WACO, Texas — Scour the banks of the Brazos River. Search the whole of McLennan County. Survey the Baptist General Convention if you must.
You won't find anyone more excited about Baylor's football resurgence than me.
Saturday morning will mark my 19th Baylor game. That's how many times I've covered Oklahoma or Oklahoma State against Baylor in 14 seasons since arriving at The Oklahoman.
That means I've seen some dreadful games.
Baylor won only one of the games that I've seen — last year's thriller against Oklahoma — and in the other 18 games, the average margin of victory for the squad from north of the Red River was 25.3 points.
The Bears were non-competitive most years.
In 2000, Baylor came to OSU and lost by four touchdowns. That was the Cowboys' first win in two months.
In 2004, the Cowboys won 49-21.
In 2006, 66-24.
In 2007, 45-14.
Even last season when the Bears had Superman at the helm, the Cowboys still walloped them. OSU won 59-24 and rendered Robert Griffin III a non-factor.
(Did I mention RG3 didn't get my Heisman vote?)
But now, the Bears have turned a big corner.
Last year with RG3, the assumption was that Baylor would go back to being Baylor once he was gone. He was a once-in-a-lifetime player. Surely, Baylor's good fortune would only last as long as he did.
Not all that long ago, those prophesies seemed to be coming true. Baylor hit a four-game losing skid, and when Kansas came to town on the first weekend of November, it looked like a game to stay out of the Big 12 cellar.
But what Baylor has done since has been nothing short of spectacular.
Beat Kansas (duh), 41-14.
Scared the daylights out of Oklahoma, 42-34.
Drubbed top-ranked Kansas State, 52-24.
Outlasted Texas Tech in overtime, 52-45.
Baylor ain't dead yet, and the reason is a tried and true formula. Talented people. Talented coaches. Talented players.
Art Briles and his staff have brought in good players, then developed them and schemed well.
What has resulted is one of the most difficult offenses in college football to defend. So says Bill Young, a man whose defense faces tough offenses every week in the Big 12.
“They line their wideouts up almost out of bounds,” the OSU defensive coordinator said. “Most people, their wide receivers will be way down the field blocking. Well, if it's a sweep away from the wide receivers, they just walk off the line or they back up like they're going to get a screen pass, so they're standing right where they need to be when the next play's ready to go.
“As soon as the offensive line gets back, boom, they snap the ball.”
That's just one of the many reasons Baylor is no longer a laughing stock, and that is reason to celebrate.
Bring on the good games.
“No one wins at Baylor,” Cowboy offensive coordinator Todd Monken said of the longstanding belief. “But Art Briles and that staff have won at Baylor.
“So, enough said.”
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Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.