Top 10 Moments in Baylor Football History

Alex Callos@@alexcallosCorrespondent IMarch 21, 2013

Top 10 Moments in Baylor Football History

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    Football has been played at Baylor since way back in 1898, and over more than a century, some true legends have made their mark on the university.

    The Bears have developed some rivalries over the years and many of the greatest moments in school history have come during those rivalry games.

    The biggest rivals for the Bears include TCU, a rivalry that dates back to 1899, and Texas, which began in 1901.

    Among the many legends to grace the school include one of the greatest tacklers in college history in Mike Singletary and the Heisman trophy winner Robert Griffin III.

    Baylor has won seven conference championships in its history and has also been to 19 bowl games, including five on New Year's Day.

    From the 2011 Alamo Bowl to the "Miracle on the Brazos," there is a storied history that goes along with the Baylor football program.

    Here are the top-10 moments in school history.

No. 10 2011 Alamo Bowl Victory

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    Baylor came out for the 2011 Alamo Bowl with the green-top jerseys, and when they entered the field, nobody knew it would be the start of the highest-scoring bowl game ever.

    The Bears entered the game 9-3. Heisman trophy winner Robert Griffin III led the way.

    They took on the Washington Huskies, and it was a shootout from the start. By halftime, Baylor was trailing, 35-24, but the Bears turned it on with a 29-point third quarter to take a 53-49 lead heading into the final 15 minutes.

    Baylor extended the lead in the final 15 minutes and went on to win the game 69-56 in what turned out to be the highest-scoring regulation game in bowl history.

    There were also records for touchdowns with 17 and yards with 1,397.

    Baylor totaled 777 yards of total offense, and the win gave the program its first 10-win season since 1980 and its first bowl victory since 1992.

    No question it was a monumental day for the Bears.

No. 9 1952 Orange Bowl Against Georgia Tech

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    The 1951 Baylor football team was one of the best in school history. They finished the regular season 8-1-1 and earned a berth in the Orange Bowl against Georgia Tech.

    It was only the second bowl game in the history of the program, and the Bears finished the year in the top 10 in the final AP poll.

    The only loss during the regular season for the Bears came against rival TCU 20-7.

    That did not take away from the Orange Bowl on Jan. 1, 1952.

    Even though Georgia Tech knocked off the Bears 17-14, it did not ruin a season that was one of the best in school history.

No. 8 A Victory over Steve Young and BYU

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    During the 1983 season, BYU was one of the dominant college football teams. The Cougars were led by star quarterback Steve Young.

    The only loss during that campaign for the Cougars came at the hands of Baylor in what was one of the biggest upsets in school history.

    The Bears got the ball with just over three minutes to go, trailing 36-33 and put together a game-winning drive to pull off the huge upset. Running back Alfred Anderson dove in for the score with under a minute remaining to help the Bears pick up a dramatic victory.

    This was the first game of the season for both teams, and after the loss, BYU went on to win its final 11 games of the season to finish No. 9 in the AP poll.

    Baylor on the other hand did not have as much success. The 40-36 victory in the season-opener in Waco was the biggest win of the year.

No. 7 1985 Liberty Bowl Win over LSU

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    The early part of the 1980s was the golden age of football for the Baylor Bears, and in 1985, it was another solid regular season for Baylor, which finished the year 8-3 and 6-2 in the Southwest Conference. 

    That successful season earned them a trip to the Liberty Bowl against LSU in Memphis. The Tigers came into the game with an impressive 9-1-1 record but were no match for the Bears.

    The Baylor offense was too much for the LSU defense to handle, as the Bears totaled 489 yards with 26 first downs while dominating time of possession.

    Quarterback Cody Carlson was the MVP of the game, finishing with 161 yards passing and two touchdowns.

    This will go down as one of the most impressive bowl wins in the history of the Baylor program.

No. 6 The Bears Take Down the Nation's Best

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    This past season on November 17, the Bears pulled off one of the biggest upsets in school history, knocking off Kansas State, the No. 1 team in the country coming into the game.

    The Bears entered with a 4-5 mark and a 1-5 record in Big 12 play. Baylor had lost five of its previous six games and appeared headed toward a losing season.

    That is when the year was turned completely around with a dominating victory over Collin Klein and No. 1 Kansas State.

    Baylor controlled from start to finish, dominating the game to the tune of a 52-24 final score.

    Running backs Lache Seastrunk and Glasco Martin were the deciding factor. Martin rushed for 113 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries, and Seastrunk scampered for 185 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries.

    The win catapulted the Bears, as they won their final four games of the season to finish the year 8-5. 

    No question this game was worthy of a storming.

No. 5 A Farewell to a Legend in a Dramatic Sun Bowl Victory over Arizona in 1992

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    One of the true legends in Baylor coaching was Grant Teaff. He coached the Bears for 21 seasons, posting a 128-105-6 record during his time running the program.

    The final game he would coach for Baylor was the 1992 Sun Bowl against Arizona. The Bears were 6-5 coming into the game and heavy underdogs against an Arizona team that sported the best defense in the country.

    Teaff had helped lead plenty of Baylor comebacks, so when the Bears trailed 10-0, it was nothing to be worried about.

    Wide receiver Melvin Bonner scored two long touchdowns for the Bears. Throw in two fourth-quarter field goals and that was all the Baylor offense needed.

    It was quite a way for a legend of Baylor coaching to go out, and the 20-15 victory was one of the most memorable wins in the history of the program.

No. 4 Magical 1980 Season

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    While there were some very talented teams during the Grant Teaff era at Baylor, the best of the bunch was the 1980 squad. 

    Led by senior linebacker Mike Singletary, the Bears had a very talented defense that helped lead the team to a 10-1 regular season and a No. 6 ranking in the final AP poll. This was the first time in school history that the Bears posted a double-digit win season. 

    Singletary averaged 15 tackles a game during the season, earning All-America honors.

    During the final game of the 1980 season, the Bears shut out rival Texas 16-0. It would be the last time the Longhorns would be shut out for the next 24 years.

    That set up a date with Alabama in the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 1, 1981.

    Even though the Bears were dominated 30-2 by a better Crimson Tide team, it did not sour the best season in school history.

No. 3 1957 Sugar Bowl Victory over No. 2 Tennessee

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    The 1957 Baylor Bears finished the regular season with an 8-2 record and a No. 11 ranking in the final AP poll.

    Even though there was a lot of talent on Baylor, the Bears were a 7.5-point underdog against a 10-0 Tennessee team that was ranked No. 2 in the country and vying for a national championship.

    The game was played on Jan. 1, 1957 and was a defensive battle from the start.

    With Baylor trailing 7-6 entering the fourth quarter, it was time for a little magic. The Bears' Bobby Humphrey's scored on a one-yard touchdown run to give Baylor a 13-7 lead.

    The defense did the rest, as the Bears held on for one of the most memorable wins in school history.

    The MVP of the game was wide receiver Del Shofner, who came up with a big 54-yard run to set up the first touchdown of the game.

    Certainly a day Baylor fans will never forget.

No. 2 RGIII Brings Home the Heisman

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    Entering the 2011 season, not even the most die-hard Baylor fans could have been expecting the season Robert Griffin III was going to have.

    There had never been a Heisman trophy winner in the history of the program, and only Don Trull (fourth in 1963) and Larry Isbell (seventh in 1951) had finished in the top 10.

    The Bears were predicted to finish sixth in the Big 12, and Griffin was coming off a solid 2010 season with 22 touchdowns and eight picks while throwing for 3,501 yards.

    In 2011, he flat out went off.

    It all began in the season opener against rival TCU. The Bears knocked off No. 15 TCU, 50-48, in a game that put RGIII on the map.

    This was the start of one of the best seasons a quarterback has ever had in college. Griffin finished the year with 4,293 yards passing, 37 touchdowns and six interceptions. He also rushed for 699 yards and 10 scores.

    Those numbers led to Griffin being the first Baylor Bear ever selected as a Heisman trophy winner, a distinction that will live in Baylor football lore forever.

No.1 "Miracle on the Brazos"

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    Of all the big wins the Baylor football team has had, the biggest of them all came in 1974 against rival Texas.

    Known by Baylor fans as "Miracle on the Brazos," it all took place on Nov. 9, 1974.

    Baylor came into the game 4-3 overall, and the Longhorns were one of the best teams in the country at No. 12.

    Head coach Grant Teaff was only in his third season with the program, but over his 21-year career, no win would be bigger than this one.

    At halftime the Bears trailed 24-7, and it appeared like another loss against rival Texas was in order. The Bears had not defeated Texas in 17 years. When the Bears came out of the locker room however, everything turned around. 

    Baylor dominated the second half against the more talented Longhorns, winning the game 34-24.

    The Bears would go on to an 8-4 record and a 6-1 mark in the Southwest Conference, winning the league for the first time since 1924.

    It will forever be known as the "Miracle on the Brazos" because of the Brazos River that runs near the Baylor campus.

    No question that this is the biggest moment in the history of the Baylor football program.


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