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ODB Mailbag: Answered

Answers to Baylor football and basketball questions.

Does Baylor finally have the football stability it needs to be a power on the field and in recruiting?

It seems we have massive lulls of inconsistency in program history that have hampered our growth paired with other schools having lack of inconsistency. With CDA signed longterm and hopefully staying longterm, new facilities, and other schools hiring new coaches is this our time to get a leg up and string together 5+ years of solid play/recruiting?

Posted by CactusBear

Andrew Miner: I would agree that Baylor seems to be in a stable and favorable position moving forward in football with Aranda’s contract secured. However, I would argue that the lulls experienced by the Bears in the past half decade has mainly been due to disruption outside of their control: scandal, coaching change, and Covid pandemic.

BNT: It’s amazing that over the last 12 years we’ve been the top program in Texas in winning percentage (including 2 seasons in which we went 3-18), won 3 Big 12 Championships and were runner up in 2019. Baylor has recently shown it can be a top tier program in the conference. Aranda is the leader we need to get us to the next level. My neighbor, one of the BU football assistant coaches, told me that Aranda is “a special kind of leader”. I hear the same from others associated with the program, players, and recruits. He believes we can get to the playoffs and I don’t disagree. Aranda certainly has a better chance than Scott Drew did when he took over our men’s basketball program. Drew declared that he came to Baylor to win a championship. He accomplished that by building the program from pretty much scratch. CDA has much more to work with and should consistently have us in the playoff discussion, like we were this past season.

Can you win a Natty with one-and-done players?

We all love a great recruiting haul every year or is a couple of years needed for just about everyone for national championship success? Otherwise, Kentucky and Duke would win a lot more often.

Posted by IrvingParkBear

Andrew Miner: I believe I have written on this in the past, but veteran, senior leadership and developed players nearly always wins out vs the one-and-down crowd. The perfect example was last year with Baylor destroying Gonzaga and Suggs—though the Zags clear had a few vets on their team. The Bears and Scott Drew have made a living getting to the second weekend without attracting the top talent—in fact, you could argue that one of their most talented teams was 2013 who had to settle for an NIT title. Virginia won in 2019 with much of the same cast from the year before where they lost as a 16 seed. Villanova won a couple as Jay Wright uses the experience > talent model. UNC brought many pages back from their ‘16 title defeat (where they had senors on that team anyway) to win in ‘17. Wisconsin beat that 2015 Kentucky team; UConn beat Kentucky in ‘14. Kansas beat all those Memphis studs in 2008 when John Calipari really started to make the one and dones prominent. West Virginia beat John Wall and Cousins in the Elite 8 in 2010. Sean May and Tyler Hansbourgh helped the Tar Heels win titles as upperclassmen in ‘05 and ‘09 respectively. Florida won back to back with basically the same team in ‘06-07. One and done teams have won titles in 2003 (Syracuse-Carmelo), 2012 (Kentucky-Anthony Davis) and 2015ish (Duke-Okafor/Jones/Winslow), but three championships in two decades should be enough evidence to argue that you do not need one and done guys.

BNT: Andrew gave some great examples and I pretty much agree with him. You can win with one and done, but the consistent natty winners have seasoned rosters. We are at a level where one and done players will be attracted to Baylor, but they will be plug ins and not the focus as Drew will continue to develop players and lean heavily on veterans who understand the system and have complete buy in to the Culture of Joy.

BNT, outside of TCU, who’s our biggest rival in the new Big 12?

Easy answer would be a team in Texas, but we have some healthy hatred with the Cowboys and Cyclones.

Posted by FunkycoldMD

Cody Orr: Depends on the sport, but right now I’m leaning towards Texas Tech. This may be MBB recency bias, but I loath the tortilla tossers.

pbpope: It’s possible it’ll be Houston. Their fans already haaaaaate us. The question is just how our fans will react.

Andrew Miner: I would argue it would be Texas Tech, especially with Joey McGuire as the new head coach. In the new Big 12, it is probably a race between the Red Raiders and Houston for the biggest rivalry. And whichever ends up being the greatest in football will probably take that moniker.

BNT: I don’t see Tech as a rival as we are far better in most every sport. I do think they have the worst fanbase in the conference, and it’s not even close (shout out to UT, but they’re leaving so I disqualified them). Regarding the worst fan base ginning up a rivalry in the future, Houston says to Tech fans “hold my beer”. Peter might be correct in the rekindling of the rivalry, but amped up x100. Personally I would love to see a Holy War develop between us and BYU. We can call it Battle of the Bibles, The Last Crusade, Milk vs Dr. Pepper Wars, and so on. It will be hilarious to see which school can out heckle the other without the use of profanity. For me, this storyline

How does Baylor beat Kansas on Saturday?

Posted by PioneerSkies

Andrew Miner: This is similar to Baylor-Kansas in 2020 where College Gameday came, the Bears were banged up a bit and Azubuike (23/19) was just a force. Three keys to the game: 1. Limit Jayhawks to one possession in each trip down the court; 2. Do not turn the ball over; and 3. Knock down efficient, confident shots through inside-out basketball. In the great Cody Orr stat previews, I bet those labels are rebounding, turnovers/points off and three-point shooting. It’s a tall order.

Branden MacKinnon: There aren’t a ton of paths to victory in this game. Typically when Baylor is fully healthy, their opponent is less talented, or both, the Bears could beat a team in a variety of ways. Unfortunately Baylor is banged up (as we all know) and Kansas is incredibly talented. Andrew hit on some tangible ways we can win, so I will zig while he zags, as per usual.I think this game comes down to flat out heart. In the first matchup the Bears looked tired, deflated, disinterested, and like the moment was too big for them. We will need higher energy, confidence, belief in one another and great coaching. I think there is a path to victory, but it is narrow. All that to say I think we get it done in one of the best games in the history of the Ferrell.

BNT: I know with our team being short handed and having been taken to the woodshed in Lawerence, just about everyone thinks this game will be a Baylor L. Andrew is on point with his 3 keys, but I’ll add a wild card. That would be Sochan playing the 5. KU’s McKormak can be a force, but he can also be mistake prone and make poor decisions. Sochan’s athleticism and quickness could be fun to watch agains big Mc. I think JS is going to have a big game. I go back in forth on my prediction for the game, but for now feeling like

Thanks for the questions. If you have other questions or comments, feel free to leave them below and Sic ‘em!

xoxo

BNT