5 Things I Think
1. One thing I wanted to see from Bryce Petty and the Bears offense was much better ball distribution in the first half. Against Kansas State, Petty became fixated on just two of his receivers. However, against Kansas he spread the ball out much better. Corey Coleman, Levi Norwood, and Jay Lee were involved in the passing game along with the two stars; Tevin Reese and Antwan Goodley. Reese was the biggest player in the passing game with his two touchdowns. Goodley however left the game early with some muscle tightness. He should be good to go against Oklahoma though with a little rest.
2. The Red Sox don't need to throw to third base anymore. They lost game 2 and game 3 to the Cardinals because of errors at third base. Game 3 was even worse, because the mistake actually worked out for Boston, as they still got the runner out at home. But the very rarely called obstruction of a runner allowed the run to score and put the Red Sox down 2 games to 1. However, game 4 saw another weird play happen on the bases, this time across the diamond at first base. Down two runs, St. Louis runner Kolten Wong was caught off the base for the final out as Koji Uehara picked him off to end the game. I guess Boston should just throw to 1st and not 3rd from now on.
3. Baylor basketball starts in under 2-weeks. Remember when we couldn't wait to get to basketball, simply to take our minds off of football? The seasons always seemed to take forever to get here. Now, they sneak up on us as quickly as we are all focused on football. The Bears travel up to Dallas to have our seemingly annual game with former Big-12 foe Colorado on November 8th. We seem to be playing them more than we did as conference opponents now for some reason.
4. The Bears are in 3rd place in most guesses for the Big 12 standings, and I am perfectly okay with that. I would have them there as well. Kansas and Oklahoma State are both loaded this year, and are legitimate National Championship contenders. The Bears could be at that level, but they have some questions left to be answered. We are hearing really good things about Kenny Chery, who will be the starting point guard this year and has to take on a large role for this team to be really good.
5. There is also still no word on Royce O'Neal and his waiver to paly immediately. The NCAA has granted a bunch of these so far this year, but they are still sitting on a few. Do not know what is causing the delay, but most are still confident that this will be granted, and O'Neal will be playing this year for the Bears. The Junior to be does have a redshirt year to use if for some reason it is denied, but the Bears could really use a player like O'Neal to start the year, especially with Allerik Freeman out for a few weeks.
5 Things I Want
1. I am trying not to get my hopes up, but with the meat of the Bears schedule upon us after a bye this weekend, they could get into the national championship conversation with a win over Oklahoma. Now, they would still need some teams to lose, but right now, they trail just 1 team with a loss in Stanford. The Cardinal are right ahead of the Bears, but the gap is quite small at .0273. That is the small gap between any two teams in the Top 6. With the large improvement in strength of schedule coming for the Bears, and Oregon still having to play at Stanford, there is a chance that the loser of that game will fall behind Baylor. If Oregon loses, they could stop their fall right after they pass Baylor. Stanford would plummet out of the Top 10. That game of course is also on Thursday night, so Bear fans be sure to check your phones while screaming at Floyd Casey for another Baylor victory.
2. The Washington Redskins need to invest heavily around Robert Griffin III, especially the offensive line. He was absolutely drilled against the Broncos Sunday afternoon, being hit repeatedly by free blitzers. Denver has one of the best pass rushing teams in the league, especially with Von Miller back from his 6-game suspension. Washington could also use another receiver, but they might have found their tight end in Jordan Reed who finished with 8 receptions for 90 yards. Along with Pierre Garcon, those are two nice weapons in the passing game, but another receiver would surely help their young quarterback.
3. Continuing to think of the Baylor men's basketball program, they have a bunch of newcomers to the team this year. In addition to Chery and O'Neal which we spoke of above, the Bears added Allerik Freeman, Jonathan Motley, and Ish Wainright. They also will welcome Chad Rykhoek to the floor after redshirting last season. As mentioned above, Freeman is hurt, and could be out for another month or so, but the 4-star freshman is a great talent. The 62nd ranked player in his class according to Scout.com, Freeman is a 6-foot-3 combo guard, who is capable at the point guard or shooting guard position. Originally signed with UCLA, but was released from his letter of intent after the Bruins made a coaching change.
4. While Freeman was the highest ranked Baylor commitment according to Scout.com, Ish Wainright is already getting buzz as the best newcomer on the team. Wainright is a physical specimen, similar to Rico Gathers in build, Ish brings more finesse to his game and can play on the wing. He will be the starting small forward for the Bears this year, and will give them size, rebounding, and ball handling.
5. Motley and Rykhoek will both bring depth to the front court, behind returning starters Cory Jefferson and Isaiah Austin along with 6th man Rico Gathers. Motley is like a Cory Jefferson starter kit, as he is quite slight of build, but tall and springy. He is going to be a project that could take a few years, but he has the athleticism to play at this level. Rykhoek is another project, but more as a steady post man with good passing and rebounding skills. Chad still has a ways to go in terms of his post-game and rebounding skills but is a good passer and shooter already.
5 Things I Know
1. The Bears finally passed Miami in the Coaches poll and the more important BCS poll. That is a small victory for the Bears, as it would have been decided next weekend either way if Miami will be ahead or behind of Baylor. The Hurricanes, after struggling to beat Wake Forest and North Carolina, will travel to Tallahassee to play Florida State. If they win that game, they will go ahead of the Bears, and probably rightfully so. If they lose, well that is just another 1-loss team for the Bears to easily hurdle.
2. Texas is like a zombie that has come back to life to haunt us all. After two just dreadful performances (and losses) to BYU and Ole Miss, they have stormed the Big 12 castle en route to a 5 game winning streak. They again looked impressive in beating TCU. The Longhorns are starting to get real confident on the defensive side of the ball, and starting to play with swagger and an edge. You saw it against Oklahoma and it has carried over. I came very close to putting them above Oklahoma State, except for one reason.
3. And that reason would be the Cowboys have found their running game. For 5 straight games after their opening week win over Mississippi State, the Pokes just could not find their running game. They never averaged over 3.5 yards against an FBS team, and never broke 156 yards overall. That changed against Iowa State, as they got Desmond Roland heavily involved in the rushing attack. His previous season high of carries was just 10 against the Rebels in week one, but busted out for 26 carries and 219 yards. If OSU has finally found their rushing attack, look for them to make some noise in the second half of the year.
4. The Big 12 game of the week was definitely Oklahoma versus Texas Tech. The Red Raiders had chances in this game, despite trailing by 11 early in the fourth quarter. Give Tech credit, they are playing with a ton of confidence and having fun for their coach. I had serious doubts about Kliff Kingsbury this year, as such a young coach with little experience. But it is obvious is a great play-caller on offense and has his team playing together. The Sooners though were just a little too much. Blake Bell got his arm involved, even completing a few of those new-fangled down field passes everyone keeps talking about. Seriously though, he played very well after a tough first quarter that had the Sooner faithful booing him.
5. Big 12 Rankings after Week 9
1. Baylor (7-0, 4-0)
2. Oklahoma (7-1, 4-1)
3. Texas Tech (7-1, 4-1)
4. Oklahoma State (6-1, 3-1)
5. Texas (5-2, 4-0)
6. Kansas State (3-4, 1-3)
7. West Virginia (3-5, 1-4)
8. TCU (3-5, 1-4)
9. Iowa State (1-6, 0-4)
10. Kansas (2-5, 0-4)