5 Thoughts: Baylor 38, Kansas State 27

E-mail Pete Fiutak 
Follow me … @PeteFiutak 

Fiu Thoughts 
– Baylor has a point about beating TCU and being the real Big 12 champion, but the body of work just isn’t enough. The loss to West Virginia is a killer, but the bigger problem is Buffalo. TCU played Minnesota, Baylor went to Western New York. It might not seem fair, and it might not seem right, but there are six teams and four spots. If Baylor was No. 6 before, it’s going to be hard to move it up into the top four. 

– If Bryce Petty was suffering any ill effects from the massive hit he took against Texas Tech, that might have accounted for the eight misses and an interception. He was razor-sharp throwing for 412 yards with a touchdown, and he ran for a score as he had the offense humming from the start. He might not be the same player he was last year, but he came out and balled when the team needing him the most and was in the spotlight. 

– Kansas State had to deal with a jacked up team in need of a statement win in its own house, and it played well. For all the great things TCU’s Trevone Boykin has done, and considering Bryce Petty had a massive game, it could still be argued that Jake Waters still should’ve earned some All-Big-12 consideration. He was brilliant hitting 22-of-27 passes, and Tyler Lockett made his case for an All-America spot with a phenomenal 14 catch day. Kansas State went away from type this year, and it worked. However … 

– Kansas State dominated the time of possession, won the penalty battle, and tied in turnover margin. Even with the passing game taking over, Kansas State did what Kansas State does, but it didn’t matter because the defense couldn’t get off the field on third downs. 

– It would be fun to see what Baylor could do against Florida State, Oregon or Alabama. It’s not as good as those three – or Ohio State – but with this offense, it could beat anyone in America on the right day. It’s a shame the Bears won’t get the chance to do it twice, but unlike last year, it has to come out and win its bowl game in dominant fashion. Do that, and after the fact, the media will make the Should’ve Been In Playoff case. 

E-mail Rich Cirminiello 
Follow me … @RichCirminiello 

– The resumes are similar. The Bears won the head-to-head matchup back on Oct. 11. The only logical move for the committee right now is to move Baylor ahead of TCU in the rankings. Devaluing head-to-head, when other variables are comparable, could set a disturbing precedent for the future. 

– How in the world can the conference that touts “one true champion” possibly have co-champs, TCU and Baylor, in 2014? Makes no sense at all. The Bears defeated the Horned Frogs on the field, so logic says they have to get the nod. Case closed. 

– Of course, it would be vintage final week of the regular season if Ohio State winds up making the TCU-Baylor debate moot after all. Hey, might the committee use the Buckeyes as a convenient tool for avoiding the Big 12 mess altogether? #ConspiracyTheory. 

– In a losing cause, Kansas State WR Tyler Lockett showed—again—that he was a vastly underrated recruit four years ago. He’s polished in all phases of the position, athletic and makes life strikingly easier for his quarterbacks. Lockett has a promising future on Sundays.

– Had Baylor taken care of business in Morgantown on Oct. 18, there’d be zero intrigue right now about the four playoffs teams headed to semifinal games. Of course, the Mountaineers did nothing to help the Bears with the way they played in November. 

E-mail Phil Harrison
Follow me @PhilHarrisonCFB

– So Baylor takes care of business, and the watch begins to see if head-to-head matters or not. The College Football Playoff Committee has some real work to do heading into Sunday, and it’ll be a HUGE injustice if TCU remains ahead of the Bears after losing to them with about the same resume. Even so, what happens with Ohio State?

– Usually a Bill Snyder coached team is good at imposing its will on the opposition. Not so in this one. This game turned into an aerial assault, and that’s going to benefit Baylor every time out. Bryce Petty was happy to oblige.

-Speaking of Kansas State, it is truly remarkable how Snyder has turned the Wildcats into a solid, ranked opponent year after year. Still, you have to wonder if the style of play Kansas State employs will ever allow them to get over the hump. It’s sound, mistake-free football, but the lack of explosive playmakers across the board won’t get the program to the next level.

-Don’t you get the feeling that there’s still a question of defense with some of these top teams that are scoring points in bushels? Baylor leads the nation in points scored, but you have to wonder what will happen when the Bears matchup with a physical defense.

-If all else fails, maybe the College Football Playoff Committee should have an MMA style steel-cage match with the coaches of Baylor, Ohio State and TCU all duking it out for the fourth spot.