FORT WORTH, Texas -- No. 10 TCU will get another shot against No. 3 Oklahoma. This one will be closer to home with a chance to win a Big 12 trophy -- and maybe even make a case for more.
"I relish the chance to win a championship," Horned Frogs coach Gary Patterson said.
Kenny Hill threw three touchdowns and ran 3 yards for another score as the Horned Frogs clinched a spot in the Big 12 championship game in nearby Arlington, with a 45-22 win over Baylor on Friday.
The Horned Frogs (10-2, 7-2 Big 12, CFP No. 12) will play No. 3 Oklahoma for the Big 12 title on Dec. 2. That will come three weeks after TCU's 38-20 loss to the Sooners.
"That's really what it is, win a Big 12 championship," linebacker Ty Summers said.
With No. 2 Miami suffering its first loss Friday, and still games Saturday before the conference championship games next weekend, there's even the chance TCU could get back in the conversation for a playoff spot.
"There's a lot of football to be played this next week. There's a lot of good-on-good going on. It'll be interesting to see how that works," Patterson said. "Remember, I went from third to sixth after 55-3. So I can promise you there can be a lot of movement. ... Hint, hint."
Back in 2014, the first year of the four-team College Football Playoff when the Big 12 didn't have a title game, TCU was third before finishing the regular season with a 55-3 win over Iowa State. The Horned Frogs dropped to sixth in the final CFP rankings the next day.
"Maybe we'll go from eight to three if we can win," Patterson said.
Baylor (1-11, 1-8) led 9-0 less than 2 minutes into the game, including a safety when Hill was sacked and fumbled in the end zone. But TCU was ahead for good after Hill's 7-yard TD pass to Jarrison Stewart made it 14-9 at the end of the first quarter.
"A disappointing end to a disappointing year," Rhule said. "As it has been in many games, we proved for long stretches of the game that we can hang in there with a team of that caliber. And then, a mistake here, a mistake there, a play here, a play there, and the game gets away from us."
Hill completed 26 of 36 passes for 325 yards a week after he didn't even travel to Texas Tech because of an apparent concussion.
"I felt great. Started the game a little slow, not the way we wanted to start it," Hill said. "We did good rallying back."
Baylor: Only four seniors started the finale of what has been a transition season for the Bears in Rhule's first year. Baylor started 11 true freshmen this season, including quarterback Charlie Brewer and RB John Lovett, and half of their starters over the course of the entire season have been freshmen or sophomores. There were 27 players who made their first-ever collegiate starts this season, the third-most in Division I football.
TCU: The Horned Frogs get their much-desired rematch with Oklahoma even though they weren't always sharp against Baylor, though that tends to happen often in rivalry games.
Things got chippy with a bit of a brawl late in the third quarter when Baylor's JaMycal Hasty was being pulled down near the Bears sideline by another defender when defensive tackle Chris Bradley came in and hit him hard from behind. A Baylor lineman then shoved Bradley, and another TCU defender got involved.
After a lot of shoving and a few punches thrown, and Patterson among those trying to keep his players from running all the way across the field into the fray, officials announced that every player on both teams had been assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
Defensive end Mat Boesen, a champion wrestler in high school, set a TCU single-game record by recording 5 1/2 of the eight sacks by the Horned Frogs.
Brewer was 19-of-29 passing for 301 yards with two touchdowns, including a 54-yard catch-and-run by Blake Lynch only 1:34 into the game. Brewer also had an interception before leaving late with a separated shoulder.
SIGNING ON FOR MORE
TCU announced after the game Patterson had signed a contract extension through the 2023 season. Patterson is 159-56 in 17 seasons with the Horned Frogs.
Baylor: With the season over, Rhule and his staff immediately went on the road recruiting and were watching prep football playoff games Friday night. The 2018 season opener is Sept. 1 against Abilene Christian.
TCU: The Frogs will be about 20 miles from their campus for the Big 12 championship game at the Dallas Cowboys' home stadium, where TCU has gone 2-1 in regular-season games.
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