STILLWATER, Okla. — Just when we thought the postseason was going to sort itself out, Baylor went and threw a wrench into the whole thing. The Bears responded to last week’s 44-34 loss to Oklahoma in Waco by coming into Boone Pickens Stadium and winning, 45-35.
Here are three quick thoughts from Baylor’s upset:
1. Welcome to postseason chaos, Big 12
You’d think they’d be used to this by now, but 2015 will bring a whole different level of pandemonium to the Big 12. Baylor playing spoiler to Oklahoma State’s undefeated season means the Big 12 now needs to band together and root for … Oklahoma, because the Sooners are the conference’s best chance at reaching the College Football Playoff. I understand if Cowboy fans are philosophically opposed to this, much like they are tough non-conference schedules. It becomes even more of a mess if Oklahoma State beats Oklahoma next week in Stillwater, but let’s not recklessly speculate on the future just yet.
2. Turns out “system QBs” are pretty good in Baylor’s system
When Seth Russell went down midway through the season with a broken neck and the then-unbeaten Bears had to insert true freshman Jarrett Stidham, some wondered if being a “system QB” would be an advantage to Stidham. That’s probably not the best example though, given all of Stidham’s high school accolades. However, if you need an argument for why being a Baylor “system QB” means you’ll be successful, look no further than third-stringer Chris Johnson. Stidham came to Stillwater banged up (he had a deep back bruise) and didn’t return in the second half after rolling his right ankle. No worries. Backup to the backup Johnson, who spent most of the season as a wide receiver, stepped in and threw for two touchdowns while adding one rushing score. Not too shabby.
3. Emmanuel Ogbah might be the best defensive player in the Big 12
Saturday night ended poorly for Cowboys fans, but if you’re a fan of the game, you have to love the play of OSU’s Ogbah, a junior defensive end. Arguably the most disruptive defensive lineman in the Big 12—Baylor’s Andrew Billings is his stiffest competition—Ogbah finished with nine total tackles, one sack and one quarterback hurry. This adds to an impressive 2015 stat line: Coming into Saturday Ogbah led the Big 12 in sacks and tackles for loss. Given OSU’s success this season, he’s an obvious candidate for the Ted Hendricks Award (given annually to the country’s best defensive end) and the Lott IMPACT Trophy (awarded each season to the nation’s most outstanding defensive player).