The news Baylor fans want to hear is getting started earlier this morning, so today's DBR is, too. We'll start with the reactions to OU handing Baylor Baseball its butt this weekend in Norman and go from there.
The expected rankings drops have already begun, and PerfectGame.org pushed Baylor down to #6 on their top 50 after several weeks as the consensus #2. They won't be the only ones.
Baseball America updated their rankings and now have Baylor at #7. This weekend sweep is beginning to sting a bit.
Curious about the footprint of a potential 16-team Big 12? You are in luck. A poster on ShaggyBevo that goes by @ludosc on twitter made this map. We are definitely getting ahead of ourselves now to imagine a 10-team conference upgrading so significantly, but assuming that it could happen, I would be very intrigued by a pod scheduling system giving every team periodic access to Texas and Florida for recruiting purposes. You could name the pods for the areas they cover, such as Southwest (Texas), Midwest (Oklahoma/Kansas), Northeast (fairly obvious), and Southeast (the same). I'm down with that.
The mothership has created a section on their CFB homepage specifically for realignment rumors, so you should check that out for the latest information from SBNation's cadre of writers.
Speaking of the latest news, a trustee from the University of Miami called his school's potential realignment to the Big 12 "highly unlikely" and cited the conference's academic reputation as one reason.
In case you want to check out the SBNation blogs for each of the major players here, FSU's is Tomahawk Nation, Miami's is The 7th Floor, and Clemson, who is playing the Missouri role in all of this, calls theirs Shakin the Southland.
SBNation's Bill Connelly thinks the Big 12 needs to "swing for the fences" in realignment and manages to put his rabid Mizzou fanhood aside for a moment to look at where the conference should go in expansion. The only thing I disagree with him about is BYU-- I don't see it happening when the conference is looking east.
Mondays are much more tolerable when commitments come in: @BUFootball just got a verbal pledge from rivals 3-star LB Raaquan Davis— SicEmSports.com (@SicEmSports) May 14, 2012
Baylor Football Recruiting:
It's another exciting day for Baylor Football, who picked up their ninth commitment this morning from Rockwall-Heith OLB Raaquan Davis. I honestly don't know who "had" the commitment first-- I saw the news first on BearsTruth from a member of the community, but it was confirmed first on twitter from SicEmSports-- so I don't know where credit should go other than to our coaching staff. Rest assured that I will give Davis his proper due, as well, in an upcoming post dedicated solely to him.
Our friends over at BurntOrangeNation posted a great article about the latest news in the recruitment of FW Southwest HS WR Robbie Rhodes. Rhodes has two teams at the top of his list-- Baylor and Texas -- with Baylor currently occupying the top spot even after Rhodes' much-anticipated time on Texas's campus this past weekend at the State Track & Field Meet, where Rhodes blew away the competition. I particularly enjoyed the interview BON was able to do with Rhodes' HS football coach. HS coaches are often the best possible sources of information about recruits because they see everything. They can tell you about a player on and off the field in a way that stats or even video can't do. It's a great article, so I suggest you read it to find out more about a potential Baylor Bear. Head below the jump for my thoughts.
The only response I have to it concerns an equivocation between the two schools and their futures on offense. In the article, Rhodes' father indicates a preference for a school that utilizes the pass significantly in its offense. That makes sense; his son plays wide receiver. Every receiver worth his salt wants the ball. The author of the post on BON first recognizes that Baylor's offense is more likely to satisfy that requirement in the short term due to uncertainty about David Ash and Case McCoy, but then goes on to pump up Texas's chances in that regard.
I'm not going to downplay Mack Brown's success in recruiting or suggest that Texas has no chance, far from it. One of Texas's best recruiting pitches to Rhodes should be their recruiting; even as a Baylor fan I can recognize that UT will likely be able to put more talent around Rhodes than we can during his time there. Baylor's best pitch, on the other hand, is a much, much more successful offense generally that will, at this point next year, have likely put two wide receivers in the NFL in the first round of the Draft in the last two years. The first is superstar Kendall Wright, who went #20 to the Tennessee Titans this year. The second is senior WR Terrance Williams. The loss of Wright means that Williams' role in our offense will only increase, as will his profile on the national scene, where he has already been given first round grades by several observers. The last Texas WR drafted in the first round was Roy Williams in 2004.
Baylor has made its offense great the last few seasons by taking lesser-known WRs like Williams, Lanear Sampson, and Tevin Reese, and turning them into great players. Texas, by contrast, has done incredibly well in recruiting both QBs and WRs, but has managed to actually get worse on offense and lose more than a few of those recruits to transfer. Call me a homer if you want to, but I think Baylor has an argument to offensive skill players that UT cannot yet match. Of course, the entire premise changes if UT's offensive makeover succeeds this season and one of their QBs steps up.