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Posts Tagged ‘Art Briles’

No. 46: Baylor

Robert Griffin III is gone, off to Washington, where he has already won the hearts of the burgundy-and-gold clad faithful, to no one’s surprise. He’ll be seen again in Waco, but only in highlight montages — he has time… launches it into the end zone… touchdown! — and on the odd fall Saturday, should he be free of all N.F.L. obligations. All that’s left are records, plenty of records, along with a duplicate of the greatest individual award in amateur sports, as well as the sort of imprint that comes only with being the finest player in program history. That’s no hyperbole: There’s Griffin, followed by a solid gap, then there’s Mike Singletary, then there’s Don Trull, and then there’s everybody else. So how does Baylor recover from losing the most transcendent figure in program history, not to mention losing him one year ahead of schedule?

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    The Year in Review: Baylor (10-3, 6-3)

    Robert Griffin III is gone. He’ll be seen again in Waco, but only in highlight montages — he has time… launches it into the end zone… touchdown! — and on the odd fall Saturday, should he be free of all N.F.L. obligations. All that’s left are records, plenty of records, as well as the sort of imprint that comes only with being the finest player in program history. That’s no hyperbole: There’s Griffin, followed by a solid gap, then there’s Mike Singletary, then there’s Don Trull, and then there’s everybody else. So how does Baylor recover from losing the most transcendent figure in program history, not to mention losing him one year ahead of schedule?

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      Thinking About Who’s Next at Arizona

      Where does Arizona go next? Defensive coordinator Tim Kish will run the show for the rest of 2011, but we know the track record of interim coaches becoming the permanent replacement at the end of their partial-season audition: there have been coaches who parlayed a short stint into the full-time position, but it’s a short list. Barring the near-impossible, the overwhelming odds point towards athletic director Greg Byrne and Arizona opening up the job formerly held by Mike Stoops to a nationwide search. Does the university want someone with prior head coach experience? An offensive-minded coach, a defense-first coach? Perhaps the only certainty is that Arizona wants a coach with a more stoic, less demonstrative manner – the anti-Stoops, in short. Let’s look at a few names the Wildcats may consider:

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        No. 64: Baylor

        I don’t care if Texas is 4-3, 7-0, 0-7 or anywhere in between: Texas is Texas, is always Texas, and Baylor is always, always Baylor. Meaning that the U.T. fan base is supposed to look at its upcoming schedule, circle Oklahoma in red ink and then, with the same pen, put a large W alongside Baylor, telling friends and family that hey, if you’re going to schedule a wedding between September and December, that’s the time. Not anymore – or at least not for the foreseeable future, because Art Briles is in town, and what’s up is down, left is right, and what were once clear wins are now games very much up for grabs. Because Baylor is winning football games, and the Bears might just be getting warmed up.

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          Texas Bowl: Baylor vs. Illinois

          Let me get this straight: both Baylor and a Ron Zook-coached team are headed to bowl play in the same season? The former is not too much of a surprise, I suppose, not when considering the rapidity with which Art Briles turned Houston into a winner from 2003-7. Still, it’s one thing to win at Houston — or anywhere else — and quite another to win at Baylor, as a graveyard of coaches who have tried and failed can attest. The oft-repeated line about Briles at Baylor — “It’s just a matter of time” — sounded good in theory, but did the speaker truly believe that Briles would lead the woebegone Bears to bowl play? As for Zook: 0-1, 2-1, 2-2, 3-3, 5-3, 5-5, 6-5, 6-6. Make things easy? That’s not for Zook.

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            No. 78: Baylor

            These bears are fighting. Baylor will need to fight for every inch to go bowling in 2010.

            No one player in the Big 12 means more to the success of his team than Robert Griffin III, Baylor’s supremely talented sophomore quarterback. The Bears won as many games in his three starts last fall — two — as they would win in the nine games Griffin was sidelined by his knee injury, sending this program to its 12th eight-loss season in 13 years. So Baylor’s rebuilding process has been waylaid by a year; the only good news I can offer to a downtrodden fan base is that Griffin was granted a medical hardship waiver for last season, meaning he retains three additional seasons of eligibility. I can also offer my firm belief that at some point in the next three years, Baylor will earn a bowl berth.

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              The Countdown

              A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.