Baylor football is ranked No. 2 in the Associated Press college football poll after beating the Kansas Jayhawks 66-7 on Saturday. The ranking for Baylor is the best in program history. The Bears’ previous best place in the AP poll was No. 3, which they reached three times (1953, 2013 and 2015).
“A couple of years before us, we were just trying to get bowl eligible. Now our eyes are set on a national championship,” said junior quarterback Seth Russell.
Furthermore, the Bears leapfrogged fellow Big 12 member TCU, (who was ranked No. 2 in the previous poll) after the Horned Frogs struggled to defeat the Kansas State Wildcats over the weekend.
“I think it shows a great perception for our football program and this university and the Big 12,” said head coach Art Briles.
Despite the high ranking, Baylor isn’t finding any solace in the No. 2 ranking, Briles said.
“I probably don’t look the same, but mentally I feel the same as I did in 2012 when we were unranked,” Briles said. “We have to go do a job. I think it shows a great perception for our football program and this university and the Big 12, but other than that, it’s at the end that matters. We are proud that people noticed and respect us as a quality football team, I know we are proud of that.”
Russell admitted that the expectation for Baylor has shifted with the national spotlight.
“A couple of years before us, we were just trying to get bowl eligible,” Russell said. “Now our eyes are set on a national championship. The level has risen, and all of the guys are on the same page with it. They’re ready to get going. They’re not going to settle for anything less.”
Junior wide receiver Corey Coleman said the ranking means a lot to the team, but the Bears have plenty of games left and have to remain focused.
Next up for No. 2 Baylor (5-0, 2-0 Big 12) is a home game against West Virginia (3-2, 0-2 Big 12) on Saturday. Kickoff for that game is set for 11 a.m. at McLane Stadium.