College Gameday Shows Baylor Has Arrived

Contributor Ashton Warren takes a look at the impact that the arrival of College Gameday means to Baylor University and the Baylor Football program.

This Saturday the Baylor Bears hit a milestone for the university. College Game Day brings forth endless opportunities to showcase what others don’t quite know about Baylor. Just two years ago Robert Griffin III brought much attention to the university with his Heisman win. After that, the university flourished beyond what anyone could have imagined. College applications poured in giving Baylor the most college applicants in Texas. Two years later, the Bears went on to win a Big 12 Championship, breaking school records in the process. This year brought McLane Stadium. Baylor is expanding fast, and the rise of the football program is mostly to thank for that.

So what does College Game Day mean for Baylor? First, it means national recognition. Sure, people have heard of Baylor by now, but do outsiders know exactly where it’s located? Do they know about Lady and Joy, the bears that reside on campus? Do they know what the 250 million dollar McLane stadium looks like? Most don’t, but on Saturday America will get an inside view of what it’s really like to be a Baylor Bear on the rise. Viewers will be seeing the campus and stadium and many for the first time.

Second, Baylor hosting Game Day means that Baylor is relevant and respected. The Bears have become a legitimate threat to other schools in the playoff system. Many thought that Baylor’s success would end with RG3, then with the Big 12 championship, but the Bears are here to stay. The producers at ESPN deliberate on which game is the most pivotal game of the weekend. They could have gone to any of the championships for the SEC, Big 10, or Pac 12. Choosing to go to Waco means that Baylor has playoff implications.

Last but not least, College Game Day means an overflow of recruits. Coach Briles gets to relax while ESPN essentially does the recruiting for him. These days, it’s all about recognition. College Game Day puts the spotlight on individual players. Recruits want to be at a school that will provide them with that very chance to be recognized on College Game Day. Recruits will get to experience the most electric game in Baylor’s history. If this game day experience doesn’t make them want to jump on the Baylor train I’m not sure what will. Game Day solidifies that Baylor is a legitimate nationally recognized football program. That’s the name of the game for recruits.

The chance for Baylor to host College Game Day has been long awaited. The fans have been preparing since the minute ESPN released the location on Twitter. Saturday will, without a doubt, be the greatest experience Baylor students and fans will witness thus far. Everything is on the line for the Bears, and the football team and students are eager to give America a glimpse of their green and gold stomping ground.

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