NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A Sugar Bowl showdown against Mississippi and coach Lane Kiffin's explosive, Southeastern Conference-leading offense provided a high-profile platform for Baylor to validate its old-school formula of ball control and aggressive defense.
Sugar Bowl: No. 6 Baylor (11-2, Big 12) vs. No. 8 Mississippi (10-2, SEC), Jan. 1, 8:45 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Line: Mississippi by 1 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Iowa State running back Breece Hall is The Associated Press Big 12 offensive player of the year for the second season in a row, while conference champion Baylor has the league's top defender and coach.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Big 12 champion Baylor and No. 8 Mississippi, which finished second behind Alabama in the SEC West, will conclude their seasons against one another in the Sugar Bowl on New Year's Day.
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Dezmon Jackson came up inches short on a desperate, fourth-down dive in the final seconds for Oklahoma State, knocking the fifth-ranked Cowboys out of contention for a spot in the four-team playoff.
The Big 12 doesn't have to wait until Oklahoma and Texas are gone to experience something that hasn't happened for a long time — a championship game without either of those teams.
When fifth-ranked Oklahoma State plays ninth-ranked Baylor on Saturday, it will end a streak of 16 consecutive Big 12 title games involving the Sooners or Longhorns, including one in which the SEC-bound teams played each other.
Baylor quarterback Gerry Bohanon's status for the Big 12 championship game was still uncertain Monday after missing the past 1 1/2 games for the ninth-ranked Bears because of a right hamstring injury.
WACO, Texas (AP) — Baylor coach Dave Aranda lauded his ninth-ranked Bears for the season they have had after getting their 10th win earlier in the day.
Now, after a little help, they get to play for a Big 12 title.
Abram Smith was tackling Big 12 running backs at the end of last season as a starting linebacker for Baylor. He is now bruising defenders as the league's leading rusher.
Breece Hall has rushed for a touchdown in 23 consecutive games for Iowa State, tying an FBS record.
MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Baylor had played poorly on the road all season, and was locked in another tight tussle with red-hot Kansas State, when quarterback Gerry Bohanon grabbed his right hamstring heading out of bounds in the first half Saturday night.
IRVING, Texas (AP) — The Big 12 issued a public reprimand Tuesday and fined Baylor $25,000 because students and fans stormed the field before time expired in the No. 11 Bears' 27-14 victory Saturday over Oklahoma, and then again when the game was actually over.
Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy and Baylor coach Dave Aranda have changed the narrative about the Big 12 this season.
Most of the chatter at the beginning was about how Oklahoma and Texas eventually will leave for the Southeastern Conference.
WACO, Texas (AP) — Baylor fans had already swarmed the field and Oklahoma players had already gone to the locker room.
Texas Tech named Baylor assistant and longtime Texas high school coach Joey McGuire as its next head coach on Monday, though he won't take the job until the end of the season.
McGuire will be formally introduced Tuesday on the Lubbock campus.
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Dave Aranda remembers being a broke young coach watching bootleg tapes of Gary Patterson to learn how he taught and ran his defenses.
When Aranda and 14th-ranked Baylor play Saturday at TCU, it will be the first time since 1997 that Patterson won't be on the sideline during a Horned Frogs game.
Jalen Pitre played linebacker in high school and his first three years at Baylor.
When new coach Dave Aranda arrived in Waco, he thought moving to an hybrid “star” position would give Pitre freedom to make plays all over the field.
Some things to watch in Week 9 of the Big 12 Conference:
GAME OF THE WEEK
Texas at No. 16 Baylor. While the Longhorns are still looking for a breakthrough victory in coach Steve Sarkisian's first season, Baylor has already tripled its overall win total in coach Dave Aranda's second year.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — After a tough first year in Waco navigating a losing season amid the pandemic, Baylor coach Dave Aranda has the No. 16 Bears right where he found them: fighting for the top of the Big 12 standings.
WACO, Texas (AP) — There will be a Big 12 preview for BYU and personal reunions among several coaches when the 19th-ranked Cougars play at Baylor two years before they officially join the conference.
No. 19 BYU (5-1) at Baylor (5-1), Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET (ESPN).
Line: Baylor by 6 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Baylor wants to regain its swagger in the run game. West Virginia would be satisfied with any progress.
The Bears and Mountaineers meet Saturday in Waco, Texas, after both lost games in which they failed to score in the first half.
Some things to watch in Week 5 of the Big 12 Conference:
GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 21 Baylor (4-0, 2-0 Big 12) at No. 19 Oklahoma State (4-0, 1-0). A matchup Saturday night of the only Big 12 teams, other than six-time defending conference champion Oklahoma, to make it to the first Saturday of October undefeated.
Oklahoma State and Baylor quietly have compiled unbeaten records heading into their showdown on Saturday.
Baylor went 2-7 last year, but this year’s squad is much improved. The Bears (4-0, 2-0 Big 12) pulled off a 31-29 stunner over then-No.
No. 14 Iowa State (2-1, 0-0 Big 12) at Baylor (3-0, 1-0), Saturday at 3:30 p.m. EDT (Fox).
Line: Iowa State by 6 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Dave Aranda spoke proudly this week about how Baylor had established an offensive identity on the ground this season.
It didn't change against Kansas on Saturday.
Gerry Bohanon threw for 269 yards and two touchdowns while running for another score, and Baylor had its way against Kansas on the ground, piling up 307 yards rushing in another dominant performance in a 45-7 victory on Saturday.
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Dave Aranda should know how Kansas coach Lance Leipold must feel these days, getting thrown into a rebuilding job at a Division I school in the midst of a pandemic that has made just about everything more challenging.
WACO, Texas (AP) — Abram Smith fumbled on his first carry this season for Baylor in his return to running back after finishing last year as a starting linebacker for the Bears.
“Extremely different, of course, because I’m on the other side of the ball,” Smith said.
SAN MARCOS ,Texas (AP) — Gerry Bohanon just wanted to learn all he could while waiting for his chance to be Baylor’s starting quarterback.
After 3 ½ years on the Waco campus and being behind Charlie Brewer, the four-year starter who transferred to Utah, Bohanon will start for the Bears on Saturday night at Texas State.
Dave Aranda became Baylor's coach about 19 months ago knowing that NCAA penalties were coming for a scandal that embroiled the football program long before he arrived.
It had been much longer for athletic director Mack Rhoades, who found “an institution and athletics department in turmoil” when he took over five years ago in the wake of the revelation of a sprawling sexual assault scandal that cost two-time Big 12 champion coach Art Briles his job.