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Baylor Football

Once Again, Baylor Football Has Proven That Its Not Going Away

December 3, 2021
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While attempting to remain as neutral as possible and provide a 20,000 foot vantage point, I go back and forth on something that I'm sure many Baylor fans deal with as well. Should Baylor fans be content with reaching the championship game again? Should this program be happy with returning to the platform only to finish in second?

Mack Rhoades isn’t going to be content and he is the setter of the bar for the program, but Baylor will never be the ultimate stakes, high pressure job that asks to perform or get run out of town. It will, however, be a high value job that emphasizes winning and provides the necessary means to do so.

It's the ideal spot for a coach to find success while the fans can set the expectation of winning but never setting a bar so high that only Nick Saban would hurdle, an unfortunate reality that many programs settle into.

I'm thrilled to see this program once again show its resiliency after a vast majority on the outside wrote it off... again, foolishly. 

After Big 12 Media Days, I emphasized my belief that Baylor was overlooked and undervalued based on a 2020 season that saw so many variables that weighed heavily towards failure while not properly weighing the variables of changes and additions within the program. I wrote about it in July and was told Baylor hadn't done enough to warrant a different response than a dismissive one as the lack of consistency would never allow for the pedigree to change. At least not over night.

Maybe I was wrong at the core of my belief that Baylor should have been given the benefit of the doubt at the time, but this team — this program — has ultimately proven my overlying belief to be accurate. This program isn't one to be tossed the curb when someone mistakenly believes its shelf life has expired. 

Maybe the belief that Baylor didn't deserve respect going into 2021 was right at the time. At minimal, the football program was teetering on established relevancy or falling back into oblivion. A familiar position over the last decade. But myself, I truly believed that the program was more stable than anyone realized with more potential than many were willing to admit.

There is no doubt that the program is still in its infancy stage, possibly transitioning into its toddler years, though football had existed for over 100 years at the University. The level of commitment has been elevated to heights in the last decade that it has never seen, and those people who love it are choosing to devote the nourishment it needs to thrive. The success has come, and those on the outside who choose to ignore it will continue to look foolish as the culture continues to breed success in football as well as the entire athletic program.

So as I look to tomorrow morning, I don't know if Baylor will win its third Big 12 Championship. It's definitely accurate to say that the Bears are underdogs and according to ESPN's FPI, have only a 36.3% chance of pulling off the victory over the Cowboys. Vegas marks OSU as a 5.5-point favorite and the Cowboys won the first meeting by 10 in Stillwater. 

No, I won't be happy with a loss. I will be pissed because Baylor let another opportunity to win a Big 12 Championship pass by and an opportunity to stake its claim at the top of the totem poll of the newly reformed league will be missed. A third Big 12 Championship would put the rest of the league at an arm's length moving forward as Dave Aranda continues to build the program. 

But this season did something for the program. For the third time, it forged its way back into the national picture. It forced those who completely dismissed its staying power to talk about its success again when it was completely unexpected based on their underwhelming baseline willingness to grow its knowledge of the program.

As I said in July, the shift in variables and the addition of new staff and player personnel would have been praised and crowned at a place like Texas and Oklahoma, but at a place like Baylor it often overlooked and dismissed. That’s not unique to Baylor, but as Scott Drew knows, if you keep on putting yourself in their line of vision, they eventually won’t have a choice but to recognize you. 

Like Mack Rhoades, my expectations are high and I truly believe the best is yet to come. And for Baylor Football, each time it wipes the blood off its lip and gets back in the ring, the more street cred it should receive at a national level. 

A win tomorrow would go a long way in expediting that process, but a loss does nothing to slow it down. Baylor football is here for the long haul. 

Discussion from...

Once Again, Baylor Football Has Proven That Its Not Going Away

5,487 Views | 3 Replies | Last: 1 mo ago by jdkingbear
jdkingbear
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Aptly put. I expect the Bears to win at Jerry World. They do. You can bet your last peso on that.
jdkingbear
jdkingbear
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Aptly put. I expect the Bears to win at Jerry World. They do. You can bet your last peso on that.
jdkingbear
jdkingbear
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Aptly put. I expect the Bears to win at Jerry World. They do. You can bet your last peso on that.
jdkingbear
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