How Texas' Upset over Oklahoma Helps Baylor in Big 12 Title Race

Ben Kercheval@@BenKerchevalCollege Football Lead WriterOctober 15, 2013

Oct 12, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns wide receiver Kendall Sanders (2) and quarterback Tyrone Swoopes (18) celebrate with fans after beating Oklahoma Sooners in the Red River Rivalry at Cotton Bowl Stadium. The Texas Longhorns beat the Oklahoma Sooners 36-20. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Texas is sharing the love. 

The Longhorns' Red River upset over Oklahoma in Week 7 didn't just help their quest for a Big 12 championship, it helped Baylor, too. 

The Big 12 title is setting up to be decided in the final weeks of the season. For as mediocre as the conference has been this year, there should at least be some compelling drama come late November and early December.  

There are still five or six teams that can realistically win this conference. With many of those teams facing backloaded schedules, how each performs on the road down the stretch could have a major influence on how the Big 12 shakes out. 

Oct 12, 2013; Manhattan, KS, USA; Baylor Bears wide receiver Antwan Goodley (5) tries to run past Kansas State Wildcats defensive back Randall Evans (15) during the Bears' 35-25 win at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Sewell-USA TODAY S
Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Baylor and Texas Tech are the only undefeated teams in the Big 12, though Texas is also unbeaten in conference play. As it so happens, all three play each other in the span of a few weeks at the end of the season (Baylor-Texas Tech on Nov. 16; Texas-Texas Tech on Nov. 28; and Baylor-Texas on Dec. 7).

Of those three, the Bears are best equipped to run the table, since their offense can score at any time. But as Kansas State proved to Baylor in Week 7, getting a win on the road is no easy task. 

Baylor has three straight games away from Waco in November—the Nov. 16 game against Tech is a neutral site game—before ending the season at home against Texas. Those are difficult waters through which to navigate, but consider that Oklahoma, a team that should still be considered a Big 12 title contender, goes on the road four times over the final seven games. 

One of those road games will be at Baylor. 

With so many teams in the Big 12 playing on the same level, the last month of the season has the potential to turn into a tangled ball of yarn. That's why winning games in October could prove to be crucial by year's end. 

Baylor controls its destiny (as does Texas and Texas Tech). That Oklahoma does not and has to travel to Waco doesn't dictate the outcome of the Nov. 7 game between the Bears and the Sooners, but it does give Baylor a little bit of a leg up.