Before I do anything else, I want to mention a few tweets I sent out yesterday afternoon/evening that I think highlight just how far we've come in the Briles Era from where we were. The whole thing started with the following, after Baylor Football made note of the fact that in 2012, we had 38 rushing TDs.
That seemingly-innocuous mention launched me back into the world of sports-reference to look at our statistics from 2007 and, eventually, 2006, which was even worse and somehow I had pushed out of my mind again.
In 2007, Baylor had 5 rushing touchdowns for the entire season. That's it. Five. The player with the most on our entire team had 2. Last year, Nick Florence had 10 by himself. Our entire "stable" of running backs had 887 positive yards for the season that year. In six games to end 2012, Lache Seastrunk had 831.
But however bad 2007 (the second year in the disastrous Lee Hays experiment) was, 2006 was so much worse. For that entire season, Baylor had a grand total (after sacks and lost yardage) of 482 rushing yards. That's the entire team for the entire season, and it's less than Florence had last year (568), including sacks. As David Fankhauser pointed out to me, if you subtract Paul Mosley from that 2006 team, the rest of the players had a net total of 3 yards rushing. I don't know it for a fact, but I strongly believe the 2006 Baylor Bears might have been the worst rushing team in history. The third-leading rusher for the team was Blake Szymanski, who gained 18 yards on 44 carries as the team's backup QB. I'm too depressed to search the archives to see if I've written about that team before. The sports-reference page should be sponsored by Balcones Distillery.
For the ultimate comparison, in the last two years (2011 and 2012), Baylor has topped 3,000 positive rushing yards per season. That means we have over 6,000 rushing yards between the two years. That's more (by about 1,500) than all of Guy Morriss' teams put together. In 2012, we had more yardage in one year (3012) than in 2005, 2006, and 2007 combined (2625). So yeah, we've come a long way.
Now to the links, beginning with a recap of the Big 12 Media Days:
--- ART BRILES ROCKED THE HOUSE --- I already told you this.
--- BRYCE PETTY IS THE REAL DEAL --- Or so we think.
--- PEOPLE FREAKING LOVE THAT HELMET --- From Athlon Sports.
--- BIG 12 BRINGS IN ANOTHER OFFICIAL TO GO EVEN FASTER -- I like that we're finally embracing (as a conference) the identity we so clearly have. We've got a need for speed.
--- UBBENS' RECAP AT THE BIG 12 BLOG --- He does a great job.
--- THE BEST OF THE BIG 12 MEDIA DAYS --- This should just link to Art Briles' wikipedia page, but it doesn't. I'll have to ask him why.
A STORM IS COMING, MR. WAYNE, I MEAN EMMERT -- Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby, who I imagine was overjoyed this week about the arrival of the Royal Baby, opened what might be a fairly big can of worms when he talked about the potential for the Big 5 conferences to go their own separate ways. Whether it was intended merely as a threat or is something they might actually do, we'll have to see.
BEST IN TEXAS WIDE OPEN FOR 2013 -- I have no idea who wrote this, but it sounded nice.
SINGLE-GAME TICKETS ON SALE 8/7 -- Those tickets to see Baylor destroy the Wofford Terriers aren't going to buy themselves, you guys.
BIG 12 WEEK-BY-WEEK PREDICTIONS -- David Ubben is through Week 9 of the Big 12 season and has us undefeated in our first seven games. That sets up a great poll question below.