Grantland's Holly Anderson spent some time at Baylor in the past week, experiencing the Bears' initial game at McLane Stadium as well as getting a better feel for all the moving parts that combined to spur Bears' rise into the forefront of the college football landscape.
Here is a small glimpse at the story, which you can read here.
On former teammates envy of Bryce Petty, a member of Baylor's 2009 recruiting class, spending his final season at McLane Stadium:
"Shelved out of reach of meaningful playing time for four seasons, Petty is now regarded with emerald envy by teammates who graduated last year and will never see action in Baylor’s dazzling new football temple on the Brazos River. “Those guys are mad,” he said. “Oh, so mad.”
On how McLane Stadium became a reality:
"Like Petty, McLane Stadium took a circuitous rout to becoming the beating heart of Baylor football. The land the stadium occupies came into the university’s possession as part of Baylor’s failed 2009 bid to host the George W. Bush Presidential Library. Griffin won the Heisman Trophy in 2011, elbowing the Bears into the national spotlight, and the next year former Astros owner and Baylor grad Drayton McLane jumped into the funding fray with a multimillion-dollar gift. Without any one of those elements, who knows what might have happened. With all three transpiring in the last half-decade? Monday afternoon in his office, [Art] Briles chuckled: “How ’bout that?”"