The combination of the worst defense in college football, inexplicable decisions by Head Coach Art Briles, and another game with a negative turnover margin doomed Baylor in Austin tonight to its third loss in a row.
Baylor is now 3-3 (0-3) on the season after losing our third game in a row tonight at the hands of the Texas Longhorns. It was another game where our defense did little to nothing to stop Texas' offense, our offense faltered at the worst possible times, and we didn't take advantage of the opportunities we had to put points on the board. What's worse, we had a chance in the end to correct our mistake from the West Virginia game and try the onside kick ... and we didn't. Again. We put the game in the hands of a defense that had already given up 56 points, couldn't stop the run to save their lives, and was almost a dead certainty to do the same thing again. Phil Bennett argued for a chance his defense didn't deserve and that made absolutely no sense and won the argument. We did the same thing just three freaking weeks ago! Did we learn nothing?
Speaking of Phil Bennett, last year, Baylor had an offense good enough to take the focus off the defense. We don't this year, but it's not really the offense's fault. Our defense is clearly and unbelievably worse to the point that Nick Florence and company, though amazing in their own right, aren't amazing enough. I have a hard time imagining an offense that would be. We've lost two conference games in which we scored 63 and 50 points, for crying out loud!
I've tried to be rational about the defense this season. Lord knows how hard I've tried. We've gotten to the point now where I think the rational belief is that Phil Bennett has to go. The issues we have in tackling, alignment, and scheme lay at his feet and his alone. Art Briles ceded control of that side of the ball to him two years ago in the hope that things would get better. They haven't. They've gotten much, much worse.
I know we have a disparity in talent with most other good teams in our league. I know we have had difficulty recruiting at important positions like the defensive line. I also know that there are scores of teams across the country with less talent that put a superior product on the field. There is no justification for how bad we are that is acceptable. This kind of repeated performance is not acceptable.
I'm at the end of my rope with the Baylor defense. This entire team, actually. We had an opportunity this season to build on the success of 2011 in recruiting, fundraising for our new stadium, and rebuilding our brand nationally. We've failed spectacularly in every respect. The seeds we sewed a year ago have been dug back up, set on fire, and cast into the sea. Baylor Football is regressing before our very eyes.
Here's the box: