• At No. 2 in the nation, Baylor football earns highest ranking ever

    Baylor football

    When the Baylor football team takes the field Saturday against West Virginia, it will do so in a way the Bears never have before — as the No. 2 team in the nation.

    In both major polls released this week (the AP and Coaches Poll), head coach Art Briles’ squad is ranked No. 2 — the highest ranking in the program’s 113-year history. The Bears had previously reached No. 3 in the rankings twice, in 1953 and 2013.

    More than 20% of the Associated Press writers who voted in the AP poll put the Bears at No. 1 on their ballots, as Baylor received 13 first-place votes — believed to be the most in program history.

    What has propelled the Bears to such record heights? Well, there’s the offense, of course, which again leads the nation in both points per game and yards per game (after having paced the country in both categories in 2013 and 2014, too). Baylor is the only program to be among the nation’s top 10 in both passing (8th) and rushing (2nd) yards per game. Quarterback Seth Russell leads the country in five categories, including passing efficiency and passing touchdowns, while wide receiver Corey Coleman tops the nation in touchdown catches (13 — one shy of the Baylor single-season record) and scoring, and ranks 4th in receiving yards per game.

    But the defense is also stepping up. Led by a pair of projected NFL first-round picks, the Bears’ defense ranks among the top three in the conference when it comes to scoring and yards allowed. Baylor also ranks 13th nationally with 13 turnovers gained — big plays that get the Bears’ explosive offense back on the field quickly.

    Then there’s also that McLane Stadium magic; Baylor owns the nation’s best home win streak (18 games), and has not lost in Waco since Oct. 13, 2012. And you can go even further back than that; since 2011, the Bears have the best home record in the country at 27-1.

    Want to see it for yourself? Baylor’s four remaining home games are all currently sold out, though a few additional tickets could be released closer to kickoff for the Oklahoma and Texas games if the visiting teams’ allotments do not sell out. In the meantime, Baylor fans are encouraged to check StubHub for any available seats. And of course, such success has led to repeated national broadcasts, including this week’s game against the Mountaineers (11 a.m. on FOX).

    Sic ’em, Baylor football!

    [If you like the sorts of numbers and rankings found in this post, make sure you check out the weekly game notes published at BaylorBears.com for much, much more.]

    Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail this to someoneShare on RedditDigg thisShare on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon