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Longhorns Steve Sarkisian Ready for 'Playoff Game' vs. Baylor

The Texas Longhorns find themselves in contention for the Big 12 title despite having a fair share of bumps and bruises this season.

The Texas Longhorns no longer control their own path to the Big 12 title game. But despite the inconsistencies, the team has experienced this season, the fact they have a chance of making it to Arlington on Dec. 3 speaks volumes to their growth.

After a 5-7 record last season, having a chance to play "playoff" football this year seemed like more than a fantasy. 

But when the Longhorns (7-4) host the Baylor Bears (6-5) on Friday in Austin, it's hard to call it anything but do-or-die football, as a win for Texas along with a loss for the Kansas State Wildcats to the Kansas Jayhawks on Saturday, will send the Longhorns to the Big 12 title game to face the TCU Horned Frogs.

“It feels kind of like a playoff game," Texas coach Steve Sarkisian said of the matchup. "We’ve got to take care and do our part. We all understand and know the ramifications of where we’re at in the Big 12."

Texas has gone 2-2 in its last four conference games but remains the only Big 12 team aside from Kansas State still with a chance at qualifying for a trip to Arlington. Inconsistencies aside, a crucial 34-27 win for the Horns over K-State on Nov. 5 could look like the best win of the regular season if Texas has everything fall in its favor.

But before taking too many steps ahead, the Longhorns must focus on Baylor. Luckily for Texas' Big 12 title hopes, it's a challenge Sarkisian says his team won't back down from.

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"Again, we don’t shy away from those things," Sarkisian said. "We’ve got to do our part Friday at 11 a.m. and see what happens after that.”

You can follow Zach Dimmitt on Twitter at @ZachDimmitt7

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