If Oklahoma vs. Texas is the Red River Rivalry (formerly known as Shootout), this matchup between Kansas and Baylor is like the Water Pistol Scuffle in Waco. The two worst teams in the Big 12 will do battle on Saturday with both teams looking for their first conference win.
Things haven't been that bad for the Baylor Bears ARG3 (After Robert Griffin III)—at least not when playing out of conference. They have an overall record of 3-4, and winning this game would bring them closer to the six wins genuinely required for bowl consideration.
The Jayhawks on the other hand, well they can't wait until Bill Self's squad hits the court in Lawrence Fieldhouse.
They're 1-7, with their lone win coming in their opener against South Dakota State. The Jayhawks aren't alone on their futility-filled streak. The Bears have lost their last four games after beginning the season 3-0.
Something has to give, what will it be?
Here's how you can find out firsthand.
When: Saturday, November 3, 3:30 p.m. ET
Where: Floyd Casey Stadium in Waco, TX
TV: Fox Sports Network
Live Stream: Big 12 Conference Mobile (Pay Service)
Radio: Waco KRZI-AM, Lawrence KLWN-AM 1320
Odds: Baylor (-17) (Per Oddsshark.com)
Prinz Kande—LB—Out For Season (knee)
Kaeron Johnson—DT—Out For Season (back)
Demetri Goodson—CB—Out Indefinitely (arm)
Tevin Reese—WR—Questionable November 3 (chest)
What Can Be Salvaged
The Baylor Bears need to go on a run to play in the postseason.
This seems like the perfect spot to start a much-needed win streak. Unfortunately for the Bears, they'll need to pull an upset in two of their final four games if want to get to six wins.
After this game, they are at No. 12 Oklahoma, and at home against No. 2 Kansas State, No. 18 Texas Tech and No. 24 Oklahoma State.
On second thought, they need to win this game. It may be their final shot at a win this season.
The Jayhawks have to get a win for their own sanity. Besides this game, the only other realistic shot at a win they have is at home against Iowa State on November 17.
These are desperate times for both teams.
Baylor head coach Art Briles talked about his team "righting the ship" after four straight losses on the Bears official site:
It means getting a win. You can go from laying down flat to up straight in a hurry. The great thing is we have another opportunity this weekend. I am forever grateful and thankful that we still have opportunities. That is what keeps you going.
It's always difficult to get a team back on track after stumbling as this team has. It's even tougher when you consider the success many of the players had last season and through the early part of this year.
This losing streak is a great test of how well this group will handle adversity.
Head coach Charlie Weis was forced to answer the same types of questions he's answered for the last six weeks after yet another loss. He said this in his official post-game press conference at KUAthletics.com:
Not to be redundant and give you coach-speak but every week is a different set of circumstances. I think that [the team] is really down right now, as well they should be.
Hopefully I'll come in tomorrow morning, get through this and then bring them in here and go over the game and get out there and practice. Hopefully we can put it behind us and start getting ready for next week.
This situation was a little different as the Jayhawks nearly nipped No. 23 Texas, but again it wasn't to be. It's hard to tell if this team is actually getting closer to respectable, or if this was just another cruel twist in a nightmarish season.
Bears Key Player: Rodney Chadwick
Baylor's defense has been horrible all season. How else can you explain losing two games despite scoring 63 and 50 points? Baylor's defense is allowing 42.7 points per game.
Someone has to step up and lead this unit. They're never going to turn into Alabama on defense, but with their high-powered offense, winning games is just a matter of making a few plays.
Forcing a turnover or making a big stop for a loss can be all this offense needs.
There's no better player on the roster to take a leadership role than Chadwick. He's the only senior in the team's starting linebacker corps, and it would be nice to see him get the Bears some attention for something other than scoring points.
Jayhawks Key Player: Michael Cummings
The Jayhawks' freshman quarterback was on the field for the near upset of Texas on Saturday, but he didn't contribute much with his arm or legs.
He completed only three of nine passes, and he accounted for 20 total yards. The Jayhawks need him to be more than just a body under center.
The team really has nothing to lose, they may as well give the kid some freedom.
This is certainly a defense he should be able to gain some confidence against.
Baylor's overwhelming offense, playing at home and the Jayhawks inexperience at key positions will be too much for the Kansas to overcome.
Baylor will win this one with a huge scoring output, 60-35.
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