By Drake Toll | Broadcast Reporter
The Baylor men’s golf team will win the Big 12 Tournament this season. Yes, here we are again. If you’re a Baylor golf enthusiast, this article comes as a godsend considering the uncanny success of my two previous prediction pieces. Before we continue on with the imminent success of the men’s golf team, let’s revisit my previous articles that entail how Baylor football could accidentally win the Big 12 and Volleyball could intentionally win the Big 12.
In the football realm, I predicted the Bears to finish 11-1 this season with the one loss coming to Oklahoma. Thus far, Baylor has narrowly escaped a road game against Rice, won on a prayer over Iowa State and notched an upset versus Kansas State in the “Little Apple.” Baylor has had to brave a road test and pull off two conference spoilers to enter homecoming week both undefeated and ranked. Some may not credit the success to a Lariat column written by a freshman, but things are getting more interesting with every win.
On the volleyball side—wow. I repeat—wow. My prediction had the Bears sweeping a tough non-conference slate and winning all but one game in the Big 12, and it is spot-on through 13 games. The squad is undefeated, top-ranked in the country and has beaten opponents in 39 of 41 sets. Baylor volleyball is a favorite to win the NCAA championship, and I’ve been here for all of it. You can point to hard work and great coaching when it comes to the success of volleyball and football, yet there is something intriguing about how things have seemingly been spoken or written into existence.
Now that we have taken heed of my magical sports powers, let’s delve into the world of men’s golf, where Baylor currently ranks third in the NCAA, according to an article that previewed their most recent tournament in North Plains, Oregon.
The golf team is coached by Mike McGraw and led by the highly decorated senior Cooper Dossey who has claimed three individual tournament titles during his time in Green and Gold. McGraw and company opened their season with a first-place finish at the Gopher Invitational and a first-place finish at the Fighting Illini Invitational that saw Dossey win the individual crown. They most recently finished in the middle of the pack at the Nike Collegiate Invitational.
Breaking down what the Bears have done thus far — Baylor showed dominance and poise to start the season with two tournament victories to improve their preseason ranking of No. 20 to their current ranking of No. 3. While the Bears led the Gopher Invitational (a field that included conference opponents Oklahoma and West Virginia), the Fighting Illini Invitational was won in dramatic fashion as Baylor fought back from fifth place on the final day to win it all. The field in Illinois also consisted of conference opponents Texas and Oklahoma State, who McGraw’s team dominated.
Dissecting the most recent match at the Nike Collegiate Invitational in Oregon takes a little more passivity and biased optimism as Baylor struggled to get things going. The Bears finished 10th overall in the field of 15 after shooting a 7-over 859. Thankfully, that was still good enough to beat TCU by four strokes. Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas all finished ahead of the Green and Gold, which can be overlooked considering Baylor has bested each of those squads at least once this season. Cooper Dossey was also still a bright spot with a 10th place finish in the field of 75 golfers.
Baylor has the edge to win the Big 12 Championship Match this weekend because of Cooper Dossey’s play ad the Bears’ proven ability to dominate in the conference. The Bear’s senior has been dominant this season by finishing in the top 10 in all three tournaments while shooting at par or better in seven of nine rounds. As a whole, Texas Tech is the only contender Baylor has yet to come across, and the Bruins Bold have wins over dangerous conference teams such as Oklahoma, West Virginia, Oklahoma State and Texas. While these teams have also bested the Bears, we can overlook that tournament where the first day of play in the Northwest had a high of 50 and a low of 37.
In summary, a Baylor team that plays at their normal level will win the Big 12 Tournament by multiple strokes. The momentum of a conference title to match the one secured in 2018 could give the Bears enough push to even win an NCAA championship outright.
Dare I say this simple prediction could help land them the hardware? Well, I’ll put it like this: Baylor teams are 26-4-3 overall and 13-1-1 at home in head-to-head matchups since I arrived on campus and began covering athletics. You can also factor in the aforementioned success of volleyball and football teams that continue to follow gutsy predictions from yours truly. Is there a correlation between myself and unprecedented success? I’ll let you decide.