In case you missed it, several Baylor athletics teams helped keep the university in the national spotlight throughout last week.
Football upset No. 5 ranked Oklahoma and snapped a 15-year losing streak to Texas Tech in convincing fashion. Women’s basketball defeated No. 2 Notre Dame on Nov. 20 in Waco and won a tough road game on Sunday at No. 6 Tennessee.
Soccer lost in the second round of the NCAA tournament on Nov. 18 to national powerhouse North Carolina, but that wasn’t before the team made it past the first round of the tournament for the first time in program history.
Although volleyball suffered losses in its final two games of the regular season, the team had reason to celebrate Sunday when the NCAA tournament bracket was released and Baylor received an at-large bid.
Men’s basketball won twice last week and holds the No. 9 ranking in the country despite playing its first five games without star player Perry Jones III, who returns at 7 p.m. today in Waco against Prairie View A&M.
Baylor’s No. 5 ranked equestrian team also scored an upset victory over No. 2 ranked Texas A&M.
Since Nov. 18, Baylor’s varsity teams have combined for an 8-3 record with four wins over top 10 nationally ranked teams.
From rabid sports fans, casual fans and those indifferent to athletics, recognition has to go to these teams for representing the university well on a national stage.
It’s difficult to receive as much publicity as Baylor has in the last week in any other way. An estimated 6.7 million television viewers, for example, saw Baylor fans storm the field as football topped Oklahoma for the first time in program history. ESPN carried the Lady Bears’ basketball game.
Last week’s accomplishments on the field and court highlight the progress Baylor athletics has made in recent years. The university’s athletics budget of $59,859,235 (taken from the 2010-2011 year), or roughly 15 percent of the school’s entire operating budget, has paid big dividends.
Baylor needs its students, faculty and alumni to be just as supportive as the university has to the athletics program.
You don’t have to figuratively live and die with each win and loss, but simply appreciating accomplishments can go a long way.
Few would argue that storming the field with thousands of fellow Baylor students was a bad way to spend part of a Saturday night. There’s a feeling of pride that comes when students tweet about the Bears’ successes, even if they aren’t passionate about sports.
However the Baylor family recognizes its athletes’ performances isn’t important – the important thing is that they don’t go unnoticed.