November 17, 2014

Baylor coach Art Briles knows the best way to politick to get his No. 6 Bears a spot in the first four-team College Football Playoff.

It has nothing to do with anything he says.

''That's winning every time we step on the field. We can politick very strongly in that matter,'' Briles said Monday. ''At the end of the day, that's what it's going to be all about. That's what it's going to come down to. ... We're winning to try to win a Big 12 championship.

''That's our mission, that's our goal. Whatever comes with it comes with it, but that's where our focus and energy is, and I don't need a calculator to figure it out.''

The Bears (8-1, 5-1 Big 12) were up to seventh in the playoff rankings last week, three spots behind TCU, in the top four with its only loss coming last month at Baylor.

The playoff selection committee puts out its new poll Tuesday night, and its final rankings Dec. 7 will determine the four teams that play in the national semifinal games.

''We've got our resume and we'll put it in there and let them look it over and go from there,'' Briles said.

While Baylor had its second bye in a four-week span over the weekend, coming off an impressive 48-14 win at Oklahoma, TCU pulled out a 34-30 win at Kansas on Saturday.

Briles called it ''pretty hard'' being a spectator instead of playing a game.

Defending Big 12 champion Baylor begins its final three-game push of the regular season Saturday against struggling Oklahoma State (5-5, 3-4).

The Bears also play Texas Tech at the Dallas Cowboys stadium, a neutral site game Thanksgiving weekend before the Dec. 6 regular-season finale at home against No. 12 Kansas State (7-2, 5-1, No. 13 CFP).

Quarterback Bryce Petty said Briles ''doesn't ever really talk about'' the playoff debate. And that carries over to the players.

''We don't look at it because he doesn't look at it. Each week, we have to go and prove ourselves,'' Petty said. ''You can't get into the playoffs if you don't win, so these next three games are huge for us. ... People remember November, so this is where we have to be really good and we have to execute and go out and show out. But I don't pay a whole lot of attention to it.''

The Bears' only regular-season loss last year was a 49-17 setback at Oklahoma State, also in their 10th game of the season. The Cowboys have a 16-2 series lead since they became Big 12 rivals.

So Baylor certainly isn't going to overlook the Cowboys, even with a four-game losing streak that is their longest since 2005.

''They're always a tough opponent. Always. Always have been,'' Briles said. ''They've been a really quality program for a number of years and we've helped that record for them. That's something we're certainly trying to rectify.''

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