'Year of the Bear' continues at Baylor

It took a trip to Clayton Kershaw's Dallas home six years ago for baseball coach Steve Smith to realize where Baylor University really stood. Smith was trying to recruit the left-handed pitching phenom to Waco, but Texas A&M and Arkansas were hot on Kershaw's trail, too.

At the end of the visit, Smith finally asked, "Clayton, do you have any red flags about coming to Baylor?"

Kershaw replied that he had two.

"The first thing he said was, 'I like football,'" Smith recalled. "The second thing he said was, 'I like playing in front of big crowds.'"

Baylor, to Smith's dismay, didn't have much of either then. And the eventual Cy Young Award winner ultimately committed to Texas A&M before signing a major league contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers out of high school.

"That conversation was so enlightening," Smith said. "You knew if one guy says it, others were thinking the same thing."

Nobody is saying those things about Baylor at the moment. Not after one of the greatest combined athletic seasons in NCAA history.

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