1.Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Less than 2 months before college football is back in our lives. Under 60 days till the Baylor Bears and Mustangs battle on September 4th in the 2015 opener. It feels like a lifetime away. With awards lists being named, summer camps coming closer and closer to the end, and 7-on-7 tournaments about to get started this weekend, it still feels like we are just counting the seconds till we hear the first sounds of football come back to our lives. Tick. Tock. Starting next week, we will begin the preparation for the 2015 season, with position previews, looks at newcomers to the roster and how the depth chart should look. We will have some previews of the Big 12 as a whole, and even national previews from the entire SCOUT network for you to dive into. It is an exciting time as we get closer and closer, but the sound of that clock is just annoying me right now.
2.The SCOUT team is going to be in College Station this weekend, covering the 7-on-7 tournament this weekend. The Bears have two commits that will be featured this weekend, as well as a few top tier prospects on both sides of the ball. Gabe Brooks has you covered on who will be attending, and we will have a bunch of information this weekend and next week for you.
While this is not a very active time for coaches to be out visiting with prospects, we are closing in on the last few summer camps of the 2015 summer. As we have spoken about several times here, camp season is a huge time for the Baylor coaching staff. They offer quite a few kids at these camps, and usually ones that are under the radar or lightly recruited. These camps are the foundation for this staffs recruiting strategy, and finding guys that fit into their systems.
3.The parade of watch-lists for national awards started this week, and several Bears have been named. Andrew Billings and Shawn Oakman headline the Bednarik Award Watch List, the second straight year Oakman has been named. The defensive player of the year award will be trimmed to a semifinalist group on November 2nd and then 3 finalists chosen on November 23rd. Rashodrick Linwood and Seth Russell were named to the Maxwell Award watch list, which is given annually to the college football player of the year. Also, Kyle Fuller was named to the Remington Award list, given annually to nations top center. Other awards to watch out for are the Biletnikoff (WRs Corey Coleman and KD Cannon), the Rotary Lombardi Award (down linemen on offense or defense), Outland Trophy (offensive linemen - Spencer Drango), Doak Walker (Linwood again), and the Walter Camp Award (Player of the Year).
4.With 12 commitments in the 2016 class, the Bears are currently ranked 19th in the SCOUT Team Rankings. They are 2nd in the conference rankings behind TCU, who has 2 more commitments. That would be the highest finish in recent Baylor history. Under Briles, the Bears have ranked -
- Baylor SCOUT Class Rankings
- 2015 - 44 (7th in Big 12)
- 2014 - 23 (4th)
- 2013 - 26 (4th)
- 2012 - 30 (6th)
- 2011 - 52 (8th)
- 2010 - 51 (6th)
- 2009 - 44 (7th)
- 2008 - 56 (10th)
- 2007 - 52 (9th)
That is an upward trajectory before the 2015 class, which was a smaller class until a late run on under-recruited defensive players moved it up to 19 commitments. With just 12 spots filled, and another 8-10 spots left to go. The Bears are still in on quite a few marquee players at the top of the class. While I have my doubts that they can pull together a Top-10 class, Briles looks to be in good shape to secure his first Top-20 class in his tenure at Baylor.
5.We have been talking about this on the premium message board quite a bit. Where does the 2014-15 athletic year stand in comparison to the 2011-12 season, most commonly known as the "Year of the Bear". With a Heisman winner, a 40-0 national championship year from the Lady Bears basketball team, and an Elite-8 run by Scott Drew's Bears, for the more popular sports, you have to give the edge to 2011-12. Yes, the football team was better in 14-15 as Big 12 champs, but both basketball teams failed to equal their predecessors achievements. However, if you look at it overall, 14-15 might have been better with tremendous runs by both tennis teams and women's golf in the national tournaments. The amount of teams ranked in national polls was stronger in 2014-15 as well.
To me though, this argument goes back to your first. You always remember the first year of the bear. That 2011-12 season was special, and was truly the turning point for Baylor in terms of its national athletic perception. I think the only thing that could top that year in my memory is one that ends with a national championship for Art Briles or Scott Drew.