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Baylor Football

Support breeds confidence, confidence breeds success

August 31, 2018
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As Chris Platt reminded the media members in attendance at Big 12 Media Days a month and a half ago, Baylor's senior class possesses a Big 12 Championship ring of their own from 2014. 

Now four years ago, the memory is distant to fans of the green and gold, but as one of the last tangible assets earned, it also represents the most successful stretch of college football in Waco, Texas. 

© Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Chris Platt sporting his 2014 Big 12 Championship ring.

Standing on the sidelines of McLane Stadium waiting for his shot on the big stage, Platt, then a true freshman, saw the support given to Bryce Petty and his senior teammates as a TCU's lead was trimmed down seemingly by the second.

A small piece in one of the greatest college football comebacks in history, Platt undoubtedly expected the raucous and energized crowd to continue over the course of his final four years. 

One day soon he would be the attention of that support, he thought.

But the descent that occurred after the ring was earned — the second ring in two years after back-to-back championship seasons in 2013 and 2014 — was quick.

An 8-0 in 2015 and the Bears looked to be well on their way to a third championship in as many years, but Baylor abruptly went 10-20 over their next 30 games. They have only won twice in their last 19 under two different head coaches. Well documented, the fall from grace was low-lighted by a sexual assault scandal that resulted in the removal of the University's president, athletic director and head coach beginning in May of 2016.

Two years later, it's time for a group of young men who happen to be Baylor football players to not be characterized for the sins or fault of others. They need the supporting confidence of those who supported a group of true freshmen, whose biggest contributions in 2014 came from their rallying on the sideline, to do the same for them as redshirt seniors in 2018.

Win on the field and the fans show up. 

Unless you're from Nebraska, it's the cyclical nature of college football. 

In this moment, maybe it's best to say that those Baylor fans who have considered falling to this trend should reconsider if at all possible. 

A small boost of confidence could go a long ways for a team that lost five of their six home games in 2017 by less than a touchdown on average. While a small fragment of confidence could come from a packed house, the energy and residual impact could and would help to close a gap that is smaller than many people realize.

"That’s the message I said about are we going to go play with confidence," Matt Rhule said. "To me, one of the keys to this football team, but keys in life, are you going to wait to have success to be confident, or are you going to have confidence before you have success?"

Just as Platt woke up every morning for class and workouts as a true freshman in 2014, he's doing the same in 2018. 

As he and his fellow seniors put in work in 2014, they are doing the same in 2018. 

They will reach and pull confidence from deep inside themselves, but a little extra motivation might be exactly what is needed to accelerate the journey to where Baylor fans aspire to be. Where the Chris Platt's of the world want to take Baylor football back to.

As the old cliche says, the more things change, the more the stay the same.

"Again, it comes down to humble confidence," Rhule said. "You're going to prepare, prepare, prepare and then have the confidence to go play. I'm hopeful that our guys will do that and will play their best game."

 
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