The Baylor Bears can breathe a little easier after a dominant 41-12 victory over No. 10 Oklahoma Thursday night. Art Briles and co. avoided the “Biggest Home Game in School History” curse of 2013. The Bears are 8-0 for the first time in program history after beating the Sooners for only the second time ever (2-21), and maybe people will start believing that the sixth-ranked team is actually deserving of its lofty ranking.
Even though Baylor entered the game leading the nation in scoring (64 points per game) and total offense (718 yards per game), outscoring opponents by 48 points, many questioned how good the Bears were after getting through September and October without playing a ranked opponent.
Well they have now, and the Bears absolutely crushed a team that has routinely beaten them throughout the years. And it wasn’t just death by offensive onslaught for the Sooners, as the Bears’ defense turned some heads by limiting Oklahoma to 237 yards and 12 points while forcing two turnovers. For this Baylor football team, you could say that the tarp covering their team strength is starting to come off.
To put into perspective just how big of a season the Bears are having, let’s talk about the tarp that was removed earlier this week. Baylor officials were forced to remove the vaunted “This is Bear Country” tarp in the south end zone which had covered thousands of seats during every single game but one since 2004.
If Baylor has its way, the tarp will remain in storage and the Bears’ long-term lease on the Big 12 cellar will be run through a paper shredder. Baylor is now only four victories away from accomplishing the unimaginable – winning the Big 12 and finishing unbeaten.
But it’s not time to start celebrating yet, as the path to the conference and possibly national title games is full of tribulation. Indeed, the Bears are anything but out of the woods at this point. In fact, considering three of its final four opponents have winning records and two are currently ranked, Baylor’s work has only just begun.
The easy-going days of Baylor’s first two months of football are a distant memory, and the win over Oklahoma is just the first step in a potentially tumultuous journey through the final third of the season. The Bears have a lot of work left to do, but they’ve certainly gotten off on the right foot.