Fast forward to December 29, 2010, and here are the Bears, ready to take on the Illinois football team in the Texas Bowl in Houston, with a 5:00 p.m. kickoff.
The game figures to see two relatively explosive offenses, although with contrasting styles. Illinois is paced by their ground attack, where they rank among the best nationally with both a quarterback and All American running back who can cause trouble. The Bears do it through the air and on the ground, led of course by sophomore quaterback Robert Griffin III and senior running back Jay Finley.
Defensively, Baylor has had its struggles this season while Illinois has been a bit more consistent. But as both teams are well aware, a bowl game after a long layoff often gives defenses a chance to shine, especially in the early going.
Certainly the Baylor Bears are not only glad to be playing in their first bowl game in many years, but will be looking to do everything they can to deliver the victory to a crowd sure to be partisan for the Bears. Regardless, what a great day it is for a generation of Baylor fans who are thankful and glad to see their Baylor football team back where they think it belong - playing in a bowl game.