Posted: Friday December 23, 2011 4:57PM ; Updated: Thursday December 29, 2011 9:55AM
Stewart Mandel

Bowl Breakdown: Alamo

Story Highlights

Baylor has won 10 games just one other time (1980) in program history

Robert Griffin could experience Heisman Hangover after awards circuit

Washington tailback Chris Polk could be the difference on the ground

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Baylor's Robert Griffin could be in for a Heisman Hangover after spending nearly a week on the awards circuit.
Baylor's Robert Griffin could be in for a Heisman Hangover after spending nearly a week on the awards circuit.

Baylor (9-3) vs. Washington (7-5)
Dec. 29, 9 p.m. ET (ESPN)


Reason to watch: Do you like offense? Do you find a 45-42 game more entertaining than, you know, a 9-6 affair? This one should do it for you, in large part because both teams have subscribed to a "defense optional" approach this season. Washington ranks 94th nationally in total defense (426.3 yards per game) and 99th in scoring defense (33.3); Baylor's even worse, at 114th (477.5) and 109th (35.7), respectively. Throw in Heisman Trophy winner and top-ranked passer Robert Griffin III (3,998 passing yards, 36 touchdowns, six interceptions) for the Bears and both a top 20 passer (Keith Price) and rusher (Chris Polk) for the Huskies and you have the ingredient for a post-Christmas scoring fest.

Keep an eye on: The running backs. That may sound sacrilegious in what will likely be Griffin's last college game, but it's a given that RG3 will burn Washington's secondary multiple times (he has 16 touchdowns of 35 yards or longer this season). And while a banged-up Price (2,625 yards, 29 TDs, 11 INTs) struggled late in the year, he threw at least three touchdowns in seven games. Therefore, the difference may be which team produces a more effective running game. Polk (1,341 yards, 11 TDs) is more consistent, but Baylor's Terrance Ganaway (1,347 yards, 16 TDs) has a pair of 200-yard games on his résumé.

Did you know: Baylor is looking to complete just its second 10-win season in school history. The other came in 1980. And while Washington may have a more distinguished history, it last produced an eight-win campaign in 2001.

ANDERSON: Brush up on your Alamo Bowl facts

Final analysis: Immediately following his regular-season finale against Texas, Griffin spent nearly a week on the awards circuit in Orlando and New York. Price, meanwhile, has had a month to recover from late-season ankle and knee injuries. Price will be sharp, Griffin a bit out of rhythm. High-round NFL prospect Polk will have a huge game as Washington pulls the upset.

The pick: Washington 40, Baylor 34

Heisman Hangover?
Source: SI
Robert Griffin III's life has gotten a lot more interesting in the last month. That doesn't mean he'll fail to perform when Baylor faces Washington in Thursday's Alamo Bowl, says Gary Danielson.
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