Baylor fell in a bizarre upset to Texas, 23-17, in its regular season finale on Saturday, handing Oklahoma State the Big 12's spot in the Sugar Bowl.
Why is an Ole Miss blog updating you on the Baylor score? Well that's because if Bama beats Florida in the SEC Championship on Saturday evening, the Rebs will fill the SEC slot opposite OK State in New Orleans. In that scenario, the Tide heads to the Playoff, and Ole Miss, which was ranked five spots ahead of the Gators in last Tuesday's CFP Top 25, take their spot in the Sugar Bowl.
Had Baylor beat the Longhorns, they would have finished 7-2 in Big 12 play and in a three-way tie with Oklahoma State and TCU -- a tie that, because of Big 12 tiebreaker policies, would have gone to the Bears. Instead, OK State wins a two-way tie over the Frogs, thanks to a 20-point blowout in their head-to-head game.
Ole Miss and Oklahoma State have a bit of a bowl history as of late, having met in the Cotton Bowl twice since 2004. Eli beat the Cowboys in his final game, then Houston Nutt's 2009-10 team finished an otherwise disappointing season with a turnover-fest win in Jerryworld.
If you're a Rebel fan, you were rooting hard for Baylor to win so Ole Miss could have played against their third or fourth-string quarterback. Baylor came into the Texas game down to their third-string guy, and after he was knocked out in the first half, Art Briles had to insert emergency option Lynx Hawthorne, a junior wideout who hasn't played quarterback since his high school days. It did NOT go well. Ole Lynx went 9-of-20 for 64 yards, two picks and started a brawl.