Tech because neither played last Saturday. Losing five in a row is a killer, and the Red Raiders will have their hands full in their bowl game against Arizona State.
  • Oklahoma deserves their spot as a BCS at-large. Offensively, the Sooners have been much better in their last three games of the season. Oregon nearly completely folded after losing to Stanford, and now Texas will have to see which Ducks team shows up at the Alamo Bowl.