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Baylor Soccer

Baylor Soccer's Path to the Big 12 Tournament

October 13, 2023

With just two regular season games left for Baylor Soccer, the qualification and seeding possibilities for the Big 12 Soccer Tournament in Round Rock are narrowing down. Let’s run through how Baylor might secure a spot and how high they could possibly get seeded.

Big 12 Soccer Standings as of Friday 10/13

Pay attention to the points per match column specifically. That is what the teams are ranked by given that cancellations are not uncommon (though luckily none have happened so far this year).

Also, keep in mind that a win is three points and a draw is one point in the standings. 

Kansas and Kansas State are both out of reach of Baylor. They can not earn enough points in two games to catch the Bears on 11 points.

Iowa State, on 6 points right now, could surpass the Bears with wins over KSU and Texas Tech coupled with Baylor losses to TCU and Houston. This is unlikely but not impossible. Any Baylor result (Win or tie) puts the Bears out of reach of Iowa State.

Now for Houston: The Bears have a four-point advantage over the Cougars. That means with one win over either TCU or Houston or even just a draw against Houston specifically, Baylor makes the gap insurmountable. It is very convenient that Houston must win twice to surpass the Bears and the two teams play, it limits the scenarios.

There is one way that the two teams tie and that is Baylor losing both and Houston drawing with Texas. That knots the teams at 11 points with no head-to-head winner. So we go to goal differential. Baylor is currently on -5 and Houston is on -4. Given the results necessary for a tie, Houston would win on goal differential.

So the Bears simply cannot lose both if Houston gets any kind of result against Texas. Perhaps the Bears will get a result against TCU and this will all be moot.

Houston and Baylor could both make the tournament with 11 points if Cincinnati (10 points) loses out.

Oklahoma is also on 11 points right now but would win a three-way tie on 11 points with a win over Houston in the regular season already.

A four-way tie with Baylor, Houston, Cincinnati and Oklahoma would have Oklahoma go through first, restart the criteria, Cincinnati or Houston go through next on goal differential (Cincinnati is on -2 currently) and then the other would beat out Baylor in the final tie-breaker again on goal differential.

Everything above assumes that all teams finish all ten of their conference games (there have not been any cancellations yet this season in conference play).

So while Baylor’s early conference struggles have a possibility to hurt them in the form of goal differential tiebreakers, all the Bears need is a draw to secure a place in the Big 12 tournament.

Had the Bears held on to their 2-1 lead in the last five minutes last night, they would have already punched their ticket to Round Rock.

But at the end of the day, this team controls its destiny. Any single result over the next two games gets them into the Big 12 tournament.

Looking at the more positive side of things, back-to-back wins for Baylor to close the regular season could see the team rise as high as third in the conference standings if everything breaks perfectly (odd are it won’t).

Regardless of it all, Michelle Lenard has gotten her program to take a noticeable step forward this season both in how they play and the results they are earning. So fans should try to enjoy the last two regular season matches as best they can with hopes of at least one postseason match to come.

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