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When he was coming out of Midway High School in nearby Hewitt, Baylor junior nickel back Ahmad Dixon could have chosen to go to pretty much any school in the nation. He was ranked as the No. 15 national recruit by ESPNU 150 and had scholarship offers from Alabama, Texas, USC and pretty much everywhere else in between. Instead of bolting for a glamorous, prestigious program, Dixon decided to stay home and head to Baylor, who was just coming off of a 4-8 season.
Despite losing 42-34 to the No. 12 Oklahoma Sooners in Norman on Saturday, the Baylor football team is certainly showing signs of improvement.
The offense is displaying multiple facets within the passing and rushing attack.
There has been a lot of grumbling as of late.
Grumbling from a lot of people about Baylor football. From fans and commentators, from students and alumni even, nobody seems too pleased with the performance of our football team.
And why should they be?
The Baylor Bears are 0-26 all time on the road against top 25 opponents in the Big 12. This does not bode well for them in their trip to Norman to take on the No. 12 Oklahoma Sooners. The Bears, 4-4 (1-4), won a conference game last week over the Kansas Jayhawks 41-14. This week presents a much tougher task because the Bears will be on the road to face the 6-2 (4-1) Sooners.
Seven games into the season, the Baylor Bears (3-4, 0-4) are still looking for their first Big 12 Conference win.
Luckily, the football schedule brings the Kansas Jayhawks (1-7, 0-5) to Waco for homecoming. The Jayhawks, like Baylor, are also looking for their first Big 12 Conference win.
The Bears are in a rut, but with five games left to play, there’s still plenty of time for the Bears to find their identity and play their best football down the stretch.
Sure, Baylor has had a tough time in conference to date, but there’s still plenty of football to be played this season.
While the football team is busy trying to scrape a win out of the goose egg in the conference win column, the women’s basketball team is protecting its 40-game win streak.
What’s the difference between the two besides the obvious?
Saturday is do or die for the Baylor Bears as they travel to Ames, Iowa, to take on the Iowa State Cyclones at 6 p.m. for their homecoming in 40-degree weather.
“We’ve had our first half of the season, and now we’re going into our second half,” head coach Art Briles said. “I don’t know if it’s a good analogy or not, but I use why divorces happen – there’s a variety of reasons, but sometimes it’s because you hear things, you see things, you do things, and sometimes it amounts over time. Then it goes to a point to where you think you can get away from it. What we’re trying to do is start cleaning. We have six games left, and those six games will determine our football season.”
There is no doubt that Baylor’s defense is the Achilles heel of the team. But why is the defense so awful? It sounds strange, but Baylor’s offense might be one reason the Bears have never had a vaunted defense. Is head coach Art Briles’ offensive philosophy hurtful to his defense? Baylor possesses a high-octane prolific scoring offense that any team in college football would be jealous of. But the quick-strike ability of the offense might be crippling the defense.
Baylor and Texas came into Saturday night’s game in a minor state of panic. Both teams started the year strong, but each has lost its last two games. The Bears fell to the Longhorns 50-56, 106 points and 1,132 points later.
Senior quarterback Nick Florence finished the game 30-of-41 with 352 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
“I was really proud of the team and how they fought,” head coach Art Briles said. “We challenged them this week to be tough physically and mentally, to have a tough man’s mentality.”
Before Baylor enters the tunnel to run out onto the field at Floyd Casey Stadium, the team hits a sign above the doorway that says “Finish Strong.”
“We aren’t going to put our heads down and throw in the towel,” senior quarterback Nick Florence said. “We still have seven more games left. There is still a lot of football to be played. When it comes to bowls, you are defined by how you finish. We’re going to keep fighting until the end.”