The Bears are in the midst of a historically great run with seven straight bowl appearances, including trips to two top-tier games in the last four years.

After a tumultuous 2016 season, the Bears notched a capstone win under interim head coach Jim Grobe, running their all-time bowl record to 12-11. Here's a look back at how BU has fared over the years:

 

1949 Dixie Bowl

BAYLOR 20, WAKE FOREST 7

Jan. 1, 1949, in Birmingham, Ala.

Bob Woodruff coached Baylor to a victory in its first bowl appearance. The Bears jumped on the Demon Deacons and led 20-0 at halftime with touchdowns from Sammie Pierce, Jerry Mangrum and Harold Riley.

 
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ALAMO BOWL PREVIEW: Baylor's postseason history

Baylor quarterback Larry Isbell runs upfield as Harold Riley (85) tries to throw a block in the 1952 Orange Bowl. The Bears lost to Georgia Tech, 17-14.

1952 Orange Bowl

#5 GEORGIA TECH 17, #9 BAYLOR 14

Jan. 1, 1952, in Miami

The Yellow Jackets scored 10 points in the fourth quarter to rally past the Bears and hand them their first bowl defeat. Baylor took a 14-7 lead at halftime on Jerry Coody’s 5-yard run, but couldn’t hold the advantage.

 

1954 Gator Bowl

#13 AUBURN 33, #18 BAYLOR 13

Dec. 31, 1954, in Jacksonville, Fla.

The Tigers scored five of the first six times they touched the ball in a New Year’s Eve rout. Reuben Saage and L.G. Dupre put up the only points for Baylor.

 
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ALAMO BOWL PREVIEW: Baylor's postseason history

Baylor’s Reuben Saage (left) and Del Shofner in the locker room after the Bears knocked off previously undefeated and No. 2-ranked Tennessee, 13-7, in the 1957 Sugar Bowl. “The reason for their grins is obvious,” the Associated Press caption reads.

1957 Sugar Bowl

#11 BAYLOR 13, #2 TENNESSEE 7

Jan. 1, 1957, in New Orleans

Regarded as the Bears’ best bowl win. Saage recovered a fumble in the fourth quarter to set up Buddy Humphrey’s winning 1-yard TD run to beat Johnny Majors and the undefeated Volunteers.

 

1960 Gator Bowl

#18 FLORIDA 13, #12 BAYLOR 12

Dec. 31, 1960, in Jacksonville, Fla.

Baylor rallied with two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, but Ronnie Goodwin juggled and dropped the winning 2-point try. Baylor quarterback Bobby Ply set a then-Gator Bowl record with 13 completions.

 

1961 Gotham Bowl

BAYLOR 24, UTAH STATE 9

Dec. 9, 1961, in New York

The Bears took advantage of eight turnovers, and Don Trull was named MVP after rushing for one touchdown and throwing another score in the rout of the previously undefeated Aggies.

 

1963 Bluebonnet Bowl

BAYLOR 14, LSU 7

Dec. 31, 1963, in Houston

James Ingram caught 11 passes for 163 yards, including two touchdown passes from Trull in the fourth quarter. Trull threw for 255 yards in the game, while the Bears held the Tigers to 108 total yards.

 
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1975 Cotton Bowl - Teaff Paterno (copy)

Penn State head coach Joe Paterno (right) speaks at a press conference on Dec. 28, 1974 prior to the Cotton Bowl. It was the Bears' first bowl game under Grant Teaff (left) and BU's first in 11 years.

1975 Cotton Bowl

#7 PENN STATE 41, #12 BAYLOR 20

Jan. 1, 1975, in Dallas

The Bears took a 7-3 halftime lead before the Nittany Lions exploded in the second half to whip the Southwest Conference champions. Ricky Thompson caught two touchdown passes, and Steve Beaird rushed for 84 yards and a score for Baylor.

> Read Dave Campbell's game story

 

1979 Peach Bowl

#19 BAYLOR 24, #18 CLEMSON 18

Dec. 31, 1979, in Atlanta

Mike Brannan threw two touchdown passes and Mickey Elam added another to help Grant Teaff earn his first bowl victory as Baylor’s coach.

 

1981 Cotton Bowl

#9 ALABAMA 30, #6 BAYLOR 2

Jan. 1, 1981, in Dallas

“Bear” Bryant’s Crimson Tide dominated the Bears in Baylor’s last appearance on New Year’s Day. Baylor managed just 158 yards and got its only points on a safety by Tommy Tabor.

> Read Dave Campbell's game story

 

1983 Bluebonnet Bowl

OKLAHOMA STATE 24, #20 BAYLOR 14

Dec. 31, 1983, in Houston

The future Big 12 rival Cowboys raced to a 21-0 lead in the first half and cruised to the victory. All-American Gerald McNeil caught 10 passes for 163 yards and both touchdowns for Baylor.

 
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ALAMO BOWL PREVIEW: Baylor's postseason history

Baylor quarterback Cody Carlson threw for two touchdowns in the Bears’ 21-7 victory over LSU in the 1985 Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tenn.

1985 Liberty Bowl

BAYLOR 21, LSU 7

Dec. 27, 1985, in Memphis, Tenn.

Cody Carlson threw touchdown passes to Matt Clark and John Simpson as the Bears dominated the Tigers for the second time in a bowl game.

 

1986 Bluebonnet Bowl

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ALAMO BOWL PREVIEW: Baylor's postseason history

Baylor coach Grant Teaff celebrates after the Bears’ 21-9 victory over Colorado in the 1986 Bluebonnet Bowl.

#14 BAYLOR 21, COLORADO 9

Dec. 31, 1986, in Houston

MVP Ray Berry led a stellar defensive effort to shut down the wishbone of Baylor’s future (and now former) Big 12 rivals. Derrick McAdoo had two 1-yard touchdown runs for Baylor.

 

1991 Copper Bowl

INDIANA 24, BAYLOR 0

Dec. 31, 1991, in Tucson, Ariz.

The Hoosiers raced to a 17-0 halftime lead, and the Bears couldn’t come back in their first bowl game west of Waco.

 

1992 Sun Bowl

BAYLOR 20, #22 ARIZONA 15

Dec. 31, 1992, in El Paso

Melvin Bonner caught touchdown passes of 61 and 69 yards to help send Grant Teaff out a winner in his final game as coach.

 

1994 Alamo Bowl

#24 WASHINGTON STATE 10, BAYLOR 3

Dec. 31, 1994, in San Antonio

The nation’s No. 1 defense shut down the Bears in their first Alamo Bowl appearance, which was the final bowl appearance period until the Briles era. Baylor’s Jeff Watson was intercepted in the end zone in the final minute to end the Bears’ hopes.

> Read reflections on the game

 
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ALAMO BOWL PREVIEW: Baylor's postseason history

Illinois receiver Ryan Lankford pulls down a long pass against Baylor cornerback Mikail Baker in 2010’s Texas Bowl in Houston. The Bears’ return to the postseason ended with a 38-14 loss to the Illini at Reliant Stadium.

2010 Texas Bowl

ILLINOIS 38, BAYLOR 14

Dec. 29, 2010, in Houston

The Bears’ first bowl game in 16 years didn’t have a happy ending, as Mikel Leshoure rushed for 184 yards and three touchdowns for the Illini. Kendall Wright’s 39-yard touchdown pass trimmed the lead to 24-14 early in the fourth quarter, but Baylor could not stop Illinois, which gained 533 total yards.

> Read the game story

> Brice Cherry column

> RG3 analysis

> John Werner column

 
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Year of the Baylor Bear: Redefining unbelievable

Heisman Trophy-winning Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin carries off the Alamo Bowl trophy after a wild 67-56 win over Washington to complete a 10-3 season.

2011 Alamo Bowl

#15 BAYLOR 67, WASHINGTON 56

Dec. 29, 2011, in San Antonio

> Read the game story

> Notebook

> Bears bask in the glory

 

2012 Holiday Bowl

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Holiday Bowl Football

Baylor running back Glasco Martin is lifted by teammates after scoring a touchdown against UCLA during the first half of the 2012 Holiday Bowl in San Diego.

BAYLOR 49, #17 UCLA 26

Dec. 27, 2012 in San Diego

Making its first bowl trip to California, Baylor did its part to uphold Holiday Bowl tradition by scoring fast and often.

UCLA’s vaunted offense never lived up to its billing. And that’s because Baylor’s defense played like it was ecstatic to face any team that doesn’t call the Big 12 home.

It added up to a tour de force performance by the Bears as they pounded the No. 17 Bruins for their most lopsided bowl win in school history before 55,507 fans at Qualcomm Stadium.

> Read the game story

> John Werner column

> Notebook

> Reacting to the win

 

2014 Fiesta Bowl

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Briles UT3

Baylor fans were out in force, making the road trip for the Bears' first BCS bowl appearance in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 1, 2014. Baylor lost to UCF, 52-42.

#15 CENTRAL FLORIDA 52, #6 BAYLOR 42

Jan. 1, 2014 in Glendale, Ariz.

After the No. 15 Knights scored the game’s first two touchdowns, the No. 6 Bears began the night battling out of a hole. They stayed there most of the night as UCF pulled away for a 52-42 win before 65,172 fans at University of Phoenix Stadium.

UCF junior quarterback Blake Bortles showed why he’s projected to be a high NFL draft pick if he chooses to come out early as he hit 20 of 31 passes for 301 yards and three touchdowns. The 6-4, 230-pound Bortles also ran for a career-high 93 yards and a touchdown.

> Read the game story

> Brice Cherry column

> Notebook

> Fans react

 

2015 Cotton Bowl

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BU MSTATE9 JL

Despite being named the Cotton Bowl's outstanding offensive player with a record-setting performance, Baylor QB Bryce Petty was in no mood to celebrate. “It’s all for naught when you lose,” he said.

#7 MICHIGAN STATE 42, #4 BAYLOR 41

Jan. 1, 2015 in Arlington

With Bryce Petty setting a Cotton Bowl record for 550 passing yards, it looked like the Bears would win comfortably as they took a 41-21 lead into the fourth quarter.

But two Michigan State scores cut the lead to six, and following a blocked Baylor field-goal attempt, the Spartans moved 45 yards for the winning touchdown, then intercepted Bryce Petty with two seconds remaining to seal the win.

The back-to-back Big 12 champion Bears finished with an 11-2 record for the second straight season following consecutive major bowl losses.

> Read the game story

> John Werner column

> Brice Cherry column

> Notebook

 

2015 Russell Athletic Bowl

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Russell Athletic Bowl Football

Baylor University head football coach Art Briles celebrates Tuesday after the Bears defeated North Carolina 49-38 in the Russell Athletic Bowl game in Orlando, Florida.

#18 BAYLOR 49, #10 NORTH CAROLINA 38

Dec. 29, 2015 in Orlando

Setting a FBS bowl record with 645 yards rushing, the No. 18 Bears stomped and pounded their way to a 49-38 win over No. 10 North Carolina.

Coming into the game hammered by major injuries (quarterbacks Seth Russell and Jarrett Stidham, Biletnikoff Award-winning receiver Corey Coleman, running back Shock Linwood and lineman Pat Colbert), the Bears dusted off the single wing, one of the oldest and most basic offenses in the books.

“We wanted to run the ball and pound it and see if they could stop us,” said Johnny Jefferson, who set an all-time Baylor single-game rushing mark with 299 yards and was named the game’s MVP. “This was by far the best performance of my life.”

It was the Bears’ first bowl win since their romp over UCLA in the 2012 Holiday Bowl, followed by disappointing results to end the 2013 and 2014 seasons. “This is big time to win a bowl,” safety Orion Stewart said. “The last two years we couldn’t pull it off. This is big for our program and Coach Briles and Baylor Nation.”

It would be Briles' final game at Baylor.

> Read the game story

> Notebook

> John Werner column

 

2016 Cactus Bowl

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Baylor Boise State

Baylor wide receiver Ishmael Zamora (right) scores a touchdown as Boise State safety Cameron Hartsfield defends during the second half of the Bears' Cactus Bowl 31-12 win in Phoenix.

BAYLOR 31, BOISE STATE 12

Dec. 27, 2016 in Phoenix

After enduring one of the most difficult seasons imaginable, Baylor could have easily mailed it in for the Cactus Bowl and ended the season with its seventh straight loss. Instead, the Bears played some of their most inspired, daring football of the season as the Bears rocked the Broncos at Chase Field.

Freshman Zach Smith passed for 375 yards while KD Cannon caught two touchdown passes and the Baylor defense came up huge, delivering one big play after another.

The Bears finished the year with a 7-6 record, posting a season-ending win after losing their last six games following a 6-0 start. It was interim head coach Jim Grobe's final game.

> Read the game story

> Notebook