Enjoy this time, Baylor fans; we are truly living in a (green and) golden era for Baylor sports.
We’ll start with last night’s news: Baylor football finished 12th in the final coaches poll and 13th in the final AP poll, second-best in the Big 12 and the program’s highest finish since 1986. The rankings reflect the Baylor program’s level of national respect following a season in which head coach Art Briles’ squad matched the program record with 10 wins and Robert Griffin III brought home the program’s first Heisman award.
[The university will honor the 2011 Baylor football team and RG3 in a free event this Saturday at the Ferrell Center; click here for details.]
Then there’s basketball, where both the women (No. 1 in the country for the 10th straight week) and men (up to No. 4 in the nation in both polls this week) are enjoying the best rankings in program history. Head coach Kim Mulkey’s Lady Bears are 15-0 and one of four teams still undefeated; head coach Scott Drew’s Bears are also 15-0 and are one of three undefeated teams remaining. Combined, Baylor’s “big three” sports are 36-0 since Nov. 1 — just an unbelievable number. Following in RG3′s footsteps, Brittney Griner and Perry Jones III are also legitimate national player of the year candidates.
Three other Baylor teams are also among the top 10 in the country — men’s tennis (No. 5 in the preseason rankings), women’s tennis (No. 6) and equestrian (No. 5). When you look at the success of Baylor’s teams this fall and the history of Baylor’s spring sports, there’s an excellent chance that all 19 varsity sports could make the postseason in 2011-12 — something that’s never happened here before.
Such success has turned the nation’s eyes to Baylor in a new way. From ESPN features (TV and website) to USA Today to papers like the Boston Globe, our student-athletes are introducing people all over the country to Baylor in a positive manner every day.
Sic ’em, Baylor athletics!