Beyond the boxscore

Baylor Bears show they can hang with the big boys; now they just need to win

Baylor Bears show they can hang with the big boys; now they just need to win

Nick Florence fans
Baylor fans have embraced Nick Florence I, the successor of Robert Griffin III.  Photo courtesy of Baylor Athletics
Art Briles
Head coach Art Briles is one the gutsiest play- callers in the NCAA.  Photo courtesy of Baylor Athletics
Baylor mascot
Bruiser, Baylor's mascot, still has plenty to cheer about in the post-RGIII era.  Photo courtesy of Baylor Athletics
Nick Florence
Nick Florence, shown here in a 59-24 route of SMU, beat Robert Griffin III's passing record with 581 yards against West Virginia on Saturday.  Photo courtesy of Baylor Athletics
Nick Florence fans
Art Briles
Baylor mascot
Nick Florence

Being a Baylor football fan is not without its challenges. 

Our rivalries against Texas A&M and the University of Texas (dating back to 1899 and 1901, respectively) have historically been one-sided. And in 20 years, we've been to only four bowl games

But a new day is dawning for Jerusalem on the Brazos. The golden era definitely started with Robert Griffin III, but it is far from over without him.

 A new day is dawning for Jerusalem on the Brazos. The golden era definitely started with Robert Griffin III, but it is far from over without him.

Any team that scores 63 points against a top 10 opponent is a force to be reckoned with. Yes, Baylor lost to West Virginia.

But the only resemblance to the Bears of the past was allowing 70 points. The offensive output was nearly unheard of until RGIII led Baylor to a 67-56 Alamo Bowl victory against Washington in 2011. 

Head coach Art Briles, the architect behind the Bears' success, didn't rest on his laurels when his recruiting proved to include the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner. He went back for more.

Now, Nick Florence is no RGIII. Florence is impressive in his own right. Heading into Saturday's game against the Mountaineers, he led the country in total offensive yards — averaging 387.7 per game. 

Florence beat Griffin's passing record on Saturday, grabbing 581 yards, five touchdowns, and, yes, one interception. Florence's interceptions are not ideal, but they will happen. And, despite the disbelief of sports announcers everywhere, he will brush them off by the next play. 

Arguably the most important quality the Bears have developed in the RGII era and beyond is the ability to entertain. Art Briles' gutsy play-calling allows our athletic, smart recruits to shine. Baylor may not win every game, but man, isn't it fun to watch? 

Win, lose or draw, the Bears put on a show.