Road2Arlington: Baylor Bears, the hunter has become the hunted

bryce petty leapAfter years of operating in the shadows Coach Art Briles has built a title contender in Waco, Texas in the Baylor Bears. Briles has continued to turn doubters into believers churning out Big 12 Conference Titles, BCS Bowl Appearances and one 10 win season after the other. Times have changed in Waco, and now the Bears won’t be sneaking up on anyone no time soon. Baylor has become a haven for players who no one else wanted, and Briles has molded and shaped his program into a force to be reckoned with that continues to take the college football landscape by storm.

Those who foolishly thought that Robert Griffin III would be Baylor’s last Heisman winner, may be sadly mistaken because Bryce Petty could be next. In his first season as a starter Petty displayed the accuracy, arm strength, and athleticism that gave opposing defenses fits. Although the loss of All American RB Lache Seatrunk will be felt, little drop off isbaylor offense expected thanks too a bevy of talented playmakers poised to step up in his stead. Briles has done a masterful job of unearthing offensive playmakers where no one has looked and this year will be no different. Despite the loss of the school 3rd all time receiver, Antwan Goodley and KD Cannon poised to continue the tradition of Wide Receiver wide receiver uU in Waco (Josh Gordon, Kendall Wright, and Terrance Williams).Despite an arsenal of weapon the success and failure of Baylor may ultimately rest with a retooled offensive line that lost two starters.

Unlike in years past the Baylor defense will be more than just formidable, they have both talent and depth. The defensive line may be one of the best in the country led by 6’9 man child Shawn Oakman and edge-rushing extraordinaire Jamal Palmer. The line will be relied on heavily due to the youth and inexperience at linebacker and in the secondary. But what these wet behind the ear sophomores and freshman lack in experience they make up for with speed and athleticism.

baylor defenseFor years defense has been the Bears biggest weakness, but those days are no more. Briles makeover in Waco is nearly complete, and his Bears are not satisfied. There was a time when finishing above .500 was considered a huge success. Although their road to a National Championship may not be the easiest, with Arlington only being two hours away it would certainly be the shortest. Will the heightened expectations be too much for Baylor to Bear?  Underestimate Baylor if you dare and their next victim could BU. Stay tuned…I know I will.

 

Anthony Denmark is a writer for eatdrnkslpsprtz.com. Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on GoogleListen to eatdrnkslpsprtz radio  Subscribe to podcast

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