Baylor is no longer the underdog story in college football. After a fast 6-0 start led by an offense that provides video game numbers, the Bears are the Big 12 favorite and a dark horse to play for a national title.
The first BCS Rankings were released Monday night and Baylor starts off with a decent eighth spot. Let's take a look at Baylor's road to the BCS as the Bears begin the tough part of the schedule in hopes of making their dreams come true.
Where Baylor Stands
|Record||AP Poll||USA Today Coache's||Strength of Schedule||BCS Ranking|
Biggest Obstacles to a BCS Berth
Oklahoma: When the Sooners aren't busy taking a week off, they are likely the most balanced team in the Big 12. They have an offense that can put up points in a hurry and the defense is the best in the conference. Remove the ugly loss against Texas from your mind. Oklahoma is still a scary team capable of knocking off anybody.
Oklahoma State: The Cowboys may be the only team on Baylor's remaining schedule capable of keeping up offensively. They average close to 36 points per game, have an elite passing game and have topped 30 points three times this season. Not nearly as impressive as Baylor, but the playmakers on the outside are there to keep up.
Texas: It's impossible to give up on Texas, especially after the recent blowout win over Oklahoma a couple of weeks ago. With three straight wins, could the Longhorns actually begin hitting their stride? It's starting to appear that way. The offense has been consistent for most of the season, but the defense is beginning to make the big play and hold its end of the bargain. This is a scary team to play later in the season.
Baylor can't get much help from past opponents because a majority of them have seen better days. However, they can get help from the teams they will soon play. Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State all need to continue to win so Baylor can have the chance to knock off three straight ranked opponents.
It would also help if Texas continues to find itself and climbs back into the polls.
|Sat, Oct 26||At Kansas|
|Thu, Nov 7||Vs. Oklahoma|
|Sat, Nov 16||Vs. Texas Tech|
|Sat, Nov 23||At Oklahoma State|
|Sat, Nov 30||At TCU|
|Sat, Dec 7||Vs. Texas|
The Big Picture
Baylor's remaining schedule is going to turn up a few notches. No more beating up on Kansas or Buffalo, the Bears will finally play a ranked team in the coming weeks and all of the upper tier programs in the Big 12 are included. Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, TCU and Texas are the five teams Baylor will play to end its schedule. Two of those five games are on the road.
Needless to say, we'll find out just how good this team really is within the next month.
Although Baylor has looked great to begin the season, it hasn't played anybody worth mentioning. It has also played only one road game within the first six contests. The Bears pretty much control their own destiny with their remaining schedule and have plenty of chances to prove themselves to voters.
Final Bowl Prediction
Where will Baylor end up?
The Big 12 is so up-and-down that you can never be sure which team is going to show up each week. One day Texas and Oklahoma look great, the next week one of them is getting blown out by an inferior opponent. But with that said, Baylor has been the most consistent team in this conference all season. The points don't stop overflowing and the Bears look nearly impossible to beat.
I see Baylor running the table and earning a bid in the BCS Fiesta Bowl. Call it crazy, but very few teams are capable of matching Baylor's offensive production and the few that are aren't in the Big 12.