• Baylor welcomes future Big 12 partner Utah to Waco a year early

    Utah and Baylor logos

    For the second time in the last three years, a Baylor football non-conference opponent is about to become a conference opponent. In 2021, it was BYU; this time, it’s Utah.

    As far as athletics goes, the two schools are practically complete strangers. This Saturday marks the two schools’ first meeting in football, and they’ve only met a combined five times ever across men’s basketball, women’s basketball and baseball. (Furthermore: Only one of those meetings was in the last 45 years!)

    Academically, however, Baylor and Utah have much more in common than you might think.

    Both are R1 institutions, and both rank in the top 25% of national universities according to U.S. News (Baylor No. 77, Utah No. 105).

    Both schools are among the top 10 nationally for undergraduate entrepreneurship (Utah No. 5, Baylor No. 8), and The Wall Street Journal ranked both schools in the top 5% nationally for student engagement (Baylor No. 4, Utah No. 36).

    Each school is the oldest in its state; Baylor has been operating continuously since its charter in 1845 by the Republic of Texas, and Utah dates its history back to 1850.

    Both schools count an artificial heart pioneer among their numbers (Dr. Michael DeBakey, a BU faculty member, and Dr. Robert Jarvik, a Utah alum and researcher). Multiple graduates of each school have served as governor of the school’s state (five Bears and seven Utes).

    As partners in the Big 12 starting next year, such similarities may lay a foundation for a strong partnership with yet another of the league’s newest members.

    Sic ’em, Utes!