While other top-10 teams were dropping like flies, the Bears weren’t about to let that happen in front of a sold-out crowd at Floyd Casey’s Stadium’s last Homecoming game. Their focus paid off, as a 71-7 victory over Iowa State led to Baylor football’s jump to No. 5 in the nation — the program’s highest ranking in 60 years.
Already bowl-eligible with a perfect 6-0 record, head coach Art Briles’ squad has climbed from unranked in the preseason to No. 5 in the USA Today Coaches Poll and No. 6 in the AP Top 25. The No. 5 ranking is the Bears’ highest in any poll since November 1953 (when the team reached No. 3), while the No. 6 spot in the AP poll is the team’s highest AP ranking since Jan. 1, 1980 (also No. 6).
The lofty ranking in human polls played a large part in the Bears debuting at No. 8 in the season’s first BCS standings, released Sunday night — another program best. Baylor’s previous high mark in the BCS’ 16-year history was No. 12 in the final (pre-bowl) 2011 BCS standings.
Regardless of which ranking you look at, three things hold true:
1) Baylor is the highest ranked team in the Big 12.
2) Baylor is the highest ranked team in Texas.
3) Baylor has a legitimate chance at playing for a national title.
Your chances to see the Bears in action are running out. Here’s the remaining schedule (click on links for tickets): this Saturday at Kansas; Nov. 7 at home vs. Oklahoma; Nov. 16 at Cowboys Stadium vs. Texas Tech; Nov. 23 at Oklahoma State; Nov. 30 at TCU; Dec. 7 in the Floyd Casey finale vs. Texas (sold out).
Sic ’em, Baylor football!