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Mailbag: Baylor edition

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. RSSBot

    RSSBot News Junkie

    Jul 8, 2005
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    [​IMG]Time to start the games, which will mean conference-wide mailbags moving forward. Here are the team-themed mailbags before we get to the Bears:

    Thanks for all the questions, everybody. Lots of great ones throughout the summer.

    Chad Moore in San Antonio, Texas asks: Art Briles and Co. are doing a better job than Guy Morriss at recruiting, my question is what's it going to take to recruit the 4 and 5 star players? Does Floyd Casey need a massive face lift? Maybe it's just Waco not being the most attractive city to young kids. Whatever the case may be.

    David Ubben: Recruiting, more than anything, is about tradition. The best players want to come to schools where they can win. That's why it's easier for powers who* slip, like Miami and Nebraska, to jump right back up in the top 25 with new coaches like Randy Shannon and Bo Pelini, even after extended down periods. It's a lot easier to sell "Come here, and we can change the culture" to a recruit when you want them to come to Lincoln than it is for a school like Baylor that hasn't seen success since the birth of the Big 12. Cities are overrated. Austin can be a nice sell, and some recruits care about that, but South Bend and Gainesville aren't big metropolises that recruits are dying to move into. A college town is a college town.

    How do you change that? Pretty simple: win more. Baylor's off to a nice start, and if you've got ESPN Insider, I'd refer you to Bruce Feldman's profile of the Baylor program from after Robert Griffin's freshman year. Feldman delves into what each means, but he says Briles plan for building a program boiled down to a few key characteristics:

    1) Forget the depth chart--play who should play, and don't worry about class rank (Playing Blake Szymanski over Robert Griffin sounds crazy now. It wasn't that crazy to begin 2008. Griffin started the season on the bench.)

    2) Don't avoid players with baggage (i.e. defensive tackle Phil Taylor, who transferred from Penn State after an on-campus fight. Obviously, you have to do your homework on those kinds of guys, but if you do see a good heart and don't see a repeated pattern of mistakes, take a chance.)

    3) Recruit where few others look (i.e., Canada. Left tackle Danny Watkins, anyone?)

    4) Let talent attract talent--Great players gravitate toward greatness

    Bill Buckly in New York asks: Given the success of the underrated basketball team last year, do you see a similar shock from the football team? Baylor football seems to be their folly, but maybe if they are able to make the TCU game interesting by keeping the score within a touchdown, they could turn some heads - for next year. Lastly, if you had to put $5 dollars on A&M or Baylor - whose your winner - score?

    DU: I don't see it this year. Basketball is different. Baylor had the offense for a few years. And then they got Ekpe Udoh. That was a game-changer. No one player can make that big of an impact in a program. Robert Griffin is the closest thing to it, but Briles' ability to fill out the rest of the two-deep in the past few seasons is why Baylor looks like it's in good shape to see a bowl game this year. In basketball, one player can mean more than a coach. That's never the case in football.

    Jay in Hewitt, Texas asks: David, I was thrilled to death when it announced that the conference was sticking together...for now. But many people still say that we're moving closer to four 16 team mega-conferences. 16 times 4 is 64. There are currently 65 teams in BCS conferences. If we do move into the Mega-conference era, is Baylor the odd man out?

    DU: Baylor probably would be, but you're oversimplifying a bit there. Other teams in the Big 12 like Iowa State might get left out in your scenario to make room for budding powers like Boise State.

    Dave in Austin/Waco asks: Scenario: in waco for a game or whatever...where do you go eat? Everyone loves a big O. no lengthy response necessary.

    DU: One of my Baylor alum friends alerted me to the existence of George's when I was there last week. I went. It was delicious. I had to work later that night, so I didn't indulge in a big O, but I have to admit it's pretty cool to get a shoutout in a song.

    Even if that song is an unbearable country song, an adjective that could be used to describe almost all country music, really. (Take it easy on me, Texans.)

    But I also went to Diamond Backs, and whoever came up with the idea for the Chocolate Sack is a wonderful, evil genius. Google it if you're curious.

    Rex in Houston, Texas asks: What are your thoughts on Griffin's burst as you watched in practice? Does he look as quick and instinctive to you?

    DU: He looked fine, and I can see why from Griffin and Briles' perspective, it has to get old to hear the questions about the knee. It's fine. But the thing that made Griffin so good as a freshman, and will again this year, is his control in the mid-range passing game. He's such an underrated decision-maker, and his accuracy on underneath throws and throws he needs to put on a rope is fantastic. I still think he has a lot of developing to do in the vertical passing game, but I don't think there's another quarterback in the Big 12 I'd take over him in the red zone, because of how well he handles that zone and because of his mobility.

    Don't forget, as a true freshman, he didn't throw an interception until his ninth game, and it came on the final drive, ending an upset bid over Missouri, who was ranked No. 19 at the time. I was at that game, and I've been impressed with him ever since.

    Trey Willis in Krum, Texas asks: David, Word from the coaching staff in Waco is that Jay Finley is 100%, yet he doesn't participate in scrimmages and very little is said about him in practice reports. Same goes for Kendall Wright. What gives? Are these guys healthy in your opinion or should we be looking in our programs at the backups?

    DU: They're only being held out of scrimmages as precautionary measures. Briles knows what both can do. No reason to put them into live action. Simple as that. I didn't get a real close look at Finley last week, but Wright looked better than ever.

    Jacob in Colorado Springs, Colo. asks: David,I'm hoping you can answer this question for me. As an Aggie who grew up in Waco I would like to know when Robert Griffin will be making his return to the sport he is best at, Hurdles. He placed 3rd in the NCAA Championships when he was supposed to be a senior in High school and has not returned since. I know its not a football question, but I have not found the answer anywhere else and I think he can continue the tradition of Quarter Mile U turning Green and Gold track suits into Red White and Blue ones.

    DU: Heads up for bigger story on Robert tomorrow, Baylor fans, but I can tell you he plans to get back into track this offseason.


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