5-Things

It wasn't the best weekend for the Bears, but this season still has a great chance to end very well for the Bears. Find out what the Bears still have to play for and some other weekend thoughts.

5 Things I Think

1. The Baylor Bears still have a ton to play for. They are two wins away from at least a share of the Big 12 Championship, though is OSU wins out they will have the tie breaker and go to the Fiesta Bowl as the Big 12 representative. If you knew the Bears would have a chance for at least a share of the Big 12 championship with two games left 6 months ago, most Baylor fans would have jumped on that quicker than Mack Brown on a contract extension. Yes, the OSU game stung, and took a lot of the air out of the Baylor sails, but they are still two wins (and a Oklahoma win in Bedlam) away from a Big 12 championship.

2. The Bears were ranked 8th and 9th in the polls, and ended up 9th in the BCS rankings. That was about where I was hoping they would fall to, though I have some issues with Stanford being ahead of them with 2 losses to unranked teams. The Cardinal do have more impressive wins than the Bears, but those two losses should have them out of the Top 10. They also still have a solid game against Notre Dame left, so if they win that one, they will more than likely be ahead of Baylor in the final BCS rankings. Outside of that though, the rest are 1-loss teams with better overall resumes. Clemson, Missouri, Auburn, and Oklahoma State are the only other teams with a loss in front of the Bears.

3. But 9th is not necessarily where the Bears will end up. Stanford has just one game left along with Oklahoma State. They will both be favored over ranked teams coming into their home barns more than likely. But there will be some teams falling. Let's take a look at the three teams most likely to fall back a bit. Auburn has the toughest test left, as they go to top ranked Alabama for the Iron Bowl and the SEC West championship game. If they lose that one, they could fall behind the Bears, but might have enough points to stay ahead similar to Stanford.

4. The other two though are a loss away from falling behind Baylor. Clemson has a tough road game at 10th ranked South Carolina and Missouri has Texas A&M and then the SEC championship game against either Auburn or Alabama. It hurts to say this, but the Bears want an Aggie win against Missouri this weekend. That will push Mizzou down behind the Bears. Best case is probably Alabama winning out and going to the national championship, as if they were to lose, a 1-loss Alabama team would not fall far enough to go past Baylor. But a 2 or even 3 loss Missouri team would.

5. All that being said, I think best case, the Bears will be ranked 5th in the BCS and going to the Fiesta Bowl if Oklahoma State is upset at home against Oklahoma with the Bears getting past Missouri, Auburn and Clemson after their losses and passing Stanford on points. More than likely though 6th or 7th is the spot Baylor will be in if they win out, primarily depending on Stanford's season ending points.

5 Things I Want

1. As a Baylor fan, you should be screaming Boomer Sooner in a few weekends as Oklahoma is the Bears only chance to be Big 12 champions outright and assure themselves of a BCS spot. If the Cowboys win though, the Bears chances for a BCS bowl are going to be tough, even if they are as high as 5th in the BCS. The reason; politics and mid-majors being in the Top 16 of the BCS standings. Baylor fans can blame Northern Illinois and Fresno State for being left out of any BCS games. With one of them being automatically in since they are Top 16 and ahead of the American Conference champion (Central Florida), there is really just 1 spot open.

2. That spot will more than likely go to the Orange Bowl, which will have the choice of a Big 10 team or Baylor. A third SEC, ACC or Pac-12 team will not be allowed, so it will be the Bears, Badgers or Spartans in that final spot. More than likely, Baylor will be the highest ranked of those three, but the Orange Bowl's contract starting next year with the Big 10 will probably push them in that direction. If this was next year though? The Bears would easily be in a BCS game, probably against a Stanford or even Michigan State/Wisconsin. If I had to make a bet of where the Bears will land up, it is the Cotton Bowl versus LSU.

3. However, a loss by Clemson to South Carolina, which I think will happen, would drop the Tigers out of the BCS running and behind Baylor. Since the SEC will have two spots already taken, the Gamecocks won't have anywhere to go still, other than maybe the Cotton Bowl, and the ACC doesn't have another team worthy of a BCS spot (assuming Florida State wins the conference championship). That would open up a second spot.

4. The Title game would be set as Bama vs. FSU, while the Rose would be set as Ohio State versus Stanford (Big 10 versus Pac 12 champion). The Fiesta would automatically get Oklahoma State. Since the Sugar and Orange lost their champion to the championship games, they would get the first two at large picks. After that, it would go Orange, Sugar, Fiesta for the second team. The Sugar will most likely take the second SEC team to replace Alabama. If Clemson wins, they will most likely be the pick for the Orange bowl to replace Florida State. If Clemson loses, they are looking at a 2nd Big 12, Big 10, American Conference Champion, or mid-major school as their first choice. More than likely, they choose a Big 10 school. They also then have the next choice, so here is where the Bears could go. If for some reason they do get picked here (and the Orange chooses NIU or UCF over them) Baylor would assuredly go to the Sugar Bowl. The Fiesta Bowl has the last pick and looks like they will get NIU or Fresno State, whoever is higher in the BCS rankings.

5. So, let's say it looks like this right now:

Title game: Alabama vs. Florida State
Rose: Ohio State vs. Stanford
Fiesta: Oklahoma State vs. Northern Illinois
Sugar: Auburn vs. UCF
Orange: Clemson vs. Wisconsin

If Clemson were to lose to South Carolina that could open up a spot for Baylor and give the Bears the ACC spot because the next highest ACC School is Duke at 24th. So, assuming Clemson loses, Oklahoma State wins, Alabama beats Auburn and Missouri, Stanford beats Notre Dame, Florida State beats Duke, and UCF/NIU keep winning, here is what it COULD look like:

Title game: Alabama vs. Florida State
Rose: Ohio State vs. Stanford
Fiesta: Oklahoma State vs. Northern Illinois
Sugar: Auburn vs. UCF
Orange: Wisconsin vs. Baylor

5 Things I Know

1. All of the above is convoluted and gives me a headache. The Bears lost control of having their own destiny in their own hands. Now they need a little help and a few breaks to get to that BCS game. But the point is, their season is not over year. A Big 12 championship is still on the table, and if that doesn't happen, the Bears can still win out and go to a BCS game or "settle" for the Cotton Bowl.

2. The Baylor basketball program is in Hawaii for the Maui Invitational. They play tonight against host school Chaminade. They top off at 8:30 p.m. central time. The winner of that game will face the winner of Dayton and Gonzaga. Baylor is a heavy favorite over the Silverswords, a Division II school from Hawaii who happened to beat Texas last year in this tournament. Chaminade is 2-0 on the year so far and is led by Christopher Varidel who scored 30 points in his one game so far. They don't have a ton of size, with no major rotation player over 6-foot-7.

3. Other schools in this bracket are the aforementioned Dayton and Gonzaga, with the Zags the favorite to win that one. Gonzaga is ranked 13th in the country and comes in at 4-0. On the other side of the bracket are the Syracuse (ranked 9th in the country) and Minnesota and California who are both receiving votes in the polls now. This is a big-time tournament and one that the Bears would be very happy to get 2 wins from, especially over a ranked team like Gonzaga or Syracuse.

4. Well, the Cowboys are in the top spot. The edge that I had given them until their loss to West Virginia played out. They dominated the Bears at home. They are the best in the Big 12, at least for the next two weeks as they get a bye before the Bedlam game against Oklahoma. After the Bears though, it gets a little muddy. Texas beat Oklahoma, but I still don't think they are the better team, especially with how OU beat Kansas State this weekend. Texas Tech needs a win, but really they are right where most thought they would be when the season started, in the bottom half of the Big 12. The bottom four are almost as difficult to rank than the 3-5 spots. In the end though, congrats to Kansas for beating West Virginia and ending their long Big 12 losing streak. We Bears know how that feels.

5. Big 12 Rankings

1. Oklahoma State 10-1 (7-1)

2. Baylor 9-1 (6-1)

3. Oklahoma 9-2 (6-2)

4. Texas7-3 (6-1)

5. Kansas State 6-5 (4-4)

6. Texas Tech 7-4 (4-4)

7. TCU 4-7 (2-6)

8. West Virginia 4-7 (2-6)

9. Kansas 3-8 (1-7)

10. Iowa State 2-9 (1-7)


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