A humble message to the Baylor Nation:  First off, please note that I am not a communist to the Baylor Nation. So please do not take what I am about to post out of context. True. I prefer basketball, and support the Baylor basketball teams with season tix for men’s and women’s basketball programs. And also true, it is far easier these days to support Baylor Basketball than football. Even with Skippy’s Thugs not playing well and blowing the highest school ranking in history (9) by loosing three games to stunningly mediocre teams, I am staunch basketball. (Thank you Lady Bears for your first Number 1 school ranking in history).  But in the end, I really wish to see the football program excel.  You just cannot get around it, football brands the school programs stronger than basketball (although you could argue with me on this one, think: Butler, Marquette, Duke)

Baylor Fell Short of the Glory of The Baylor Nation

The Baylor Nation seemed pleased with the football program.   They went to a bowl for the first time in over, what 15 years? Great. Success. But, really Baylor Nation? Success?  I guess it is on one level. That was clearly a goal of Briles to get to a bowl. But in the end, I have a hard time thinking that this was a resounding success. I was proud of the program putting up a 7-2 record.  I knew the last three games would be tough.  But in the end, great teams, and great programs have to win the big games.  Not all of course, but you have to win some, and certainly be competitive in the rest.  Look at the A&M game.  What happened? Up 18 at half, and you loose the game scoring a big zero in the second half? Seriously? You are blown out by OU and OSU (ah, that Oklahoma State for you Yankees on this site).  You loose the consolation bowl game significantly to a mediocre Illinois team? Time to wake up everyone.  The Baylor Nation deserves more.

Hats off to Briles that he brought them to the bowl.  Great. While I have called for his head in previous posts, I must admit, we are better today than the littering of bad coaches in the immediate past.  But truly, with the talent this club had, I expected so much more. I am not hanging the last four losses in a row on the kids.  I am squarely hanging it on Briles.  He was simply out coached. No adjustment at half time at A&M game (at home, mind you). Play calling that worked straight into the the other teams strategy, because, as good teams, they studied film on Baylor and knew what to expect, . And of course, Briles delivered.  The defense, in spite of some real talent, failed miserably. This was a highly penalized team, which always smacks of lack of discipline. Bottom line, I am just not sure that we can get there with the current coaching formula.

So what is the answer?  As a life long Chicago Cubs fan, I hesitate to say simply “wait till next year”. Lets think out of the box. Cast your darts in my direction if you must. I propose a compromise.  Lets dream the impossible for a moment: Mike Singletary is suddenly on the market again. I am completely aware that he poo poo’d Baylor last time in the coach search convinced Baylor was not committed to put the resources to really win (read, facilities, on campus stadium) ((oh yeah, for those of you that think this will not happen, think again, it will in the near future…trust me on this one)). At least that was the party line.  Now the Baylor Nation largely is in love with Briles based upon what I view as low expectations.  I understand. He brought us to a bowl in three years. Cool.  So, lets dream a bit, or as I put it, think out of the box. Bring Singletary in as the defensive coach. Let him insert discipline in a group that could get it done, but needs good leadership.  Let Briles continue as the head coach. Obviosuly, egos would have to move to the side lines for this to happen. Yes, Briles would feel threatened. Singletary would want a head coaching job.  Look, I understand all of this.  But I am just saying, if the Baylor team had a strong dose of the Mike Singletary intensity, we would have done much better this year. Although I do not think that Singletary is the best strategic coach, I do believe he can get the most out of a group of kids whose talents are buried deep in the desert sands. And for those of you who think he would not take a lower level coaching job like this, who knows.  He may just use us a holding job for the next NFL job, although he would make a much better college coach than NFL.  OK, back to reality. But really, anything to return Baylor to a strong program, that is what I am interested in.  It can be done. TCU has proved this (and for you people, and you know who you are that says it is all facilities and such, read again.TCU facilities suck overall). I would love for Baylor to have the issue that TCU faces every year in the whole BCS debacle.

Whatever the answer, I call on the Baylor nation to expect, and demand more.  Do not accept the fact that we got to a bowl and that was great. Look at the whole picture. We can do this. It takes more. It takes true commitment to make programs great.  Demand that Baylor Football excel at any cost. Whatever it takes.  Any maybe, just maybe, the football program can catch up to the basketball program, which right now, is really putting the Baylor Nation on the map

PS: Go out and support your Baylor Basketball teams.

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Baylor Bowl Bound: Now Fire Art Briles

On November 22, 2010, in Other Interests, by admin

All right, some of you will think I am way too cynical quite like others of my group. Fine.  Some of you will think this is way too harsh.  What you say?  Baylor is going to a bowl for the first time since, well, I am not really sure, and you are bitching and moaning? Coaches are measured in part by appearances in bowls.  I understand. Briles is a great recruiter in Texas, I understand. Sure he turned University of Houston program around in three years.  I understand. There is great improvement.  I understand.  The media tries to build up Briles and the program improvements. I understand.

But the thing is, he is not a good coach.  Week in and week out, he gets out coached and puts teams on the field who are not prepared to play the competition. His defense has been non-existent. His play calling is highly questionable. His teams execution on offense is inconsistent at best. Penalties and untimely errors occur way too much. He does not understand that teams against him adjust at half time, he does not. 20 straight losses against Oklahoma…..the list goes on and on. In short, Briles lacks the mental toughness of a coach, and his talented kids reflect their coach’s mental toughness.  OK.  Maybe I should give him a break. After all, just a short 6 years ago he was a high school coach. And turning U of H around, well, this is a weak conference, a sort of B league if you will.  So his lack of experience shows in the Big 12.  BU will return a lot of players next year, but I expect a similar result as this year.  Another bowl appearance, OK. But really, I am looking for so much more. I am not satisfied with the feel good story of the football program turning around.  You see, I actually believe in the talents of these kids. I see others as thinking it so dramatic that they have achieved what they did as if they are Jerry’s kids stepping on the big stage for the first time. No, I believe BU has talent, a lot of it.  It is raw talent that remains under coached.

I make no secret that I think that football is a game the dwells more on the mental side of the mind than the talent.  I know Baylor Football will not recruit on the same level of the state schools who have the branding, think Texas, Oklahoma; or with the schools who’s programs have been purchased by a wealthy donor aka OSU.  But I think at this level, talent is relatively flat across most players, and the difference is attitude, mental toughness, and sheer will to win. This is what a coach must instill in the players. I do not think Briles is the guy to do this. What he does have in motivation, he lacks in coaching skills.  He is solidly out coached in most games.

I am not a cynic for the sake of being one. I am a true supporter of the program, and the other Baylor Sports. I also demand more out of programs than apparently most of our supporters do.  So Art, either figure it out or step aside.  These players deserve more than you have to offer.

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Instead of merely putting this in our comments field from the last post on Baylor Football on Redd, I decided to put the comments on Baylor Football from Low Budget Review Guy as a separate post.  I believe they are worthy of their own marquee……I wonder of LBR Guy was liquored up as well as I was when he posted…….either way, it makes for great entertainment.  My comments are also included, because, well, I am on a roll.

Low Budget Review Guy states:

1)      Hats off to the Ag’s for playing tough, hardnosed football.  They ratcheted up their intensity the 2nd half and we wilted under pressure, just like the week before.

2)      BU players and coaches are NOT strong mentally or physically.  Push them a bit and they self destruct  like a old rusty  Pinto in a rear-end collision.

Ed:  My point exactly. At least Ford knew to get rid of the Pinto

3)      Why does BU (and UT and a lot of other teams) continue to call that damn WR screen that gains 2 yrds when it works at all. It is a wasted play and should NEVER be called again.

Ed:  Could not agree more. Baylor Football coaches will tell you it is because their receivers  are quick, and these plays ‘create space’ to run the field. Seems they forget that other coaches (not even good coaches, but average coaches and above) watch film. And react to film. Apparently this confuses the Baylor Football (and UT and others) coaching staffs

4)      BU has very little talent on the Defense side of ball.  I believe the coaches are aware of that so instruct the DB’s to play 8+ yrds off the receiver—but still get burned.  If I was an opposing Off Coordinator, I would run 5-7 yrd slants ALL DAY, all the way up and down the field.  It would be 15 play drive for TD every time, and the BU offense would seldom see the field.

Ed Note:  And Bob Stoops will. So will our worthy bowl opponent: University of Minnesota, Duluth

5)      OU will try to score 80 on us next weekend, and just might do it.

Ed Note:  Stoops has new bar to cross for this year, he must beat the 83 the Wisconsin Badgers put up on the board yesterday.  My prediction, he blows by it in late third quarter.  My I am generous.

6)      When we go to the Crest Whitestrips Bowl, if we play any team that can throw the ball, we will lose. The only people watching that bowl game will be parents and friends of the team members from both sides.  No one else in America will care.  It may be the lowest bowl ratings of all time.  Oh wait,( M*^%$y) will watch—if he is not working…

Ed Note:  Sorry Low Budget Review Guy, you have been edited from using names.  I am afraid that all of our Russian and Eastern European spammers will contact Marty directly.  Not sure what he would do with a Russian girl….oh yeah, the parents will stay home.  Far too cold in Duluth, Minnesota.  Ed Note again:  We have heard that TV would not pick up coverage of the Crest White Strips Bowl, leaving the game to played not in a neutral location, but on the home school turf since they had the better record. Stadium capacity, 210 miners.

7)      Having said that, 7-6 (after the bowl loss) is a marked improvement for a team that has gone 3-9, 4-8 or 2-10 or worse for the last 10 years…..

Ed Note:  Good for you.  You are so positive. Find the bright star in a sky that has no stars………

8)      Having said THAT, how many people believe that this is a sign of better things to come, and how many believe the program is topped out, that 7 wins a year max  is pretty much it?

Ed Note:  With the current coaching staff, they have blown their load. It goes back our argument (which I am rapidly loosing), you can recruit athletes, and kids who can get the job done.  If you do not teach mental toughness and possess the skills to coach them, you will never excel beyond the current.

9)      Is D III  (or at least D II) looking better ?

Ed Note:  I have lost this argument. My hats off to you.  I am glad we have basketball…….now if Skippy can control his thugs

10)   Is the glass half-full? Half-empty?  Or, do you look at it like me and say the glass is dirty and needs to be washed?

Ed Note:  The glass has been washed many a time, it still comes out of the dishwasher caked with the foul smell that our defender experiences as he chases the Aggie receiver lumbering to the end zone ahead of him.

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Baylor Football: Another Bridesmaid Night

On November 13, 2010, in Other Interests, by admin

This has been part of a fantastic weekend in Waco, Texas where 5 separate sporting events took place. 3 BU Lady Bears basketball games, one Men’s BU Basketball game, and one football game. Great time.  So far, all the basketball teams have won solidly with one Lady Bears game to go. But let us this time focus on football.  No doubt, the Baylor football team has enjoyed a year of resurrection, to some degree.  Bowl eligible for the first time in over a decade, and in the hunt for the top spot in Big 12 South.  Or was, more appropriately put. Great. But the thing is, it is still Baylor football.  Tonights clash with Texas A&M only proved, the old BU ghosts still fly uncontrolled. Yes, BU has a great offense, and a star quarterback in RG III.  Great. My hats off to these guys. This posts is not meant to take anything away from the RG III or any other hard playing BU football player. Nope.  This one is squarely on Art Briles. I know he came packaged with RGIII.  Yes he is a good guy. Yes he fits the BU coaching mold. But in the end, he is outcoached regularly in these tough Big 12 games.  I loved watching the first half as BU piled up yardage and points to take an 8 point lead.  If not for questionable special teams play, the lead would have been more.

First off, hats off to you Aggie people.  Just know, I do not like you. I heartedly resisted putting up rebuttal posts in Facebook tonight on some of the Aggie pro comments.  But in the end tonight, your team showed great resilience, and your questionable coach Sherman adjusted to out score BU 28-0 in the second half.  You won, and you won firmly.  And I tip my hat to your team for this and your coach, who clearly, once again out coached Art Briles. What team goes into half time down not looking to adjust?  Apparently, not Baylor.  With all that talent, not Baylor. This is Coaching 101, and Briles has failed once again. Sure you can say we played them well, blah, blah. But in the end, you must close the deal.  You must play an entire game. You must keep the intensity that brought you to the half time dance to begin with.  The players talents did not change at half time, they were every bit still capable as in the first half.  But coaching;  a) attitude, b) play calling, and c) overall player mental preparation has to be there as well. This is the coaches responsibility. If you cannot prepare accordingly, go back to high school coaching.

Oklahoma looms as the final game.  Each week I hold out the possibility that something good will happen as it has several times this season. Baylor will likely be headed to a bowl game for the first time in a long time.  But, in the end, resting on that achievement, doesn’t that feel a bit like accepting a brides maid role to each you?  It does to me…………

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