Baylor had a season for the ages in 2011. A 10-3 record, a third-place finish in the Big 12, a Heisman Trophy for Robert Griffin III and a rousing Alamo Bowl victory over Washington.
Then came news that Baylor was building a new football stadium on campus, hard by the Brazos River.
But Baylor's momentum could take a hit if the 5-5 Bears lose their last two games. The stunning upset of top-ranked Kansas State has Baylor back in the running for a bowl berth. The Bears have to beat either Texas Tech on Saturday at JerryWorld or Oklahoma State next week in Waco.
Art Briles has done a great job building the Baylor program. Making a bowl game after a rough October would keep the Bears' moving forward. But failing to make a bowl would be a dent in Baylor's drive to become permanently relevant in the Big 12.
Struggling Texas Tech will be the easier of Baylor's final two opponents. Briles needs to beat the Red Raiders.