Good evening, friends! With the news breaking this afternoon/evening that LSU had decided to fill their vacancy at defensive coordinator with a former Baylor Head Coach famous mostly for losing games and crying, I thought we might channel all of our nascent offseason energy toward remembering how bad things used to be. Since lists are all the rage these days, here we go. These are the worst ten losses in Baylor history pre-Briles, so maybe people will stop talking about being disappointed about finishing 11-2 and #7 in the country.
Before we do this, a couple of notes:
- I know I said "Baylor history pre-Briles" just now, but I'm going to confine this to the last 20 or so years for the sake of my own sanity.
- This list skews heavily toward my own experiences/impressions. If you disagree or think I'm totally overlooking that time we lost to whoever because it was the same game that Johnny Whatshisname blew out his ACL and that team totally could have done something! just put it in the comments.
- Part of the reason I'm doing this, as I said above, is to show people just how far we've come. This is the definition of Old Baylor. We're never going back there again.
- This is just my opinion.
10. 2006: Army 27, Baylor 20
For whatever reason, this game stands out in memory. I think it's the time I finally realized the Guy Morriss Era at Baylor wasn't going to work. We'd shown some progress the year before, finishing 5-7 with two overtime losses (@A&M, @OU) as well as consecutive home shutouts to (28-0 to Tech, 62-0 to UT), and expectations were relatively high going into 2006. Then we let an Army QB that was slower than I am convert a fourth down in overtime and lost at home to the Black Knights.
This game was so forgettable that ESPN doesn't even have stats for it anymore.
My favorite tweet about this game from tonight:
9. 2005: Texas 62, Baylor 0
I'm including this game because so many people asked me to on Twitter-- I didn't think it was that bad. Yes, we lost 62-0 at home. But it was to the eventual national champions and we always knew we would. Vince Young and Texas outgained Baylor 645 to 201 on the day, Baylor had just 13 first downs, and our longest drive of the day (all 38 yards of it) resulted in a missed field goal that if I recall correctly wasn't even close. UT turned the ball over on downs on their first drive and punted on their third, but scored a touchdown every other time they touched the ball.
8. 2004: UAB 56, Baylor 14
UAB tragically lost their football team this year, but a decade ago, they beat us by 42 in Birmingham. New Baylor starter Dane King threw the first TD pass of his Baylor career down 35-0 in the second quarter, and then things got worse.
7. 1999: Texas 62, Baylor 0
I'm going to give you the results of all of our first half drives in this game: Punt, Punt, Punt, Interception, Interception, Fumble, Punt, Punt, Interception, End of Half. We had 8 first downs for the entire game, 6 of which occurred inside of the sequence I just listed. We were outgained 586 to 159.
I can't recall any other games where a team finished with 62 points, yet Texas managed to beat us 62-0 twice in less than a decade. That's something else.
6. 2001: Texas Tech 63, Baylor 19
It's almost funny to look back at these box scores now, in an era where Baylor routinely puts up 6-700 yards of offense, and wonder how opposing teams put up so many points with "just" 500 or so. Then you see the turnover margins in these games and it all makes sense. We were just lousy with turnovers in the early 2000s. It's horrendous.
This was our Homecoming in 2001, and our Homecoming Queen wore red and black. That's how bad things were.
5. 2003: Texas A&M 73, Baylor 10
This may be difficult to imagine considering everything else I've said, but Baylor fans were, I think, pretty excited about this game in October 2003. We'd just beaten Colorado the week before and were riding somewhat high. Then A&M rushed for 437 yards and Kyle Field shook with chants of "We want 80!"
4. 2003: UNT 52, Baylor 14
We had six drives in the first half of this game: Fumble, Fumble, Interception, Fumble, Interception, Interception. I think this is generally considered the worst game of the GuyMo Era, and it was his second.
In 1896, a railroad company set up a fictional town called Crush, Texas so they could throw two trains together and charge people to watch. 40,000 people showed up to see the spectacle on September 15, 1896. Two or three were killed by it. I don't mean to make light of that tragedy, but I imagine that watching those two trains annihilate each other was more fun than listening to this game on the radio.
3. 1999: Boston College 30, Baylor 29
Baylor lost this game because we missed an extra point in overtime. I have former players on Twitter telling me Steele was crying in the locker room after this game, his first as Baylor's Head Coach. We probably should have known at this point, but we had no idea what was to come.
THINK ABOUT THIS FOR A SECOND: WE LOST A GAME BY AN EXTRA POINT IN OVERTIME AND IT WASN'T THE WORST LOST OF THE 1999 SEASON. IT'S AMAZING WE STILL HAVE FANS THAT LIKE FOOTBALL, EVEN 15 YEARS LATER.
2. 2002: Cal 70, Baylor 22
"Cal scored again." Say that phrase to just about any Baylor fan over a certain age and they'll know exactly what you're talking about. Assisted by 5 Baylor turnovers, Kyle Boller and the Cal Golden Bears (sorry, Bears!) blew out Baylor in Berkeley to kick off a 2002 season in which the Bears would score just 202 points the entire year. We had more than that in our three non-conference games in 2013.
The only reason I put this at #2 was to break up 1 and 3.
1. 1999: UNLV 27, Baylor 24
Like it could be any other game. Baylor's loss at home against UNLV in 1999 was so stunning, so unbelievable, that virtually every major sports outlet has written about it as one of the worst coaching decisions in sports history and Baylor has somehow managed to wipe every video copy of it from the face of the planet. It's almost amazing, in a way, that in an age where I can watch supposedly lost versions of old movies and archaic footage of games from the time when men still wore hats everywhere (ask Peter how it was), the only people who have ever seen this disaster were either in Waco that day or saw highlights on their local news. I guarantee you a copy exists buried in a shaft somewhere that fills repeatedly like that money pit on Oak Island or across an invisible chasm guarded by an immortal crusader, but if they have it, Baylor isn't telling. And that's probably for the best.
For those lucky few who don't know what I'm talking about: on September 11, 1999, Baylor led UNLV 24-21 with :28 left in the fourth quarter and the ball on UNLV's 8-yard line. UNLV had no time outs remaining, so all Baylor had to do was kneel the ball to end the game and get Kevin Steele his first win. I'll repeat: Baylor could win the football game by doing almost anything, including nothing, except a) what they did, or b) actually try to lose. Instead, possibly the greatest example of karma in human history occurred when Steele decided to try to score again, our RB fumbled at about the 1-yard line, and a UNLV linebacker ran it back 99 yards to score as time expired. The only reason I don't think they were trying to lose is that they couldn't have pulled it off like that.*
*Although, if we're being honest, I'd totally buy that they were and be ok with it. If it came out that the entire team threw that game in conjunction with Steele, I'd forgive all of them. Even Steele. As it stands, I cannot forgive abject incompetence on that scale. I just can't.
Speaking of Steele-- here's what he said after the game:
"I have an explanation, but it doesn't hold water. We talked about creating an attitude and getting after people. We were simply trying to create an attitude."
Some day, long after all the humans on Earth are gone, an alien race of vast intelligence will stumble across our remains and find out this game occurred. They'll read this quote, debate it among themselves, and even they in their star-crossing wisdom will wonder just what the hell that even means.
Honorable Mention from the Past
1981: Alabama 30, Baylor 2 (Cotton Bowl)
On its face, losing by 28 to Alabama in the Cotton Bowl doesn't sound that bad, but I included this from our Facebook comments because our only points came off a safety. I contend that looks even worse than being shut out, but others may disagree. Still, Baylor was 10-1 that year going into the Cotton Bowl and just got hammered.