November 28, 2014

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Baylor coach Art Briles has always preferred repeating over defending when talking about the Big 12 title.

That first Big 12 trophy won last year is theirs to keep. The fifth-ranked Bears are now trying to repeat as league champions, something last done six seasons ago when Oklahoma won its third consecutive title.

''You can look across the nation and see how hard it is to repeat as a champion. That's something we take a lot of pride in,'' Briles said. ''If we were sitting in August and said, hey, you're going to be deep in November and still have a chance to do it, we would have said that would be outstanding. So we are where we need to be, but we can't touch it yet.''

The Bears (9-1, 6-1) play Saturday against Texas Tech (4-7, 2-6), needing a win to keep pace with No. 6 TCU (10-1, 7-1) after the Horned Frogs' impressive 48-10 Thanksgiving night romp at Texas.

There are also those playoff implications, with Baylor seventh in the College Football Playoff rankings. The Bears are two spots behind TCU despite that 61-58 comeback win over the Frogs on Oct. 11.

''As long as you win, you're putting yourself in the best chance to be there,'' Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty said. ''As far as style points go, you can't control that. ... All we can do is win. That puts us in the conversation.''

Baylor's regular-season finale is Dec. 6 at home against No. 11 Kansas State, also a Big 12 title contender. TCU finishes at home against last-place Iowa State.

There have been several offensive shootouts between Baylor and Texas Tech, which won't be going to a bowl game but could upset the Big 12 and playoff races in its final game.

''Yeah, I think you have to find motivation in that, because it's our last game,'' Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said. ''Give it the best shot we can in our last attempt and play our best game of the year.''

A few things to watch when Baylor and Texas Tech play in the Dallas Cowboys' stadium for the fourth straight year, and fifth time in six seasons:

BIG, BIG NUMBERS: The Big 12's top two passing offenses will have ideal conditions in a climate-controlled stadium. In their last three meetings there, all won by Baylor, the Bears and Red Raiders combined to average nearly 101 points and 1,1145 total yards per game.

THEY CAN RUN, TOO: Junior DeAndre Washington ran for 186 yards last week to become Texas Tech's first 1,000-yard rusher since 1998 with Ricky Williams - not that season's Heisman Trophy winner from Texas with the same name. Shock Linwood is 23 yards from giving Baylor a 1,000-yard rusher for the fifth consecutive season. Linwood and Devin Chafin are both coming off 100-yard games last week, and both ran for 100 yards against Tech last year.

EARLY ENDING: Texas Tech will finish without a bowl game for the second time in four seasons, following a stretch of 11 consecutive bowl appearances from 2000-10. The Red Raiders have to win Saturday to avoid having fewer than five wins for the first time since 1990.

BAYLOR CAN BOAST: The Bears are 24-3 in their last 27 games, a mark bettered during that span only by defending national champion and No. 1 Florida State's 27-game winning streak. Baylor has won 19 consecutive games played in Texas, and is 30-3 in the Lone Star State the past four seasons.

HANDSOME MAN: Briles was asked this week if he felt shortchanged in any comparison to the appearance of Kingsbury, the Red Raiders' quarterback when Briles was the running backs coach there. ''He is a good-looking guy. I'm not going to lie,'' the 58-year-old Briles said of the coach 23 years his junior. ''I quit trying to worry about looking good 30 years ago. ... As long as I'm breathing and walking on my own I feel very blessed.''

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