Big 12 football: Baylor does not want to become the next victim

Louisiana-Monroe's upset of No. 8-ranked Arkansas has opened some eyes around college football.
by Michael Baldwin Published: September 10, 2012
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photo - Baylor quarterback Nick Florence (11) passes as offensive tackle Cyril Richardson (68) blocks Southern Methodist linebacker Cameron Rogers (50) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Waco, Texas, Sunday, Sept. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/LM Otero) ORG XMIT: TXMO108
Baylor quarterback Nick Florence (11) passes as offensive tackle Cyril Richardson (68) blocks Southern Methodist linebacker Cameron Rogers (50) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Waco, Texas, Sunday, Sept. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/LM Otero) ORG XMIT: TXMO108

Baylor's final two “tuneups” before it opens conference play appear to be name-your-score-type games.

But last weekend's college football shocker — Louisiana-Monroe defeating No. 8-ranked Arkansas in overtime — was a reminder that playing a non-BCS school isn't an automatic win.

Coming off a bye week, Baylor hosts Sam Houston State on Saturday. Six days later, the Bears play a Friday night game on the road against Louisiana-Monroe.

Sam Houston State finished 14-1 last season and was the Football Championship Series national runner-up.

“Both of them are tough games, and we play them in a six-day span,” said Baylor coach Art Briles. “We have a lot of respect for what Sam Houston State did last year. And they've upgraded their personnel. We're just working on our end, trying to be the best we can be.”

HOLGORSEN: REMEMBER VIRGINIA TECH

West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen reminded his team that James Madison upset Virginia Tech two years ago.

“We talked about it quite a bit,” Holgorsen said. “That's one of the games we told them about. A 3-point (James Madison) loss to Maryland three years ago is something else we talked about.

“We've also talked about this year there's already been six FCS (Division I-AA) teams that have beaten (Division I) teams. It's going to happen again. We need to do everything we can to make sure it doesn't happen to us.”

The game will be played at the Washington Redskins home — FedEx Field in Landover, Md., a key recruiting area for the Mountaineers. Next season, West Virginia will play Maryland at the Baltimore Ravens stadium.

WEIS BLAMES HIMSELF

Kansas' first-year coach, Charlie Weis, said one of the biggest challenges to inheriting a program that's gone 2-23 the past three years in league play is teaching players how to win.

“When a team has been used to losing, (the coaches) have to guide them through that,” Weis said. “You have to believe. You have to teach them how to finish games. I put that more on the responsibility of me and the coaching staff.”

Kansas owned an 11-point third quarter lead last week against Rice. Two interceptions, a fumble and two missed field goals allowed the Owls to rally for a 25-24 win. Rice won it with a 45-yard field goal on the final play.

“When you're dealing with reclamation projects, sooner or later something has clicked when they started to figure it out,” Weis said. “Unfortunately, it didn't happen this week. Even if we had won the way the game went down we would have disguised a lot of things we did wrong.


by Michael Baldwin
Reporter
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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