The easy part of the schedule is now in the past for Baylor.
After notching huge wins over opponents that included an FCS team (Wofford), two teams from non-automatic qualifying BCS conferences (Louisiana-Monroe in the Sun Belt and Buffalo in the MAC), and the last place team in the Big 12 (Kansas), the Bears face four Big 12 contenders in their remaining five games.
It starts Nov. 7 with a Thursday night affair against Oklahoma and continues with games against Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, TCU, and Texas.
The combined record for those five teams is 28-10 with TCU (3-5) accounting for half the losses and the only team with a losing record.
The combined record of Baylor’s first seven opponents is 24-29 with only two teams — Wofford (5-3) and Buffalo (6-2) — with winning records. Louisiana-Monroe is 4-4.
The other four teams — Kansas (2-5), Kansas State (3-4), West Virginia (3-5), and Iowa State (1-6) — all have losing records.
The Bears improved to 7-0 on the season for just the second time in school history with their 59-14 victory at Kansas and were rewarded with a No. 5 ranking in the Associated Press poll.
That is their highest spot in the poll since they were No. 3 in 1953.
Including their last four games of 2012, the Bears have won 11 in a row, the longest winning streak in school history. The previous long was 10 wins set back in 1936-37.
The Bears also have won seven Big 12 games in a row, topping their previous best of five in a row set in 2010.
BYE WEEK MISSION: Just stay in gear. The Bears have rolled over seven overmatched opponents and need to keep their edge down the stretch. They have no particular injury issues to deal with now that senior RB Glasco Martin seems back in form after coping with a hamstring problem early in the season.
–Junior RB Lache Seastrunk was over 100 yards again in the rout of Kanas with 109 on just 13 carries. His per-game average of 124.1 is ninth in the nation among FBS teams.
–Junior WR Antwan Goodley had only two catches for 43 yards against Kansas but is third in the nation in receiving yards per game. He is averaging 127.7 per outing, which leads the Big 12.
–Junior QB Bryce Petty is fifth in FBS statistics in total offense after throwing for 430 yards and rushing for 22 his last outing, but there is a conflict regarding his average. The NCAA puts his average at 360.9 yards per game, but the Big 12 says it’s 362.3. Same thing with passing. The NCAA puts it at an average of 350.4, the Big 12 at 351.9. Either way, it’s fourth best in the country.
–Senior DE Chris McAllister is second in the Big 12 in sacks with 5.5 just behind Jacks Jeffcoat of Texas and Ryan Mueller of Kansas State, who have 6.0 each. McAllister has 14 sacks in his career, tied for second all-time in program history with Scotty Lewis and just one back of Daryl Gardner’s school record.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “It all starts with the guys up front.” — Junior QB Bryce Petty, crediting his offensive line for the effectiveness of Baylor’s offense.