I don't think I have to tell anyone what the biggest news of the past 24 hours (since the last DBR) was for Baylor University or her fans. Our Heisman Trophy-winning QB, our champion, and the best player to ever grace the field of play with BAYLOR emblazoned across his chest is leaving for the NFL.
I took a bit of heat yesterday on twitter (perhaps rightfully) when I said that I thought this decision was a win-win for Baylor football. I think I need to clarify my meaning. What I didn't mean was that I want RG3 gone. I'm not saying we will be a better football team without him or that I am glad to see him leaving Baylor absolutely. Those things would be ludicrous; everyone should know how I feel about Robert Griffin III. What I meant was that in the entire scope of events, RG3 declaring for the Draft and leaving Baylor to (probably) go in the first five picks in April is not a bad thing for Baylor University. There are negative aspects, to be sure, but I firmly believe that the positives (in terms of exposure, recruiting, and having a star enter the NFL with the word "Baylor" attached to him) outweigh the negatives. And that's not even taking into consideration the personal joy Baylor fans no doubt feel from having a player they love and support playing in the NFL. Some NFL team is going to get quite a few new fans when they pick RG3.
Even more than that, though, as I said yesterday, the fact that RG3 has this opportunity means that a lot of things went right for him and for us. This wouldn't have happened without the 10-win season, the incredible victories over OU, Texas, TCU, and others, the Heisman Trophy (the first in our history), and a bowl win on national TV. The Draft is the natural result of extremely positive events happening for him and for us, and if you are asking me to choose whether I would rather have one more year of RG3 versus all of those things happening, I'm taking those things. There is a tendency for some to believe that if RG3 stayed he might have even a better year next year. Do even more incredible things. It would be extremely difficult-- nigh impossible-- for RG3 to be better than he was this year. or for things to go better than they did for all of us.
I am extremely thankful for everything Robert did for Waco, Baylor, and her fans. He helped changed the way people across the country view Baylor forever. He represented all of us better than we could have possibly imagined. And though it is going to be difficult to move on without him, we will move on, we will continue to rebuild our program, and we will be better for having had him for four years.
Today's links after the jump.
- Heisman Trophy Winner RG3 Declares for NFL Draft - Baylor Bears Official Athletic Site - BaylorBears.com- Baylor Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Robert Griffin III will declare for the 2012 NFL Draft and forgo his final season of eligibility, he announced Wednesday.-- Great recap of RG3's statistics, records, and honors during his time at Baylor. I'm telling you, Heath Nielson and his staff deserve the biggest of raises. Baylor has come so far in what it does through information and technology that it boggles my mind.
- Press Conference Quotes - Baylor Bears Official Athletic Site - BaylorBears.com-- The actual quotes from the press conference. If you didn't, though, you should really try to go back and watch the press conference. It was touching to see two men-- Griffin and Briles-- who respect and love each other as much as those two do. Their mutual admiration was evident the entire time. I'll blockquote my favorite part of what Griffin said:
- RG3 leaves Baylor a place changed forever - Big 12 Blog - ESPN- Wednesday was a day of reflection for Robert Griffin III, a natural reaction for anyone who has spent four years in one place... -- This is from David Ubben of the Big XII blog at ESPN.com. I put it first because it's a great article from one of the members of the national media who probably spent more time around RG3 than just about anyone. He gets it.
- The Good News Bear - NYTimes.com- In a season dominated by dispiriting headlines, Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III was a shot of sunshine.-- Another great article this morning from the Old Gray Lady.
- It's Official: Heisman Winner RG3 Jumping to NFL - YouTube- Baylor's Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Robert Griffin III made it official Wednesday, announcing he's entering the NFL draft.
- RG3 officially declares for 2012 draft - CBSSports.com
- What we learned in the Big 12 in 2011 - Big 12 Blog - ESPN
- Best and worst from Big 12 bowl season - Big 12 Blog - ESPN
- The Big 12's top 10 moments of 2011 - Big 12 Blog - ESPN- As quickly as it arrived, the Big 12 season is gone. Alas, here's a look at the 10 moments we'll remember most from the 2011 season.
It takes a group of guys that understand what they have to do, to understand that they have to go above and beyond to acquire what is ahead of us. We definitely brought a lot of excitement here to Baylor. It's been a wonderful time for our fans and faculty. I'm proud to say that I'm one of those guys, one of those guys that fought, day in and day out, from 2008 to 2011. Of course I could throw out a bunch of names of great players that have been here, but we all know that everybody had a part in what was achieved here at Baylor University. Like I said before, we got to the heights, here at Baylor University, that we haven't seen in a long time. But the climb isn't over. And I urge all of Baylor nation to continue to rise up and show support for the Baylor Bears because my brothers, my teammates, that I just finished meeting with, they benefit so significantly from the support that is going to pour out this upcoming season. I'd just like to say, I will always be a Baylor Bear, no matter what.
- Mr. Griffin goes to Washington? Redskins best bet for RG3 - NFL - Sporting News- Please God, no.
- Could Browns be interested in RG3, Kolb? - CBSSports.com- THIS. IF IT HAS TO BE ONE OF THE TWO, MAKE IT THIS.
- All about the Big 12: Baylor living up to hype - College Basketball - Rivals.com- Some may have scoffed when Baylor was ranked 12th in the preseason, but the Bears are living up to the hype.
- Undefeated Baylor women beat Oklahoma State | NewsOK.com- WACO, Texas — Oklahoma State coach Jim Littell offered no excuses or coach-speak trying to explain what happened in the second half at top-ranked Baylor. "They just turned it up to a different level, to be honest," Littell said. "We need to realize that Baylor's going to do this to a lot of people. They're going to do this especially here at home in Waco."