Baylor now has a target on its back.
Since playing its way into the top 10 and cementing the high ranking with a convincing win over Oklahoma, Baylor has to be thinking about a National Championship. Standing in the Bears' way are four more conference games, the first of which comes against Texas Tech.
The Big 12 Championship is riding on Saturday night's game, but NFL scouts will be more concerned about the potential first-round picks on display in Wace, Texas on Saturday night. Here are the players to watch for.
Texas Tech at Baylor, 7 p.m. ET, FOX
When Baylor has the football
Baylor is one of the most electrifying teams in college football on offense. Redshirt junior quarterback Bryce Petty has the arm strength and scrambling ability to provide plenty of excitement in college football, and he has some thinking about his NFL potential. Next to Petty in the backfield is Lache Seastrunk, arguably the No. 1 running back eligible for the 2014 NFL Draft. He has a ton of straight-line speed, but his ability to cut on a dime and change direction in a hurry makes him tough to get an angle on in the open field. He also doesn't go down too easily.
Texas Tech defensive tackle Kerry Hyder is a beast to handle inside, but Baylor guard Cyril Richardson should be up to the task. The matchup between Hyder and Richardson will be a must-watch whenever the two are lined up across from one another. Texas Tech linebacker Terrance Bullitt is also worth watching due to his coverage skills.
When Texas Tech has the football
The Red Raiders' offense runs through tight end Jace Amaro. A bit of an afterthought entering the season, Amaro has made a name for himself since the opening game of the season, steadily improving his NFL Draft stock each and every week. He's fast down the seam to challenge defenses vertically, but he also can make plays with the ball in his hands and beat the defense in a number of different ways. He's a versatile and dangerous weapon for Texas Tech's offense, and expect the same when he eventually heads to the NFL (he's just a junior). Baylor safety Ahmad Dixon has looked the part of a potential day two pick, and this matchup against Amaro will be one scouts turn to often when evaluating his final season at Baylor.
One of the most intriguing match-ups on the field (if the coaches choose to make it happen) will be between two redshirt sophomores. Texas Tech offensive Le'Raven Clark and Baylor defensive end Shawn Oakman could both declare for the NFL Draft, though Oakman may be more likely. Oakman, a 6-foot-9-inch, 275 pound defensive end, has an amazing blend of quick-twitch movement skills and length. Clark, meanwhile, has everything NFL scouts look for at the tackle position and just has to put it all together. These two could be household names before long.
Question of the day: Can Jace Amaro help Texas Tech's offense keep up with Baylor?
We know Baylor is going to score in bunches. Nobody has been able to slow the Bears down, and the Red Raiders aren't likely to be the first. So can Jace Amaro dominate Baylor's defense enough to keep the Raiders within striking distance in this game. It won't be easy, but Amaro is Texas Tech's engine on offense, so expect Tech to use him early and often.