No Way Back: Bears face Big 12 gauntlet in last four games

It’s no secret that Baylor owns the longest home-winning streak in the nation. And another well-known fact is that the Bears have the No. 1 offense in college football.

But one uncertainty in Waco is how will Baylor handle one of the toughest remaining schedules in college football?

With a home game against the soaring No. 12 Oklahoma Sooners, followed by two tough road matchups versus No. 5 Oklahoma State and No. 13 TCU, the Bears are seemingly being asked to run the Big 12 gauntlet.

“I wouldn’t ask for it any other way to be honest,” junior wide receiver Corey Coleman said. “It’s a great feeling, playing some great programs. This is where champions rise, when there are hard times, because not everything is going to be easy. There’s always going to be some [negative] stuff, but we can’t worry about that, we have to worry about our goal, and take one game at a time.”

Head coach Art Briles has engraved the attitude of taking the season one day at a time, and that appeared evident after speaking with players on Monday. His players are chomping at the bit with the fourth toughest remaining schedule in the nation on their slate.

“We’re excited about [the challenge of playing the fourth toughest schedule in the nation],” senior left tackle Spencer Drango said. “We know we’re going to get everybody’s best shot being back-to-back Big 12 champions. We’re in a really good spot right now to go for a third, which really is historic in the conference, but it’s going to be a lot of fun. We expect nothing easy here on out, and we’re prepared for that.”

Briles advocated the mantra that for one to be the best, they have to beat the best.

He’s confident ahead of Baylor entering a stretch where they will play three top 15 teams in the span of 14 days.

“We’ve been in a bunch of big games since 2010, really,” Briles said. “And we’ve done pretty well in our share of them. So you kind of look at past failures and productions and try to pull from the productions more than the others.”

A player who hasn’t been a part of those games is true freshman quarterback Jarrett Stidham. He said the Bears aren’t worried about the tough stretch, but they must treat every game like a must-win, though.

“I think every game you play during the season, you have to go in with that mentality,” Stidham said. “You don’t want to go into a game knowing you are going to win or going to lose. You’ve got to go in and fight each week no matter who the team is.”

Stidham has the luxury of throwing to one of the best receivers in college football – Corey Coleman. The All-American WR said the journey starts on Saturday when the Bears take on Oklahoma at 7 p.m. at McLane Stadium.

“When you come into our house, we have a lot of fans who want to see us do great,” Coleman said. “When you come in here, we’re going to lock the doors and it’s going to be a war. We try to keep it like that – keep it ugly, keep it physical, and protect our crown. We take pride in that.”