1. The best defense in the Big 12, and one of the TOP defenses in the nation (ranked 14th in the nation in Defense S&P+) just gave up 62 points to the Baylor Bears. It could have easily been 69, if Art Briles listend to the Baylor fanbase and punched in a last second touchdown. West Virginia is a good defense, and Baylor abused them. There is no doubt that Baylor has the best offense in the nation, and anyone that says otherwise is just fooling themselves. With Seth Russell bringing a dual threat to the offense, you can't even focus on the running backs and take away the rush attack. As Russell showed against WVU, the Bears can beat you anyway you like. Power football, spread football, dink and dunk to success, throw it over the top, and now QB runs are thrown into the mix.
I said here last week that there was a legitimate question abou the Bears offense and the level of competition they have faced. Now that they have faced the best defense that is on their schedule, there are no more questions for me. This is the best offense in America, and possibly the best offense Art Briles has ever coached.
2. The Big 12 is not a conference that prides itself on defense. In fact, it is openly mocked for its lack of defense. Baylor has been the posterchild for this "All-Offense/No-Defense" philosophy. The schedule should lighten up for a while before the Bears get to the heart of their schedule in November. Below are the S&P+ Defensive ranks for the teams left on Baylor's schedule (as of 10/10/15)
- Iowa State - 60
- @Kansas State - 29
- Oklahoma - 25
- @Oklahoma State - 37
- @TCU - 64
- Texas - 63
The rankings haven't updated with this past weekend's data yet, but you can assume that Oklahoma will rise while Kansas State will fall. That will leave just one Top-25 caliber defense on the schedule in OU, a team that has been destoryed by the Art Briles system in recent years. Kansas State and Oklahoma State are two solid defenses that will get the Bears on their home fields. Baylor has struggled on the road at times, like last year against West Virginia, when faced with a solid to good defense. Those two games are still worth watching before the Bears get to their Black Friday showdown with TCU.
3. With their resounding victory against West Virginia this weekend, the Bears earned their 6th win of the season. In a year that has designs on much grander goals, the fact that the Bears are bowl eligible now might seem silly. This is the 6th year the Bears have earned bowl eligility in a row, something that Baylor had never done more than 2-years in a row before this current era.
Baylor will play a 13th game this year, and that is pretty cool. Under the three coaches that came before Art Briles, the Bears won 31 total games in 11 seasons. With the win Saturday, Baylor has won 27 games in the past 2+ years, including back-to-back Big 12 seasons. Baylor has a realistic chance of winning more games in three years under Briles than they did over 11 years under his three predecessors.
4. The Baylor basketball team is just a few weeks away from tipping off against SFA, but the Bears made some news off the court with two commitments. On Friday night, Baylor received a commitment from 2017 forward Tristan Clark, a 6-foot-8 forward who is currently unranked by Scout, but projects to be a 4-star recruit. Tristan Clark is a rising prospect for the 2017 class, who started to spark more interest from larger programs at the John Lucas Midwest Invitational last fall. From SCOUT Basketball Recruiting Director Evan Daniels:
Clark, who checks in at 6-foot-8, showed he could impact the game on both ends of the floor. He’s mobile, a good athlete, has good hands, is capable of making mid-range jump shots and even flashed a jump hook.
Originially from San Antonio, Clark transferred to Findlay Prep for his junior season, and stopped by Baylor for an unofficial visit on Friday. After giving his verbal commitment, he caught up with Evan Daniels and spoke about why he committed to the Bears.
“Coach Drew is a real positive guy,” he said. “He’s an energy guy. He doesn’t let you down. He just wants to help you. I like him a lot. You can talk about anything. It can be about anything. He’s just an energy and positive guy. That’s what I really like about him.”
The Bears were not done though,as Saturday they welcomed junior college wing Nuni Omot on his official visit to campus. Omot is a rising 6-foot-9 wing who committed to the Bears early in the evening. Baylor now has two commitments for the 2016 class in Omot and SCOUT Top-100 wing Mark Vital.
For more on Omot, Clark and everything Baylor basketball, join us inside The Bear Pit for the full skinny.
5. Ranking the Big 12
- Baylor - Ho, hum. 62 points against the best defense in the Big 12. Yup.
- TCU - It was an awful 1st quarter for the TCU defense against Iowa State, but three zeroes on the scoreboard later, that was at least a nice win.
- Oklahoma - Where was that against Texas? That is the OU that people thought had a chance to win this conference.
- Oklahoma State - Relaxing on the coach this week, with Kansas coming up. Can the Cowboys put it all together, instead of relying on some ridiculous luck?
- West Virginia - That wasn't the effort that the Mountaineers wanted in Waco, but was probably expected by the masses. If Skylar Howard can take care of the ball better, then this team has a chance to move up.
- Texas Tech - Lets just forget about that ugly win over Kansas. With BU and TCU out of the way, Tech could roll up some wins the rest of this season.
- Texas - Two full weeks to revel in their win over OU might not be a great thing, for a team that sometimes "expects" to win.
- Kansas State - That was ugly. After outplaying TCU for most of the game, the Wildcats got destroyed 55-0 by OU.
- Iowa State - Good first quarter, bad last three quarters. Ames magic was absent after 15 minutes against TCU.
- Kansas - So close to a massive upset over Texas Tech. So close.