By Shehan Jeyarajah
The phrase “biggest game in Baylor history” has been used to describe many games this season, most notably at home against No. 10 Oklahoma and on the road against No. 10 Oklahoma State in Stillwater. But with Baylor’s Big 12 Championship clincher against No. 25 University of Texas in the final game at Floyd Casey Stadium on Saturday, we have a new titleholder.
“It was like a dream,” senior safety Ahmad Dixon said. “All the seniors were up there and we were telling each other, ‘Wow, this really happened.’ Nobody’s seen it happen before we came here and tonight that dream became a reality.”
And how fitting it was that the dream became a reality in front of a record 51,728 fans to cap off the final game of the final season at historic Floyd Casey Stadium.
“I couldn’t have written a storyline better than this,” senior running back Glasco Martin said. “We’ve been working on this for four years. To finally get that on the night that The Case is being done with, it’s special.”
The Bears have been absolutely dominant at home since the beginning of the 2011 season. Including Saturday’s win, Baylor closed The Case on a 10-game winning streak. The last time Baylor lost at home was Oct. 13, 2012. Before that loss, Baylor’s second to last loss was Nov. 20, 2010. In that stretch, Baylor has won 19 of their last 20 at home. Baylor has played their best against the best. Texas was the sixth opponent in the last two years that Baylor has played at home ranked in the AP Top 25. In those games, Baylor is 6-0. During that stretch, Baylor has beaten No. 23 and No. 24 Texas, No. 5 and No. 10 Oklahoma, No. 1 Kansas State and No. 23 Oklahoma State. The Bears were considered major underdogs in three of those six games.
Baylor finished with a total record of 191-146-5 at Floyd Casey Stadium for a winning percentage of 55.8 percent. This is during a point in Baylor history where the Bears went 331-369-11 for a winning percentage of 46.5 percent. Martin loves the home field advantage that Baylor fans have given Floyd Casey, even compared to earlier in his career.
“Everybody comes out now, they’re loud, screaming the whole time,” Martin said. “It gives us a boost of energy, and makes it hard to lose.”
Baylor won all of their home games this season for the second time in three years, and ended with the biggest win in school history and Baylor’s first ever Big 12 Championship trophy being presented on the turf.
“There was a lot of momentum heading into this season, the last season at Floyd Casey being one of them,” junior quarterback Bryce Petty said. “To end the season like that, Case Closed as everybody said, was a great feeling. All the tradition, all the Baylor greats that have played before, it was great.”
Yes, the lights are now dark at The Case, but it was sent out in style. When Martin was asked whether the home field advantage would continue to Baylor Stadium, there was no hesitation.