WACO, Texas – Baylor was tabbed at No. 4 in the preseason AP Top 25 with 1,256 points in the poll that was released Sunday. It is BU’s highest preseason ranking ever, after previously having been ranked as high as seventh before the start of the 1957 season.
Sunday’s ranking also marks the first time that Baylor has been listed in two consecutive preseason AP polls, after opening the 2014 season at No. 10.
With its inclusion in the 2015 preseason poll, BU has now been ranked in 34-straight weekly editions of the AP rankings, which is a school record and the fifth-longest active streak in the country. Among those 34 weeks, Baylor has been in the top 15 for the past 28 weeks, which matches the total number of weeks that BU spent in the AP Top 15 from 1980-2012. In other words, the Bears have spent as much time in the top 15 in the past 2+ years as they did in the previous 33 seasons.
By being among the top-10 teams to start 2015, Baylor has now also appeared in the AP Top 10 in 24 of the last 27 weeks.
Last year, the Bears climbed to a season-high mark of No. 4 on Oct. 12, after starting 6-0, and then matched that on Dec. 7, after finishing the regular season 11-1.
The Bears were ranked seventh in the final AP poll of the 2014 season, which was a program-best.
In his eighth season in Waco, Art Briles and his 2015 squad will look to build upon last season’s second-straight Big 12 title in the second year at riverfront McLane Stadium. The Bears return 51 lettermen and 18 starters from a team that tied a school-record with 11 wins and played in the Cotton Bowl, the school's record fifth-straight bowl appearance.
In its history, Baylor has only been ranked in the preseason AP Top 25 five previous times: 1951 (13th), 1953 (20th), 1957 (7th), 1986 (12th) and 2014 (10th).
At the end of August, Baylor was also ranked fourth in the preseason Amway Coaches Poll. Last year, BU finished ranked a program-high eighth by the coaches.
The Bears, picked to finish second in the Big 12 by media representatives who cover the league, open the season at SMU on Friday, Sept. 4, at 6 p.m. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN.
For the latest news on the Baylor football team follow its official Twitter account: @BUFootball.
LAST 5 YEARS PRESEASON POLLS:
2015: 4th AP, 4th Coaches
2014: 10th AP, 10th Coaches
2013: RV AP (27th, 92), RV Coaches (29th, 80)
2012: RV AP (35th, 9), RV Coaches (31st, 23)