This Big XII's biggest game of the season isn't taking place on a Saturday night prime time affair. Instead the Oklahoma Sooners and Baylor Bears are going to hook it up on Thursday night because...that's just how the conference does things now.
There's no doubt that the game is huge and both teams are laying their goals on the line. For the Sooners, a loss would practically eliminate them from the Big Twelve championship race. For Baylor, not only are they in the driver's seat for a conference championship but they are also in the BCS mix. A win over the Sooners would allow them to keep their momentum as they head into the most difficult stretch of their schedule.
Among the questions asked of the Baylor football players, in this week's press meeting, was the impact of the 2011 win over Oklahoma. It was the first time the Bears had ever beaten the Sooners in football and no player was more clear on the significance of that win than quarterback Bryce Petty.
"For me, personally, it was the moment that the program changed. I think that's when we knew that we could play with anybody. It didn't matter who it was and it wasn't one of those deals when you see Baylor on the schedule and you go ahead and put a win next to it. That was very exciting for us. It was one of our first games that was a hype environment and we came through. It's going to be a very exciting atmosphere kind of like 2011 so hopefully for the same result." - Bryce Petty
Wide receiver Tevin Reese agreed with his quarterback on the impact of that 2011 win.
"It was really big. It got a lot of people to look at Baylor. It started to open a lot of people's eyes to what Baylor could do and what we are capable of. It was a great feeling being a part of it. It was great for the city and Baylor University." - Tevin Reese
Success now runs thick in the Baylor football program that was once known as the doormat of the conference. Success breeds confidence and that confidence has brought about an 11-game winning streak along with one of the most potent offenses in the country.
"There's a lot of momentum. A lot of guys have learned so much from all the different losses that we have had. We've learned a lot about each other. With that being said, that helps us with that 11-game winning streak. The guys are just getting together and having a good time." - Safety Ahmad Dixon
If you're a Sooner fan looking for Oklahoma's advantages over Baylor then you will find slim pickings with this group. They're stellar on both sides of the ball, beaming with confidence and, most importantly, they already know that they can beat Oklahoma.