5 Things I Think
1. The Bears just scored again. Kidding, kidding, but in a 2 more minutes, they probably will. The Bears offense is just getting better and better, despite the fact that the defenses they are facing have stepped up in difficulty every game. Next up is Kansas State, who is a step back from West Virginia. However, this is the first road game for the Bears in 2013. Expect Bill Snyder to be out at the stadium every night with a garden hose watering that field to slow the turf down as much as possible. Oh wait, it is artificial turf? Hehehehe, run wild young Bears. Run wild.
2. The TCU defense is starting to find its rhythm. They held Oklahoma to just 20 points in Norman and just 355 total yards. Oklahoma did run for over 200 yards, but I still think this is the best defense in the Big 12. Their offense though is still struggling. They had a great fourth quarter against SMU, where they scored 17 points and also had a defensive and special teams touchdown. You take away that one quarter though; they scored 10 points against Texas Tech, 17 in three quarters against SMU, and 17 against Oklahoma.
3. The Bears schedule so far this year has been pretty soft; you won't get an argument from me. But let's just compare the two games that Baylor and Oklahoma have in common, as they both have played Louisiana-Monroe and West Virginia at home. Oklahoma scored a total of 50 points against those two teams and allowed 7. They had 435 total yards against West Virginia and 429 against ULM for a total of 864 yards. They allowed a total of 553 yards for a net difference of 311 yards. The Bears though, scored 143 points while allowing 49. They gained 1,645 yards against the two teams and allowed 689. Their yardage margin was 956 yards. In total, the Bears gained as many yards against West Virginia as Oklahoma did against ULM and West Virginia COMBINED. The Bears also scored 6 more points in one half against West Virginia than Oklahoma did in 4 halves against ULM and West Virginia.
4. Some lazy voters and media members will pick up the box score of the game this weekend, and see 42 points and think that the Bears defense was back to being the same old Baylor Bears defense. They would be wrong. During the first half, the defense allowed just one offensive touchdown, and 182 yards of offense. They had five drives where they did not allow a single first down for the Mountaineer offense. Only one drive in the first half was for more than 27 yards for WVU. The Bears defense was dominant in the first half, no matter what the final score and garbage time says.
5. You will see my actual rankings of the Big 12 below, but really this is breaking down into 5 tiers of teams. Baylor and OU are on top and separating Texas Tech and Oklahoma State. Tech is undefeated but has looked ugly at times, and their schedule so far has been even lighter than the Bears somehow. Oklahoma State is hanging around after their one loss. The third tier is TCU, Texas, Kansas State and West Virginia. I think these teams will be tougher at home and can hang with anyone, but they will struggle on the road and might lose a game they shouldn't.
The final tier is the bottom of the conference in Iowa State and Kansas. I think the Cyclones might be able to pull off an upset, and will probably beat Kansas, but outside of that, I doubt they win a game. Kansas s again terrible, and looking like they are only getting worse by the year/game.
5 Things I Want
1. There were some big basketball recruiting updates this weekend from three of the Bears top targets. Most recently, Josh Gershon caught up with Rashad Vaughn about his visit schedule. He will be in Waco on October 19th to visit Scott Drew and his staff. Then, we got recaps of the visit last weekend from top recruits Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor who trimmed his list to just four teams with the Bears being among them. Both raved about their trip to Waco and reiterated their desire to play together in college. Needless to say, want might not be strong enough of an emotion to describe the desire to get these three kids to sign with Baylor.
2. Well every AP pollster has the Bears in their Top 25 this week. Baylor fan whipping dog Jon Wilner finally succumbed to the pressure and put the Bears in at 22. The most common spot for the Bears was 14th and 15th. One voter Josh Kendall had the Bears fifth which was the top vote for the Bears. The aforementioned Wilner had the low mark at 22 with the next being 19th. If the Bears blow out Kansas State, I think we could see a big jump. A road victory against another respected opponent will do wonders. But the only way for the Bears to shoot up is to see a bunch of losses by teams in front of them.
3. I want to apologize to the Bears offensive line. I thought you could be a weakness this year, especially with that right side being so new and inexperienced. I was wrong. This might be the best offensive line play we have seen in the Briles era, and that is saying something. They just destroyed a very good and capable defensive line from West Virginia that caused Oklahoma State and Oklahoma problems. The Mountaineers got their one and only sack in the middle of the third quarters with the Baylor starters resting comfortably on the bench. They only got three quarterback hurries, compared to 7 for the Bears defense. The Bear rushing attack only had one run for a loss in the first half as well. This was a dominating performance by maybe the best offensive line in this era of Baylor football.
4. I want all of the Baylor fandom to welcome back Glasco Martin. His two touchdown runs are the epitome of what he brings to this offense. He is there for the tough yards, and for getting his nose dirty, and boy did he ever. He had just 63 yards on his 12 carries, but he had two scores and 4 first downs. He had a 10 yard run on a 4th and 1 attempt. Half of his carries resulted in a first down or a touchdown. Impressive and welcome back.
5. I want to see that Corey Coleman hit on the first interception of Bryce Petty's campaign again. Boy did he come back and knock the crap out of Daryl Worley. If for some reason Coleman doesn't make it as a wide receiver, maybe corner back could be in his future.
5 Things I Know
1. I know that Seth Russell will be fine and is still learning his role and how to be a college quarterback, but he struggled against WVU. He looked shaky in the pocket, ran out of what he thought was a collapsing pocket but wasn't and had two bad interceptions. He will be fine and is going to continue to grow as quarterback, but he is not nearly as ready as some Bear fans think. If Petty goes down, the offense will be drastically different in terms of potency. I still really like him for a few years down the road though, but I know I only want to see him in garbage time getting some easy reps.
2. Baylor basketball is one month and one day away from opening tip against Colorado to open the 2013-14 campaign. It does not feel like anywhere close to basketball season yet. Pretty much my first decade as a Baylor Bear was spent waiting till basketball season started so that I could avoid the final grueling weeks of the college football schedule. Of course that was from 2000-2010 so we know what that decade gave us. Is anyone else kind of surprised that basketball is really just around the corner?
3. Outside of March Madness, this is my favorite sports time of year. We have college football and the NFL in full swing. Hockey is starting to get ramped back up with their season starting. Basketball is starting to practice and we get the first glimpse of new guys to root for in college and the NBA. And we also get October baseball. As a Ranger fan, the fall has taken a different meaning for me. Forever, it was a time to think about the next baseball season and what COULD happen. But three and two falls ago, my Rangers took me on a ride to the World Series. In the first year, I actually was lucky enough to attend a game in each round. I was at the clinching game against the Yankees, still my favorite sports moment of my life watching Neftali Feliz strike out A-Rod to send the little Rangers to the World Series. That crowd was the loudest thing I have ever heard, and it didn't stop till about 45 minutes after that epic slider to send A-Rod and the Yankees home. The next year, well, I am still not ready to talk about Game 6.
4. I still give Baylor the benefit of home field against Oklahoma and that is why I have them in the top spot. At this point, Baylor and Oklahoma are by far the two best teams. I know Texas Tech is still 5-0, but their quarterback situation gives me pause. Baker Mayfield has been good at times, but has turned the ball over a bit the last few games. With his knee injury, does he miss a few games now, and is Michael Brewer finally healthy? I still think Oklahoma State is a better team than the Red Raiders, even with having to go to Lubbock on November 2nd.
The other area I struggled with was the Texas, TCU, West Virginia, Kansas State grouping. Those four teams are all pretty similar to me, and could be ranked in any order and you wouldn't get that much of an argument from me. I put Texas on top due to their win over Kansas State. With TCU, I thought they were one of the best teams in the Big 12 going into the year, and I still believe that they will finish around 5th or 6th, mainly due to the strength of their defense. West Virginia will get better, and will beat some teams at home, as will Kansas State. That is a tough mid-section for the Big 12 to rank.
5. Big 12 Ranks after Week 6
1. Baylor (4-0, 1-0)
2. Oklahoma (5-0, 2-0)
3. Oklahoma State (4-1, 1-1)
4. Texas Tech (5-0, 2-0)
5. Texas (3-2, 2-0)
6. TCU (2-3, 0-2)
7. West Virginia (3-3, 1-2)
8. Kansas State (2-3, 0-2)
9. Iowa State (1-3, 0-1)
10. Kansas (2-2, 0-1)