WACO — Baylor football took another step forward Thursday night.
With a sellout crowd at Floyd Casey Stadium, Baylor beat Oklahoma 41-12. Both were ranked in the top 10 in the BCS standings.
It was their first big test of the season after going through the first seven games averaging 63.8 points per game and by most accounts, were unchallenged. More than 400 media credentials were issued, which was the most in school history.
"When this season began, check out rankings," said Baylor head coach Art Briles. "Everything we've done, we've earned it up to this point."
Briles gets credit for building a program that is 8-0 this season and extended their school record to 12 straight wins. The last time they lost a game was in Norman, Oklahoma 362 days ago. The players he is relying on are players that Briles himself has recruited, molded and is now relying on to keep the program in the national spotlight.
"We wanted trailblazers," Briles said. "We wanted Mavericks. We wanted guys to go down a path that no one had ever been down before. That's what you look for. If you don't believe in yourself, nobody else will."
Baylor now has four games left in the season as they try to extend their unbeaten streak.
"They're all going to be at this level," Briles said. "I don't know how they can get much bigger."
The games left include Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, TCU and Texas.
"The formula is this: he recruits football players," said Baylor defensive coordinator Phil Bennett. "We're looking for good kids that football is important to them."
The only thing missing from Thursday nights game was the tarp in the south end zone. It was pulled to make room for the sellout crowd, their first since 2006. It will remain off because Baylor will host another sellout on December 7. It'll be the final game at Floyd Casey Stadium before moving to a new stadium next fall.