Wednesday Daily Bears Report: The Big 12's New Age

ConnerSaurusRex and Matthew Tennant had a grand old time at the Baylor Fan Focus Forum, the Big 12 rebrands itself, and Baylor mourns one of its most distinguished alumni.

I drove by McLane Stadium yesterday for the first time in several weeks. I'm happy to announce that the facility is far more beautiful in person than it is on camera, and that's saying something. It's larger than one would expect for a stadium with a capacity of 45,000, and it completely dominates the surrounding area. The riverfront already looks shinier than it has been in years, and you can see some new development taking shape in Waco. Alumni who haven't been to Waco in years will be shocked at what they find. Baylor's success is making waves in the town, and it shows everywhere you look.

The pedestrian bridge looks incredible, and the suspension bridges over the Brazos that run on either side of I-35 fit the scene perfectly. McLane immediately draws a passerby's eyes to the east side of the interstate as they drive in from the north, and anyone who sees the stadium can't miss the steeples of campus on the far side of the river. Another good season could usher in the most prosperous period in Waco's history. I plan on being around to witness every second of it.

One True Champion

The Big 12 Conference officially debuted their new logo yesterday, even though most of us have known what it looks like for more than a year. I'm of the opinion that it looks crisp and futuristic, especially compared to many of the other power conferences, but I'm interested in hearing other opinions.

The Big 12 is using the slogan, "One True Champion" in order to highlight its round robin scheduling that gives clear results and ensures every team gets a fair matchup against every other team. Of the Power 5 Conferences (SEC, ACC, B1G, Pac-12, Big 12) the Big 12 is the only one that has this kind of conference schedule, which is impossible with more than 10 member teams. This eliminates the complaints that emerge in other conferences, where many power players go years without meeting on the field and feel like they lose out on their "deserved" place in the postseason. I think it's an effective campaign, and I'm interested to see how the powers that be tout it during the upcoming season.

Here's a look at how the new logo looks on some Baylor uniforms:

Baylor Fan Focus Forum

A few weeks ago Matthew Tennant and I received invitations to the inaugural Baylor Fan Focus Forum, a focus group hosted by Heath Nielsen and several other members of the Baylor Athletics social media team. Yesterday we made the drive to Waco, watched the USA-Belgium game at George's, and spent a few hours in the Simpson Athletics and Academic Center with a panel of other guests. Most of our time was spent responding to questions about Baylor Athletics' social media presence. We talked about the things we liked, the things we could do without, and possibilities for the future.

It was great to meet the faces behind team social media accounts that we rely on every day for information. I hope Heath and his crew got what they were looking for from our feedback, and I look forward to interacting with them over the course of my last three years on campus. The swag we got was pretty great too- I might even try my hand at intramural basketball to test out my new Cory Jefferson Sleeve. If any of you are reading this, we all had a great time!

McLane Stadium Progress

The work on McLane Stadium rolls on. At this point, much of the work is cosmetic. The field is going in, locker rooms are being polished off, and everything is being put in order for the grand opening on August 31.

In Memoriam

Distinguished Baylor alumnus Ted Getterman died yesterday at the age of 89. He graduated from Baylor with a degree in business in 1949, and earned his law degree two years later. He owned Seven-Up bottling facilities in Waco and Bryan and served two terms as mayor in Waco beginning in 1976. Ted and his wife, Sue, are two of Baylor and Waco's most distinguished personalities. They were awarded the Baylor Founders Medal in 2005, one of the school's highest honors. Getterman Stadium, home of Baylor Softball and one of the premier softball facilities in the country, was named for Ted and Sue Getterman. Getterman's philanthropy extended to Hillcrest Medical Center and numerous groups in Central Texas. He will be missed.

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