• Baylor football is headed to the Texas Bowl!

    All season, Baylor football’s motto — for the team and fans alike — has been “Rise Up.” (Below is what played on the videoboard just before the team took the field at Floyd Casey this fall, featuring alumnus David Crowder’s “Rise Up” anthem.)

    After the Bears went 7-5 in the regular season to become bowl eligible for the first time since 1995, I saw a baseball cap for sale here in town that simply said, “Risen.” The Bears’ ascent became official Sunday with the announcement that Baylor is headed to the Texas Bowl! BU will face Illinois at Houston’s Reliant Stadium on Dec. 29 at 5 p.m.; the game will be nationally televised on ESPN.

    After 16 years without a bowl appearance, however, you won’t want to just sit back and watch this one on TV. Tickets are available now at BaylorBears.com and through the Baylor Ticket Office (254-710-1000). It’s important that Bear fans buy their tickets through the university, as it’s the only concrete way to count just how well Baylor fans support their team — something future bowl games will look at very carefully when considering BU’s postseason invitations in coming years.

    In fact, Baylor fans’ response to the men’s basketball team’s run in March — which saw the Bears appear in the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight in the very same stadium where BU football will play later this month — is one of the big reasons the Texas Bowl was so excited to invite the Bears. “We saw the crowds that they brought for the (NCAA basketball) regional, and we feel confident (about Baylor’s appeal in Houston),” Texas Bowl executive director Heather Houston told the Houston Chronicle. “We know their fans are really excited about coming.”

    The BaylorBears.com Bowl Central page and the Baylor Nation Fan Zone each have plenty of other details for Bear fans, including information on each team, ticket info for both fans and students, and a list of events planned around the big game. The Baylor Bookstore has two Texas Bowl t-shirts (here and here) and other Baylor football gear available online, and Anthony Travel is offering discounted hotel accommodations at the team hotel in Houston for Bear fans (as well as help with other travel plans).

    My family will find its tickets under the Christmas tree come December 25; have you ordered yours yet? If not, order today, and let’s “Rise Up” in Houston together! See you there!

    Sic ’em, Baylor football and Baylor football fans!