Last week, it was announced that Baylor University would be firing its head football coach, its athletic director, and its president after finding that players on the football team had gotten away with tons of sexual assault charges that the coaching staff and administration knew about. While what already happened has obviously already happened in these cases, and while it took longer than it should’ve, this is a positive step forward in making a point that sexual assault will not and can never be tolerated.
It’s a shame, because I was really sold on Baylor’s integrity in terms of following the law; I really respected Art Briles as a coach – he was one of my favorites in all of college football. Though the Bears (and the rest of the Big XII) don’t play defense, they’re an entertaining team to watch, and Briles is really good at both recruiting and making sure his players graduate with degrees.
I don’t want to make sexual assault sound like it’s exclusively some sort of on-the-field opportunity, because of course that isn’t my intent. But since Baylor has cleaned house and will most likely face sanctions from the NCAA, I’m sure a drop-off in recruiting is imminent for the Bears. That creates an opening for other teams to slide in and snag those top recruits, specifically on the offensive side of the ball, away from Baylor. One notable program must be licking their chops at this news out of Waco.
Football fans in Austin (and around the country, since they have a fanbase that stretches across the country) haven’t enjoyed much success since Colt McCoy left the University of Texas. The Longhorns have struggled, seeing their all-time great coach, Mack Brown, leave without much warning, and since then, the program has been in disarray. The Longhorns, though they have a great coach and recruiter in Charlie Strong, just haven’t been able to return to grace as a top-ranked team. This Baylor situation gives them a shot to be made great again.
As I said, Strong is an excellent recruiter. What’s Rule #1 in recruiting? You need to lock down the borders in your own state. In recent years, Texas hasn’t been able to do that, but that began to change last season, as they had the best recruiting class in the Big XII. They landed lots of kids from Texas, the results simply just didn’t come on the field due to the lack of experience. But now that Baylor has bigger worries than recruiting? Well, that’s one less school that the Longhorns have to compete with. They can go get those recruits that were seemingly destined to be wearing green and gold.
I think Texas will be a more solid team this season, though they still will probably deal with some growing pains. But they have a chance to capitalize on Baylor’s carelessness. If they were smart, they’d take advantage of it. Don’t be surprised if Texas is that CFB superpower that we were all so used to seeing within the next few years.
Cover photo from dudeyoucrazy.net.