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ODB Mailbag - Heading Into Big 12 Edition: Answered

Baylor football, basketball, all sports, and Big 12 questions answered.

PioneerSkies: ODB FAM:

Which Big 12 teams who have winning records are FRAUDULENT?

Cody Orr: TCU 100%. They beat Tarleton and a bad Buffalo team by 25. You know who else beat 0-3 Colorado by 25? No one, because Air Force beat them by 31 and Minnesota beat them by 42.


Do you think Khalil Keith plays this season? If so, when do you think he’ll return?

BNT: Yes, but TBD. I have no more info than that.

With the great news that Langston Love is fully healthy, is it possible that MBB has TOO MANY studs??

Branden MacKinnon: If this team stays healthy/gets fully healthy it’s deeper than the team that won a natty 2 seasons ago. The guard rotation is the best in the country and NCAAM hoops is a guard driven sport. The big men are versatile enough to complement the guard play and give the coaching staff options on offense and defense.Too many studs…never.The talent and depth is there. Now we see if Coach Drew can continue to build a winning culture as roster turnover becomes more common.

BNT: A 6’5” point guard who can shoot the 3 and play lock down D is never “too many”. Players who choose Baylor know that they may have to wait their turn. Why would they be willing? Baylor is one of a handful of programs that develops the players helping them to get to the next level of their game while providing an opportunity to be part of an elite winning program and unique culture.

I have heard entirely too many people compare Shapen’s play this season to Charlie Brewer. How would you respond to such an unfair comparison?


Your_Bailey_Bear: The Baylor defense has been consistent and disciplined, and essentially eliminated opponents rushing game. They seem like they parry the whatever attack is thrown at them. But what is the next step for this D to absolutely create havoc and chaos the way they did at the end of last season? How long will that take?

Joe Goodman: It may not happen. Pitre and Bernard were problems for our foes last year, that ability to find the ball on every play is tough to replace. I’d love to see more turnovers and sacks from this group, but they may be missing that playmaking x factor. Luckily we have some coaches who I think know our identity and will scheme accordingly to prevent points from going up against us.

Cody Orr: Focusing on the secondary, I think experience is a big part of it. JT Woods played in 28 games before he recorded his first career interception. His senior season he led the team with 6 INTs. Devin Neal has played in 25 games (including this season), and Devin Lemear is a RS Freshmen with 7 total games played. At CB, Snaxx has 9 career games played. They just need reps. Al Walcott is hindered by his cast, and we already saw him drop one interception because of it.

pbpope: One thing I appreciate about Aranda and Roberts is their tendency to fit their system to the playmakers that they have. Folks forget that last year’s defense didn’t truly find its distruptiveness until the back half of the season. Growth happened, and I hope for the same from this group. Give them time.

westjef: To answer the above questions, Aranda would say (did say?) each player must be more authentic to his true nature and play as his best self, not doing remarkable things that stand out but doing the un-remakable simple things that lead to a life of fullness and discovery. And may the force be with you. I love the way that guy answers questions. The Yoda of college football, he is.

BNT: “Defend every blade of grass.” - Dave Aranda

proudpapabear: It seems as if everyone is souring on Shapen already. This team is run first to soften the defense which opens up the passing game. My concern is with the O-line. What are they doing differently this year? They had all sorts of issues at BYU and they weren’t too great the first half on Saturday. How is this team going to win the BigXII if the O-line isn’t smashing people like last year?

Joe Goodman: Give them time to get into a rhythm. Also, remember the RBs are new and need to learn to find the running lanes. The O Line is grading out very high each week. Another thing Shapen needs to learn to help the O Line is pocket presence. I’ve seen some plays where he put himself under pressure by not stepping into the right places in the pocket. The team needs to gel as a whole and it will start to look better when that happens. (edited)

pbpope: Could it be that we have an expectations problem? If you scrutinize each position group, you can see mistakes, signs of immaturity. O-Line having some issues. WRs not running routes as tightly as we would have hoped. RBs needing time to develop vision and find those lanes. Shapen needs to process his reads faster, make the right steps in the pocket. There’s a lot of fresh faces in this offense. It needs work, growth, and experience, but they’re not nearly as far off as some people think they are.I’m with Joe here. Give them time, let them gel as a whole. And in the meantime, we can be patient. Last year’s team excelled at improving week over week. Let’s see what happens Saturday.

BNT: It seems like we were having this same conversation last year going into conference play. Our young skill players have gained a tremendous amount of experience over the last 3 weeks. They are an above average group and it will show in Big 12 play. The only concern on the line is when will Keith be back? He is a huge part. Otherwise, we’re still a top notch group.

SicEmOSo: Am I the only one worried about our pass defense? It might just be that I didn’t pay enough attention, but it seemed like Siaki Ika had more passes blocked/broken up than our CB. Also it seemed like almost all of TXST QB incompletions were because of QB hurries not the CB and Safeties. What do y’all think about it?

Joe Goodman: I’m with you, sort of. We’ve had some pretty solid corner play, but our safeties have not graded well. But, all it takes is one weak link in the secondary to give up big plays. The pass rush getting a bit quicker will help them, and I hope that starts to improve. Big test this week against Hutchinson, so watch out. But if we can shut him down, we can shut down any receiver in the country.

pbpope: I’m concerned, but patient. Remember how Puca Nacua absolutely destroyed our secondary last season? That was Game 7. Hutchinson is a huge test, and it may not be the prettiest early on, but let’s see how they develop.

BNT: Piggy backing on what Peter said about Hutchinson, he’s going to get his because he’s such a crafty, athletic, and great receiver. So don’t judge the secondary too much by his performance this game. But to specifically answer your question, the key our DB’s is their showing improvement based upon pbu’s and takeaways. If those tick up then our DB’s are playing with confidence, which is what we want to see. Personally, I think they will tick up and we’ll see some nice strides.

Chilimac: Whose play are you most surprised at? Shapen? Reese? Someone else?

Joe Goodman: Richard Reese is the 3 games into the season offensive MVP, and I don’t think ANYONE predicted that. I think he’s a legit RB1 and may be the next great back we come to love over the next few years.

Cody Orr: I agree with Joe. To be honest, I didn’t even know his name coming into this season! That sure changed quickly.


bearchitect: Now that we’ve finished with non-con action, would you care to revise your prediction that we go undefeated in conference play? If so, how so?

Joe Goodman: All predictions prior to today, positive or negative, are inadmissible in this court.

Cody Orr: I know the reference to a prediction of an undefeated record in conference play is meant for BNT, but I will say that I have revised my predicted record down a couple of games. Going into the season, I would have picked 10-2 as the most likely outcome. Now, I’m leaning closer to 8-4.

pbpope: I’m planning on revisiting my personal expectations after Saturday’s tilt against Iowa State. How they perform in Ames will give me a better idea for what I’m expecting to see. Other than that... Joe is 100% correct.

BNT: Way to call me out bearchitect, my friend lol. I will “probably” never predict an undefeated season again. But yeah, I still think we can go undefeated in conference play. Part of that is our youth having gained valuable experience in OOC games, partly because of our immense talent and athleticism, and partly is because I’ve watched every Big 12 team play and feel they’re all beatable...particularly by the Bears. Having said that

aintathangbutachickenwing: When do you think Drones will become the starter?


Post additional questions and comments below. Sic ISU!