After an understandably difficult 2020 season for the Baylor Football team under then-first year head coach Dave Aranda (who we adore), it’s extremely easy to forget that just two years ago the Bears were ranked in the AP Top 10 and competed against Top 5-ranked Georgia in the New Years Six Sugar Bowl. Of course so much change has taken place within the two seasons since the Bears fought for the Big 12 Title (their first since 2014) against Oklahoma—COVID, a slew of injuries, and truly terrible offensive coaching and QB play led to a dismal season last year—so I think it’s important to find some perspective and acknowledge the speed with which Aranda has led his squad to now a No. 21 ranking in the country. Yesterday upon release of the AP Top 25 rankings for Week 5, Baylor athletes, staffers, and fans must have been thrilled but not surprised to see the No. 21 placement for the now 4-0 Bears following their upset victory over then-ranked No. 14 Iowa State (who dropped out of the poll with a 2-2 season start). The Bears haven’t seen inclusion in the rankings since the final installment of the 2019 season when they dropped their Sugar Bowl decision to the Bulldogs and finished at No. 13 with an 11-3 record. That Baylor team was truly, truly good with weapons on both sides of the ball (we miss you, James Lynch) but I’m even more excited to see this year’s squad continuing conference play at No. 21 when they travel to Stillwater to face now-ranked No. 19 Oklahoma State. Baylor has a lot to be proud of and look forward to as Aranda and his coaching staff have developed their respective player groups into a dedicated, hard working, and cohesive unit. Here’s hoping they keep up the great work and improve even more this weekend!