Ok, I'm not going to use the clippings tool today because there are very few stories out there and I want to focus on the biggest news in Baylor football in 20 years: Robert Griffin III is going to New York City this weekend as a finalist for the Heisman Trophy.
No matter what happens Saturday night, when Robert Griffin III leaves Baylor University for the NFL he will do it as the greatest football player our school has ever seen. When he came here before Briles' first year, expectations for him were high. People saw his athletic ability and knew that he could be a special player. "Special," however, hardly comes close to describing RGIII as a player, a person, or a representative of our university. He and Coach Briles have taken a school that went nearly 20 years without a bowl berth and gotten two in a row; a school that hadn't won 9 games since before his entire team was born (last happened in 1986) and did it in a year where they beat OU for the first time ever, UT for the second year in a row, and Tech for the first time since the Big XII began. Offensive records have fallen like dominoes. Stigmas have been purged from the face of the Earth. "You're Baylor," that caustic knife to the heart of every green and gold-clad fan everywhere, means something completely different today than it has in a long, long time. "You're Baylor" means we probably just kicked your ass.
I don't know for sure what Robert or Briles are going to do this season; both have attractive options and huge challenges awaiting them if they decide to leave each other and Baylor University. I do know that I am thankful for their time here, no matter what happens, and that the journey has been incredible. That is not conceding defeat with respect to either at all, particularly Briles. I've written before that I think he'll stay and get a healthy raise and a sparkling new stadium. He might not, though. We'll see.
But on to the links:
- Let me begin by saying that there are two very well-respected projection sites out there for the Heisman: HeismanPundit.com and StiffArmTrophy.com. We have referenced them both extensively here in the last few days and I'm sure we will in the next few. Both have updates this morning worth reading. HeismanPundit, in particular, says in their final projection this year that Griffin is the man to beat and that he will win comfortably. It is worth noting that HP's methodology is pretty much exactly the opposite of SAT; HP relies on the regional format to project its winner based on sampling. SAT uses actual recorded votes from voters willing to publicize their choices to build a more scientific database. His latest update as of this morning showed a sizable lead for RGIII (although one that has narrowed slightly since the last update last night). So far he has 123 ballots identified and counted out of just over 900. Last year in his final update he nailed the order and was incredibly close on the percentages with just over 200 ballots counted. He should update at 12:00 CST.*
- *While I was making this he updated, showing RGIII still in a commanding lead over Luck, Richardson, Ball, and Mathieu (in that order). RGIII gained 10 of the 19 new first-place votes from the earlier update, giving him 86 firsts out of 141 total ballots. He appears on 117 ballots in all. That means he doesn't appear on 24 ballots. What is this, I don't even...
- Someone pointed out to me that Chris Huston (the HeismanPundit.com guy) went on Dan Patrick's radio show and told him "I’d fall out of my chair if someone other than Griffin won." I'll probably fall out of my chair when he does.
- Speaking of the Heisman, according to Dave Mason of Bet Online, RGIII is now the HUGE favorite to win the award based on odds released today. And his lead is just getting bigger.
- Beyond the Heisman and the bowls, the biggest news in CFB right now is the coaching carousel. Our old friend Texas A&M still needs a coach, and two of their most prominent candidates seem to be leaving the board quickly. According to Football Rumor Mill, Larry Fedora is likely to be hired for UNC's HC vacancy while Kevin Sumlin could be the favorite at Illinois to replace Ron Zook. Fedora was described yesterday as being willing to walk across broken glass for the A&M job, and he and Sumlin reportedly both had 2+ hour meetings with A&M officials in NY yesterday, so I don't know what to think. It would be hilarious to me if A&M lost both because they waited too long. Of course, MySanAntonio.com says Sumlin is still the leader for the A&M job, which could mean the Illinois thing is just posturing to try to make A&M offer him the job. FBRumorMill says Briles is unlikely to interview there, news that surprises exactly no one.
- I talked about this last night on Twitter, but there is a report out now saying that Arizona State wants to interview and possibly hire Art Briles as its head coach. I'm sure they WANT to. Not a single bone in my body thinks they will. That move would make zero sense for a coach that has spent his entire career in Texas, relies on established relationships with Texas high school football coaches, and is already in his late fifties. I'm not buying that for a second. Even if Briles actually does interview with them.
- In "the craziest thing I've heard today" news, CBSSports.com is reporting that Boise State, San Diego State, Houston, SMU and UCF will join the Big East Conference in 2013. You read that correctly, a school in San Diego, California is going to be a member of the Big East conference. With a school in Syracuse, New York.
- Our colleagues at Washington State have photos up of Mike Leach's arrival there in case anyone wants to see them. I'm going to assume it took him this long to get there because Pullman is in the middle of nowhere. I know very, very little about the geography of eastern Washington state.
- In case you wanted to see a video of the aftermath of the Heisman Finalist announcement yesterday at Baylor and are prepared to sit through terrible Waco TV commercials, here is one for you. You could watch that or you could just go to the official site and watch the one they put up that is much better. Your choice.
- The Baylor Lariat created a video dedicated to the fans of Baylor football for this season. It's pretty cool to watch, though I wish they hadn't uploaded it on vimeo because that is incredibly ghetto. That is not going to help our technological credibility, a new BCS ingredient starting in 2012*. *Not really.
I think that's it for me for now. I have to stop staring at my news feed program for Baylor because the idiotic tweets about why RGIII shouldn't win the Heisman ("BAYLOR DIDN'T EVEN GET TO A BCS BOWL! BAYLOR IS THE SUXXORS!" "MONTE BALL SCORED LIKE 700 TDS IN THE B1G!" "ANDREW LUCK IS GOING TO BE THE GREATEST QB IN THE HISTORY OF EARF.") are going to drive me to murder.