There was a time when any Baylor football victory was celebrated with gusto. When I went to Baylor, we high-fived and cheered like mad for a first down, not wanting to squander what might be our only opportunity to make a joyful noise all game.
After an improbable victory against Texas A&M in 2004, security guards helped students like me cross over the railing and storm the field. No one has the heart to stop you from tearing down the goal posts when you win only one conference game a year.
Fast forward to today, and Baylor football is once again in league of its own, but this time it's a good thing. And you'd be hard-pressed to find a more grateful fan base than the beleaguered Bears.
Baylor's rise has been nothing short of miraculous — a fitting storyline for the Baptist university affectionately referred to as Jerusalem on the Brazos.
After joining the Big 12, we suffered through a dozen-straight losing seasons until Robert Griffin III and Art Briles led us out of the desert into the promised land. Now, Baylor is building a new football stadium for the first time in more than 60 years.
The program's transformation has been nothing short of miraculous — a fitting storyline for the Baptist university affectionately referred to as Jerusalem on the Brazos. But what's happened since RGIII ascended to the NFL is in many ways more impressive. The Bears have maintained, if not increased, their impressive level of play.
Bolstered by Heisman Trophy contenders quarterback Bryce Petty and running back Lache Seastrunk, Baylor leads the NCAA in offensive production with a staggering scoring average of 69.7 points per game. The Bears also rank first in passing with more than 444 yards per game.
And it's not just an offensive show. Baylor has held opponents to less than 10 points per game, creating a scoring differential of 209-23 in the first three games of the season. According to ESPN, that's the largest margin by any team in a decade.
If you're watching from the outside in, you might think the Bears are just needlessly pouring it on. But Baylor has been the Big 12's punching bag for too long. This relentless offense and merciless game plan was borne out of a lengthy oppression. It also bears mentioning that in BCS rankings, all wins are not created equal.
Baylor faces its first Big 12 opponent of the season on October 5. Although it's poised to be a closer game than say, Wofford State (home of the mighty Terriers), Baylor is the clear favorite. It's true that the Bears' competition hasn't been wildly rigorous up to this point, but there's nothing wrong with stacking the schedule to build your confidence. I'll still cheer every time they move the chains and be thankful for each touchdown our high-flying offense scores.