When the original Vegas betting lines were released prior to the 2013 college football pre-season the Texas Longhorns were listed as 6.5 point favorites in their Saturday, December 7th matchup against the Baylor Bears. My it’s amazing how things can change in a matter of months.
With the Bears’ electric start which has placed them firmly in the National Championship conversation, and the relative struggles of Texas — in spite of them currently leading the Big 12 Conference race — the Vegas line has made a massive shift as Baylor is now listed as a 24.5 favorite against the Longhorns at home.
Yes, you read that correctly.
That’s a 30 point shift on the line.
Now, this isn’t to say that these types of shifts don’t happen on occasion, they do. Vegas doesn’t have ESP and it’s literally impossible to presume how teams will perform a few months down the road when they are of Baylor’s ilk — uber-talented but largely unproven.
The fact Baylor is now a 24.5 point favorite over Texas is a reflection on the state of both programs. Baylor has undergone a full transformation under Art Briles from being an also-ran in the Big 12 to one of its new stars. Texas, on the other hand, has fallen on relatively tough times and is scratching and clawing to keep its place at the top of the Big 12 heap.
It’s understandable that Vegas would give Baylor a substantial edge given the gulf on paper between these two teams and given that the game’s in Waco, where the Bears have been virtually unbeatable over the course of the past few seasons. The December 7th matchup, however, could be one of the most important in the recent history of the Texas program assuming they are still undefeated and have one last chance to not only take home a Big 12 title, but to possibly save Mack Brown’s career.
Are the Baylor Bears three touchdowns and a field goal better than the Texas Longhorns with all factors considered equal?
Is this the case with all the intangibles in play that will be in play December 7th?
It certainly doesn’t seem like it.
Kris Hughes is a Senior Writer, Business Analyst and College Content Coordinator for Rant Sports.