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Baylor football, Conference realignment, and B1G media rights.

ODB: Last Thursday morning, the Big Ten and three television networks agreed to a $1.2 billion/year media rights deal lasting from 2023 to 2030, a significant increase from their current $440 million/year deal. After USC and UCLA enter the conference, all sixteen schools will receive at least $75 million/year. Actual receipts will increase with bowl game, CFB playoff, and NCAA March Madness tournament appearances. What does ODB think about the new B1G media deal?

Cody Orr: Is anyone happier than Illinois and Rutgers? Perhaps USC and UCLA, who can now point to a 4x increase in revenue from ditching the Pac 12. We’ll never know the counterfactual outcome — what the Big Ten would have earned without the California schools — so the jury is still out on whether or not the conference will regret extending those invites.

It’s understandable that the Big Ten has large fanbases. Michigan and Ohio residents need football teams to watch that can consistently win at least 6 games a year (sorry Lions and Browns fans), and with a conference that’s half-filled with punching bags, that’s almost a guarantee. Let’s be honest, though. There are, at most, three Big Ten conference games worth watching a week, and normally fewer than that. That’s what CBS, Fox, and NBC are paying for, and they’ll probably get their money’s worth.

JennaPatteson: These numbers are INSANE. The B1G moves this offseason seem like a college football takeover. Personally, I rarely watch B1G football unless it’s Michigan versus Ohio State. I think it’s boring, and nothing puts me to sleep faster than Illinois or Northwestern getting whooped by Michigan on a Saturday afternoon. I don’t think the B1G has nearly as many good matchups as the SEC, so that’s a bummer. RIP to SEC football on CBS.

BNT: It’s a mind blowing deal. But, I’m viewing it through the lens how it impacts the PAC 10 (subtracting USC and UCLA) and the Big 12. Add to it B1G commish Kevin Warren stating that the conference isn’t done expanding, it’s not good news for the PAC 10. There is no way the conference stays together as their media rights numbers will be abysmal. As for the Big 12, I think this news is very positive and will hasten the petitioning of some PAC 10 schools to join us. Watch Big 12 commish Yormark leverage this to increase our media rights deal. We will quickly become regarded as the 3rd strongest power conference.

Bowlinmonk13: Is Garmon Randolph the tallest linebacker Baylor football has ever had, or does that distinction go to James Francis or someone else?

BNT: At 6’7” he very well might be. What I do believe is that at the end of the season he will be one of the best Baylor has ever had.

Bowlinmonk13: With so many skill positions vacated, which freshmen or redshirt freshmen will see significant playing time this season? I’m speaking of defensive backs, running backs and wide receivers in particular.

BNT: DB’s - Tevin Williams, Devin Lemar, and Devin Bobby. WR’s - Armani Winfield, Jordan Nabors, Javon Gipson, and Josh Cameron. RB’s - Jordan Jenkins and Richard Reese. I think all will see playing time with WR’s Winfield and Cameron starting.

Chilimac: With a new face running the ball this year, do we take a step back in the run game? Or is the down-field threat from Shapen going to be enough to keep the run game dominant?

Cody Orr: Smith and Ebner definitely earned their spots on the depth chart, and there were plenty of instances of them earning a first down by barreling over a defender or juking out of a tackle. That said, the o-line is mostly intact, so Williams and McWilliams will have plenty of opportunities to run the ball. And, as you point out, the more reliable downfield threat should lead to fewer stacked boxes.

Jenna Patteson: I think there will be a bit of a learning curve in our first game or two as the backs get comfortable in their new role, but I think we’ll hit our stride as we get into conference play and won’t see a major drop-off in the run game overall. RVO baby.

BNT: I know this sounds crazy because how do you replace a Smith and Ebner? But, I think we will be just fine at RB. Why? Grimes will have implemented the full play book of the RVO for the first time, Shapen will stretch the defense, and Taye Williams along with Richard Reese are perfect for our offensive scheme. Then there is Sqwril...pray that he stays healthy because, woo boy, we’re about to see something special if he is.

GraysonDupre: Every year a team in the preseason top 10 finishes unranked. Who’s ur pick to finish outside the top 25 as ESPN’s was Baylor which they said it’d very possible that our 4-1 record in one possession games goes the other way this year. I disagree with their statement I just wanted to know what you thought about those predictions and stats.

Jenna Patteson: I think of the top 10 teams, Michigan is most likely to finish unranked. I don’t think they’ll be bad, but they only have two ranked opponents (as of now) so if they lose a few there’s not much chance to redeem themselves.

Joe Goodman: Michigan is solid choice. I also think Notre Dame could be there with a first time head coach as well. And who knows what happens with OU who’s in the same boat. That said, the Baylor prediction isn’t a crazy one. The road schedule is scary and this team did much better than average in one score games last year, like you said. I don think this is an unranked team, but it’s not impossible.

BNT: I’ll go with UT even though they aren’t currently ranked in the AP Top 25...just as a reminder that they aren’t back. lol

dOols II: Who wins the perennial “Bottom Cellar Dwellar” rivalry? KU or UT?

Jenna Patteson: I think UT takes it this year. With the embarrassment of last year’s loss, this could be UT’s Super Bowl.

Joe Goodman: Hot take, KU won’t finish at the bottom of the conference this year. But they’ll lose to Texas.

BNT: Sheesh, for the journalistic integrity of the Mailbag please ask a serious question next time. Certainly we all know that UT can’t beat KU.

PioneerSkies: who would win in a fight: Brett Yormark or Greg Sankey?

Joe Goodman: Sankey would win the fight, Yormark would win the lawsuit.

Jenna Patteson: Depends on how fast Yormark can send Sankey’s glasses flying.

BNT: B1G commish Kevin Warren is the junk yard dog in the fight.

Appreciate the questions. Leave comments or other questions below. Sic ‘em!