While it’s fair to say that Baylor should be concerned about its spot in the College Football Playoff rankings – the Bears remained at No. 6 this week, were jumped by Iowa, which improved to No. 5, and are behind a pair of one-loss teams in No. 4 Notre Dame and No. 2 Alabama – the players remain undeterred.
“(The committee is) just waiting for us to play the back stretch of our schedule – Oklahoma, TCU, Oklahoma State,” Baylor receiver Jay Lee rationalized on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “I think they’re just waiting to see us play a quality opponent. We walk in the locker room and the TVs (are) on ESPN, so we kind of come out of weights and we see all this stuff, but we kind of just let that go past us. We just look at it as a team of survivors. We’re surviving. We got this far. We’re going to keep riding behind our quarterback in Jarrett (Stidham) and rally him and help us lead this team to an undefeated season.”
Stidham, a freshman, took over for the injured Seth Russell (neck) last week, made his first career start and threw for 419 yards and three touchdowns in a 31-24 win at Kansas State. The 31 points were a season-low for Baylor, which was coming off a season-low, 45-point performance against Iowa State.
Lee, however, is just happy to win.
“We really don’t talk about (the rankings) much when we’re out at practice,” said Lee, who has 26 catches for 568 yards and six touchdowns this season. “It’s all about winning games now. So we just try to take it one game at a time. Like I said earlier, we’re a team of survivors. That’s what (Art Briles) preaches. They preached last week after we beat Kansas State, we’re just here surviving. So we’re just going to go out there, take it one play at a time, one game at a time, worry abut our opponent in Oklahoma, and then let our play talk for us. The committee, they’ll have to look at the game on Saturday and they’ll have to put it together that we’re a team that’s going to contend. You don’t want to leave us out.”
Baylor (8-0) has arguably its toughest test of the season Saturday night against No. 12 Oklahoma (8-1). Since losing to Texas, the Sooners have gone 4-0 and outscored their opponents 232-50.
“To us, it’s just another game – another game to go out and prove ourselves in front of our home crowd,” Lee said. “We know they’ll be loud and ready to go. We got the blackout and College GameDay here, so everything is around Waco right now. What we have to do as a team is block that out, focus on us, focus on going out there, executing our plays, being fundamentally sound, knowing our assignments and technique and then executing it with effort. This game is big for us. We’re ready to go out there and put on a show. . . . We’re anxious about that game because this is our time to put on a show for the committee because they say we haven’t played anybody. So we’r going to go out there and show that we can still ball the way we do.”