Published November 17, 2015
Baylor defensive back Travon Blanchard knows there is no time for the No. 10 Bears to dwell on their first loss of the season, even though it likely knocked them out of playoff contention.
''We understand we have to come together. We can't break apart right now,'' Blanchard said Monday. ''Of course it hurts, but we understand there is more season than just one game.''
The Bears (8-1, 5-1 Big 12) could still win their third consecutive Big 12 championship, something only Oklahoma has done before - if they win their last three games and get some help.
After a 44-34 loss to No. 7 Oklahoma that ended its FBS-best 20-game home winning streak, Baylor plays Saturday night at No. 4 Oklahoma State (10-0, 7-0).
''We use the word opportunity,'' coach Art Briles said, when asked about the challenge of playing the undefeated Cowboys after the tough home loss to the Sooners.
''You don't ever want to be in a bounce-back mode, but I think for us, it's just you just do what you do,'' Briles said. ''You prepare each week, you're playing each week and you have good hope each week, and belief. That's something that's never going to change.''
Since the Big 12 is no longer declaring co-champions - like last season when Baylor and TCU shared the title - the Bears couldn't claim a championship this year if they finish tied with Oklahoma. But they could be the champs by beating Oklahoma State, TCU and Texas in their last three regular-season games, and having the Horned Frogs and/or Cowboys beat Oklahoma.
''The way I can mathematically figure it, I think we're still very much alive,'' Briles said.
When asked if he felt the Bears could still make the four-team CFP playoff if they win out and other pieces fall into place, Briles wasn't as specific.
''Really, I hadn't even thought that far, and really hadn't thought that far prior to last week,'' he said. ''We're actually in the situation now where our vision is pretty tunnel. It's Stillwater this Saturday at 6:30 p.m., and whatever happens from there happens, and I think we all know that it's pretty hard to predict what's going to happen.''
Senior linebacker Grant Campbell said the mood and spirits of the team were still good, and that the Bears were approaching this week like every other one this season.
Briles said freshman quarterback Jarrett Stidham was ''bruised and sore'' but otherwise fine after taking a hit on the opening series against the Sooners, his first home start since junior Seth Russell's season-ending neck surgery.
An MRI on Stidham came back clean.
''I feel good. I'm feeling a lot better. Saturday, after the game, I was feeling pretty bad,'' Stidham said. ''But that's just part of it, and today I'm feeling a lot better.''
AP college football website: http://collegefootball.ap.org