By Daniel Hill
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.
For example, the Baylor offense has scored 13 touchdowns in one minute or less and 22 touchdowns in less than two minutes. It sounds insane to say this, but the offense is scoring at such a rapid pace that it is actually hurting the defense. Plus, Baylor lacks quality defensive depth at nearly every position. A heavy burden is being placed on the defensive starters because they have to spend so much time on the field. Last season, the offense was so spectacular with RG3 at the helm that the defense was hardly talked about. Last year the Baylor defense conceded 56 points to Washington in an Alamo Bowl victory. Why hasn’t the Baylor defense made improvements this season? This is year two under new defensive coordinator Phil Bennett, and it’s still the same old story: the Baylor offense has to win in spite of the defense.
Is Briles so offensively minded that he does not care about defensive statistics? In order to build a winning program and enjoy sustainable success, a college football team must have a defense. That’s the bottom line. In the BCS rankings, 11 of the top 15 teams also possess a top 15 defense. The formula for winning in college football is not a glamorous offense but rather a punishing defense. Let’s be real, most opposing offenses probably lick their chops when they see Baylor on the schedule.
Ultimately, Briles is responsible for winning football games at Baylor. As it stands, Baylor is 0-3 in the Big 12 Conference and has the worst scoring defense (124th) in all of the Football Bowl Subdivision. Changes must be made with Baylor football. Briles needs to sacrifice the sky-rocketing offensive statistics in order to keep the defense on the sidelines. When Baylor gets the lead in a game, Briles has to milk the clock and slow down the offense to conserve the lead.
The lack of attention that Briles pays to his failing defense is troublesome. Briles isn’t just some offensive guru; he’s the head football coach. All aspects of the team fall under his jurisdiction and responsibility. The bottom line is Briles needs to deliver a better Baylor defense by any means necessary.