Over the next two weeks, we’ll continue to close the door on the 2013 season. Every Big 12 team suffered at least one loss during the regular season, and losses can be as beneficial as wins. In this team-by-team series, we’ll take a look at the best loss of the 2013 season for each Big 12 team, including what happened and why it matters.
On Monday, we kick off the series with Baylor.
Best loss: 49-17 at Oklahoma State on Nov. 23. The Cowboys handed Baylor its first loss after a nine-game winning streak to start the season.
What happened: The Bears got shut down and overwhelmed in Stillwater, Okla., in a battle of top-10 teams. OSU led 35-3 after three quarters, as Baylor’s three fumbles sparked the Cowboys’ blowout win. It was the first time all season Baylor’s defense looked like previous versions, allowing 594 total yards. The loss showed the Bears just how difficult the road to an undefeated season can be.
Why it was helpful: Experience. The Bears gained valuable experience from the loss, which should help them in big games in the future. It undoubtedly helped them during the final two weeks of the regular season, as they secured their first Big 12 title with back-to-back wins over TCU and Texas after their setback in Stillwater.
Looking forward to 2014, this loss will be useful for BU quarterback Bryce Petty, who will have a much better understanding of seizing opportunities in big games. His first-quarter stumble near the goal line against Oklahoma State ended up costing BU a 7-0 early lead.
“We have to finish,” Petty said after the game.
Revealing stat: 1.13 points per drive. The Bears averaged 3.11 points per drive this season, and their 1.13 points per drive against OSU was the lowest output of the season.
Quote of note: “They were Big 12 champs two years ago and have maintained over the last 6-8 years. Without question there are rodeos, and this is not their first one.” -- Baylor coach Art Briles.