For the Baylor Bears, the RG3 party is over now. All the fun refreshments have been served, and now the check has come due. Time to pay up with going back to mediocrity. Well, they could be a little better than mediocre, but this won’t be anything like the excitement of last season. Very few schools ever experience a Heisman trophy winner and #2 pick in the NFL Draft storybook season, so 2012 won’t be much like 2011.
But I sincerely hope they retain that awesome paint finish on their helmets from the bowl game. I forgot what that’s specifically called, but you know what I mean. It was really cool.
2011 was: see above, a special season in school history. And to think, just months earlier the Big 12 was close to dissolving and Baylor was to be left out in the woods to fend for itself with nothing but twigs. (Metaphorically speaking). Last year, they were one of the league’s most exciting teams.
2012 will go smoothly if: They make a bowl game. The schedule is tough with eight bowl teams from a year ago and the 2011 FCS Champion, Sam Houston St. A lot of starters return on defense, but that’s not a good thing. The D was so bad, more depth chart shakeout is needed. The Bears ranked in the 100s and 110s in all the major defensive categories. It all depends on how fast the new personnel (although the secondary remains in tact) adjusts to Phil Bennett, who will be on the hot seat after giving up a school record for yards and points per game
2012 will be rough if: the Baylor offense doesn’t carry the load, and the new QB doesn’t handle the transition smoothly. This team lost some of the most dynamic skill position players in school history.
BMOC: QB Nick Florence, WR Terrance Williams, RB Jarred Saubi, C Ivory Wade (all are being asked to replace the production of big time offensive stars)
All-name team: DB Prince Kent, PR Levi Norwood, WR Lanear Sampson, Kiante’ Griffin
Bottom Line: They should be just okay. Maybe better than .500 as 7-8 wins certainly looks likely. They’ll win the games you think they will, lose to the stronger competition in the Big 12. Remember it’s not just Robert Griffin III, they’re replacing, but also Kendall Wright and Terrance Ganaway.
Rankings Athlon- 40 Lindy’s- 43 Phil Steele- 46
All the 77s
#67 Southern Miss
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Chicago Tribune.com, Fox Sports, MSN, Walter Football and Yardbarker
A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too