There’s a great chance the Big 12 Conference could be left out of the College Football Playoff for the second year in a row. The Baylor Bears (9-1, 6-1 Big 12) will try to put pressure on the committee with a win over the TCU Horned Frogs (9-2, 6-2 Big 12) this Friday, at Amon G. Carter Stadium, in Fort Worth, Texas (7:30 PM Eastern).
Baylor’s 45-35 win over Oklahoma State last week gave the Bears a chance to stay in the running for a playoff berth. But they’ll need a lot of help to get there, as the committee has them seventh in the rankings, and Oklahoma is holding down the three spot after 12 weeks.
“We do like the fact that it’s late in the season, and we’re still in the hunts — with an s,” coach Art Briles told the Associated Press, Monday. “We know it’s hard for everybody to look at you and you to deliver week after week after week… Of course, we haven’t done anything yet and haven’t finished. But at least up to this point, we’re still standing pretty solid.”
The Bears will likely be rolling with their third-string quarterback under center this season as sophomore Chris Johnson is scheduled to have his first career start. Freshman backup Jarrett Stidham, who was replacing starter Seth Russell, has a broken bone in his ankle/fibula.
Baylor will try to maintain their good form on offense, where they average 54.0 points per game, best in the entire nation, passing for 350.7 yards per game while running 293.4 rushing yards (fourth best in the nation).
TCU knows they have no shot at the postseason, but a good bowl game will be waiting for them in late December/early January. The Horned Frogs have dropped two games in the last three weeks, losing a tight one to Oklahoma, 30-29 last week.
“I think our kids found out that… when we’re done and Trevone [Boykin] graduates, we were able to move the football against a really good football team,” TCU coach Gary Patterson told the AP. “Some of the guys we expect to be our future guys that make plays, stepped up.”
The Frogs average 42 points per game, with 363.5 passing yards and 224.7 rushing. QB Trevone Boykin is no longer a Heisman Trophy Candidate, but he remains as one of the most dangerous at his position, throwing for 3,427 yards, 29 touchdowns, and nine interceptions this year.
The total has gone OVER in four of TCU’s last five games when playing Baylor, including last season’s game that ended with combined 119 total points.
The Bears are 4-1 ATS in their last five road games vs. a team with a winning home record and 17-7-1 ATS in their last 25 games following an ATS win. The Horned Frogs are 2-5 ATS in their last seven games following a SU loss, and 1-4 ATS in their last five Friday games.
Pick: Baylor -1.5.
(Photo Credit: Rockin’Rita (Originally uploaded to Flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/])