Big 12: Barton Koch

Baylor's Mount Rushmore

February, 12, 2009
2/12/09
9:00
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

I absolutely love the idea that ESPN.com is kicking around this month of a sports version of Mount Rushmore immortalizing the iconic figures of each state.

And it made me think about a similar idea for each Big 12 football program. What if each school had a Mount Rushmore model dedicated to it? Who would deserve to be on the side of the mountain?

I jotted down my ideas for each school and will roll them out today.

First is Baylor.

The Bears have struggled more than any program in the brief history of the Big 12. But the school still has a storied tradition that lends itself to four fine candidates if it ever decided to construct a Baylor-themed Mount Rushmore. I'm thinking a good location might be along the banks of the Brazos River, not too far from Baylor Ballpark or the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in Waco.

Here are my nominations.

  • Grant Teaff -- Not just because his worm-eating trick might have been the most notable and inspirational ploy in school history. He's also the best coach the Bears have ever had, too.
  • Mike Singletary -- How big was his legacy at the school? Baylor started awarding the Mike Singletary Award for its top senior player as soon as he graduated.
  • Barton "Botchey" Koch -- Old-schoolers still remember him as the first Southwest Conference player to ever make an All-American team.
  • Thomas Everett -- College Hall of Fame member who earned the Thorpe Award as a senior in 1986.

I'm not doubting that Robert Griffin could play himself onto Baylor's Rushmore if the Bears could ever make a bowl game. Maybe even Art Briles or Joe Pawelek, too. Anybody else out there I'm missing?

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