AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Longhorns are riding a high wave of momentum after knocking off the defending Big 12 Champions, the Oklahoma Sooners, in the Red River Showdown, 48-45.
The win gives the Longhorns its fifth win in a row and catapulted them into the top 10 in the national rankings. Next up, the 4-2 Baylor Bears come to town. Baylor just defeated Kansas State at home, 37-34 -- a team that took Texas down to the wire 19-14.
However, the ESPN Football Power Index picks the Longhorns an overwhelming favorite in this matchup with an 84.1 percent chance to win the game. Recent history seems to favor the Longhorns, as well. Baylor has not defeated Texas since 2014, when the Bears were a top 10 ranked team, led by senior quarterback Bryce Petty.
UT PICK 'EM STANDINGS
So, after UT held on to defeat Oklahoma 48-45, let's take a look at the KVUE UT pick 'em standings:
Mike Barnes -- 4-0
Bryan Mays -- 4-0
Shawn Clynch -- 3-1
Paul Livengood -- 3-1
Tim Ryan -- 3-1
Hank Cavagnaro -- 2-2
Jay Wallis -- 2-2
Andrew McKibbin -- 1-2 ***(McKibbin was on vacation for the first pick)***
KVUE STAFF PICKS ITS UT-BAYLOR WINNER
Now, the KVUE staff members made their picks for the Texas-Baylor game. This is what they predicted:
Mike Barnes, KVUE Sports Director:
Texas 41, Baylor 13.
The Baylor offense is improving and Matt Rhule is getting things done with the Bears. But the defense is lacking and Sam Ehlinger will have a field day in the 41-13 win.
Shawn Clynch, KVUE Sports Reporter:
Texas 44, Baylor 20.
The Longhorns are rolling at the moment and the Sam Ehlinger led offense has discovered their identity during this five-game winning streak.
Despite giving up more than 500 yards to Kyler Murray and the explosive OU offense, I believe this UT defense is in a good spot.
They will be tested by Baylor’s fast receivers and Charlie Brewer’s arm. But, I think UT will pound the rock for 200 yards rushing and another 200 passing/receiving on offense. The defense will allow a couple of second half explosive plays, but the Longhorns will become bowl eligible with a sixth win and extend that winning streak to six games.
Paul Livengood, KVUE Digital Sports Producer/Digital Desk Editor:
Texas 31, Baylor 28.
I think this game might be much more interesting than others will give it credit for. This could be a trap game for the Longhorns. They just won arguably their biggest game of the year in dramatic fashion, and I see UT overlooking Baylor a little bit. The Baylor offense can put some points on the board, and if they get hot early... the Longhorns could find themselves in more of a battle than they anticipated. In the end, however, home field advantage and a positive turnover margin for the Longhorns will be the deciding factors in this game and Texas wins a narrow one by three points.
Bryan Mays, KVUE Daybreak Anchor:
Texas 47, Baylor 24.
The Bears will have some success moving the football, but the Texas defense will step up in the second half. The Longhorns get another solid performance from Sam Ehlinger and are finally able to get the running game going with Watson and Ingram. Texas keeps on rolling. I’ll take Texas 47-24.
Hank Cavagnaro, KVUE News Reporter:
Texas 38, Baylor 28.
The Bears have been putting up points on and off all year, so I think they’ll get a couple easy touchdowns. But overall, I think that the Longhorns have shown they can score with the best of the Big 12 and play just enough defense to get the win. UT keeps the streak alive against Baylor.
Jay Wallis, KVUE News Reporter:
Texas 35, Baylor 20.
As much as Texas is looking like a different team than a year ago, you can say the same about Baylor. The Bears have found an offensive spark with quarterback Charlie Brewer persistently attacking secondaries. However, this matchup favors the Longhorns. Sure, Baylor will score... but Texas will use its physicality to wear down a thin Baylor defense. Expect this one to be close early on with the Longhorns likely being emotionally drained from the recent barrage of big games. But by the fourth quarter, Texas should have a comfortable lead.
Tim Ryan, KVUE News Director:
Texas 35, Baylor 14.
The Longhorns are on a roll, so who I am to stand in the way? UT will jump out to a big first half lead. Turnovers keep both teams from scoring in the third quarter, and Baylor gets two late touchdowns with the game out of reach. Final score: UT 35, Baylor 14.
Andrew McKibbin, KVUE Dayside Executive Producer:
Texas 41, Baylor 20.
Baylor’s improving, but let’s face it… Texas is ‘back’ (air quotes), and the Bears probably aren’t going to be able to hang with the Longhorns this year. But what do I know… I’m in last place.
Kick off for Texas-Baylor is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. CT on Saturday Oct. 13 on ESPN.