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February 3, 2014A Fitting End
As the clock wound down at Floyd Casey Stadium for the last time on Dec. 7, 2013, a new era began for the Baylor Bears. Not only will football return to campus as McLane Stadium opens for the 2014 season, but the Bears also will take the field as reigning Big 12 Champions, the team's first such title.
With a record number of fans braving 25-degree temperatures and wind chills in the teens, the finale at what had been home to Baylor football for 64 years could not have been more fitting. A defensive struggle highlighted the first half but the Bears came out with a championship on their mind and began the second half with a bang. The final score of 30-10 - coupled with Oklahoma upsetting Oklahoma State earlier in the day - brought the undisputed Big 12 title home to Waco.
Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby was on hand to present the trophy to Coach Art Briles while students, fans and players flooded the field in celebration. Following the championship presentation, Baylor legends from each of Floyd Casey's six decades, followed by President and Chancellor Ken Starr, began slowly turning off the lights at Floyd Casey for the last time. Briles, with tears visible on his cheeks, flipped the final switch as a page in history was turned.
Following a magical season, the Bears played in their first ever BCS bowl game and, according to experts, are poised to be one of the top teams in the nation next season. Clearly there has never been a more exciting time to be a Bear.
Next year, the Bears will move into the riverfront McLane Stadium as football returns to campus for the first time since 1936. Recently renamed to honor one of the most distinguished and generous alumni families in Baylor University history, the stadium will be located on one of the nation's busiest highways and will provide both a scenic view of campus and incredible exposure for the Baylor program.
The McLane Stadium site is approximately 93 acres and will include a pedestrian bridge that will connect campus and special tailgating areas. The stadium will be the largest project in Central Texas history and will provide new opportunities for Baylor and surrounding communities. The stadium has already sparked other proposed projects along the Brazos River.
Staff Council will host a STEPP Luncheon on Feb. 26 for those who wish to learn more about the building process and the new game-day experience from Brian Nicholson, associate vice president for facility planning and construction. To learn more, visit baylor.edu/staffcouncil.
Baylor football secured its first-ever Big 12 title and seventh conference title in school history (six in Southwest Conference).
The Bears earned their first BCS bowl selection - the Fiesta Bowl.
New program records were set for single-game and average home attendance.
Baylor set a school record with 10 straight wins at home.
Baylor reached No. 3 in the AP poll and No. 4 in the BCS, both program records.
The offense set the NCAA record for most points scored in a 13-game season and set school records for both passing and rushing yards.
More than 100 school records were set or broken during the 2013 season.
Numerous individual honors, including the fourth Bear ever to receive Heisman votes, a program-record five All-Americans, and the Big 12 Coach, Offensive Player and Offensive Lineman of the Year.