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ODB Mailbag - Spring Football Edition: Answered

Baylor football, basketball, baseball, softball, and beards questions answered.

What will our passing game look like next season?

Posted by aintathangbutachickenwing

Cody Orr: I expect the passing offense to look similar to last year’s. I’m not aware of any changes being made to the wide-zone scheme, so there will be a lot of play action passes and bootlegs. The o-line should continue to do a good job protecting the QB and limiting sacks. The biggest question mark is GB’s chemistry with the younger receivers — will they connect on a higher share of deep passes?

BNT: Although Bohannon is in the drivers seat, don’t count out Shapen. The competition is open and it should be friendly, but fierce. I still think GB comes out of the Spring (which CDA has said they hope to announce the starting QB by the end of) QB 1. But, we have the luxury of having a QB 1B in Shapen. Considering that many conference foes don’t have a clear QB 1, that’s pretty nice.

Is it even possible to have a more BORING collection of Final Four teams???

As Baylor fans and alums, should we be rooting for the Big 12’s representative to succeed in the Final Four and tangentially make the conference look (somewhat) better? Or should we hope that Villanova sends them home?

On a different line of thinking, to what extent would a Tar Heels championship lessen the sting of Bayor’s round of 32 exit? How should 2010 and 2012 inform our views on this? When it comes down to it, should Baylor fans be pulling for UNC over Villanova.

Posted by PioneerSkies

Andrew Miner: I cannot believe how many posts I have seen saying that this year’s Final 4 is boring! Even if I concede that Villanova and Kansas is boring (neither Elite 8 game was too exciting & the pair met in the 2018 Final 4 in San Antonio, which was a complete blowout), there is still the opportunity for a good game. But to ignore that Duke-UNC is happening on the other side of the bracket and to dismiss it as irrelevant is perhaps the silliest and boarder line arrogant take of all time. Count the storylines: First, greatest rivalry in CBB (maybe sports); second, Coach K’s final season (and his 100th game vs UNC where he has 50-49 record); third, it’s a major revenge game for Duke after UNC beat them at home with all the pop and circumstance and Coach K had the speech after; fourth, Coach K has now coached most Final 4s ever & UNC as a program has appeared in the most Final 4s ever and yet this is the first time they meet in the tournament; and fifth the teams have comeback from not being very good the past few years to where the teams this year could create an epic battle. Who knows that game could be sub par or a blowout, but the hype alone should get you out of bed. As far as Baylor is concerned, I’m not sure the sting is lessened all that much if UNC wins. Maybe if Baylor just got blown out, we could look back and say ‘you know, we ran into a hot Carolina team who was explosive on offense and we were banged up and that was just a bad combination in the second round. But come on, everyone watching that game went on the same roller coaster of emotions and probably for sure thought we would win. If we win, I think we can ride that momentum and get to New Orleans and that creates an entirely new set of storylines as we match up against Duke to try to avenge 2010. Maybe the pain lessens over time, but for now I feel like we should still be playing instead of searching social media for coaching hires and draft declarations. On a side note, it would be an interesting footnote on Coach Drew’s HOF plaque to say that he lost in the tourney to blue bloods Kentucky, Duke and UNC during their separate championship runs.

pbpope: I see that Andrew and I continue to not see eye-to-eye on the expectations of Baylor’s team and the results of the Tournament. I personally haven’t felt pain over the loss in a meaningful way since about 24 hours after the loss happened. There are way too many factors for me that softened the blow there. I feel like December Baylor would still be playing… But we haven’t seen that version of Baylor since, well, December. This Baylor team had too many injuries down the stretch for me to have significantly high expectations going into the Tournament. And the way that the loss itself unfolded softened the blow for me personally. I’d have been much more upset with the way that Baylor went out of the Tournament if it had been a 25 point loss with no fight shown. Instead, I feel a pang of sadness for what might have been that is quickly replaced by immense pride at what this team fought through to finish out the season.As for the Final Four, I totally understand where the angst is coming from. It’s about the fact that people (myself included) are sick of the hype of UNC and Duke and Kansas. It’s roughly equivalent to the fatigue of Alabama, Clemson, tOSU being in the CFP, IMO. The storylines themselves could be great, and the games could be amazing… but those lamenting this Final Four aren’t doing so from a lack of hype or thinking the games will be blowouts… It’s 100% Blue Blood fatigue.As for whether or not the Tar Heels winning it all lessens the blow of our Tourney exit… I dunno. I see both sides of that coin. So, if it helps you cope, then that’s fantastic. If not, no problem! I haven’t spent much time thinking about it, but a knee-jerk thought from me is that it would be awfully fun to have a National Champion that only scored 36 against us. Heh.

Cody Orr: I’ll second what Andrew said about the games not being boring.If I could choose, UNC beats KU in the NC game. 1. Any team is better than Duke

2. I like Big 12 representation in the NC game.

3. Watching KU make it to the title game and then lose would be more fun than seeing the same pain from Villanova or UNC.

BNT: Agree with all of the above. All I can add is the time I told Coach K it wasn’t a charge. It doesn’t look like he took it too well.

Baseball and softball

Has the success of so many sports at Baylor raised the expectation of other sports like baseball and softball to the point where we might have some coaches on the hot seat this year?

Posted by AkronBear

MaxwellG: Yes. It’s not even necessarily the record for me. The team has been so inconsistent on offense and on the mound, they look unprepared some games, and have zero team identity or style of play.

BNT: Don’t know if it’s raised expectations. Knowing Mack, he wants to win at everything and make Baylor the premier athletic program. I think if they both don’t turn things around in conference play Coach Rod and Moore will be on very hot seats. Probably Coach Rod’s will be the hottest.

Will we pass more this year?

Or do we just get better at running everyone else over?

Posted by JustinAllison16

Cody Orr: I think that our rushing attack will be less efficient this year, so we’ll need to pass more to pick up longer 3rd downs. I also think our defense will take a step back, so we might find ourselves in more situations where we need to play catchup.

pbpope: I’m reserving judgment on whether our rushing attack takes a step back. My initial thought is that it won’t necessarily. SO much of a good rushing attack is built upon the strength of the offensive line, of which Baylor returns an incredible amount of depth.I’m excited to see what happens out of the QB battle, but I think it’s possible to see improvement in the passing game and not see a significant dropoff in rushing attack production.

BNT: Let me be clear, we will not be less efficient this year rushing the ball and our defense will not take a step back. Sorry, Cody...still my one of my favorites. I’ll get into that more in my Football Season Preview and Bold Prediction article in August. Anyway, the RVO is run first to set up the pass. Last season we ran 65% of the snaps. The plan is to control the line of scrimmage/clock and we did. I do think our passing will be better as our QB’s should be comfortable with the system and new wrinkles will have been added. Look for more involvement of the tight ends and H backs this season.

How many 11:00 AM kickoffs will we have next year

As a followup, has anyone run the numbers on our record the last few seasons broken out by kickoff time (Morning, Mid-Day, Evening)?

Posted by This Is My Next Post

pbpope: The frustration with 11 am kickoffs is understandable, but also somewhat misplaced if looking at things from a national stage. I am not the biggest fan of 11 am kicks for home games because it basically eliminates the chance of pregame tailgating, which is a big part of the fun of attending games. That being said, though, we had some really high profile matchups in the 11am slot, and they drew pretty large numbers on TV. I’d rather start at 11am on FOX or ABC national as opposed to a primetime 6pm kickoff on ESPN+.

I went back through the 2018 season and looked at our start times. If you want to go back and look at 2017, be my guest. FBSchedules is a great resource. Here’s what I found:

  • 11:00 - 9
  • 2:30 - 16
  • 3:00 - 4
  • 4:30 - 1 (weird K-State game last year)
  • 6:00 - 9
  • 6:30 - 2
  • 7:00 - 3

Here’s the breakdown by channel that had those games:

  • FOX - 5
  • ABC - 4
  • ESPN - 7
  • ESPN2 - 3
  • FS1 - 16
  • ESPNU - 1
  • FSN - 2
  • ESPN+ - 4
  • CBSSN - 1
  • Facebook - 1

BNT: I personally don’t mind the 11 AM starts. Why?

  1. I can drink at any hour, so no big deal
  2. Gives me the rest of the day to recover
  3. My seats are out of the sun, so....

Wr Depth

Who do you expect to step up with Thorton to the NFL and Sneed to Colorado. As well as how strong do you think the wr group will compare to the rest of the Big 12

Posted by GraysonDupre

BNT: I know this is the biggest question mark area, but I’m really excited about this group. They are unbelievably athletic and can’t wait to prove themselves. We should be just fine with Hal Presley, Jaylen Ellis, and Elijah Bean. True freshman Armani Winfield could make an immediate impact. The sleeper is Gavin Holmes who is healthy and talented.

What is the best tongue-in-cheek, Baylor-centric joke to be made about Will Smith?

And is it that he should have learned from Moses’ example to not strike a Rock??

Posted by PioneerSkies

BNT: The best I’ve heard is, “Smith used an open hand because everyone knows paper beats rock.” lol

Who has the better beard: Coach Nuness or Coach Jakus?

Posted by PioneerSkies

BNT: Don’t forget Brooks. The bigger question to me is can CSD even grow a beard?

Blake Shapen

Any word on Blake Shapen’s injured shoulder?

Posted by Framptoncomesalivebear

pbpope: Shawn Bell said last week that he’s 100% and is ready to compete.

BNT: You heard the man.

Why are all the kansas state players transferring?

Are they not excited about Tang??

Posted by aintathangbutachickenwing

BNT: Could be a number of reasons, but I doubt that one of them is Tang. He’ll do just fine getting the players and program to where it needs to be.

Is Josh White going to transfer to BU?

In other words: is the BNT Bank open 24/7 these days?

Posted by BrentBear

BNT: He is highly sought after, but trending in Baylor’s direction. That has nothing to do with me.

Thanks for the questions. Please leave any other questions or comments below. Sic ‘em!