• New Big 12 schedule means Baylor hosts more powerhouses than ever

    Robert Griffin IIIBaylor football will play seven home games in 2011, the most in program history. This year also marks the first time the Bears will face every Big 12 school; that means Floyd Casey Stadium will host more national powerhouses than ever.

    Baylor fans with season tickets this fall will see four teams in the preseason top 25 (No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 15 TCU, No. 21 Missouri and No. 24 Texas) as well as dozens of players on preseason watch lists for individual awards, including:

    • Five national player of the year candidates (Baylor’s Robert Griffin III among them);
    • Two of the nation’s top quarterbacks (RG3 again represents BU);
    • Three of the nation’s top running backs;
    • Four of the nation’s top receivers (including Baylor’s Kendall Wright);
    • Nine Rotary Lombardi candidates (representing the top lineman or linebacker);
    • Eight candidates for defensive player of the year (Bednarik, Nagurski and Lott awards);
    • and even four of the nation’s top kickers (Baylor’s Aaron Jones representing the Bears).

    And that doesn’t even include the opponents Baylor will face on the road: No. 8 Oklahoma State, No. 9 Texas A&M, Kansas, Kansas State and Texas Tech. One college analyst named Baylor’s 2011 schedule the third-toughest in the country.

    Whether looking at the past (seven BCS title game appearances lead the nation), present (five teams in preseason top 25) or future (see the award nominees above), it’s clear the Big 12 is a conference to be reckoned with.

    The Bears won’t get to conference play until Oct. 8 when they host Iowa State, but the season opener against No. 15 TCU will be a test in its own right this Friday. Nearly 40,000 fans have already bought their tickets; are you among them?

    Sic ’em, Baylor football!

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