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Monday, December 24, 2012
Baylor breaks out some big talk for 2013

By David Ubben

Baylor's never been short on confidence. It's not Art Briles' style. It wasn't Robert Griffin III's style, and he went out and won 10 games and a Heisman Trophy.

Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk is a long way from duplicating those feats, but in my book, he's outrunning RG3 by a long ways when it comes to self-confidence.

From Sporting News:
“I feel like there’s no back who can do what I do,” he told SN. “I know I’m the fastest back in the country. I know I’m the best back in the country. Nobody’s going to work harder.”

But that’s not all. Are you listening?

“I’m going to win the Heisman. I’m going to win it in 2013. If I don’t, I’m going to get very close.
Baylor's Lache Seastrunk
Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk has Heisman aspirations in 2013.
Well, hello there. Not leaving much to the imagination with those words, which far, far overshadowed his own coach's ambitious thoughts earlier in the article.

“We think we certainly have the potential to win the Big 12 conference championship -- without question,” Briles told the publication.

I can't help but chuckle at Seastrunk's assertion later in the piece that talks about how his experiences at Oregon -- essentially, he didn't get on the field and transferred -- humbled him.

First things first: Seastrunk isn't crazy. A year ago, the idea of Johnny Football winning the Heisman Trophy was far, far more insane. He hadn't even played a snap.

Seastrunk strung together one of the best stretches to close the season -- 499 rushing yards in his final three games, 693 in his final five -- of any player in the Big 12. Baylor finally gave him the lion's share of carries and Seastrunk devoured them. He'll only get more next season, even with Glasco Martin returning.

I don't think Seastrunk's words do much more than make him a target for Big 12 defenses and opposing fans. RG3 had plenty of confidence publicly, but surely more privately. All of that endeared himself to his team and that confidence carried over to his teammates. Seastrunk's outlook of his 2013 season might be better off being shared with teammates, rather than a media outlet.

I truly believe he believes that. He might be right. I'm not going to say he's not.

What I know for certain? He injected a great storyline everybody's going to want to see play out in the 2013 season. Briles was plenty confident on his own, even though Seastrunk's thoughts will earn the biggest headlines.

Briles isn't crazy either. Baylor might not have the nation's No. 1 offense next season, but they'll have enough talent to come close with Tevin Reese, Bryce Petty and Seastrunk, along with a solid offensive line anchored by Cyril Richardson.

For Baylor, the story's going to be the same as it's been under Briles: Can the defense get them there?

It's been poor throughout Baylor's rise, which almost makes that rise even more remarkable. Winning 24 games in three seasons with that defense is no small accomplishment.

Is 2013 the year Phil Bennett's defense finally turns the corner? If it does, don't be surprised if Seastrunk and Briles look mighty prescient this time next year.