With a win over Baylor in the Motel 6 Cactus Bowl, Boise State can claim an 11-win season for the 11th time in the past 15 years, which would tie Ohio State for the most 11-win seasons since 2002. Running back Jeremy McNichols, who declared for the NFL draft on Monday, can also add to his personal legacy in his final college game.
McNichols finished the regular season with 1,663 rushing yards, the fifth most of any FBS running back. He enters the bowl game with nine 100-plus-yard rushing games, including three of more than 200 yards. On top of that, he's scored a touchdown in 24 straight games, the longest streak by an FBS player over the last 10 seasons.
With 161 more rushing yards, McNichols can break Jay Ajayi's single-season school record.
Baylor is limping into the postseason with six straight losses following a 6-0 start and the No. 8 ranking in the AP poll. This is the Bears' longest losing streak since losing nine straight from 2007-08. Poor defense and a lopsided turnover margin have plagued the Bears during their losing streak.
In recent years under former coach Art Briles, Baylor has been involved in some of the highest-scoring bowl games. In Baylor's five bowls since 2011, the Bears are averaging 49.6 points per game, the most among teams to play multiple bowl games during that span. Baylor has also allowed 42.8 points per game in its last five bowls, fifth-most among teams in multiple bowls.
Boise State is 2-0 all-time against Big 12 teams, with both wins coming in bowl games. Most recently, the Broncos beat Oklahoma 43-42 in the memorable 2007 Fiesta Bowl. ESPN's Football Power Index gives Boise State a 59 percent chance to pick up its third win in school history over a Big 12 foe.