Midseason report: Baylor
Record: 3-2, 0-2 Big 12
The season started bright, and even a seven-point loss at West Virginia was a reason for encouragement. The panic outside the program though is starting to set in after getting outplayed in about every way a team can be outplayed in a 49-21 loss to TCU at home on Saturday. The loss included nothing short of a fourth-quarter meltdown on both sides of the ball.
The Bears' best performance of the season came in the opener against SMU, when a 45-3 lead in the third quarter suggested both offense and defense would be in excellent shape. A road comeback against a decent Louisiana-Monroe team showed plenty of guts but lots of questions, too. The defense isn't any better under Phil Bennett, and though the offense has played well, it's still not like it was a year ago.
Nick Florence has filled in fantastically for Robert Griffin III, even though he lacks the eye-popping physical attributes of the school's lone Heisman winner. The running game looks a little confused with no clarity between the three backs, Jarred Salubi, Lache Seastrunk and Glasco Martin. Terrance Williams has been as good or better than Kendall Wright, and offered Florence a big-time target alongside Tevin Reese and Lanear Sampson.
Baylor has been a bit underwhelming early, and a loss to Texas next week would mean a three-game losing streak and a big 0-3 hole to try and climb out of over the season's final six games. Nobody in Waco wants that.
Offensive MVP: Terrance Williams, WR. If you had any doubts that Williams could be a No. 1 target, there's no way you could any more. His 830 yards lead the nation, and he's averaging 22.4 yards on his 37 catches. He's stretching the field for Florence and validating his status as one of the best NFL receiver prospects in the country. His eight touchdown catches are tied for third-most nationally.
Defensive MVP: Bryce Hager, LB. I was torn on this one. You could definitely give this one to Ahmad Dixon, but I lean Hager because of the secondary's shortcomings this season. Hager leads the team with five tackles for loss and has 61 tackles to lead the team by 13. He's also forced a pair of fumbles and has a sack, too.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Kirk Herbstreit joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss Bob Stoops' recent comments about the SEC and the pending college football playoff, what appears to be an unpredictable Big 12 in 2013, how the Aggies will handle expectations and more.
Play Podcast Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin talks about the improvements being made to Kyle Field, what those improvements will to for the program, the success of last year, Johnny Manziel's offseason and the expectations for the Aggies in 2013.
Play Podcast Scott Van Pelt and Ryen Russillo talk about Texas A&M's decision to expand its stadium and say although the Aggies had a fantastic year, the school must also be careful not to overextend its resources based on a single hot stretch.
Play Podcast Baylor head coach Art Briles joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss what kind of player the Cowboys are getting in Terrance Williams.
Play Podcast Arlington and Texas A&M product Luke Joeckel, the potential No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft, joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Richard Durrett to discuss the draft, coaches and advice from his dad.
Play Podcast Florida Gulf Coast athletic director Ken Kavanagh joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss his school's Cinderella story and playing in the Sweet 16 at Cowboys Stadium.
Play Podcast Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby joins Fizsimmons & Durrett to discuss Cowboys Stadium as a venue, the state of Big 12 basketball, the new 2014 college football format, why there's no hurry to have a Big 12 football championship and much more.
Play Podcast Jay Bilas joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the remaining 16 teams in the NCAA tournament, the intrigue surrounding the Northwest Region and the excitement over FGCU, even though a similar story happens every year.