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Friday, September 2, 2011
Baylor wants to have 'nothing to lose'

By David Ubben

It didn't take long before all Baylor could do was hope a lesson could be learned. A win was out of the question pretty quickly.

"We had a face and there was dirt there, and next thing we knew, we found our face in the dirt," coach Art Briles told reporters this week.

In a little over seven minutes, a pair of long scores had TCU up 14-0. By halftime, the shaken Bears trailed 35-3. The Bears had a bowl streak to slay, and with a date against the top-five Horned Frogs, the nation would know Baylor with a win.

"As a team, I think we were extremely overhyped last year for that game," Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III said, "and it came up with a huge letdown.

Nobody would beat TCU the entire season, but Baylor didn't come close. Are things different this time? TCU's quarterback is different, at least. Baylor says it has a much different team this time around.

"Our mentality will be better, possibly, than what it was a year ago," Briles said. "Last year, we were certainly in a stage of wondering where we were as a football team."

This year, Baylor is a team that's tasted the postseason.

"I got a taste of what a steak dinner felt like, so now we’re looking to get back to the table and get a little bit more," Griffin said.

It's a team that knows it can move the ball against almost anyone, and it's a team that rediscovered its confidence when it began the season 7-2, despite finishing the season on a four-game losing streak.

"It was a wake-up call to the rest of the team that we just have to be better, It really helped us, it set us up for the rest of the year," Griffin said. "So, in all honesty, we can thank TCU for beating us last year, because it really woke us up."

This time, anyway, overhyping won't be the problem. National respect would come with a win over the defending Rose Bowl champions. A Friday night kickoff on ESPN assures that if it happens, millions will see it.

But opportunity? Baylor says it's best to ignore it. Briles has told his team this preseason that nobody wants to fight a boxer with nothing to lose.

"That’s the way we run it here. That’s the way any team wants to be. If you’re fighting and you’ve got something to lose, sometimes you can get a little conservative and you won’t attack your opponent," Griffin said. "So we’re going to go out and fight like there’s nothing on the line, like we have everything to gain and nothing to lose."