On January 1, 2015, Baylor QB Bryce Petty probably won’t be waking up with a hangover. Instead, he will be clear-headed as he heads onto the football field in front of thousands of screaming, (and some hungover) fans at the 79th Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Petty, a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, helped lead the No. 5 Baylor Bears to the bowl where they will face No. 8 Michigan State. "The Cotton Bowl is a great bowl and Michigan State is a great team," Petty told The Detroit News.
Last year Petty led the No. 6 Bears to a school record 11 wins, earning the team a trip to the Fiesta Bowl. And despite their surprising bowl loss (the Bears were expected to win by at least two touchdowns), 52-42 to the No. 15 Central Florida Knights, Petty led the FBS in scoring and total offense for that year.
But recent speculation that Baylor was snubbed from the College Football Playoffs -- the selection committee chose Ohio State over TCU and Baylor in a questionable move -- because of its loss last season, is forcing the Bears into a defensive position. “We knew somebody was going to get left out. We just didn’t know it was going to be us,” Baylor coach Art Briles said during the College Football Playoff championship selection announcement in Waco, Texas last week. “And now we’re going to fight our butt off to win the Cotton Bowl.”
"I think everything worked out for us the way it's supposed to," Petty told the Detroit News. Everything happens for a reason. We're supposed to be where we're supposed to be and we're facing a great team and a very well-coached team. It is a great challenge for us and a great way to put Baylor on the map on a national scale.”
Let’s hope that when Petty wakes up on January 2 he has a smile on his face.