Has anybody noticed what's going on at Baylor University these days? Something special is what! The pressure is officially on BU Bear baseball, softball, tennis, golf and whatever else they play. The 2011 football team and the 2011-2012 men's and women's basketball teams have garnered more national attention in the last six months than Iowa State has the last ten years.
Baylor football finished in the top ten, Baylor men's basketball is currently in the top ten, and Baylor women's basketball is currently ranked number one in the nation and undefeated!
I think I'd be out of line for saying that we're finally entering the "Golden Age" of Baylor athletics. Maybe to say that the "good times" are finally here would be more appropriate. And I certainly hope they're here to stay for the good folks in Waco.
The excitement around RG3 winning the Heisman and the Bears' football team winning the Alamo Bowl is still very fresh on the mind, probably still headline sports news on the Brazos River. And thus the challenge begins for head coach Art Briles. Can he sustain this? Can he recruit the next big thing(s) for Baylor football. Personally, I can't wait to see!
Women's basketball head coach Kim Mulky ended years of athletic department frustration by winning a national championship a handful of years back. But that memory has always been blurry due to the one created by the men's program several years ago. You remember that horrible murder story where the former head coach crossed about every moral, ethical and legal line there was. Those were some dark days. And then to top it all there was of course this...It seemed year after year that BU football was just, well, bad, I guess, is the word to use.
But, that was then and this is all about the Mayan calendar of sports my friends!
You just really have to feel good for Baylor athletics. I do.
I remember years ago, back when I worked in Lubbock, when BU baseball was about the only revenue sport, if you can even call it that frankly, that consistently made the post season. Talk about some long suffering fans. I mean the ones that hung in there year after year. I mean the ones that ALWAYS showed up to Floyd Case Stadium during those worst football seasons, and there were more than a few.
But, my oh my, has that changed in a hurry!
Can you imagine what these days are like for the Baylor alumni relations department? If there was ever a time to ask for some financial dollars and cents, this would be the time! And how fun is it to recruit these days? Even the softball program has been NCAA tournament-bound in recent seasons. Talk about some good coaching hires. And that doesn't need my opinion or yours, that is simply a fact.
I think Coach Briles is really close to letting Baylor football sell itself. One Alamo Bowl game victory and a Heisman Trophy winner doesn't give him free reign to pick and choose from four-star recruits, but it does make things lots easier! Does it still hold some shock value for you when you say it? Baylor football has a Heisman Trophy winner!
And don't worry about BU men's basketball getting worked over in Lawrence earlier this week. It happens all the time - to the best teams in the country. No big deal. Coach Drew has the full pulse of his program right now. I marvel at what he's done. The program was at absolute rock bottom after a murder conspiracy that rocked all of college athletics at the time. Not exactly what a Christian University needed to go through. And he wanted that job? Really? Well I have nothing but huge respect and admiration for that. From where they were to where they are now, wow!
So cheers to you Baylor University! Your student athletes, your coaches, your athletic administration, your alumni, and the Bear, you are rocking it as we speak! So keep it up! It's been a banner year, but everybody wants more than just one banner.
And you know you have the attention of those folks in Austin and College Station. I'm just sayin'.