With the Year of our Briles 2014 coming to a close in a few short days, I thought we'd take a moment this evening to look at the ten highest-trafficked posts of this past year, which has been by far the highest-trafficked year in ODB history. To help that point hit home: the four best months in ODB history have been the last four, including this one that isn't even over yet. That's pretty awesome.
So here they are, the Top 10 Posts from ODB in 2014 according to pageviews. All statistics come courtesy of our friends at Google Analytics.
In a weird quirk of the numbers, 11-14 on this list (excluding hub pages and the main ODB site) were all monthly recruiting threads: December, September, June, and January, respectively (from 11-14). #15 was the announcement that GameDay would come for the Baylor vs. Kansas State game.
#10 -- Big 12 Football Awards Released: Spencer Drango Co-OL of the Year, 8 Bears make All-Big12 Team
Junior LT Spencer Drango headlined the 2014 All-Big 12 Teams for the Baylor Bears this year with the program's third-consecutive OL (or Co-OL) of the Year Award. Peter wrote about it here:
With the award, that means Baylor lineman has won Offensive Lineman of the Year in each of the past three seasons. Cyril Richardson won it in both 2012 and 2013.
After releasing the individual honors, the Big 12 announced the first- and second-team All-Big 12 honors. Baylor's Shock Linwood, Spencer Drango, Andrew Billings, and Shawn Oakman make the first team, while Bryce Petty, Corey Coleman, Bryce Hager, and Spencer Roth all make the All-Big 12 Second Team.
Like #11 above and another yet to come, this one is still on the front page as of this moment and could continue rising up the ranks in the next four days. This announcement filled the void left by the departure of longtime OC/QB coach Phil Montgomery to be the HC at Tulsa and was expected after we found out that Briles the Younger would call the plays for the upcoming Cotton Bowl vs. Michigan State. We also found out that Baylor will don the chrome lids for the Cotton Bowl from QB Bryce Petty.
The comment section for this post hasn't really had a lot of time to breath yet, so there's not a lot of gold there beyond a somewhat strange fascination with KB's location during games. Up your game, gents/ladies!
Easily one of my favorite posts of the year if only because of the subject matter itself. In case you forgot, almost immediately after the clock hit 0:00 in Waco and the Bears officially earned their second consecutive Big 12 Championship, Art Briles went on the warpath against the Big 12 and the College Football Playoff Committee about Truth, Justice, and the American Way. I enjoyed it so much I got back to my house that night around 3:30 AM and wrote #4 on this list.
That night also gave us the image that would come to define the Big 12's handling of the "One True Champion" nonsense over the ensuing days.
This was shown on the big screen. pic.twitter.com/4Eui9AURUP— OurDailyBears (@OurDailyBears) December 7, 2014
Our first fanshot of the list concerns the controversy that erupted following Baylor's 61-58 victory over TCU in October. Should I be concerned that there is more than one fanshot on this list or chalk it up to the vagaries of the internet?
In the comments, imahammeru gave us this little gem:
What an amazing few days this was in July. On July 15, Port Arthur RB Kameron Martin committed to the Bears over Florida State and a host of others, giving Baylor another 4* in its 2016 class. On July 18, Silsbee OT Patrick Hudson flipped his commitment from A&M to the Bears, becoming the highest-ranked OL recruit in our history to date. Since his commitment, Hudson's star has only risen in the eyes of evaluators; he's now #11 in the country per 247Sports and the #2 player in the state. This commitment briefly gave Baylor the #1 class in the country for 2016, as I memorialized in an imageshot I can no longer find for whatever reason.
That comment section was ... interesting, to say the least.
The final entry from our front page as of this moment and another that might rise in the rankings due to the fact that it's been up now for less than 24 hours (as of this writing). This was a report from our friends at BearsTruth, the 247Sports site for Baylor.
My personal favorite post of the year and not just because I wrote it so early in the morning. Baylor went full troll on the Big 12 and CFB at large in the aftermath of this game, and I loved every second of it. But I loved this most of all:
One day I will pass from this mortal coil. When that day comes, I hope technology has advanced to the point where this combined image can be placed on my tombstone, along with whatever words and stuff my loves ones decide represent me well. But mainly this. Whoever did it should get a raise or a building or something.
Just realized that if KSU had beaten TCU, Bob Bowlsby would have given trophies to BOTH TEAMS THAT JUST FINISHED PLAYING TONIGHT.— OurDailyBears (@OurDailyBears) December 7, 2014
I just love the image of that, as evidenced by my tweets that followed.
I want Art Briles to lead me into war. I wouldn't care what we're fighting for. Just whatever Art wants— David Giraldi (@davidpgiraldi) December 7, 2014
Whoever you are, David Giraldi, this was one of my favorite tweets of the year. Speaking of that: how would a Tweets of the Year post strike everyone? If you have any that definitely need to make it, throw them in the comments here. They can be Baylor-related or not, I don't care.
You've probably noticed that this list skews heavily to later in the year. That's not a coincidence, but a product of our vastly increased presence on Facebook. In June, we had about 2,000 "likes" on the ODB Facebook page. As of this writing, we have over 11,200. That's a 500% increase in half a year, and it's been absolutely HUGE for our traffic. This post was a huge beneficiary of that with nearly 4,000 likes, comments, or shares. It is also #2 all-time on the ODB Facebook page in terms of "Reach" (the number of people who saw the post) behind the #1 post on our list tonight. An excerpt from the post itself:
At this point, even with recent recruits like Javonte Magee, Robbie Rhodes, K.D. Cannon, and Andrew Billings, Stidham is officially the highest-ranked recruit to commit to Baylor in the Art Briles era. That's not the highest-ranked QB, a title he also holds, but the highest-ranked recruit period. 247Sports' Composite ranking, available at the link above, ranks him 26th in the entirety of the 2015 class nationwide, while their own ranking system has him as high as 15th. He participated in the prestigious Elite 11 camp in Oregon in July, earning widespread praise and showing the kind of skills that make college coaches drool.
To be fair, I wasn't including Patrick Hudson in that where I should have been. So Stidham is technically the second highest-ranked recruit to commit to Baylor in the Art Briles era. Sorry, Patrick!
Am I happy this is the #2 post of the year for ODB? Not really. Do I kinda wish it had happened two months later so we could see the traffic with our Facebook reach now? Kinda. Was/is it a hilariously ridiculous sequence of events? Absolutely. And it always will be.
Kirobaito summed things up pretty well with the first comment to the post: "It's always something."
This incident took an already simmering rivalry between Baylor and TCU to an entirely new level. It has since gotten even worse/better, depending on your perspective.
I had an idea when I pre-wrote this post that it might take off a bit on social media because of the somewhat catchy play on the Big 12's debacle of a motto, but I had no inkling it would become the most-viewed post in ODB history to date (and the catalyst for the best single traffic day, to boot). But that's where we are. People just loved reading about and sharing the Big 12's incompetence, particularly on Facebook.
The bottom line: somehow, a team from possibly the worst conference in the land that lost to Virginia Tech by 14 at home made the CFB Playoff over your two champions. Instead of the conference with One. True. Champion, we have No. True. Playoff Teams. And a lot of that is because of you.
Man, I didn't set out to make myself sad by doing this, but now I have. Come on, Bowlsby.
In putting this together, I used Google Analytics' reports on pageviews and such, and I'd be remiss if I didn't note that I'm not entirely sure the numbers themselves are correct. They just seem different for several of the older posts than I remember, and I think that's largely due to the fact that the report is created from sampling, not an actual count of historic pageviews. Still, I'm pretty confident that this is the right top 10 for 2014, by far the best year yet for this blog I love. I can't wait to have an even better 2015!
Also, if you ever wonder whether people are reading your fanposts: they are! The Fanpost landing page itself is third in overall traffic behind the main page and football hub, respectively, and if I extended this post to be a top 25, three different Fanposts would make the cut. So keep that Fanpost game skrong!