Friday, September 17, 2010

Gameday Previewology 301: Discrediting Baylor Mythology.


Now usually I don’t do this, but for Baylor,

I’ll go ahead and break 'em on off with a little preview of the remix.

Each week when I go into these game previews, I really do give it a legitimate go. Sometimes I have more knowledge about the team we’re playing than others, sometimes less – see: Tech, Tennessee – but even if I’m drastically uninformed, I usually find a nugget or two to highlight and hopefully what I have to say is beneficial to those who read it that may be in the same situation. And this week was the same way. I was going to talk a little bit about Robert Griffin, Art Briles and the improving Bears defense, but also try and dig up some more information on Baylor because, honestly, I know very little about them outside of hearsay. But then I really thought about that and how I was, as part of my duty, going to have to come up with some positives the Bears bring into the game, but you know what? No. No chance. Not happening. And you know why?

Because I hate Baylor.

No seriously, I genuinely hate Baylor, and it’s for no other reason than they have the lamest fan base in the country. Note I didn’t’ say worst – that’s Tech, as outlined earlier – and I didn’t even say most obnoxious – Texas. Baylor fans are just dorks. That’s really all I can come up with. In a league and state where the only collegiate sport that really matters is football, the Bears cling to their Big 12 membership like a vice, despite having no ground to stand on in that department. Oh sure, your women’s basketball team won a national championship. Does anyone outside of Waco care? DID anyone outside of Waco care when it actually happened? Baylor masking their lack of accomplishments behind their women’s basketball team would be like Houston sports fan rallying behind the Comets titles to hide the fact that the Rockets were only successful because Jordan wasn’t in the league at the time. I’m not even sure that analogy made sense, but I got to take a shot at the Rockets, and that feels good, right? Regardless, Baylor is a joke and I cannot wait to crush their hopes and dreams on Saturday.

But I think the best thing about Baylor fans is their incredible disdain for TCU. I don’t know how often you’ve come into contact with it – and I’ll be honest, until we played them in Waco, I honestly didn’t realize that Baylor had fans and certainly not vocal ones – but seriously, those kids REALLY do not like TCU. For older fans, I guess I can attribute that to the rivalry that used to exist between the two schools. Honestly, this was before my time – I grew up an Arkansas fan, so TCU and Baylor were always looked down upon as also rans behind the big boys, which, let’s be honest, Baylor still is – so I can’t necessarily vouch for the intensity of it. But seeing as how it’s tied at 49 wins a piece with 7 ties, I can imagine it was a pretty important game on the schedule for both teams in most years.

But for the new batch of Baylor fan, I can’t for the life of me determine where the arrogance comes from. All I can really think of is that it’s basically just an inherited quality that comes with their application. They’re supposed to hate TCU, so they do. It’s funny though, because D’s video from a few days back hit it right on the head. They basically say, “Well, TCU couldn’t run the tables with a Big 12 schedule”… but NEITHER CAN THEY!! Since the Big 12 was formed, only ONCE have the Bears finished out of last place in the south division. They haven’t been to a bowl game in that span either. Iowa State has almost won their division multiple times and been to several bowl games. And I’m not here to suggest that the Big 12 North is as difficult as the south, BUT IT’S IOWA STATE!!! THEY ARE GARBAGE!!!

And the thing is, while BCS bias is always going to be something for us to overcome as long as we don’t have the status, there’s no one that would confuse our two programs. For all their Big 12 touting, Baylor would trade places with us IN A HEARTBEAT. Heck, most schools would. One of the best coaches in the country with one of the best winning percentages throughout the 2000s, bowl wins, a BCS bid, Top 10 finishes, conference titles. But still, just try and bring that up this weekend and see what happens. “Yeah, but we’re in the Big 12. TCU couldn’t hang.” We’ll probably never know, but one thing’s for sure: We know you can’t, mofo.

So that being said, in lieu of an actual preview, I’m going to go ahead and anticipate most of the negative TCU sentiment you’re going to hear this weekend from the Fighting Koresh’s and give you your counter arguments. Consider this the preview of the remix, or the remix of the preview.

Robert Griffin Will Win the Heisman Trophy. May as well get the big one out of the way first, because you’re going to hear about it all afternoon. RGIII – you have to call him that if you’re from Baylor because IT RHYMES!! SEE!! G!! THREE!! HEHEHE! OMG THAT RHYMED TOO! AND THAT!!! – is the greatest quarterback to ever suit up in the history of the sport. Forget anyone else that has ever played the position at any level. RGIII is the best. He beats them all. He’s incredible. He’s lightning in a bottle. He could play the Alabama Crimson Tide by himself going both ways and win by 3 TDs. It’s a fact. You can’t dispute it.

Sigh. Seriously, just get ready for it.

And the thing is, I’m sure Griffin is a nice kid, and he’s obviously a hell of an athlete, and truthfully I’d wish him well anywhere else. But holy hell does the Baylor fan reverence of him make him the most unlikable athlete in the entire country! Give it a rest guys! For one, he’s never played a full season. You can look it up. Alright, so that isn’t entirely fair – he started 11/12 games his freshman year and came off the bench early in the first game, so he more or less did. To his credit, his freshman year was stout – extremely low TD/INT ratio, leading rusher on the team, 28 total TDs –but the Bears still went 4-8 and finished dead last in the division. Does anyone care what you do if your team sucks? A lot of guys have sensational years of college football, but duplicating it the next year is the biggest hurdle and we have yet to see if Griffin can do it because he only played in three games last year. And, if the kid is injury prone, have fun out there Saturday pal, because every time you get flushed out of the pocket, Bumpas is going to have the dogs ready.

So this year Griffin is fully healthy and, according to a facebook status I saw earlier, “Tim Tebow wears eye black with RGIII on them”… so I guess he’s ready to go, right? And with Sam Houston State and Buffalo at home on the schedule to start the year, he’d probably go nuts, right? Let me direct you to the stats. 539 yards passing, 81 yards rushing, 7 total TDs. Good numbers, but if this guy really is going to win the Heisman, you’d think he’d let it a little bit more loose to against such inferior competition, right? And the 81 rushing yards really stand out. Isn’t this guy a sprinter? Isn’t running the ball the name of his game? From a Baylor perspective, they’ll probably tell you that there was no need to turn him loose running the ball because the games were locked up already. Probably some truth to it, but honestly, homeboy had season ending knee surgery last year. A running QB is going to have a tough time bouncing back from that immediately. I don’t think he’s 100% yet and he’s going to try and win games with his arm, which I’m not sure plays entirely to his core strength. I think he’s going to be a sitting duck back there and I can’t wait to watch it. I’ll admit he’s a lot better than I want to give him credit for, but the Heisman train gets derailed here boys. Hope you enjoyed the ride.

The Baylor Defense is Going to Shut Us Down. Ah right, because we’ve been shut down once in the past season, and the Bears sure aren’t Boise. The Bears will surely let you know that their team hasn’t given up one TD all season and that TCU, despite our great line of defenses, let Tennessee Tech score a TD. This is probably one you can smugly sit back and let them have because the facts are there… but also remind them that they’ve only scored 68 points all year despite playing two bottom of the barrel teams and that we came within 6 points of that last week despite not even trying to score at the end of the game. I think this is definitely one where the law of averages rights itself because Baylor’s offense isn’t going too many places and we’re going to treat their defense like Janet Reno treated the Branch Davidians – see how many of those references I can work in by the end of it.

All you can really do is ask them to sit back, relax, and watch their defense face reality, because they’ve never seen anything like our offense, and it’s going to be their defense’s rapture.

Baylor is in the Big 12 and TCU isn't, so therefore they are Automatically Better Oh yeah, and TCU couldn't hang in the Big 12, either. I touched on this one a bit earlier, but let’s take a closer look. Since 1996, when the Big 12 was formed, Baylor is 14-50. It took them until 2005 to win a conference road game, and it was Iowa State, which doesn’t really count, right? They have since won TWO Big 12 road games. Impressive stuff. Like I said, they’ve also only finished better than last place in the south division once in that span, and the most Big 12 games they’ve won in a single season is 3. Their biggest win ever? Toppling aggy in 2004 in overtime on a two point conversion. Like I said, they’ve done some great things in the Big 12.

Meantime, TCU has beaten Big 12 teams like Oklahoma, Texas Tech, not to mention Iowa State in a bowl game when they were still, if not good, at least serviceable. We’ve lost games to Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Tech in that span – but Baylor has never beaten them either, so that’s hardly ammunition. And, oh yeah, we’re 2-0 against Baylor since they joined the Big 12, outscoring them 44-7. Isn’t that the biggest trump card of all?

And shall we talk baseball? About how TCU would never be able to take down the mighty Bears and, if that happened, there’s no way we’d get past Texas? How TCU doesn’t have the depth to compete with the big guns? We won three CWS games this year. Baylor hasn’t won that many ever -2. But, since I criticize Baylor for touting other sports to mask their football shortcoming, I suppose I shouldn’t use that as ammunition either.

So, like I said, Baylor is really bad at football. Haven’t been to a bowl game since 1994, which was before the Big 12 formed. If we’re talking post Big 12 bowl appearances, TCU has 11. So, let me repose the question I asked earlier: What TCU fan in their right mind envies Baylor? You’re in the Big 12. Great. You won because your alumni bitched louder than ours and happened to have the governor’s ear in 1996. But look at the trajectories since then. Oh yeah, TCU has 4 conference titles to Baylor’s 0 since the disbanding of the SWC. Just needed to add that in there. And on the Big 12 note, what good is being in an automatic qualifying conference when you’ve never even come remotely close to challenging said conference? As a TCU fan, going to the Poinsettia Bowl is kind of a let down, and I’m not sure the GMAC Bowl exists anymore… but do you think to yourself, “You know, who needs the post season and conference titles – I’d rather have a 4 wins a year ceiling and be a closet fan of some other school.” It doesn’t make any sense. It just doesn’t.

Oh yeah, and they're going to get into it with you on attendance issues. "TCU can't fill their stadium, they don't deserve to be in the Big 12." As shortnkerley's pointed out earlier, Baylor only fills their stadium when Texas, aggy or Tech are in town, and it's mostly opposing fans. However, according to a report, based on school size, TCU actually does BETTER than Baylor attendance wise. Check it out HERE. 37,000 fans last weekend despite the Yankees being in town, despite the opponent and despite the grotesque heatwave? Not too shabby right there.

14 conference wins since 1996. We almost tied that last year in one season. Of course, they’ll reply with the whole “Well we’re in the Big 12!!” argument thus proving that you really can never win with these guys.

Seriously, when you read Baylor’s Wikipedia page it’s almost like the person that wrote it hates Baylor, but in reality they just list the facts. And the facts are really, really sad.

Scott Drew isn’t a Cheater. This may not have anything to do with football, but if you choose to get into a jawing match with a Baylor fan tomorrow – and I hope that we all have this in mind – at least a dozen of them are going to drag basketball into the mix despite it having nothing to do with the game. Consequently, this is the argument that quite possibly drives Baylor fans more insane than anything else because deep down they know something isn’t right. They know they shouldn’t be making elite 8’s and nabbing top recruits. They know they shouldn’t be beating the powerhouse teams in the Big 12 on a semi-regular basisr. They know that, but they will fight you tooth and nail if you bring it up.

Let’s look at the facts. Before Scott Drew, Baylor has no basketball history to speak of since the 1950s. At all. Probably less than TCU, which is about as low as you can go. And that’s the best part about this argument – at least we’re realistic about our basketball team, so they can’t accuse of hypocrisy. But, with no history a location of Waco, Texas, it goes without saying that something is up, right?

Oh wait, no history before Scott Drew? Did I say that? I’m sorry, I guess I forgot about 2003 when ONE BAYLOR PLAYER MURDERED ANOTHER ONE AND THE COACH HELPED COVER IT UP! You all remember Carlton Dotson and Dave Bliss, the culprits in said incident. Patrick Dennehy sure does. So without going into the legal details of the matter –but you can certainly read up on it here- Baylor was forced to limit scholarships for two years, was banned from the post season for a year and also was unable to play non-conference games for one year. In the wake of this, players transferred, Dave Bliss resigned and the program was basically put on suicide watch. It was kind of like the death penalty for SMU, except in this instance there actually WAS death.

Enter Scott Drew. Now, Drew is clearly a good X’s and O’s basketball coach. His teams are successful enough to justify that – last year’s team was supposed to have a down year and look at where they ended up. But it’s his recruiting that gets under the skin of most folks, and I can’t really argue otherwise. For one, in 2005, when Baylor was still on probation – and, you know, had the reputation of hiring coaches that let other players literally get away with murder – he managed to put together the 7th ranked recruiting class in the country. Sound a little fishy? It should, because to get the Bears where they are today, Drew regularly commits one of the biggest unspoken no-nos in the recruiting ranks, and that is negative recruiting. Switching sports for a minute, when Gary Patterson sits down in front of a recruit, what do you think he says? I obviously can’t vouch for it, but I ‘d have to imagine he talks about the school, the community, the track record, the coaching staff, the NFL picks… you know, the positives that the athlete will experience during their time at TCU. But not Drew. Drew walks into living rooms and bad mouths other programs. He bad mouths coaches. He bad mouths players. And, if the stories are true, he arranges payments for players under the guise of “church donations”, which, as everyone understands, is bullshit. Drew also recruits players through their AAU coaches, another no no, and if you’ll recall, he hired 1st round draft pick John Wall’s mentor in hopes of landing him, which was doubly hilarious when Wall never gave the Bears much consideration anyway. This is a MAJOR unspoken dirty tactic because AAU coaches are nothing more than pimps. Seriously, look at what happened at USC with OJ Mayo. These AAU coaches and “mentors” basically broker the best deal for their athletes by taking payments and funneling them to the players at a later time. It’s a good trick, sure, but it’s illegal, and it’s going to catch up to the Bears.

Seven years after Patrick Dennehy murdered Carlton Dotson, the Bears had the #6 pick in the NBA Draft, Epke Udoh. If you can tell me with a straight face that he always wanted to be a Baylor Bear and came to that decision honestly, I will write you a bounced check in the amount of his signing bonus with the Golden State Warriors.

Baylor fans will protest, but where there’s smoke there’s fire, and Drew is so hated by every other coach in the Big 12 that you have to imagine the accusations hold merit.

But don't take my word for it. The Internet. Never. Lies.

Baylor is Going to Beat TCU and Tear Down the Goalposts at Amon G. Or at least goes a post on Baylorfans.com. For one, if they arrest our own fans for running onto the field, those cops are going ot reenact the Kent State massacre if Baylor fans attempt the same thing. But mostly, this just shows how insecure Baylor fans are about their status compared to ours. This is their Super Bowl. And if they’re such a Big Bad Big 12 school, a game against a Mountain West team, no matter the ranking or the history, should never be viewed as such.

And now, a hasty segue into how I think the game will go.

So you all probably know the Frogs are a 3 touchdown favorite tomorrow afternoon. Personally, as much as I hate Baylor, I think this is a little bit high. For one, the Bears are going to score some points. They just are. Oregon State scored 21 points on us despite starting a rookie QB and Jacquizz Rodgers having a quiet night, so I don’t think we’re going to blank Baylor like we did last time they came to Amon G. But, at the same time, they certainly won’t keep us out of the end zone. Not by any stretch of the imagination. For one, despite the 0 touchdowns, teams have moved the ball on Baylor. Buffalo split the time of possession with Baylor last week and put up 325 yards of offense and 20 first downs, but they had two turnovers and were heinous on third down. Sam Houston State actually had 10 more minutes of possession, but they’re Sam Houston State and they’re garbage and I have a feeling this mostly has to do with Baylor running up quick scores, much like the Frogs did against Tennessee Tech. But still, like I’ve said, I’ll give due respect to the no TDs because only two other teams have done that this year.

But the streak has to end sometime, and it will end pretty early in the first quarter tomorrow afternoon, probably before the clock strikes 4.

For one, Andy Dalton, the current D-1 wins leader – BUT HE DOESN’T PLAY A BIG 12 SCHEDULE!!! – has yet to have a breakout game this season and is due. He’s a serious competitor so you know this gets to him. Antoine Hicks didn’t even play last week, so you know he’s ready. Jimmy Young has also been quiet and Kerley is ready to take one to the house on a return after the callback from last week. And Bart! Bart may be the most underrated possession receiver on a top team in the country. And Curtis Clay. It goes without saying: Our passing game will be ready.

For another, Baylor let Buffalo move the ball for 162 yards on the ground last weekend. They may be able to prepare for Ed Wesley or Matthew Tucker… but we also have Aundre Dean and Waymon James too, not to mention the legs on Rooster. Hell, we had a career backup fullback score last weekend, so we’ve got a few weapons. So their defense may be riding high heading to FW, but they haven’t seen anything yet. We’re probably not going to put up 450 yards like we did last weekend, but if Buffalo can do what they did against this D… heck, maybe we CAN put up 450.

When the Bears are on offense, call me crazy, but we’re going to be geared up to keep Robert Griffin in the pocket and make him beat us with his arm. And, he probably will a couple of times. I’m not here to say we’re going to completely shut the kid down because he’s too good for that. But I think that’s a tradeoff we take. If he can put it in the end zone a couple of times through the air, that has to be considered a victory for Baylor and they better take advantage, because he’s not going to run on us. No chance. No chance in hell. I understand the fallacy in comparing the two because one has design plays and one mostly makes them when the play breaks down, but if Jacquizz Rodgers couldn’t break off any huge gains against our defense in their first game, Griffin isn’t going to in their third. And not to overlook Baylor RB Jay Finley, but with all due respect, don’t expect a career day big guy.

Look, Baylor is a much improving program and they’re leaps and bounds better than where they were last time they came to Fort Worth. I’ll hand it to them – Art Briles was a solid hire and, had Griffin not been injured, that team is probably bowl eligible last year. But TCU, as much as the Bears don’t want to admit it, is just a better program. If we played in the Big 12, we may not win the south division, but we would compete, not swirl around the bottom of the bowl year after year. The Bears are clearly turning a corner, and they will have a winning season before Briles moves on to greener pastures, but the turnaround isn’t continuing tomorrow.

The Pick: Frogs 35, Bears 17. Tie. Broken.

I hated to miss the game last week, but having this as my first Fort Worth game day definitely carries a silver lining in the rage department. I fully expect to be on my absolute worst behavior. The team can thank me later. Go Frogs.

6 comments:

LENEtown Fizzle said...

i cant wait for that gaylor sideline to get an earfull from sec v the whole game.

Rotten Arsenal said...

I've got a follow up to this one coming this afternoon. Stat Hate. I spent hours and hours yesterday collating data and I have some interesting stats in regards to the whole "TCU plays nobody and would do lousy in the Big12/Baylor is a BCS team and would run the table in the MWC/WAC/CUSa" blah blah blah debate.
Finch said he'd run it, so I'm hoping I can impress with my first ever contribution. I've also got some personal hate to spew, seeing as how I actually went to school at TCU during the end of the SWC and actually have strong memories of the Wacker years.
Wait, does that mean I'm too old for this blog?

CrabblerK3 said...

Their Wikipedia page reads like that because I doctored it. I didn't put anything false in there, just shed some extra light on their "highlights" from recent years.

Sir Wesley Willis said...

RA - look forward to it. I was trying to do some of that myself but got in a time crunch. Besides, that thing was already approaching 4000 words; doubt you wanted to read more.

CK3 - yes! wikipedia hate, the best kind.

CrabblerK3 said...

Indeed it is. Given that it's not particularly malicious material I added, I will be curious to see how long it lives up there.

D said...

RA - your welcome to contribute anytime.

doesn't matter how old your balls are, as long as they're still hanging.