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ODB Mailbag - Comeback For The Ages Edition: Answered

Many Baylor football questions answered!

What is your favorite nickname for the historic win against UCF?

The Miracle at the Magic Kingdom

The Bounce Back at the Bounce House

The Orlando Overturn

The Siesta Bowl (shouts to Evan Hebert)


pbpope: Miracle at the Magic Kingdom. It’s too good.

Joe Goodman: Agree with Peter, but Evan got close.

Jenna Patteson: Miracle at Magic Kingdom is undefeated, rolls off the tongue beautifully

BNT: Easy, The Bounce House Bounce Back.

The four new schools in the Big 12 are a combined 1-7 so far, with that only win being BYU over fellow newcomer Cincinnati. What are your thoughts on why they are all struggling so much? Has their addition watered down the conference too much?

pbpop: I think we fully expected there to be an adjustment period for the new Big 12 schools. Cincinnati has had recent national success but the timing of their joinder was hit by losing their head coach last fall and some player attrition. UCF’s been hit by some bad injury luck too, so those are mitigating circumstances. That said, there was always going to be an adjustment period because it’s a completely different thing to play multiple P5-caliber teams in conference vs. one or two in non-con. They’ll get it figured out.

Joe Goodman: No one has really hit the ground running moving into the Big 12. West Virginia made some noise back in the day, but they had a Heisman candidate at QB, none of the new joiners have that. Even TCU really struggled when they first came in. This level requires more depth, injuries are going to come and you need the next man up (just ask Baylor this year), and beyond injuries you need to sub some guys in and out. It’s one thing to have 22 P5 level guys, what makes a P5 champion is having more than 22. Theses teams will get there, some faster than others, but it’ll be a real transition.

BNT: Allow me to be as diplomatic as I can,

It’s no big secret that production from Reese and Baldwin was instrumental in the comeback against UCF. To what extent will either one be more reliable the rest of the season?

pbpope: I sincerely hope that both will be far more reliable the rest of this season... and that the other WRs and RBs continue to step up so that we unlock this offense’s true potential.

Joe Goodman: In my honest opinion, having Shapen back really matters. He knows Baldwin, they mesh, they understand how each other play. When the passing threat is there, it makes running the ball easier, when running the ball is easier, it makes the passing game easier, when the passing game is easier... you see where I’m going here. It takes a full offense, especially in our scheme, to be successful. Having your QB and team leader back has an effect on everyone.

BNT: The line may be gelling at just the right time for both Richardson and Reese, so that bodes well moving forward. As for Baldwin, as Joe said he’s a favorite target of Shapen and they are comfortable with one another. I see nothing but good things moving forward.

Please comment on the decision to go for two the second time. Not many people are talking about this since it worked. 99% of all coaches would never agree to do this since it would put you 11 points behind if you miss it and require 2 touchdowns versus 1 touchdown and 1 field goal to win or tie. Is this genius or madness? I don’t think this decision had anything to do with our long snapper getting injured.

pbpope: I loved the decision personally. There was still a decent amount of time left, but it felt like the “Eff it, we ball” moment we’ve been wanting to see out of this team and the staff.

Joe Goodman: This is a coaching staff that caused a double field rush so they could kick a meaningless field goal, citing tie breaker rules for the conference title. The staff is very analytically driven, I have no doubt there was thoughtful math behind the decision, and maybe a hint of let’s show the team we are here to WIN this game, not just match the other team’s score. I’ve read some thoughts in the past that football is played backwards at times. For example, if you are down 15 and score a touchdown, common thought is kick the PAT to make it a 1 score game at 8 points. But in reality, your ability to score that 2PC doesn’t change based on time in the game, and it would actually be better to know you can’t convert that 2PC with more time left on the clock so you can try to create extra possessions. The brainy side of this staff is a very intriguing part of them. That said, in this instance, I think there was some let’s feed the fire of the game going on.

BNT: Too much math for me to figure as I can only cipher up to my 5’s like this Bear, I mean Baer

Is Baylor Back?

pbpope: Baylor is back... to hosting a game at McLane Stadium on Saturday night, so get your butt there. Whether last Saturday’s comeback marked a turning point in the season is up to the team. We’ll see how they do on Saturday.

Joe Goodman: What an absurd question, like we ever left. #BGOD

Jenna Patteson: cue Sam Ehlinger video

BNT: lol

How is the loss of Mike Smith and Garrison for the season going to affect us moving forward?

pbpope: It’s not great. We may have players to cover them, but the loss of depth is never a good thing. Time for Josh White to step in and live up to the hype that surrounded him when he transferred in.

Joe Goodman: I was really rooting for Smith and hope he can get an extra year out of this. That said, I have full faith in Josh White. The other is a long snapper, no offense to those guys (shout out to long time Texans long snapper and Baylor Bear Jon Weeks!), but I think the team will find a way to manage those snaps moving forward.

BNT: Time for a BNT hot take. I haven’t been that impressed with Smith. Looking forward to seeing what White can do with starting reps.

Do you think there’s a little extra motivation for the seniors and coaching staff to play Joey McGuire? We trounced them last year in Lubbock, even though they actually ended up with a better record than us.

Joe Goodman: Football players are, first and foremost, normal people. If you are wondering how they might feel about something like this, think about how you might feel. If it were me, yeah, there’d be some extra motivation. If for nothing else other than adding a little extra trash talk to a guy who likely was a key part of recruiting you.

BNT:,, heck yeah!

How can we get Taylor Swift to come to a Baylor game?

Joe Goodman: This one’s out of my remit, but my wife did ask me who Travis Kelce was recently.

Jenna Patteson: She’ll be abroad on another leg of her Eras Tour in November, so we better get her here for the Tech game or Homecoming. Fingers crossed

BNT: By suiting up in Green and Gold

I’m not complaining but what switch was thrown on the Baylor sideline that turned the game around? Did Shapen’s fire that he showed ignite the whole team? CDA actually showed some emotion. Did that do it?

pbpope: I talk about this on the podcast a bit, but some of the advanced stats I’ve looked at suggest that, outside of some unlucky issues (the fumble TD) and self-inflicted wounds (the drive-extending penalty on a coach), the team did an admirable job getting up off the mat after the first three drives for both teams. And I wouldn’t discount Shapen’s return to the roster being a catalyst. It was far from perfect, but we saw some things we’ve been waiting all season to see. Now we just have to see it for two weeks in a row.

Joe Goodman: Something I said in the ODB Discord is what I truly believe. Seeing your team leader, who plays a position that you aren’t allowed to hit in practice, continue to get himself up off the ground while wearing the muddiest jersey on the field has to have an impact on the team. Shapen is a tough dude. Critique his play all you want, but I’ll never question his will. Sometimes all you need is 1 guy who shows everyone else there’s not going to be any quitting, and the team follows suit. Play 60 minutes of tough football and good things can happen.

BNT: Yes and yes.

After we win in Waco on Saturday, what should my new (somewhat realistic) outlook on the season be??

pbpope: Guarded optimism! There are still a significant number of issues that this team needs to address. If they get another W against Tech on Saturday, it hopefully means that some of those issues are being addressed so it will be good to see additional progress from there. Game by game, baby.

Joe Goodman: A 40 point win over Texas in the rematch in Arlington.

BNT: 100% Big 12 Championship.

Why and how will the Baylor Bears somehow get voted into the CFP this December?

pbpope: lol wut

Joe Goodman: It’ll need to involve some of Bill Gates’ money

BNT: Every top 25 team will end up with 3-4 loses and we will win out including the Big 12. Hey, it could happen.

What changed for the Baylor run game at half-time? Will it continue the rest of the season?

pbpope: I’d argue that the run game was okay even in the first half outside of the first three drives. Part of it is that UCF doesn’t have a stellar defense. Part of it is that Baylor actually was able to implement the RVO concepts that they espouse, especially in the second half. Will it carry forward? I sure hope so. Having weapons in the passing game forces defenses to take account, which opens up options for the offense.

Joe Goodman: My super in depth theory? The offensive line has played almost a half season together now. I agree with Peter, they looked pretty ok in the first half too, just took a minute to really get into the game. The O-Line, especially in the wide zone, is a synchronized sport. One guy being a half step wrong can ruin the whole thing. Not knowing how the guy next to you will respond to a defensive look can blow up a play. It takes more than one offseason to really gel as a group. I expect them to get better game over game, which will be huge for Reese and Richardson.

BNT: Skill is important in execution as most know, but so is confidence. The OL began playing with a great deal of confidence and I think it will carry over.

So, which bowl game does that “4th Quarter in the Bounce House” Baylor make?

Joe Goodman: 1957 Sugar

BNT: 2024 Sugar Bowl

So, in a single weekend the Baylor Bears overcame the largest deficit in history and my adopted Chicago Bears had the biggest blown lead in Bears history. I know you don’t generally comment on pro football, but should the Bears draft Caleb Williams? Can we destroy another QB?

Joe Goodman: All I know is you can’t have CJ Stroud. Maybe Rex Grossman has a few plays left in him? But yeah, if you have the #1 pick, you take Williams, dude is elite.

BNT: Wrong Bears. I only answer Baylor Bears questions.

What do we have to do to improve recruiting?

Joe Goodman: Real answer? Money.

BNT: Maybe I can help

Why are we having to rely on so many freshmen?

Joe Goodman: We haven’t been strong in the transfer portal, at least on the receiving end. So when guys transfer out, and we did have a good amount transfer out, you have to have someone step in. If you don’t have upperclassmen coming into the squad, it’s your recent recruits. I kinda love it though, the rough times early on under Rhule were due to a lot of young guys playing, and we saw where that took us a couple years later.

Post any comments or other questions below and Sic TT!