Ask any Baylor Bear fan and they will tell you that they are sick of living in the shadows of the more prominent, larger programs in the Big XII conference. This year, Baylor set out to make their own mark on the world of college sports, and that they did. In fact, in doing so, they’ve set a new NCAA record.
Reflective of their athletic program in previous years, it was a record that was broken quietly and unfortunately without much fanfare, nor was the small Baptist school located about 90 miles north of Austin in Waco, TX given the proper recognition it truly deserved.
In late May, the Baylor Bears set a new NCAA record for the most combined wins in football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, and baseball with a combined 124 wins, eclipsing the mark of 123 combined wins set by their longtime conference nemesis, the Texas Longhorns in 2003-2004.
But they Bears aren’t done yet.
Since setting a new record, they have gone on to add an additional 4 wins in baseball, moving the number of victories in the four major sports to 128, and with the Bears’ baseball team hosting a Super Regional this weekend, Baylor could potentially add even more to that total.
Needless to say, the 2011-2012 athletic season is the best in Baylor Bears’ history.
It began with the Bears’ football team. Led by Robert Griffin, III (affectionately known as RGIII or RG3), the Bears were able to post a school record-tying 10 wins this season, capped off by a 67-56 victory over the Washington Huskies in the Alamo Bowl, giving the Bears their first bowl win since 1992. In addition, RG3 was crowned as the school’s first-ever Heisman Trophy winner, later going as the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL Draft.
But that’s not all. Shortly after football season ended, college basketball was in full swing. The Lady Bears, led by the National Player of the Year, Brittney Griner, posted the first perfect 40 win season in college basketball history en route to capturing the 2012 National Title.
With both Griffin and Griner winning the consensus National Player of the Year awards in their respective sports during the same year, the Bears accomplished a feat that’s only happened once before in NCAA history.
The Baylor men’s basketball team had quite a season as well, winning 30 games before being eliminated by the eventual national champion Kentucky Wildcats in the Elite 8.
Baylor’s baseball team had the best start in Big XII history, beginning the season 21-0 in conference play and going on to win their first outright conference title in baseball in 89 years. Sitting at 48 wins, they will host the Super Regionals vs. the Arkansas Razorbacks this weekend in Waco. The winner will advance to the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska.
Overall, all of the Bears’ 19 athletic teams have advanced to the post-season this year.
That’s quite impressive.
Thanks to their success this season, the Baylor Bears have proven they are done shirking in the shadows of the more storied teams in the conference.
This year, they have demanded the attention and respect of college fans from all over.
And they’ve certainly earned it.