Bears, Sooners are midseason surprises

Baylor Bears

The Bears (4-1, 1-1 Big 12) were expected to struggle to stay out of the South Division cellar for the 10th straight season. But coach Guy Morriss has crafted a gritty unit molded in his own image when he was a player.

The backbone of the team is a tenacious defense that has limited three opponents to less than 300 yards in a game and ranks 15th nationally in total defense (294.2 yards per game) and 13th in scoring defense (15.20 ppg).

The Bears aren't flashy on offense, but they don't make mistakes that have dogged them in the past. That recipe has already helped them to snap a 37-game Big 12 road losing streak last week at Iowa State -- the most impressive of their three road triumphs.