The best moments from Baylor’s 120-year rivalry with Texas
This year’s Baylor-Texas football game will mark the 113th time the two teams have squared off on the gridiron — one of the 25 most-played rivalries in college football history. For most of that time — since 1916 — the two teams have been conference rivals, first in the Southwest Conference (1915-96) and then in the Big 12 (1997-2023).
Except for during World War II, the Bears and Longhorns have played every year since 1923 — a 101-year streak that comes to an end this weekend, as Baylor welcomes Texas to Bear Country for their final Big 12 meeting.
Some of the greatest moments in Baylor football history have come against these rivals from 100 miles south: the Miracle on the Brazos, a Heisman Moment, Case Closed… and that’s just for starters. So as the Bears prepare to add one more memorable moment Saturday, let’s look back at a few of the games that stand out:
— The series began in 1901, but Baylor’s first game against UT as conference rivals came in 1916 — a 7-3 Baylor win in Austin, and the Bears’ first win over the Longhorns.
— Baylor’s 1924 Southwest Conference title team won an early November game in Austin, 28-10, to help solidify the title — the Bears’ second league championship in three seasons.
— Nearly 50 years after the Miracle on the Brazos, its legend is as strong as ever. In November 1974, Texas was ranked No. 12 in the nation, and the Longhorns led the Bears 24-7 at halftime. Texas would score no more; Baylor put together a 27-0 second-half run to win the game, en route to a Southwest Conference title.
— Four years later, head coach Grant Teaff motivated his team to do the hard things necessary to win by pulling a worm out of his mouth (seriously, read the story) — and the Bears beat the heavily favored Longhorns, 38-14.
— Led by legendary Bears like Mike Singletary and Walter Abercrombie, the 1980 Baylor team capped off a Southwest Conference regular season title with an exclamation point, shutting out UT 16-0 for a then-school record 10th win.
— Baylor defeated Texas, 21-20, in 1992 — the last regular season game of Coach Teaff’s legendary career, memorably concluding with the team carrying Teaff off the field.
— In 1997, future Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams led the Longhorns into Waco for Homecoming — only to see the Bears emerge victorious, 23-21, after which fans stormed the field, tore down the goalposts, and carried them all the way back to campus.
— In 2010, Baylor kicked off a memorable decade with a 30-22 win over UT in Austin. The Longhorns were the reigning Big 12 champions (the last time they could make that claim), but it was the Bears serving notice that things were changing.
— By the time Baylor and UT played in the last regular season game of 2011, Robert Griffin III had established his case as a Heisman candidate. Leading up to the showdown, Texas bragged that they would thwart that momentum — but four RG3 touchdowns and a 48-24 Baylor win later, he was the Heisman frontrunner (and, of course, the eventual winner).
— The 2013 Baylor-Texas game can be summed up in two words: Case Closed. Or Ice Fog. Or Conference Champions — whichever you prefer. No one who was around then will ever forget: On a bitterly cold night, enveloped by ice fog in the highly-anticipated final game at Floyd Casey Stadium, the Bears secured their first Big 12 Championship with a 30-10 win over Texas.
— In 2014, the Bears rolled over Texas in Austin, 28-7, en route to their second straight Big 12 title.
This weekend, the Bears will try to ensure that their 31-24 win in 2021 — on the way to another Big 12 title — is not their last over UT in the Big 12. As they meet for the final time as Big 12 foes, the Bears have the opportunity to down the ‘Horns one more time and make it a day that will reverberate until the two teams meet again.
Sic ’em, Bears!