A Season To Be Thankful For
Last night, #7 Baylor fell to #5 Georgia 26-14 in the Sugar Bowl. The Bears now fall to 11-3 on the season. Baylor’s loss in the Sugar Bowl was deflating as Georgia held a 2+ score lead for most of the game, and Baylor lost for the second time in row.
As a Baylor fan myself, it was a tough pill to swallow watching my quarterback leave the game with a scary injury, and favorite team get beat on the field in a New Year’s Six Bowl. Scrolling through Twitter, it was not hard to find frustration from fans regarding the game. Leaving my seat at the end of the game, I felt dejected with a sour taste of losing. It was not until as I was leaving the stadium, that I found myself smiling seeing the insane amount of Baylor fans that made the trip to New Orleans that caused me to reflect on the season as a whole.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 says “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
While the season certainly did not end the way Baylor fans wanted it to, this is still a season to be THANKFUL for. It is easy to only focus on the most recent event, but lets not forget all what Baylor Football accomplished this season.
“I know it’s ‑‑ I know it’s painful for our guys, but they can’t let that deter what they’ve done this season.”- Coach Matt Rhule.
First only two years after a 1-11 season, Matt Rhule lead Baylor to an astounding 11-3 not only tying the record for the highest amount of Baylor wins in a season, but making it the 6th time in history that Baylor football has achieved a double-digit win season. The football games themselves were also highly entertaining featuring 3 games that were overtime thrillers. 7 of the 11 games were one-score games with 3 of those with game winning or tying drives by Baylor’s offense in the final minutes.
Baylor Football also brought national attention back to the university as they finished the season ranked #7 in the nation, was amidst the College Football Playoff conversation for majority of the season, and brought ESPN’s College Gameday back to Waco for the first time since 2015. Most college football analysts predicted Baylor to finish anywhere from 4th-8th in the Big-12. Baylor surpassed those expectations and finished 2nd in the Big-12 earning them a spot in the Big-12 championship game, their first appearance in the championship game era. Some analysts did not even expect Baylor to make a bowl game. Matt Rhule and the Bears just responded by going to the Sugar Bowl for the first time since 1957.
In addition, the Bears also brought excitement, and energy back to Baylor Football. This team put on a show each and every game bringing fans back to games. After averaging the lowest attendance per home game ever in McLane Stadium in 2018, this year’s Baylor Football broke the record for the largest attendance in McLane Stadium history with 50,223 in their game against Oklahoma. They also recorded the 3rd largest attendance ever in McLane in their win over Texas, and 8th largest in their win in the overtime thriller against Texas Tech for homecoming.
I think Matt Rhule said it best in the press conference after the Sugar Bowl:
“As I told them, we were picked to not even been here. We got to the championship game. We got to the Sugar Bowl……I’m very, very, very proud of what we did this year, very grateful for these guys to my left and for our seniors for what they’ve done.”
With most of their starters projected to return, Baylor is predicted to have another impressive season, and be in the running for a Big-12 championship. The Bears will start the 2020 season off on September 5th against the Ole Miss Rebels in Houston.