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ODB Mailbag - Sugar Bowl Victory Edition: Answered

Football, basketball, and other Baylor related questions answered.

Questions are in block quotes and answers have the contributors name in bold.

Could you...

be more proud of a program? A team? A coach? A season? (Setting aside, of course, how much we love and appreciate Coach Drew, and our pride in him, his program and season, for a few minutes).

Posted by RSWaco

Andrew Miner: I think there is a certain amount of pride associated with every team each year for a multitude of reasons but this team was unequivocally special. What made it so special was the way that the Bears won these games in nailbitting fashion week in and week out. You rarely see such a stout defense completely dominate the CFB world anymore.

BNT: What I have to say about ALL things Baylor is

Since you were there...

Could you tell if GB was still less than 100%? He didn’t throw well (obviously 40 yards), but he seemed hesitant to run. My guess was the injury. Did you get any insights by being there in person?

Posted by BrentBear

Peter Pope: was there as well, and it definitely seemed like he was tentative, both running the football and following through on his throws. It’s hard to tell whether it was because he wasn’t 100% or it was rust from not having played in 6 weeks. My personal thought was that it was more rust than not being 100%.

Andrew Miner: Bohanon looked incredibly rusty after six weeks of rehabbing the hamstring; however, he also did not look mentally ready. There seemed to be times where he was hesitant to run (perhaps with the injury in the back of his mind) and others where the mechanics where not sharp (such as on his interception).

BNT: Rusty in my opinion. To think we dominated with only 40 passing yards is unreal.

Do the marching bands

traditionally go to the bowl games? I was glad to see it !

Posted by BearCamp on Jan 3, 2022 | 10:05 AM reply rec flag

Noelle Kakimoto (BUGWB Alumi): The band always goes to the bowl games and in certain situations depending on where the students live, individual students can even receive financial stipends to fly back to Waco during break. Band travels by bus from Waco so it can be a long journey to the bowl destination, but it’s definitely a highlight for the band students as well!

BNT: Love our BUGWB!

How long will the Bears hold the College Football Championship Belt?

Posted by sandbear

Peter Pope: Ha! I actually created a twitter account to track the Belt after the original site that tracked it went defunct. It’s @cfb_belt. It will be very interesting to see how this team performs next season. They’ll have their work cut out for them to retain the Belt, because they have an early test at BYU on September 10 then head to Ames on September 24. I’m going to hold off on predictions at this point, but given that it’s an odd-year schedule, the schedule could be challenging. We’ll see who decides to stick around and how the team will shape up for next season.

Andrew Miner: Glad to see Baylor back on top here! In the five games before their bye week, I would say the Bears are only comfortably favored against Texas State. I’ll say that Oklahoma State takes it from them on Oct. 1, despite being in Waco.

BNT: With our entire OL coming back (with the exception of XNJ who used up all of his eligibility), I like our chances.

Was the Sugar Bowl the greatest/most important victory you’ve witnessed in Baylor football history?

BNT, my brother. I’ve asked two other oldies the same question. We all three came up with the same three games but then decided the Sugar Bowl was the best. Bet you know them!

1. Miracle on the Brazos. 1974. Baylor down to UT at halftime 24-7. Wins 34-24 to beat UT for the first time in 50 years. Remarkable comeback. Great victory.

2. Closing the Case. 2013. Baylor beats UT 30-10 to win the Big 12 in the final game played at Floyd Casey.

3. 61-58. 2014. This isn’t included in the list but I like to mention it just because Toad Tears are Tasty. Fear the Frog

4. The Sugar Bowl. 2022.

Baylor should end the season at #3. We have an extra data point win and a conference championship and beat #8 by 14 while tOSU beat #11 by 3. Baylor was ranked above tOSU in the AP. Rightfully so. The CFP sucks and never should have ranked them above us.

Love you, brother!

Posted by daddingo

Cody Orr: I can think of a few games I would place ahead of the Sugar Bowl (but I’m also on the younger side)

1 - Dec 7, 2013: Beating UT to win our first ever Big 12 Championship

2 - November 17, 2012: Beating #1 Kansas State. From my perspective, the goal-line stand against Heisman-hopeful Collin Klein was a turning point in how well our defense played the remainder of the Briles era.

3- November 7, 2013: Curb-stomping Oklahoma 41-12 in the blackout game. It showed that our previous win over OU wasn’t a fluke and set us up to win the Big 12 Championship later that year.

Andrew Miner: The greatest game in football history has to be this year’s Big 12 championship game. Goal line stand in final seconds, potentially cements keeping Aranda at BU, and first ever Big 12 title game victory. I would probably go 2) 2011 Oklahoma (Heisman, led to McLane); 3) 2014 TCU (61-58, changed CFB CFP landscape); 4) Miracle on the Brazos (‘74 SWC title over Texas); 5) 2013 Case Closed (first Big 12 title over Texas) and finally the ‘57 & ‘22 Sugar Bowls.

BNT: Great thread on this from BrentBear, Your_Bailey_Bear (George’s descendent), Bearistotle, and my brother whom I love dearly Daddingo and worth a read here. For me 1) has to be winning our 1st Big 12 Championship and closing of the case in 2013. OSU was in the drivers seat, but lost to OU right before our game. That set up the winner of our game vs UT as the Big 12 Champion. The weather was surreal as the game has been dubbed as the Ice Fog feet are still thawing out as we stood on ice the whole game. Closing the Case after the Champ Trophy presentation was moving and amazing! 2) Miracle on the Brazos. 3) Big 12 Championship and the McPlay. 4) Sugar Bowl. 5) 61-58.

So does CDA et al FINALLY get a new contract now???

Posted by aintathangbutachickenwing

Andrew Miner: I heard the reason for the contract delay is because Coach Aranda is pressing AD Rhoades to name the field after him.

BNT: Hate to break it to you Wing, but I have it from a reliable source that CDA is leaving Baylor. After turning down the likes of LSU, USC, and Notre Dame, the perfect job opened up. Next season he will be leading NCAA Division II Slippery Rock, or known by their mascot The Rock. Being a man of faith and embracing the Culture of JOY, along with his quiet demeanor, CDA said “standing firm on The Rock is a great fit for me.”

Baylor is the best athletics university in the country.

That’s it. That’s the question.

Posted by dOols II

BNT: Yep. That’s the answer.

Does coach Drew have a new swagger to him since he got his ring?

Lately he seems like his personality filter is completely off and pure blinding joy is exuding.

Posted by Your_Bailey_Bear

Andrew Miner: I think Coach Drew’s personality has always shined through, and now that he has a title he is validated in knowing that no one can second guess him because he has proof that it works.

Cody Orr: I don’t know if Drew has more “swagger”, or if he just has more airtime. But I agree that his personality and character is fully on display for the country to enjoy.

BNT: Not sure about swagger, as he seems to be the same basketball nerd that we know and love! But, he does like to carry the trophy around with him.

Can you compare Kendall Brown’s freshman season to Perry Jones’?

Posted by Your_Bailey_Bear

Joe Goodman: This is actually a pretty intriguing question. Both guys were super highly rated coming out of high school with big expectations to what their talent would be in college. Perry had elite skills, but wasn’t a high motor guy. I don’t think he got a totally fair shake based on expectations. Jones was never going to be a program changer just with his style of play, and he wasn’t surrounded with championship level talent. Brown is pretty similar to me, with his laid back style. That being said, Brown is a bit more active on his own and has a little more desire to take over from time to time in my opinion. Brown also has the luxury of playing with one of the best rosters this team has ever seen, which can take some pressure off of him. It would be interesting to see how Jones would perform with this group, but I like Brown’s game better.

Andrew Miner: I would argue that Perry Jones III’s freshman season was overshadowed with his recruiting violations and the superstardom of teammate LaceDarius Dunn. Still, Jones averaged nearly 14 points and seven boards while Brown is averaging just under 12 and four. Brown seems to already be a better long distance jump shooter and a better overall defender. And of course he is on a better team than the 2010-11 Bears. It will be interesting to see how Brown—who has scored six points in 56 minutes in his first two conference games— evolves over the course of Big 12 play.

BNT: No doubt both were (are) special players, but I think Brown has a higher ceiling. Brown reminds me of Dr. J, but still developing, so we could call him Dr. B.

Oregon Bear

Saw the Bears at U of O couple weeks ago, met Coach Hart at NCAA Track & Field Finals a few years ago, and I get all BU games, Thanks Directv and I have proudly displayed my Baylor Alumn Tags. AND I’ve taken a lot of bets/Sugar from these Duck fans.

Thanks for the J.O.Y.

Posted by garyinoregon

BNT: Thanks for posting!

Big 12 next year

What are your rankings of the conference members we heading into next season in terms of who has the best chance to win it. I think it’s completely wide open with Celeb Williams transferring along with TTU and WVU putting together good recruiting years.

Personally for me it’s

1st trier; BU, OSU

2nd Tier: OU, KSU,

3rd tier: WVU, ISU, TTU

4th tier: UT, TCU, KU

Then again Texas will be ranked in the top five in the polls just because of their OSU bust qb. At least Bama will straighten that out.

Posted by bufb2007

Andrew Miner: Baylor should be in a good position to defend their title. With recent transfer portal announcements, the Bears may even be favored. Both Oklahoma schools will be good too. I think one team we should pay attention to is Kansas State. It’s a bit surprising with how good the Wildcats have been the past three years that they have not already snuck into the title game, but they do have a championship coach on the sidelines.

BNT: Even with the unfavorable schedule, I think we have a good chance and agree with your 4 tiers. Our players will be totally integrated into the system, Aranda’s recruits will start making a difference, and our staff is too elite in player development and game planning to count us out. Of course, I’ll be doing my annual pre season prediction article the week before our first game.

Passing game

Jeff Grimes has done wonders for our running game along with the rest of the offensive staff, however that was a very poor passing performance and maybe GB wasn’t himself but in the past we had dominant receivers who never got shut down. I was disappointed to see zero usage of Ben Sims in the passing game besides the one long target really.

Was this just Ole Miss Defense, GB being hurt? Also can we expect to see a little more consistency and nuance to the passing game next year?

Posted by CactusBear

Andrew Miner: I think it may have been a bit of both. I am most interested in seeing the QB battle Baylor will have on their hands next season between a former linebacker and baseball shortstop in Bohanon and Shapen respectively. Keep in perspective how incredible it was that Shapen filled in off the bench and got victories at Kansas State, home against Texas Tech and in the Big 12 title game! Overall I think Baylor tries to stay a running team first with their RVO.

BNT: The first part of your question was asked by BrentBear above, which was answered. Now for the second part, this Spring should be interesting as I think there will be a fight for QB1 between GB and Shapen. Both are proven leaders and can win big games. What a luxury as other teams, looking at you UT, have serious issues at QB. I agree with Andrew that we stay a running team first. You can’t go wrong averaging over 200 yds per game rushing. Particularly in the Big 12 where you need to control the clock and give your D a rest.

If you had to pick a roster from a single year of Baylor football to play in an NCAA video game, which year would it be, and why?

Posted by Cody Orr

Peter Pope: I would have to go with 2015… if only to see what happens the rest of the season with a fully healthy Seth Russell.

Andrew Miner: I would probably go 2014 just to ensure that we end it properly without Committee interference.

BNT: I’m going with a hybrid of the 2014 O and 2021 D. Now that would be the ultimate dominate team...kinda like our 2021 MBB team.

what is your hot take on bowl game opt outs??

Posted by PioneerSkies

Cody Orr: Schools give players scholarships to play football. If a player is still recovering from an injury sustained earlier in the season, I think it’s fair to not rush them back for a bowl game. But if the player is fully healthy? I’m not a fan of opting out.

Andrew Miner: You can opt out if you need to secure the bag. It is much more fun when the guys play; and players deserve to play—because forget about money think about the limited priceless game opportunities you have worked for. With that said, the football Gods need to be kind on those stars that choose to play. It is a shame that Matt Corall got injured because I love his mindset. An easy way to ensure that players play in the bowl games is to utilize NIL. Though I do not think you can make receiving money contingent on playing in the game.

BNT: I’m not a fan, but do understand why players do it. There are risks in life and football is no different. Who’s to say that someone that opts out doesn’t have a freak accident off the field. Support your brothers, support your school, and play the dang game!

Who is your “way to early” favorite at RB next year?

Posted by JustinAllison16

BNT: Has to be Taye McWilliams. He had 183 yds on 17 carries with 2 TD’s last season. That’s an eye popping 10.6 yds per carry. At 6’1 and 211 lbs., he’s a perfect fit for the RVO running game. Like Smith, he’s a one cut downhill runner that can also punish defenders when they close for the tackle.

Future XII games in thought

How much would Baylor have beat Cincinnati if they played this last season

Posted by SicEmOSo

BNT: No disrespect to our future Big 12 opponent, but I think we would have beaten them by double digits. Our D would dominate and our O would control the ball. I’m not saying they weren’t good, because they were an excellent team. But, they are going to take a bit of a step back in Big 12 play. You heard it here first.

As always, thanks for your questions. Feel free to leave other questions or thoughts below.