Spotlight on Baylor, new stadium

Baylor Bears have a scrimmage in the new McLane Stadium.

The Baylor football web site has a running clock that is counting down to Sunday’s kickoff against SMU at the shiny new McLane Stadium just off Interstate 35.

That’s not the only web site with a running clock that has the attention of the Baylor faithful though.

The one that belongs to the College Football Playoff also has a countdown on its site for Jan. 1, which is when the four-team playoffs begin. The defending Big 12 champion Bears, who open the season 10th nationally, would like for that clock to have some meaning for them too.

"Us being part of it," was Baylor coach Art Briles’ response when asked about what he’s looking forward to most in the new format. "Baylor being in the four that’s what I’m looking to most."

Briles is convinced that if the Bears do what they need to this year the committee’s job will be an easy one.

"That’s all you can control is what happens on the field with your team," he said. "Everything else falls into place. I have a lot of confidence in them (committee)."

Of course for the Bears to get to the playoffs they have to start the season with a win against SMU Sunday. The game will be nationally televised on FOX Sports 1 and there’s plenty of anticipation both for the season and the new facility.

It’s hard to tell which is a bigger attraction and the Bears have had some scrimmages as the new stadium to try and get used to the surroundings.

Whether or not that matters Sunday remains to be seen.

"It’s something that I find myself kind of dealing with," Briles said on the Big 12 teleconference. "I know everybody else associated with the game, our fans, our players, our coaches, everybody. The excitement. We’re going to play a football game but all the excitement is over the stadium, the surroundings, the atmosphere, the river, I-35, which is all understandable and well, well deserved. But from a coaching standpoint and from our football team’s standpoint, we’ve got to go play and go win a football game. It’s a tough kind of line to walk because we’re just as excited."