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ODB Mailbag: Answered

Baylor football, football, and more football questions answered.

365 guys seemed convinced we can’t win with Robertson at QB. How will Shapen make the O-line and RB’s play better? Can Baylor win any games with an air-raid offense?

Joe Goodman: We won’t be running an air raid any time soon, so that isn’t really in my mind. And you’re not wrong, the team has many more issues than QB. The sentiment around getting Shapen back, for me, is around 2 things. First, he has much more knowledge of the offense, he won’t be learning on the fly week to week, that opens things up. Second, he has a stronger relationship with the receiving core. Those two can be big variables in tight games, and with just getting the offense moving. Not to mention the mental aspect of seeing your team leader in the huddle.

BNT: Joe summed it up well, but I’ll add that Shapen is more confident than Robertson at this stage in their respective development.

Do you reckon that Baylor will get another game on network television at all the rest of the season? My service unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately lol) glitched out all weekend, so I listened to J-Mo suffer through that game....

Joe Goodman: I wouldn’t be surprised to see us on Fox later in the year if TCU or K State are challenging for the Big 12 title.

BNT: Unless something drastically changes, I hope not.

There’s no doubt we’re in a slump. Our last 7 out of 8 games was a challenging stretch with a few opportunities slipping thru our fingers. Is there a case to be made that we’re overreacting as a fan base? What would it take for the team/coaches to show you that they are deserving in our fandom’s eyes?

Joe Goodman: If we were similar to say, Iowa State a few times in the last couple years, losing a bunch of 1 possession games where 1 or 2 plays were the difference, I’d have a different mindset. It’s not just losing those games, it’s how we lost those games. With few exceptions, the team has been flat and emotionless to me. They aren’t playing 4 quarters without a care as to what the score is and just barely missing on breaking through. They’re getting beat. I need to see more games that are closer to the first half of Utah to allow me to say well guys we fought hard, the other team was just better.

Jenna Patteson: The fanbase has a bleak outlook right now, but we haven’t had a good win since beating Oklahoma in Norman last year. The worst part isn’t even the losses, it’s the dullness and lack of energy. Plenty of times in 2022 we lost, but usually when we did we could step back and say “Well we saw some good stuff, we’ll get them next week!” This season has seemed much more hopeless. Just not a lot of great football being played.

BNT: As the homerest homer of Baylor even I’m discouraged. But, I do think it can turn around...there is always hope!

Rational projections had us at 2-2 by this point. Being 1-3 is tremendously disappointing yes, but not reason enough to obliterate the entire athletic department, is it?

BNT: The entire athletic department? No.

Seems like our coaching staff is really being called into question after the disappointing start to the season. Suppose Baylor could arrange a coaching staff trade (HC, OC, DC) with another current B12 school. Who do you swap with (if anyone), and why?

Joe Goodman: I’m not happy with the staff right now, and I have some strong personal opinions with regards to how things should be moving forward. That said, these are our coaches right now, and my first hope is that we figure this thing out, make a 180, and continue forward together. I have no doubt that every guy working for this team is putting their all into making the team good, so I’m not going to openly talk about trading them for another guy at the moment, at least not in this forum. You may see me vent in Discord or on Twitter though.

Jenna Patteson: Ultimately, I love Dave Aranda. I think his philosophical approach and Person Over Player mentality is needed in college athletics, especially football. It’s a rare approach, but my true hope is that CDA can turn things around and find success on the field while continuing to focus on growing players.

BNT: I don’t really want to talk about swapping out coaches. However, I’ve mentioned before that in the new landscape of college football each HC/OC/DC must be able to recruit, work the portal, and utilize NIL correctly. Along with that they have to be able to put the pieces together quickly and develop players much faster than in the past.

When does basketball season start

BNT: Nov 7th vs Auburn.

My general observation is that we haven’t recruited near as well as we should have over the past 4 years for a school of our caliber. We simply look like we don’t have the athletes. Lack of ability to recruit means we need some changes. I can’t see the fan base continuing to faithfully support such a poor football product. Our HC’s “Tom Landry” style is fine if you are winning but it is very depressing and uninspiring when you are losing. Your thoughts?

Joe Goodman: I mean, yeah. I will admit that press conferences lately haven’t been something I’ve enjoyed listening to. I want someone to get pissed off. I don’t want to hear about taking emotion out of things, I want the opposite. And no, our recruiting hasn’t been up to snuff, but I do think there are multiple variables to recruiting, especially in the new CFB landscape. I’m not happy with any of it, but if we were winning I don’t think we’d care, fix the losing and people will be happy.

Jenna Patteson: I second Joe, losing makes everything worse.These critiques may have been valid for years, but the conversation only really comes to light when we’re in the pits.

BNT: Say what you want about Landry’s style but he knew how to build a roster, motivate, and win. Most forget that he was the first coach of an expansion team and didn’t even reach a .500 record until his 5th season. I’m not saying Aranda deserves a 5th season if this year ends in disaster (I personally don’t think he should), but you were the one who brought up the greatest NFL coach of all time.

When are we going to see some imagination on offensive play calling? Especially in the red zone? It looked like we ran our basic offense all night.

Joe Goodman: My hope is that will happen when you get the QB back who’s in his third year in this system, not his first.

BNT: You mean play calling that will actually lead to a touchdown? I’ve kinda forgotten what that looks like. My hope is the same as Joe’s, maybe Grimes will open the play book with Shapen back...and maybe our OL will block someone.

When do we see Shapen play again? Can he provide a spark to the offense? Can he turn the season around??

Joe Goodman: Maybe this week? I’m not totally sure if it’s now or next week, but should be soon. It was a good sign he was suited up in warm ups last week. And of course it SHOULD provide a spark. He’s who these guys know, he’s been here, he got the first team reps in the offseason and the focus of the coaching. Let’s hope that happens. Not alone, no. He can make some things better and open the offense up a bit, but we need to get better everywhere.

BNT: I would love to see him this week. Shapen is talented...but, if the OL hasn’t improved over last week he’ll get killed again.

I feel like I’m being gaslit by the coaches, how many more weeks of “great” practices are going to have till we actually play well.

Joe Goodman: The best thing ever would be if we won in Orlando, and Aranda says man I’m glad we didn’t play like we practiced this week, the game was way better.

BNT: lol I plead the 5th.

With the current product of football at Baylor, I can’t help but dream of another mbb national title run! Is Jed Johnston going to provide us with another quality preseason breakdown of each Big 12 mens basketball teams soon? He really did a fantastic job last year!!

Jenna Patteson: I hope he does, Jed is THE basketball fountain of knowledge Jed Johnston

Jed Johnston: I’m not planning on doing full-blown team previews like last year. I do have at least a couple of Big 12 MBB preview posts in the works though.

BNT: And I can’t wait to read them my friend!

Post your comments and other questions below. Sic UCF!