Rather than spin a lengthy narrative about Baylor’s athletic success in 2011-12, let’s just go straight to the facts:
- 80 combined wins across the “big three” sports (football, men’s and women’s basketball), the most of any school in NCAA history.
- 118 combined wins (and counting) across the “big four” (FB, MBB, WBB and baseball), rapidly approaching the record of 123 set by Texas in 2003-04.
- Only the second school ever to win the Heisman Trophy and earn consensus national player of the year honors in basketball in one year.
- 14 of Baylor’s 19 varsity programs have already reached the postseason this year — matching the school record for the fourth straight year — and the other five are all on pace to join them. (Only twice in the history of the Big 12 has a school had all of its teams reach the postseason in the same year.)
And while this has clearly been the best year in Baylor athletic history, it didn’t come out of nowhere. Let’s look back over the last few years:
- 36 Big 12 titles since Ian McCaw was hired as Director of Athletics in September 2003 — third-most in the league behind only Texas and Texas A&M — across six sports (baseball, women’s basketball, equestrian, softball, and men’s and women’s tennis).
- Three NCAA team championships in that same time span (men’s tennis in 2004, women’s basketball in 2005 and 2012) — the first three in school history.
- Seven straight top-50 finishes in the NACDA Directors’ Cup (which recognizes success across all sports) and on track for likely the best finish in BU history this year.
Furthermore, Baylor’s student-athletes have done all this while also excelling off the field. Individual successes have abounded (like Robert Griffin III leaving Baylor with not only a Heisman but a nearly completed master’s degree, all in less than five years), as have team honors (like the eight Baylor programs recognized in the last six years for academically ranking among the top 10% in their sport). And that doesn’t even begin to consider the spiritual formation Baylor emphasizes (like the regular service opportunities and department-sponsored mission trips that go out several times each year).
Sic ’em, Baylor athletics!