By Ben Everett | Sports Writer
Baylor athletics has a strong history of competitive programs.
Grant Teaff’s football program won two conference championships and eight bowl games in his 21-year stint as head coach from 1971 to 1992.
The men’s basketball team made two Final Four appearances in a span of three years (1948 to 1950) and picked up four conference titles in the same decade.
The women’s basketball team won national championships in 2005 and 2012.
The men’s tennis team won a national championship in 2004.
In recent history, however, Baylor’s various athletic programs have been more competitive than ever before, especially against other schools in the Lone Star State.
Since 2010, the Baylor football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, volleyball and equestrian programs have won 61 percent (287-183) of their games against similar programs at TCU, Texas, Texas Tech and Texas A&M.
Women’s basketball holds the best winning percentage among Baylor athletics against Texas schools in the past eight years by going 55-3, good for a 95 percent win rate. Since 2010, the Lady Bears have yet to lose to TCU and have beaten their rival, Texas, 18 times out of 19 attempts.
Baylor junior center Kalani Brown said she loves playing in a heated rivalry like the one against the Longhorns.
“I love a good rivalry,” Brown said. “Texas is a very good team, and they always bring high intensity. I love that about them.”
Since Texas head coach Karen Aston arrived in Austin in 2012, the Longhorns have been 70-38 in conference play, but have only beat the Lady Bears once out of 13 attempts.
After the Lady Bears swept the season series last month, Austin-American Statesman staff writer Cedric Golden said that the rivalry is real, but the games are anything but competitive.
“The fire in Aston’s belly to beat Baylor burns bright,” Golden wrote. “The fire to beat Mulkey? That surpassed inferno status long ago. Aston’s teams are 1-12 against Baylor, which makes any talk of a real rivalry a misnomer.”
Men’s tennis has the second-highest winning percentage of the group, going 30-11, including a perfect 8-0 against TCU.
The Bears are 7-2 against Texas during that span, and former player Max Tchoutakian said Baylor is always fired up to face the Longhorns.
“We know against Texas it is a big rivalry, and we are really proud to beat them,” Tchoutakian said after the Bears’ win over Texas in 2016.
Men’s basketball has contributed 38 wins to just 15 losses against their in-state rivals this decade, including an 11-2 mark against the Horned Frogs and a 5-1 record against the Aggies.
Baylor soccer is 14-7-7 against TCU, Texas and Texas Tech since 2010 but has yet to defeat non-conference rival Texas A&M this decade.
The softball team is five games over .500 against in-state rivals Texas, Texas Tech and Texas A&M, with a dominant 18-4 record against the Red Raiders in the past eight years.
Equestrian holds a 13-5 record against TCU this decade, and when you throw in Texas and Texas A&M, the Bears are 18-11 against major Texas schools during that span.
Baylor baseball is one of three Baylor athletic programs to post a losing record against the other power conference Texas schools in the past eight years, going 38-52 with losing records against every school except for Texas A&M.
In 2012, the Bears won the 2012 Big 12 Championship by defeating the Aggies in front of a sold-out crowd at Baylor Ballpark.
Former outfielder Adam Toth said the series win over Texas A&M was one of his favorite moments as a Bear.
“I remember that clear as day,” Toth said. “That’s one of the most fun years I’ve had playing here, was against A&M.”
Baylor volleyball is 23-27 against the four schools, but aside from a horrendous 0-16 mark against the Longhorns, the Lady Bears are either .500 or have a winning record against the other three teams.
The football team has lost eight straight games against those schools after posting a 11-6 record from 2010 to 2014.
Former wide receiver Jay Lee said being the best in Texas was a goal of the football team.
“We want to be known as the top powerhouse in the state of Texas,” Lee said. “We take pride in that, and every day we preach about it. That’s one of our goals: to win the state of Texas. That’s what we’re here to do.”
With every one of these athletic programs, except for football, posting a winning record this year, Baylor athletics continues to be a force in the state of Texas.