The talking heads, opposing alumni and other critics may not believe Baylor belongs on the same football field with Texas, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and Oklahoma State. But Texas Tech offensive coordinator Neal Brown said not so fast.
Baylor is in sole possession of first place in the Big 12 South with a 3-1 record. While it may be difficult for opposing alumni to digest that concept, Brown said it's high-time for everyone to get a reality check and stop player-hating on one of college football's best stories of the year.
Already bowl eligible with four games remaining, Baylor has just two losses in eight games this season. One loss was on the road against the No. 4-ranked team in the country, TCU, 45-10. The other loss was against the Red Raiders, 45-38, at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.
So, Brown knows first-hand about the superb job Bears coach Art Briles has done in less than three years at Baylor.
No, the Bears are not going to run the table and win their remaining four regular season games. But so far, they've done a lot better than a lot of other high-profile teams in this state.
"They're talented,'' Brown said. "People don't understand that coach Briles and his staff has done a great job.
"Their offensive skilled people are as good as anybody in the league, and better than most. They're just really fast.''
Brown's offense compiled 635 yards in the Oct. 9 win over the Bears. However, Brown also remembers that Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin passed for 384 yards and the Bears racked up 507 yards and did not commit any turnovers against the Red Raiders.
"Obviously, Griffin is Griffin, and everybody knows how good he is,'' Brown said. "But their wide outs are really good, they've got two running backs that are really talented, and they're going to score on just about everybody they play against.
"On defense, they've got two huge guys that play in the interior line who are good players. And they've got guys who can run.''
In a lot of ways, Brown believes the Raiders were fortunate to get out of Dallas with a win over Baylor. And the way Tech's season has gone thus far, the victory against the Bears is the Raiders' most impressive one to date.
Indeed, the Bears (6-2) are ranked No. 25 in the country and gaining confidence every week. And they're the only team Tech has beaten that has been ranked in the Top 25 at any point this season.
"We played very well against them and we got them on their heels a little bit,'' Brown said. "That was a good win for us, and every week it looks a little better.
"Guys like Baylor, they went out and got some skilled guys. When you've got speed, man, you can turn things around in a hurry, and they've got it.''
-- Dwain Price