Photo by Jim Black
Baylor Football

Ranking Baylor's top five football victories since the 2014 season

February 15, 2019
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The Baylor Bears have been on a rollercoaster over the past 5 seasons to say the least. With so many different faces on the roster and coaching staff and all kinds of different season results, the Bears still found a way to give Baylor fans games to remember.

Taking into account the weight of the results of the games and their sheer entertainment value, here are my top 5 Baylor football wins of the past five seasons.

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Honorable Mention

2014: With College Gameday in town, Baylor defeats #9 KSU in the season finale, 38-27, to win the Big 12 Championship

2015: Baylor knocks off #6 Oklahoma State in Stillwater, 45-35

5. Baylor 48, Texas Tech 46 (Nov. 29, 2014)

The No. 7-ranked Bears had a lot riding on this game as they headed to AT&T Stadium to battle Patrick Mahomes and the Texas Tech Red Raiders. The Bears jumped out of the gates early and had a 45-20 lead with just under 2 minutes remaining in the 3rd quarter. The Red Raiders fought back with a 19-point fourth quarter, but the Bears were able to hold on to win despite a late touchdown bomb from Mahomes. Mahomes finished with 598 yards and 6 touchdowns, but Shock Linwood and Johnny Jefferson’s 3 touchdowns and Bryce Petty’s 2 scores proved too much for the Red Raiders in this classic game.

4. Baylor 35, Oklahoma State 31 (Nov. 3, 2018)

The Oklahoma State Cowboys came into Waco seeking to ruin the Baylor Bears’ Homecoming weekend. Coming off two-straight losses, the Bears needed a win to help get their season back on track. This game was pretty ugly through the first three quarters. The Bears then found themselves down 24-14 late in the third quarter. Matt Rhule elected to put Charlie Brewer in the game for Jalan McClendon and the Bears clearly took off from that point. The Bears would climb back from a 31-21 deficit in the fourth quarter to score touchdowns on two straight drives. It was capped off with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Denzel Mims with just 7 seconds left.

3. Baylor 49, UNC 38 (Dec. 29, 2015)

This was a shocking game for all Baylor fans merely from the circumstances of the game. The Russell Athletic Bowl featured the 10th ranked North Carolina Tar Heels and the 17th ranked Baylor Bears. The Bears, though, were without their quarterbacks Seth Russell and Jarrett Stidham due to the season ending injuries. The Bears were forced to try out several different options at the most important position in football in this bowl game to try to pull out a win. Four different Baylor players threw passes, but it was the work of Johnny Jefferson with his 299 yards and 3 touchdowns that helped the Bears pull off the improbable win.

2. Baylor 45, Vanderbilt 38 (Dec. 27, 2018)

Baylor’s bout with the Vanderbilt Commodores was definitely one to remember. The game broke all kinds of records for the Texas Bowl. Both teams put up a combined 1,241 yards and electric long plays were the story of the game. The Commodores scored all 5 of their touchdowns on plays of 50 yards or longer. Ke’Shawn Vaughn lit up the Bears for 243 yards on 13 carries for 3 touchdowns. The Bears gained 8.2 yards per play. Charlie Brewer received MVP honors with 384 yards and 2 touchdowns through the air while adding 109 yards and a touchdown on the ground. The implications of this game for the Baylor football program and the Matt Rhule make this game even more exciting for Baylor fans.

1. Baylor 61, TCU 58 (Oct. 11, 2014)

This is a no brainer for all Baylor fans. The 9th ranked Texas Christian Horned Frogs rolled into Waco to take on the 5th ranked Baylor Bears to try and thwart the hopes of the Bears making the College Football Playoff. TCU came out strong and took a commanding 21 point lead with 11:38 remaining in the fourth. This was Baylor’s time to put their foot down and cement themselves as a title contender. With an steep uphill battle to climb, Bryce Petty led the Bears to three straight touchdown drives and the defense held their own to tie the game with just under 5 minutes remaining. The Bears would force the Horned Frogs to turn the ball over on downs before Bryce Petty would lead the Bears all the way to the 11-yard line for Chris Callahan to win the game on a chip-shot field goal to win the game. The crowd went crazy and stormed the field in one of the best college football games of all time. 

Discussion from...

Ranking Baylor's top five football victories since the 2014 season

Sicemball
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Unsure TCU was best game; but probably most exciting from a come-back perspective. We didn't play well for lots of that game. Still one that will live in forever with this rivalry.

BearlyPlayed
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the game in norman where we dominated them was amazing too.
Bubear2020
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I think there's three games missing.
The game that got us bowl eligible headed into both Texas Bowls. So vs. Texas Tech this past year and vs. no. 25 UT in Austin in front of 100,000 UT fans back in 2010 30-22. Those are two monumental games when it comes to the recruiting game and putting Baylor back on the map. I understand there not the most exciting games but they are certainly impactful.

The third one didn't make it because it's not a win but still super impactful in my opinion is the Texas bowl against Illinois. Yes we got blown out but it was our first time in a bowl game since before I was born plus quite a few years. It also taught the team how to play in a bowl game and have them the mindset that a bowl game is the minimum expectation. I also think it gave RGIII the drive to play harder the next year and ultimately win the Heisman
GShack
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BearlyPlayed said:

the game in norman where we dominated them was amazing too.


Glaring omission.
MrGolfguy
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The 48-14 beatdown of the Sooners in their house was glorious; a very rare outcome and certainly deserving of inclusion.
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That they would not teach me of in college
sahen
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Bubear2020 said:

I think there's three games missing.
The game that got us bowl eligible headed into both Texas Bowls. So vs. Texas Tech this past year and vs. no. 25 UT in Austin in front of 100,000 UT fans back in 2010 30-22. Those are two monumental games when it comes to the recruiting game and putting Baylor back on the map. I understand there not the most exciting games but they are certainly impactful.

The third one didn't make it because it's not a win but still super impactful in my opinion is the Texas bowl against Illinois. Yes we got blown out but it was our first time in a bowl game since before I was born plus quite a few years. It also taught the team how to play in a bowl game and have them the mindset that a bowl game is the minimum expectation. I also think it gave RGIII the drive to play harder the next year and ultimately win the Heisman


In 2010 we beat K-State in a monsoon to get bowl elgible. We beat UT the next week. The title of his article says "since 2014" so regardless none of the 2010 games make the cut.
historian
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If we go back further, I can think of plenty of games that might be included: OU 2013, OU 2011, K State 2012 (& 2014--honorable mention), Texas 2011, Texas 2013, etc. But since the cutoff was 2014, every game before the Bryce Petty era is eliminated. That makes sense, as there are too many such games that should be included and limiting the list to 5 would be ridiculous.

I can think of a few other games since then, however, which I think deserve some consideration:

* The 2014 win in Austin was important, for me at least, because that is the only time I have been in Austin for a Baylor victory. That is worth something. That the Bears dominated them again and our D held them scoreless for 58 minutes must count for something as well.

* The 2015 win in Manhattan as Jarrett Stidham's first start certainly was a great game as was the win over West Virginia that year. Seth Russell earned our respect that year.

* The Cactus Bowl certainly merits some thought considering how it capped off a very bizarre season (6-0 followed by 0-6): it showed the program had resiliency and could weather the storms (2017 would provide plenty of those).

* Speaking of 2017, the losses to OU & W Virginia are notable because of how great the team played in all three phases (not always consistently) and demonstrated what was possible with the new coaches and under the leadership of Charlie Brewer.

* Lastly, my favorite game of 2016 was the huge stomping of OSU at McLane. That was beautiful in so many ways from the spectacular passes by Seth (& receiving TDs by Platt & Zamora) to the way our defense played throughout, forcing turnovers, blocking passes, and otherwise disrupting the Pokes. It was our best game of the year in regular season, by far. My favorite part was the 99 yard drive, after the D forced the fumble, & the great passes Seth threw to Zamora, Williams, & Platt.



One final note: the video clips attached to the article reminded me how disappointing I find it when the only highlight clip of a game is the one provided by Baylor. Nothing against Baylor athletics because they provide great videos (although not as many as before), but I prefer the highlight videos from the espn, Fox, etc because they show both teams and include the TV announcers comments which are often entertaining. And two of our best games from this period do not have them (TCU 2014, RAB).
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