Glasco Martin scored three of Baylor's five rushing touchdowns in one of the biggest upsets in school history. (US Presswire)
BAYLOR WON. In 2011, it was Oklahoma. In 2012, almost one year to the day after ruining the Sooners' national ambitions in a late November ambush, Baylor unsheathed the daggers again for an even bigger victim: No. 1 Kansas State, whose first loss will topple the Wildcats from the top of the BCS pecking order and clear the way for Notre Dame and Alabama to ascend to the top.
WHY BAYLOR WON. The night belonged to the Bears' balanced, up-tempo spread attack, and it wasn't close: The No. 1 offense in college football hung 580 yards and seven touchdowns on the No. 1 team in college football, outgaining K-State (and the presumptive Heisman frontrunner Collin Klein) by more than 200 yards in the process. Contrary to its high-flying reputation, Baylor controlled the line of scrimmage, allowing tailbacks Lache Seastrunk and Glasco Martin to combine for 298 yards and four touchdowns on the ground alone, on top of a pair of TD passes and another scoring run by quarterback Nick Florence.
The real revelation, however, was the Baylor defense, which entered the weekend allowing more yards per game than any other defense in the nation and proceeded to thoroughly dominate the most consistent, efficient attack in the Big 12. K-State managed just 76 yards rushing, barely a third of its season average on the ground and Baylor's best effort against the run this season, by far. With the game increasingly on his shoulders as the margin mounted, Klein was picked off three times in a 50 attempts, matching his interception total over the first ten games combined. In those games, he was averaging just 20.8 passes, with a high of twenty-eight.
WHEN BAYLOR WON.The game was never in significant doubt, with Baylor racing out to a quick lead on its first possession of the game and extending it to 28-7 with a little under three minutes to play in the first half. K-State briefly rallied with 10 points just before the half, and pulled within striking distance, 35-24, early in the third quarter. From there, though, it was all Bears.
The most fitting sequence of the night came late in the third quarter, with Baylor leading 45-24, when Klein was picked off for the third time on a fourth down throw into the end zone. On the next play, Seastrunk broke free for an 80-yard sprint that effectively put the game out of the reach. The defense added the final insult on K-State's next drive, a 21-play, 74-yard epic that drained eight minutes off the clock but ultimately came up short on fourth-and-goal from the one.
WHAT BAYLOR WON. An upset over the No. 1 team in the nation, especially at this point the season, easily ranks among the biggest wins in Baylor history, and reestablishes the Bears' staying power post-Robert Griffin III. More immediately, the win ends a 1-5 skid in Big 12 games and moves Baylor to 5-5 overall, within one game of bowl-eligibility for the third year in a row and Texas Tech and Oklahoma State on deck to close out the season.
WHAT KANSAS STATE LOST. What didn't Kansas State lose? In a matter of hours, a sure-fire ticket to the BCS Championship Game went up in smoke, taking Klein's shot at the Heisman Trophy with it. With Oklahoma's wild, come-from-behind win over West Virginia, the Wildcats' cushion in the Big 12 standings has also evaporated, making the Dec. 1 visit from Texas a must-win both for the conference championship and a BCS bid. Just a few hours removed from a perfect season, the best team in school history is one stumble away from becoming another admirable also-ran.