Sunday, December 8, 2013

Game 12: Baylor 30, Texas 10

Has there ever been a better night to be a Baylor fan?  There was the Miracle on the Brazos in 1974, RG3's win over Oklahoma in 2011, Baylor's upset of #1 ranked Kansas State in 2012, and this year's blackout win over Oklahoma.  But on many levels, last night's win over Texas has to be considered one of the best.

Baylor fans have been told for over a decade that Baylor can't compete in the Big 12, that we should just go to some second-tier conference.  Now our time has come: Baylor beat Texas to clinch the outright Big 12 football championship!  Baylor fans believed it could happen, Baylor hired a coach who believed it could happen, he instilled the team with a belief that it could happen, and now Baylor will represent the Big 12 in their first BCS bowl!  Sic' em Bears!

Field view from the south end zone.
As it that were not enough, besides the tears of joy shed by many over the championship trophy, many shed tears over the closing of The Case.  Floyd Casey stadium, Baylor's football home since 1950, is in many ways outdated and behind the times, but it's still home to some great football memories.  My family has been sitting in the same seats for some 35 seasons.  The fans in neighboring seats have become our football family.  As much as I'm looking forward to watching Baylor play in the new stadium, I will miss our spot at Floyd Casey.

Home away from home for 6 or 7 days a year. . . .
These crazy fans must have been a bit chilly!
Besides the Big 12 championship being on the line and the closing of The Case, the big story going into the game was the cold.  Thankfully, there was no precipitation, aside from the "freezing fog" that rolled in late in the game.  But the temps were in the 20s, with wind chills in the teens.  After experiencing temperatures nearly that cold at Oklahoma State we knew we need to bundle up a bit more, especially on the feet!

For the last time, the Baylor Line ran the field, led by Baylor Santa.  I know this is one tradition that will be preserved at the new stadium.  It will be fun to see what new game day traditions emerge at Baylor Stadium.

The game itself was looking like it would be a low-scoring defensive struggle.  They went into halftime tied 3-3, after Baylor's kicker missed 2 of his 3 field goal attempts.  The defense stopped Texas, including a blocked field goal, but our offense kept getting stopped, too.  That all changed in the second half.  I'm not sure what got the team fired up, but they came out of the locker room on fire.  They scored TDs on their first 2 possessions in the 3rd quarter, and then a field goal on their third.  Now with a 17 point lead, the energy of the freezing crowd, and a hyped-up sideline, the Bears maintained for a solid 30-10 victory.

I like Baylor's throwback uniforms.  I'm not sure Texas ever changes their uniforms.
They had to break out the cold weather gear for this game.
They must have been a few jackets short and had to share.

Dale Connally was the final faculty member ever to be honored at Floyd Casey!
Mom and Dad.  The greatest Baylor fans ever!
Thanks for all the memories (and all the game tickets!)
My oldest sister, Laura, class of 1985.
Since we had a full contingent for this game, the boys say on the east side.
That's Evan in the blue, Elliot in the yellow, and Drew in green,
near the top of the stands in section R.

And the celebration begins!

The last time Baylor won a conference championship, I was in 6th grade.
That's a long time ago! 
No word on whether the scoreboard was left on all night,
or whether anyone slept on the field!  I kind of doubt it. . . .
Elliot and I had high hopes, as we always do, that Baylor would have a great season.  When we set out to attend every Baylor game this year, we didn't know it would be the best season ever in Baylor football history!  It's been great fun, and I hope the memories of these games, these road trips, these victories, and even of one painful, heart-breaking loss will stick with him forever.  I know every chance I get to spend this time with him means the world to me.

And now, on to the Fiesta Bowl! 

Sic 'em!!

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