Tag Archives: Baylor Bears Football

New Bevo, Old Baylor

On Tuesday Baylor finally responded to the reports that Ken Starr has been fired from Baylor University. As of the latest report they still have not made a decision on whether or not they will fire Starr. The spokeswomen for Baylor, Tonya Lewis, said, “we will not respond to rumors, speculation or reports based on unnamed sources, but when official news is available, the University will provide it. We expect an announcement by June 3.” It is speculated that President Starr and athletic director Ian McCaw will be losing their jobs, but head football coach Art Briles will not. It will be interesting to see if it was just a rumor, but for the sake of Baylor I hope it isn’t.

The University of Texas has selected a new Longhorn steer mascot. The school had to select a new mascot because Bevo XIV, who was on the Texas sideline since 2004, passed away in October 2015. The mascot will be introduced for the 100th anniversary season of its first appearance. The longhorns will play Notre Dame on September 4, the first appearance of Bevo XV.

Nothing has been made official yet but from the sound of it Wil Grier will be able to play for West Virginia the first game of the 2017 season. Grier is enrolled at West Virginia but due to testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs he may not be able to play until mid season. According to Holgorsen this might change. Holgorsen said, “I fully anticipate him being eligible for the opening game of the 2017 season.” If there is a will there is a way. I wouldn’t be surprised if somehow the NCAA waives the rest of his suspension and lets him play the full season with the Mountaineers.

Bev Kearney sued Texas for at least one million dollars in damages in 2013. Kearney was the head track coach and had a romantic relationship with one of her sprinters over a decade earlier. It has taken so long for her to get justice because the University has been appealing the issue. Kearney is saying she was more harshly punished because she is black. A white male football coach did the same thing and was only reprimanded, not fired. Kearney is seeking statements from Mack Brown, former athletic director DeLoss Dodds, former school president Bill Powers and current women’s athletic director Chris Plonsky. The statements they will write are on how exactly they handled the situation at the time it was brought to their attention. This case has been swept under the rug recently due to the Baylor scandal, but it will be interesting to see what happens.

Sylvester Turner an alumni of the University of Houston believes that when Oklahoma comes to town on September 3, the Cougars will beat the Sooners by “14, or possibly 21 points.” Did I mention Sylvester Turner is also the mayor of Houston? He has turned a lot of heads by making this statement and has also provided some locker room motivation for the guys in Norman. The Cougars are coming off of a really great season, but I have a feeling the Sooners will be ready for them, especially after that comment.

As the time draws near, it looks less and less likely that the Big 12 presidents are going to vote against the Big 12 expansion. After all of the schools that have sold themselves to try to get into the Big 12 it looks like they will all be disappointed. Apparently, after six years, the Big 12 is not in the “decision-making” stage, so it probably won’t ever be. If no expansion happens I think the Big 12 will fall apart in the next couple of years and Oklahoma will be the first school to leave.

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Pre-Season Offensive Big 12 Team

As the summer approaches it means that fall is right around the corner. Pre-season polls for college football have already started coming out and pre-season predictions for conference teams will quickly follow. Here is a very broad prediction of how I think the All-Big 12 team for the 2016 season will shake out, starting with the offense.

The All- Big 12 team quarterback will be Baker Mayfield. Mayfield is a great ball handler who has made many great plays these past few seasons. Mayfield hasn’t had many interceptions due to the way he scrambles out of the pocket and completes passes or gains yards on the run. Mayfield has a 68.6 percent completion rate. He has 3,389 passing yards with 35 passing touchdowns. Mayfield is predicted to win the Heisman this year, which probably means that he will not even be nominated.

The All-Big 12 team running back will be a hard decision. Samaje Perine and Shock Linwood will more than likely compete for the top running back in the conference. Samaje Perine has ran for 3,062 yards and rushed for 37 touchdowns. Perine also had 215 receiving yards with one touchdown. Perine made the All Big 12 team in 2014 and 2015 so it would be no surprise to anyone if he made the team again. Shock Linwood ran for 3,462 yards with 34 touchdowns. Linwood had 180 receiving yards with a touchdown. He dominated the past two games during the 2015 season for the Bears including the bowl game against North Carolina. He stepped in big when the Bears were without a quarterback late in the season.

The top three receivers for the Big 12 either graduated or went into the draft so there will be three news guys that will be stepping into that role. It is hard to pick just three top receivers for the 2016 season, but I’ll go with James Washington, Shelton Gibson and KD Cannon. James Washington from Oklahoma State would be the first player to fill the slot. Washington gained over 1,087 yards, with 10 touchdowns. As the 2016 season approaches Washington is the only Big 12 wide receiver to top 1,000 yards receiving in 2015. He should be the number one receiver on the preseason All Big 12 team.

The number two receiver will more than likely be Shelton Gibson from West Virginia. Gibson totaled 887 yards and nine touchdowns. Gibson didn’t have a very good 2014 season with only gaining 60 yards. He made a huge impact in 2015, as a sophomore. He should be the second biggest wide receiver in the Big 12 this year. The third biggest receiver in the Big 12 should be KD Cannon from Baylor. Cannon was the second wide receiver for the Bears, but now that Corey Coleman has graduated, Cannon should be the top receiver. Cannon totaled 1,030 yards receiving during his freshman year. But last year Coleman played and Cannon only gained 868 yards. Cannon should explode this season and should be the third best wide receiver in the Big 12.

The offensive linemen that made the 2015 All Big 12 team all graduated. It is hard to determine who exactly will be on this list for this year so if I had to choose a team with the most representatives I would choose the Baylor offensive line. A lot of their line is returning so they should be dominant up front. The only other change on the offensive side of the ball would be the kick and punt returner . Alex Ross transferred to Mizzou so he will not be in the Big 12. This season should be an exciting one with many new faces to represent the Big 12 on the field.

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Top 10 Big 12 NFL Draft Prospects

The Big 12 might struggle this year when it comes to top picks in the NFL draft, which starts this Thursday, April 28. There isn’t a stand out player in the Big 12 that will more than likely go early in the first round. Before the 2015 season ended I would have said that Treyvon Boykin, or even Shawn Oakman, would be going high in the draft, but with their recent stints in jail I would have to say this is highly unlikely. Most people know that it doesn’t matter where you get drafted all that matters is how well you perform in training camp and the pre-season games. Last year the two best rookies coming out of the Big 12 were Jordan Hicks (before his injury) and Tyler Lockett. Both of them were drafted in the third round. They both should be stand out players for years to come.  According to Saturday Blitz, out of all of the Power 5 conferences, the Big 12 produces the least amount of NFL talent. According to ESPN the Big 12 only has 132 players on active NFL rosters. To put numbers in perspective, the SEC has 309 players.

It is very interesting to compare top ten lists of experts’ predictions of who in the Big 12 would be drafted high in 2016 before the 2015 season and after the 2015 season. The newest top 10 list I have seen on Saturday Blitz is in this order:

10) Shawn Oakman (Baylor): The two previous preseason lists on CBS Sports had Oakman at number four. This was before all of the allegations and arrests came about. I think he will still be drafted but his stock went down quite a bit. Oakman has also struggled generating power from his lower body to create leverage against offensive tackles. He also struggles to use his hands well and has been known to give up on most plays after the first pass rush. Even though Oakman is huge at 6’9″, 280 I still think he has a lot of work and maturing to do. I wouldn’t be surprised if he went late in the second, or even the third round.

9) Spencer Drango (Baylor): I don’t fully agree that he will be the tenth person to go in the Big 12. I haven’t seen him play much, but from what I have read about him he seems like he will probably be the fifth person in the Big 12 to go. He is tough, durable and reliable (only missing four games his whole career). It sounds like he might not be the quickest to the ball but is very smart. I have a feeling Drango will be a stud in the NFL.

8) La’Raven Clark (Texas Tech): Clark is a good player who had not-so-good coaching in college. Texas Tech struggled with its offensive line coaching, but that didn’t stop Clark from getting All-Big 12 First Team honors both his junior and senior years. Hopefully his talent will be paired with a good coach so his full potential can be shown.

7) Karl Joseph (West Virginia): Joseph wasn’t even on the preseason top ten list that I found, but he was number seven even after his 2015 was cut short due to an injury. During the 2015 season it looked like Joseph had the potential of being one of the best players in college football. Joseph was quick on the field and led the NCAA with five interceptions in four weeks. He will be a great NFL player as long as his injury doesn’t affect him.

6) Josh Doctson (TCU): Doctson was in the same position on the preseason and postseason lists that I found. Doctson was the star wide receiver for the Horned Frogs. One of his specialties was that he made plays even if the ball wasn’t thrown directly into his arms. He is not remarkably fast, but he is one of the best receivers in this year’s draft.

5) Emmanuel Ogbah (Oklahoma State): Ogbah, who is going into the NFL early has recorded double digit sacks the past two seasons is more than likely going to be a great NFL player. He has the size and speed to do great things. Hopefully he will put out more effort in the NFL than he did in college. If he does this he will be very successful.

4) Corey Coleman (Baylor): Coleman is another person that was on the postseason list, but was not mentioned on the preseason list from CBS Sports. Coleman is a huge offensive threat because he is exceptionally fast. He isn’t the smartest player, especially when it comes to plays and reading routes. I think this will take some time in the NFL, but teams will still pick him up because they will love his playmaking ability.

3) Sterling Shepard (Oklahoma): Shepard is a very quick and a smart route runner. His size may limit him on how high he will go in the draft. But honestly that will not matter as long as he performs well in the league.

2) Cody Whitehair (Kansas State): Whitehair, who has started in almost every position on the Wildcats offensive line is very versatile. After watching him throughout the years I know he is a hard worker who puts out maximum effort on the field during every play. These are both great attributes for NFL players to have. I hope a great team picks him up.

1) Andrew Billings (Baylor): Both on the preseason top 10 and postseason top 10, Billings was number one. Billings is young and quick. He is a really smart player, but still has a lot to learn. If he can learn different ways to get off of the line to beat the offense he will be a stud on Sundays.

*Featured image courtesy of Flickr/Marques Stewart

Baylor has Seen Better Days

I have been out of college for over five years now. Rape was always a subject brought up at events even though I can only remember a handful of either people I knew, or news stories about people getting raped around campus in my four years of college. I worked for the football team when I was in college and never once felt threatened in or outside of the office. I am glad I didn’t go to Baylor.

Last August, defensive end Sam Ukwuachu was arrested for sexual assault. Sam Ukwuachu was sentenced to 180 days in jail and 10 years of probation. In 2014, another former Baylor defensive end Tevin Elliott was sentenced to 20 years in prison for sexually assaulting two female students in 2012. On Wednesday, April 14 a third former football player for Baylor was arrested. Former All-American defensive end Shawn Oakman, who is the school’s all-time sack leader, was charged with sexual assault. Oakman was more than likely going to be a middle-round draft pick, doesn’t look that way anymore.

Sam Ukwuachu and Shawn Oakman have very similar stories on how they got to Baylor University. Both players were dismissed from their previous teams for misconduct. Ukwuachu started at Boise State as a freshman in 2012. He was dismissed from Boise State in 2013. Art Briles claims all he was told was that he had a “rocky relationship” with his girlfriend and it led to depression. The only disciplinary action he knew of was team-related. Ukwuachu never played a snap for the Bears, but was still on their team. Briles may not have known everything about Ukwuachu,but as a coach wouldn’t you want to know more details about a player that is transferring to your school after being dismissed from another team?

Shawn Oakman also transferred to Baylor. In 2012 he came to Waco after he was dismissed from the Penn State football team. His story was that he stole a sandwich and juice from a campus store. He proceeded to grab the wrist of the cashier who tried to stop him from stealing.

The problems that Baylor is facing are playing a role in the Big 12 creating a new rule. This rule is that the Big 12 is going to create a newer, tougher rule for transferring students and other incoming athletes. This new rule is going to implement things that are going to make it much harder for athletes with a bad past to be able to transfer into Big 12 schools. It used to be that decisions about athletes were left up to the coach. The decision should involve multiple university departments such as the dean of students or the president’s office. Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said that “you have to do the due diligence that’s required to find out what mistake was made and what reparations have been and whether or not the person is a good risk going forward.” Why would you let him into the conference if he was a risk at all? But apparently if someone says they have “changed” then it is okay to let him play for a Big 12 school.

Other conferences are implementing rules, but they don’t seem to be as strict as the Big 12. The SEC approved a rule a year ago, but it just covers transfer students and not incoming athletes from high school or junior colleges. The Pac-12 adopted a similar rule to the SEC, but implemented it about a month ago. The Big 10 and ACC are leaving it up to their schools to make decisions for themselves. It is good that the conferences trust their schools enough to make decisions for themselves. It will be interesting to see if these schools have any trouble like Baylor did in the future without implementing strict rules on transferring student-athletes. I know that rape is going to be on any college campus but if you can prevent it in any way possible then that looks much better for the university. It will be very interesting to see how strict these conferences really are when it comes to implementing these new rules.

Image: sportsday.dallasnews.com

The 2016 Quarterbacks of the Big 12

Quarterbacks are extremely important when it comes to football. The Big 12 has had some powerhouse quarterbacks throughout the years. The quick explosive offenses the Big 12 has been known for are highlighted by the quarterbacks that have gone through the league throughout the years. It looks like this year will be no exception, especially with a lot of high-powered quarterbacks returning for Big 12 teams.

The main returning quarterbacks that will make a big impact in the Big 12 this season are Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield, Baylor’s Seth Russell, Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes, and Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph. West Virginia has its quarterback, Skyler Howard, who was the number five quarterback in the league in passing yards per game. Howard threw for 3,145 yards and 26 scores. Iowa State also has its quarterback position filled with Joel Lanning, but Zep Noland looks like he could also compete for the starting job. These two quarterbacks might not have as huge of an impact in the Big 12 this season, but it is nice that their teams won’t have to worry about filling that position.

The rest of the Big 12 schools are still questioning who their starting quarterback is going to be. The main question for Texas is what quarterback will fit into the offensive scheme of the new offensive coordinator. There are three options for Texas with Tyrone Swoopes, Jerrod Heard and true freshman Shan Buechele.

TCU has to replace its biggest play maker in Trevone Boykin. Quarterback Bram Kohlhausen made a huge impact in the Alamo Bowl at the end of the season, but unfortunately he graduated after that game. Now the battle of quarterbacks consists of Texas A&M transfer Kenny Hill and former four-star recruit Foster Sawyer. It will be a big battle, and it will be very interesting to see who Gary Patterson will chose to start the first game.

Kansas State is the next team in the Big 12 that has questions about its starting quarterback. Luckily for the Wildcats there is no shortage of choices for people who play that position. Last year the Wildcats caught some bad beaks with injuries and sickness. This year the Wildcats return Jesse Ertz from his ACL injury, co-starter Joe Hubner, red shirt freshman Alex Delton and top recruit Skylar Thompson. I could see Coach Snyder waiting until the day before the first game to announce who he will pick to start at quarterback for the Wildcats.

The Kansas Jayhawks are the last team that still doesn’t know who their starting quarterback is going to be this season. The Jayhawks have more questions that that though.  KU has to choose between Montell Cozart, Ryan Willis and Tyriek Starks. Both Cozart and Willis played last season but neither quarterback really stood out. Willis is a better quarterback when it comes to David Beaty’s air raid offense. Willis did get hurt this sprig playing basketball, but they are hoping he is 100% by fall. Starks was offered a scholarship even though Kansas was set for this season. The Jayhawks staff did not want to pass this opportunity up, even though their scholarships are limited. IT will be interesting to see who Beaty will choose to start the season, but it probably won’t be the same person that finishes at quarterback for the Jayhawks.

 

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Big 12 Links: Three Random Shirtless Dudes…WHY?

Art Briles was named in a federal lawsuit by the rape victim who claims the school ignored warning signs surrounding sexual assault complaints. The player that was in question was Tevin Elliot. Tevin was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Jasmin Hernandez is claiming that Briles and other athletic officials failed to act when they brought Elliot on campus. Baylor University hired more staff to make sure nothing like this would happen again in the future.

Last week Texas sophomore quarterback Jarrod Heard suffered a shoulder injury during practice. No details have been released as to how serious the injury is. Rumors are that he might be out for a while which could really hurt his chances at getting the starting position. As of now there is a three-way competition for the starting quarterback job. Heard started most of the season last year, but Tyrone Swoops is the front-runner to win the job this year. It will be interesting to see just how injured Heard is.

Some current and former Iowa State football players were in South Padre Island, Texas for spring break. The last thing they thought would happen would be rescuing an intoxicated woman from her car. The Woman drove into a canal and as her car filled up with water the boys broke a hole in her windshield and pulled her out with a minute to spare. It wasn’t easy, but now they are heroes.

Baylor’s 2017 recruiting class has taken two huge recruiting blows. Their top two recruits in that class have de-committed.  4-Star wide receiver Jhamon Ausbon tweeted that he was de-committing. This comes after 5-Star linebacker Baron Browning de-committed last month.

West Virginia hired a new wide receivers coach this week. Coach Tyron Carrier will be in charge of the Mountaineers receivers. Carrier was a receiver and returner under Holgorsen when he was the head coach at Houston. Carrier knows the Big 12 because he was a grad assistant at Baylor in 2015. He worked with one of the top receiving corps when he was with the Bears. Carrier was a record setting returner at Houston. He finished at Houston with an NCAA record seven kickoff returns for touchdowns. He also set an NCAA record for making two or more receptions in all 53 games of his career. He will be a very good fit at West Virginia.

Spring Football is in the Air

Spring football is in the air. Spring games have started around the Big 12. Most of the time these games don’t really mean much, but with some teams it will be interesting what some players can do and who will win the starting positions.

http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/eye-on-college-football/25496123/college-football-2016-spring-practice-and-spring-game-dates

On Friday April 1TCU was the first team in the Big 12 to have its spring game. The big question for the Horned Frogs is who their quarterback is going to be next season. During the spring game no quarterback stood out as a starter. Both Kenny Hill and Foster Sawyer completed about half of their passes, but neither threw for a touchdown. Hill got to throw to competition for the first time in two years and did not look that bad. The only touchdown thrown during the game was by the third string quarterback Grayson Muehlstein. It will be interesting who wins the starting QB job at TCU and if they will even come close to competing in the Big 12 like Boykin did.

http://www.star-telegram.com/sports/college/big-12/texas-christian-university/article69573547.html

Baylor is the other team in the Big 12 that has also had its spring game. Well at Baylor it is just an open practice. The Bears defense dominated the scrimmage recording 12 sacks and limiting the Baylor offense to 20 points on 117 snaps. Baylor’s running backs also looked really solid during the scrimmage. Jamycal Hasty looked really good. He has four more years in a Bears uniform so he could be  huge threat for them.

http://baylor.247sports.com/Bolt/WATCH-Baylor-Football-Spring-Showcase-44615731

The next spring games are on Saturday, April 9. Kansas will play at 2 p.m. and Oklahoma will play at 3 p.m. It will be interesting to see what Coach Beaty can do with the Jayhawks this year. I know nothing will really be shown during the spring game, but you will still be able to see how some of the players perform. When it comes to Oklahoma it will be interesting to see how its defensive line performs and the impression that Baker Mayfield has.

On Saturday, April 16 Texas Tech, Iowa State, Oklahoma State and Texas have their spring games. In the last Texas Tech spring practice Cameron Batson was mostly relegated to punt return duty. Batson had five catches for 83 yards and a TD. Quick running back Justin Stockton only had three carries, but had 44 yards and three touchdowns.

http://redraiders.com/filed-online/2016-04-02/out-shadows-batson-stockton-excel-texas-tech-spring-scrimmage#.VwMeCOIrLIU

On April 23 the last of the Big 12 spring games will be played. West Virginia will play at White Sulpher Springs and K-State will be back in Bill Snyder Family Stadium this year. It will be very interesting to see how the Wildcat quarterbacks perform after the two main starters were both injured last season. It will also be interesting to see how the defense performs after losing some key starters.

None of these games and practices mean anything, but it is still nice to see how each team will perform and hopefully no one will get hurt during them. This just means football season is one step closer.

Big 12 Football Week 1

This week marks the start of college football. This is one of the biggest seasons for the Big 12 so far. They have a lot to prove after last year. Oklahoma State open up games for the Big 12 with Central Michigan on Thursday September 3rd. TCU also plays on Thursday against Minnesota at 8. On Friday SMU faces Baylor at 6. On Saturday Kansas plays South Dakota State at 11, Texas Tech plays Sam Houston State at 2:30, Oklahoma plays Akron at 6, Kansas State plays South Dakota at 6, Notre Dame plays Texas at 6:30, West Virginia plays Georgia Southern at 6:30 and Iowa State plays Northern Iowa at 7.

Oklahoma State vs. Central Michigan

There are still a lot of questions up in the air about Central Michigan because they have a new coach, but they are returning their QB who has proven to be good in the past so we shall see what that brings. Oklahoma State has a strong defense with a lot of starters returning. One of the things the Cowboys lack is a running back. Even though the Cowboys are on the road I still think they will win 28-7.

TCU vs. Minnesota

Minnesota has some big question marks on offense as they enter the 2015 season. Minnesota has to replace their lead rusher and leading receiver. Mitch Leidner is a dual threat QB so that will help ease Minnesota’s worries for the season.  Last year when the Gophers and Horned frogs faced each other Trevone Boykin made a name for himself. The TCU defense did too by causing much needed turnovers at the right time. I think Minnesota will be more prepared this season, but TCU will win 28-14.

SMU vs. Baylor

This game will mark the beginning of the Chad Morris coaching era at SMU. Hopefully it won’t be as embarrassing as it was last year for SMU. Baylor has a monster defense so in order to keep it a game the SMU offensive line has to have a huge game. Baylor will win 42-21.

Texas Tech vs. Sam Houston St.

The last time these two schools met Texas Tech own 80-21. Sam Houston State has greatly improved since then, Texas Tech, not so much. With Sam Houston state having a duel threat quarterback and a lot of starters returning they will be a threat to the Red Raiders. Tech has a history of struggling against dual threat quarterbacks and will be implementing a new defense I think Sam Houston State will pull out an upset and beat Tech 28-21.

Akron vs. Oklahoma

Akron quarterback Kyle Pohl is returning this season after completing over half of his passes last year. Akron is also returning key wide receivers and running backs. Their defense is also experienced but it won’t be enough to stop Trevor Knight, Coach Bob Stoops and wide receivers Sterling Shepard and and Durron Neal. OU will win the game 45-21.

 

Kansas State vs. South Dakota

South Dakota had major problems last year. They couldn’t pass the ball and their defense couldn’t stop anyone. These are two major components to win football games. Their defense has changed completely so we will see if that helps them at all this game. Kansas State will look a lot different on the offensive side this year. Bill Snyder has yet to name a starting quarterback, but will most likely be Jesse Ertz. The Wildcats also have an unproven group of receivers to replace Tyler Lockett and Curry Sexton. The Wildcats should win the game 35-14.

Notre Dame vs. Texas

Notre Dame will be returning seventeen starters this year and will also bring back a lot of guys that were injured. Malik Zaire is taking over at quarterback and he did a really good job against LSU in the bowl game. Tyrone Swoops needs to be more consistent playing quarterback for Texas. The O line also needs to be more consistent to help Swoops. This will be the biggest game for the Big 12 this week, but Texas won’t win. Notre Dame will pull out the victory 21-10.

West Virginia vs. Georgia Southern

Georgia Southern proved they were a good football team last year by winning the Sunbelt Championship. They are only returning some key players and their secondary isn’t supposed to be as good as it was last year. West Virginia looks to have a solid start to the season after having seven or less wins their last three seasons. Skyler Howard is West Virginias starting quarterback and their receivers, running back and key defensive starters all return. West Virginia should win this game, but it could be battle in the first half. West Virginia will win 42-28.

Iowa State vs. Northern Iowa

Northern Iowa won at Jack Trice Stadium two years ago, but Iowa State is going to make sure that doesn’t happen again. The Panthers were not sure at the beginning of camp with was going to start for them at quarterback, so quarterback Sam Richardson will be the most experienced quarterback on the field which could come in handy. Iowa State will win 28-7.

Kansas vs. South Dakota State

South Dakota State is coming off of another nine win season. South Dakota State is bringing some experience into this season and could have another nine win season again this year.  The Jayhawks have a new coach and will have to replace a lot of players they lost on the defensive side. This game will really prove what the Jayhawks need to bring to the table the rest of the season. I think KU will win 35-21.