BRR countdown: Ranking the Big XII

If there is one thing you can get from the Big XII media days, it's a real sense of what teams may or may not do. Not necessarily from their coaches or even players because some are well schooled in saying a lot without saying much at all. But, between what you know and what other members of the media are saying, a picture becomes a little clearer on just how this conference might pan out. And in a twelve-segment series, I'll take what we've learned and rank just how this conference stacks up.

You've probably read a couple of dozen team previews by now. Breakdowns, analysis, and hypothesis galore on every team in the country, over and over again.

Well, I'm adding to it, but with a little bit of a different twist and that can only be done based on what I saw at the Big XII media days.

Yes, I know, how in the world can you get anything out of a press conference where the coaches and players are saying the same things over and over again?

Well, who says I am just listening to them? There's 400+ members of the media from covering every single team in the conference. Who better to ask then them?

So, without further adeu, I give you the BRR top 12 of the Big XII and we'll start at the bottom.

You know what that means.

Baylor

The whipping boy of pretty much anyone and everyone, only a fluke victory over the Colorado Buffaloes gave this team any reason to think they weren't doomed to the level of say a 1988 team from Kansas State.

They lost the rest of their following games though, one more time solidifying the idea that if you are the head coach of Baylor, someone must not like you very much.

You had to feel for head coach, Guy Morriss though. As he addressed the media during Big XII media days, instead of most of the line of questioning pertaining to just how his team will do, instead the underappreciated headmaster was asked more about the hope he had in the future of the Baylor football program..........if any.

Little alumni support, little confidence from the program itself, Baylor has always looked at simply recruiting as a mountain, much less actually winning games. So, the thought that Baylor could actually improve year to year, it's almost as comical as it is unrealistic.

That didn't stop the questions about the actual team's future this year, wondering if Baylor could better last season where Baylor did actually go on a three-game winning streak and even had a winning record five games into the year. But, while the victory over Colorado got the Bears box seats on Sportscenter, we're still waiting on the highlights from the wins over Sam Houston and SMU.

If there are a couple of qualities you better have when coaching the Bears, it's a sense of humility and a definite sense of humor. Well, if Morriss didn't have humility coming from Kentucky, he most certainly got it in his debut in the Big Twelve. As for the humor, Morriss came prepared, noting humorously that his team is figuring out which direction is which. "We can break the huddle and find the line of scrimmage pretty regularly (now)." he said. "I see us starting to come together as a team."

A team that saw last year the wrong end of losses that were as narrow as 5 points (to UAB) to as much as 63 points, that shellacking coming at the hands of Texas A&M. A 56-0 loss to Texas, a 62-14 homecoming loss to Texas Tech and probably the most embarrassing loss of the season, North Texas schooling the Bears 52-14.

Unfortunately for Baylor though, these aren't aberrations. You might simply call it business as usual with the Bears. And even if Baylor brought back 22 starters off last year's team, it goes back to the old saying that a whole lot of starters coming back from a really bad team only makes for a team that is experienced at being really bad.

There's not a lot of analysis needed here and the local media wasn't exactly swelling with confidence on Baylor's chances at making good on coming purposefully out of the gate this year. Basically, it's another long year for the Bears as they once again cement themselves in the cellar of the Big XII.

Steve Ryan can be reached at SteveRyan@bigredreport.com or 402-730-5619


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