The Baylor Bears playoff chances took a major hit yesterday. Not only did they lose 41-27 to the West Virginia Mountaineers, but starting right tackle Troy Baker sustained a season-ending knee injury during the third quarter of the contest. The senior lineman suffered a torn ACL, and his college career is unfortunately over. Baylor will be without the cornerstone of their offensive line for the home stretch of the season.
This is the second time Baker has torn his ACL, with the first occurrence coming in 2013 spring practice. He was able to return to play 10 of 13 games, anchoring one of the elite offenses in all of college football. This is the second major injury to ravage the Bear’s offensive line, and it clearly showed in Baylor’s disappointing loss to West Virginia. Typically, head coach Art Briles is very efficient with the usage of his roster and will once again need to be masterful in rebuilding the offensive line.
Still, Baylor has the opportunity to play their way into the newly minted playoff system if they are able to defeat their two remaining ranked opponents, Oklahoma and Kansas State. The Bears should qualify for the conference championship with a chance to play their way into the pinnacle of college football.
*Section Photo credit to Vaughn Ridley, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Brendan Maloney, USA Today Sports.