WACO, Texas -- Baylor's journey from worst to first is complete.
Once the perennial punching bag of the Big 12, Baylor's 30-10 victory over Texas coupled with Oklahoma's win over Oklahoma State on Saturday gave the Bears their first-ever Big 12 championship in football.
The title couldn't have come at a sweeter time for Baylor, which played its final game at Floyd Casey Stadium before moving into a new on-campus stadium next season. Baylor set a stadium attendance record with 51,728 on hand despite a game-time temperature of 24 degrees.
"It's a defining moment," said Baylor coach Art Briles, whose team is also headed to a BCS game. "People would say Baylor could be pretty good but they might never be Big 12 champions. Now we are."
After Oklahoma defeated Oklahoma State 33-24, the Baylor-Texas game became a de facto Big 12 Championship game. Texas could also have claimed the conference championship with a victory.
"Your goal here at The University of Texas is to win the Big 12," Texas defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat said. "We had the opportunity in front of us to do that and we didn't do it, so it's disappointing."
No. 9 Baylor (11-1, 8-1 Big 12) came out of the halftime locker room swinging to put away the No. 23 Longhrons (8-4, 7-2).
Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty led a 14-play, 77-yard scoring drive to open the third quarter. Bears receiver Antwan Goodley reached out with his right hand to haul in the 11-yard touchdown pass that gave Baylor a 10-3 lead four minutes into the second half.
"(Goodley) makes me look a lot better than I make him look," Petty said. "The one-handed catch was absolutely huge. That turned the game around."
After the Baylor defense forced Texas to go three-and-out on its first possession of the second half, running back Lache Seastrunk ignited the Bears. Seastrunk ran three straight times for 28 yards, moving Baylor to Texas' 19.
Petty finished the 47-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Levi Norwood.
Though the Baylor players knew from the beginning that they could win the Big 12 by defeating Texas, it took until the second half for that motivation to turn into big plays.
"Everyone knew the Big 12 championship was right there," Norwood said. "We had to fight for it."
By the time Baylor kicker Aaron Jones made a 42-yard field goal to give Baylor a 20-3 lead, Texas and its lackluster offense were in trouble.
"We didn't hit a pass all night," Texas coach Mack Brown said. "We just weren't consistent on offense at all."
The Longhorns finally scored their first touchdown early in the fourth quarter after a Jaxon Shipley 50-yard punt return and two personal foul penalties on Baylor gave Texas a first-and-goal at the Bears' 8. It took Texas until fourth-and-goal from the 2 for quarterback Case McCoy to toss a scrambling 2-yard touchdown pass to running back Malcolm Brown.
The Longhorns never came within a touchdown after Baylor's third-quarter surge.
Bears cornerback K.J. Morton sealed the win with an interception and an apparent 60-yard return for a touchdown. However, Morton was penalized for a celebration that began at Texas' 3, so Baylor took over at the Longhorns' 18. It took Baylor one play to score as running back Glasco Martin ran up the middle for an 18-yard touchdown.
Baylor finished with 508 yards of total offense and held Texas to 217. Petty passed for 287 yards and two touchdowns and Martin rushed for 102 yards and a touchdown.
"It was ours to win," Petty said. "I couldn't be more proud of our guys."
Texas and Baylor circled each other, resulting in a 3-3 standoff at halftime.
Baylor marched 68 yards on its first offensive series, moving to Texas' 5 before settling for Aaron Jones' 22-yard field goal. It was the only time in the first half that either team moved inside their opponent's 15.
Texas kicker Anthony Fera had a 44-yard field goal attempt blocked by Baylor's Shawn Oakman.
Two of Baylor's drives ended with Jones' missed field goals from 49 and 35 yards.
Texas tied the game at 3 late in the second quarter when Fera was good from 42 yards.
Baylor and Texas were a combined 2 of 17 on third-down conversion attempts in the first half. Brown rushed for 118 yards in the first half, accounting for all but 40 of the Longhorns' total offensive yards
NOTES: The final score of Oklahoma's 27-24 victory over Oklahoma State was announced to a huge cheer just after kickoff. ... The Texas-Baylor game was the final game at Floyd Casey Stadium after 64 seasons. Baylor opens a new on-campus stadium next season. ... Texas entered with a 13-2 record against Baylor during Mack Brown's tenure as the Longhorns' head coach. ... Baylor S Ahmad Dixon sat out the first half after being ejected for targeting during the second half of Baylor's victory in its previous game against TCU.