Waco, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Baylor earned a share of the Big 12 title Saturday as the fifth-ranked Bears pulled out a 38-27 win over No. 9 Kansas State.
The question is: Was a victory over a top-10 opponent enough to vault the Bears into the College Football Playoff?
The CFP committee had Baylor ranked sixth coming into the final weekend of the season, and every team in front of them, including TCU, Florida State and Ohio State, won on Saturday.
The Bears (11-1, 8-1 Big 12) must jump two of those teams, and their fate will be determined when the national semifinal matchups are announced Sunday.
"My case would be, take the top 10 universities in the nation, put them on a wall and takes the names off of them, said Baylor head coach Art Briles. "Then look at the resumes and find four that are better."
They seemingly needed a lopsided victory against a Kansas State (9-3, 7-2) team that was also playing for a share of the conference title.
Instead, Baylor settled for a close win and a tie with TCU atop the conference standings. The Bears are the only team to beat the Horned Frogs this season, but the Big 12 announced earlier this week the teams would be seen as co- champions if they both won their final regular season games.
Bryce Petty had a memorable final game at McLane Stadium, passing for 412 yards with a touchdown and an interception while adding a rushing score. Johnny Jefferson added two TDs on the ground for the victors.
"I'm just ready for the bowl game," Petty said. "It's great to be back-to-back Big 12 champs, it really is. I am so proud of every one of those guys in the locker room."
Jake Waters threw for 300 yards with two TDs and an interception, while Tyler Lockett set a Kansas State record with his 27th career touchdown catch.
"It all boiled down to one game," said Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder. "That was tonight. We weren't the team we wanted to be."
Lockett broke his father Kevin's record with 12:41 remaining in the fourth quarter. The 8-yard scoring strike pulled the Wildcats within 38-27, and they were in Baylor territory on their next drive before Xavien Howard picked off Waters with just over five minutes to play.
Baylor gained three first downs to run out the clock.
Petty capped an 8-play, 81-yard drive with a 1-yard keeper just 1:35 into the game, but the senior QB was intercepted in the end zone on the next Baylor possession.
Shock Linwood's 1-yard touchdown run gave Baylor a 14-0 lead, and Charles Jones scored from a yard out to get Kansas State on the board early in the second quarter.
Petty completed all six of his attempts on a 70-yard drive that ended with a Jefferson 2-yard touchdown run, and Waters and Zach Trujillo hooked up for a 36-yard TD to get the Wildcats back within seven.
Chris Callahan's 46-yard field goal gave Baylor a 24-14 cushion at halftime.
Kansas State scored on a pair of Matthew McCrane field goals in the third quarter, and Baylor padded its lead with touchdowns from Antwan Goodley and Jefferson.
Goodley caught a 58-yard bomb from Petty, and Jefferson ran in a 3-yard score.
Baylor won its second straight Big 12 title ... The Bears have won 16 straight at home ... Lockett caught 14 passes for 158 yards ... Goodley finished with 116 yards on nine receptions .... Linwood gained 91 yards on 18 carries.