Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty was asked six questions at a news conference following the Bears’ blowout victory against Kansas on Saturday.
All six of his answers contained the same phrase: “Ready for OU.”
Petty wasn’t channeling his inner Rasheed Wallace, Arian Foster or Bill Belichick to be funny, he was impersonating a broken record to show just how seriously how he is approaching this week’s pivotal game at Oklahoma.
“He is in no-nonsense mode,” Baylor coach Art Briles said Monday.
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The Bears have been one of the most improved teams in the Big 12 under coach Art Briles, regularly advancing to bowl games and winning a conference championship last season, but there is one thing the Bears have still never done — win at Oklahoma. Perhaps they finally have the team capable of breaking the losing streak. Perhaps not.
Only one thing is certain. Baylor will need a strong effort to beat Oklahoma. Under Bob Stoops, the Sooners have lost a mere six home games.
“We don’t feel like there is a monkey on our back,” Briles said. “Quite honestly, we are just trying to go play for 60 minutes and go win a football game. They have a great home record and a great record overall. Bob Stoops has had tremendous success. It’s not just home. It’s everywhere. It is a tremendous challenge for us to go up there and match the success they have had.”
The Bears will have to if they hope to stay in contention for a Big 12 championship and a spot in college football’s first playoff.
Though a brighter spotlight will shine on the top-10 battle between TCU and Kansas State on Saturday, the Bears and Sooners have just as much to play for. If Baylor defeats Oklahoma, it will improve to 8-1 with a favorable schedule remaining. Its only loss came at West Virginia, and it beat TCU 61-58. With a home game looming against K-State in the season finale, the Bears would hold enough tie-breakers to control their own destiny in the conference-title race.
Of course, Oklahoma could bounce back into the mix with a victory, too. With two losses, the Sooners face a steeper climb, but they could force a tie atop the conference standings by winning out and hoping for K-State and TCU to each finish with two league losses.
No wonder Stoops went out of his way to say Oklahoma was “ready for Baylor” at his weekly news conference Monday.
It might not be the Big 12’s game of the week, but it should be one of the conference’s better games of the season.