5-Things April 21st

The malaise has taken over. No football or basketball to cure what ails us. So, what is there to talk about? Plenty in this week's 5-Things.

1. Just 19 weekends away from a glorious return to actual college football. That is enticing enough for most fan bases, but the Baylor Bears have another carrot at the end of that stick. We have the opening of McLane Stadium. The new Baylor stadium is starting to take form and show us exactly what we have to look forward too. The scoreboard is going up and soon the field will start to be installed. The anticipation is killing me quite honestly.

2. I said it on twitter, and I will say it again here. Thank you Steve Edmonds for your thoughts on the Bears. Even the most ardent of UT supporters who live and die burnt orange football are recoiling a bit at the comments. The impact on Baylor will be minimal. Do you really think the Bears needed MORE motivation to beat Texas next year? Getting up for the Longhorns has never been an issue. This might give Briles a few more lines to use during the dog-days of fall practice, or maybe Kaz can remind some players when they are exhausted during summer workouts.

But it also speaks to the lack of respect for Baylor to this day. Many people, players, writers, and especially fans of other schools still see the hapless and winless Bears of the early 2000s. Quite honestly, these fans are too dense to get it that things can change. Baylor is not that team anymore and in fact, Texas is MUCH closer to being that team over the past 4 years than the Bears.

3. The big thing I take away from this is that the issues at Texas were of course not just the head coach. The pampered life-style and the entitlement built up and around the Longhorns program will take more than a few new rules from a new coach and making the athletes live in the dorm. The players like Steve Edmonds still seem to believe that they will be given everything they want, including wins.

Make no mistake; Edmonds is delusional or lying to himself if he thinks the Longhorns were even close to the better team that day. It took a gift of field position, and then a ticky-tack call on a 4th down field goal attempt to give them their one and only touchdown of the game. It took 7 plays for Texas to get 11 years. The Bears offense scored 27 points in the second half, including 17 points on their first three drives of the 3rd quarter. Does that speak to an offense that got lucky, or one that figured out what the Longhorns were doing and exploited it?

4. Baylor Baseball had a rough weekend again. They lost the first two games of the series, but finally secured their first road win since the opener of the season, February 14th. It was just an awful stretch of baseball away from the friendly confines of Baylor Ballpark. The Bears are now just 18-21 overall on the year, and fell to 5-9 in conference play. This was a team with hopes of making it to another NCAA tournament, but they were not favored to do so. It is another rebuilding year for a program that seems to have had a lot of these recently.

5. I am still working on my way too early look at the Baylor basketball team, and what it COULD look like with or without Isaiah Austin. As we all know, the team should be much better with the 7-foot-1 Austin at center spot. This team would have a lack of height and depth in the paint without him. With him though, this is a Top 15 team with a chance to get much better as the year goes on. I think even without Austin, the Bears will be a fringe Top 25 team. Rico Gathers is ready to take a big-step forward in playing time and results. The Bears coaching staff is excited about Jonathan Motley and what we he can do. It is behind them though that there are some questions. Chad Rykhoek is the only other pure post on the roster, with Taurean Prince able to play some at both forward spots.

Austin still has some time left. Last year, he made the decision to come back on the last day he could, and this year, I expect it will come down close to that day once again. April 27th is the deadline day, so expect to hear something this weekend or later this week.

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