5-6 overall, 2-6 conference, 5th Big 12 South
Against the spread
6-4 (1-3 home, 5-1 away, 4-1 grass)
3-6-1 (2-2 home, 1-4-1 away, 1-3-1 grass)
+.45 per game
2005 Season Summary
Head coach Guy Morris was making very small, yet noticeable progress after two years at Baylor, who had degenerated into the doormat of the Big 12 prior to his arrival. Not only is Baylor a “church school” in a league full of state schools, but their recent losing tradition has been a major turnoff to potential recruits.
Under Morris, Baylor went 3-9 and 3-8 respectively in his first two seasons of 2003-2004. Against the spread, however, Baylor was 7-4 and 6-3-1 respectively as they were a consistent value that was often overlooked by the mainstream gambling public, who tends to be fixated on such “name brand” Big 12 teams as Oklahoma and Texas.
Major upsets sparked hope
In the 2003 season Baylor defeated Colorado at home 42-30 as whopping 19.5-point dogs. The following season they shocked Texas A&M 35-34 as 25-point home dogs. These major upsets sparked hope for the future at Baylor and confidence in Morriss’ program.
Entering the 2005 season, Morriss’ third leading the program, there was a bit of a buzz that Baylor was ready for the next step and perhaps even a minor bowl bid if everything could go their way. Playing in the brutal Big 12 South would certainly make it tough, but everyone agreed that the Bears were headed in a direction not seen in around a decade, that being an upward direction.
Baylor opened the season at SMU in the rare role of a road chalk (-1.5) and scored a 28-23 win. This was followed up by a 48-14 win over 1-AA competition in the home opener.
Three game road trip
Baylor had a three game road trip after that home opener, which meant that they would play four of their first five games on the road for 2005, a tough task for an established power let alone a rebuilding one.
The road trip began at Army where the Bears were again in the rare role of road chalks (-5.5) in a 20-10 win to start off the season at 3-0 straight up and 2-0 against the spread. In their next game at revenge minded Texas A&M, Baylor got the cash but not the game in a 13-16 loss. The ended the road trip in excellent fashion, however, as they beat an Iowa State team expected to contend for the Big 12 North Division title 23-13 as 7.5-point dogs. Baylor was now 4-1 straight up and 4-0 against the spread as they entered the meat portion of the Big 12 schedule.
Secret was out
The excellent start served to blow Baylor’s cover both with their opponents and amongst mainstream gamblers. The secret was out and that meant so was Baylor’s value on the betting boards. In their next game at home versus Nebraska, Baylor became en vogue as a pick. The Bears were only getting 2.5-points and lost 14-23. The following week at Oklahoma, as a 14-point dog, they lost a tough 30-37 decision that, again, served to increase their respect amongst gamblers.
Running on empty
Baylor next hosted Texas Tech as a 12.5-point dog and suffered a 0-28 shutout loss. In their next game at home against undefeated powerhouse Texas, Baylor was a whopping 30.5-point dog which wasn’t even half of what they needed in a 0-62 blowout loss. Baylor was obviously running on empty down the stretch as they traveled to Missouri, where they were a 9.5-point dog in a 16-31 loss, for their third consecutive defeat against the sportsbooks.
After the promising start Baylor had lost five consecutive games straight up as they hosted Oklahoma State as a 3-point chalk in the season finale, which was a grand finale as Baylor won 44-34.