For the third straight year, Baylor football played in one of the best-attended bowl games in the country.
In 2010, the Bears helped draw 68,211 fans to the Texas Bowl in Houston; that total ranked No. 8 among all bowls played that year. In 2011, the Alamo Bowl attracted 65,256 fans in San Antonio (No. 9 among the year’s bowls). In 2012, the Bears and Bruins drew 55,507 at the Holiday Bowl in San Diego, 11th-best out of 35 bowl games.
Each year, the Bears have outdrawn at least one BCS bowl and ranked among the top third of all postseason games in attendance. Baylor’s combined bowl attendance over the past three years is 188,974; of the 103 schools have appeared in at least one bowl game since 2010, only 11 have attracted bigger total postseason crowds — and all but one of those benefitted from at least one BCS bowl appearance. Not bad for a little private school in Waco, Texas.
Baylor football’s 2012 average home attendance (41,194) ranked behind only the previous year’s numbers (when RG3 won the Heisman) in Floyd Casey Stadium’s 63-year history, and the Bears have never drawn more in a six-home-game season than this past year’s total of 247,165.
Head coach Art Briles’ Bears finished 26th in the final AP poll and 28th in the final coaches poll (one spot behind UCLA, oddly enough), but Baylor is already getting some attention for 2013. The Orlando Sentinel put BU at No. 24 in its early 2013 rankings, and ESPN.com’s Big 12 blogger has the Bears as dark-horse candidates for next year’s BCS title game.
Sic ’em, Baylor football and Baylor Nation!