Any doubt that Art Briles is anything other than a bad, bad man should be ejected after what he has done at Baylor University. Between his time at Stephenville High School, the University of Houston and now Baylor his legacy as one of the better coaches in the country should be intact.
There is a reason why his name is floating among the many to replace Mack Brown at Texas, whenever the money brokers in Austin decide to push Mack upstairs.
He is to Baylor what Gary Patterson is to TCU. Art has made Baylor legit, and nationally relevant.
Now the time has come for Briles and Baylor to play somebody for real outside of the conference.
On Saturday, No. 20 Baylor (2-0) will host Louisiana-Monroe in Waco in the Bears' third guarantee game of the season. The "Guarantee" works both ways - the visitor receives a nice check, and the home team receives a win.
Every single building team does this - loads up on a weak schedule in order to pad their record and reach a bowl. Coaches call this "scheduling for success", i.e. - play crap. Kansas State coach Bill Snyder could write a book on the subject.
Since Briles arrived in Waco in 2008, he followed that method. It works, provided your team wins. If your team is bad enough, it doesn't always work - ask Kansas coach Charlie Weis.
There was a time in Waco, like when Briles arrived, this plan routinely blew up in Baylor's face.
Baylor is winning now, and now it needs to play a real team. Not this Wofford, Buffalo stuff to entertain the home crowd and pave the way to a guaranteed bowl berth. Give the good people in Waco and at Baylor a real non-conference opponent it can sink its teeth into.
"We play our schedule whomever that is; we respect everybody we play," Briles said on a Big 12 conference call last week. "I don't think it would be earth-shattering news who is supposed to win and everybody thinks is going to win doesn't always do that. We respect everybody we play regardless of what their perception is."
Ahhh yes, the proven line of "They could always beat us." They could, but they shouldn't.
Schedule a home-and-home with a real team, preferably one from a BCS conference. Note - Duke does not count.
The counter to this argument is that schedules are made 1,000 years in advance, and that Baylor and Briles were stuck with these opponents. That holds water, until you look at Baylor's future non-conference opponents:
'14: SMU, Northwestern State, Buffalo
'15: SMU, Lamar, Rice
'16: SMU, Rice, (need 1 non conference game)
'17: SMU, Texas-San Antonio, Duke
'18: SMU, Texas-San Antonio, Duke
'19: SMU, Texas-San Antonio, Rice
If Baylor is any good, there is not a single challenging game among those scheduled non-conference opponents. Could that change? Possibly, but it won't.
Baylor does not need to play Georgia, USC and Ohio State in the non-conference, but every now again it should play an opponent of equal ability.
Bottom line, Baylor is better and beyond this.
Facebook Mac Engel