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Baylor downs Texas to claim its first-ever Big 12 title

LM Otero / Associated Press
Baylor QB Bryce Petty went 21 of 37 for 287 yards and two touchdowns vs. Texas.

It was the end of an era Saturday, as Baylor closed down Floyd Casey Stadium by claiming its first-ever Big 12 championship and a berth in the Fiesta Bowl with a 30-10 win over Texas, perhaps ending Mack Brown's tenure as Longhorns head coach in the process.

Bears quarterback Bryce Petty overcame the bitter cold and ferocious Texas pass rush to throw two touchdown passes in the third quarter. Petty, who previously announced he will return next season as a redshirt senior, was 21-of-37 passing for 287 yards and did not throw an interception.

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Petty ends his first regular season as a starter with 3,844 yards and 30 touchdowns against two interceptions, with another 11 rushing touchdowns. NFL Media analyst Gil Brandt has already ranked Petty as the top senior signal-caller entering the 2014 college football season, pointing to his well-rounded skill set that includes elite arm strength and accuracy and the mobility to both move in the pocket and take off and run.

Petty's top target, Antwan Goodley, bounced back after struggling against TCU cornerback Jason Verrett, catching eight balls for 114 yards and one touchdown. Running back Glasco Martin added 102 rushing yards and one touchdown.

Texas defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat did his best to slow the prolific Baylor spread offense down, sacking Petty twice and finishing with 11 tackles. But the Texas offense wasn't able to provide much help, with Case McCoy completing 12 of 34 passes for 54 yards and one touchdown.

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McCoy was intercepted twice, including one by K.J. Morton that was returned for a touchdown before being negated by safety Ahmad Dixon's excessive celebration penalty.

McCoy's struggles will only stoke the fire of criticism surrounding Brown, though seven wins in conference play to set up a winner-take-all contest after Oklahoma State's loss earlier in the day quieted speculation that this would be Brown's last season at Texas. Sports Illustrated reported Friday that Brown's future at Texas was "up in the air," and the 15-year leader of the Longhorns had not decided whether or not to step down.

When asked after the game about his standing with the program moving forward, Brown declined to answer.

If Brown does resign or retire, the Texas job would immediately become the most coveted in the nation, given its enormous financial resources and talent base.

No one would doubt that Texas has better athletes than Baylor, but it had a decisively better scheme and quarterback play to win the Big 12.

As the official Twitter account of Baylor football termed it, #CaseClosed. That could hold true for not only Floyd Case Stadium and the Big 12 title, but Brown's future as well.

Follow Dan Greenspan on Twitter @DanGreenspan.

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