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Blog Exchange: Three Bears

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Over the summer I tried to set up some blog exchanges I had 'Running With The Rams lined up' but they flaked out, and I could not find someone for Baylor so the first two weeks were very thin. Then whilst I was romping around BaylorFans.com I found a new Bear Blog.

Thee Bears is a "a self-serving, always biased, irreverent and unapologetic view of all things related to Baylor sports." Whats not to like?

So the two of us hastily threw together a Blog Exchange, and here are the fruits of the last minute 'labor'

Bull Run: How has the Baylor community responded to the Big12 Chaos and what do you think the future brings for Baylor and the Big12

Thee Bears: Over the past 14 years, our once proud and successful football program was ground down to depths rarely, if ever, seen in our 100 years of football.  There were many in the Baylor fan base that, for years, have seen this coming.  Unfortunately, it looked like our administration was caught a little flat-footed. Ok maybe they looked to be missing their feet altogether.  To their credit, they responded very quickly and the efforts of Ian McCaw and President Judge Ken Starr  seemed spot on given the way things turned out.  Their focus from the start was keeping the Big 12 together and, with the exception of Nebraska and Colorado (who the PAC-10 seems to be having buyer's remorse about now), the administrators of the Big 12 were able to do just that.

Baylor has been extremely successful for years in most of their sports and, if memory serves, ranks 3rd or 4th in total championships in the Big 12.  However, in college sports, and in the state of Texas especially, football will always reign supreme.

The events of those harrowing days gave crystal clarity to our sports priorities (which, unfortunately, is a sad commentary on college athletics).  Since then, Baylor has done a phenomenal job of rallying the fan base to get behind this football team to support them like they did with the Elite Eight men's basketball team (one of the largest Elite Eight crowds in NCAA history) and women's Final Four teams.  Baylor supports a winner in big numbers.

So far, we're off to a good start with the largest opening day crowd since 1975.  Brighter days are on the way for the Baylor football program.

Bull Run: Trying to take of the tinted glasses, does RG3 go from dark horse Heisman

Thee Bears: Candidate to New York?  As we all know, winning Heismans takes winning games and typically championships.  This team is much much more than Robert Griffin and hopefully the nation gets to see that this year, but it has to win and it has to win now.  Robert has an unbelievable work ethic and committed himself, after his injury, to reminding the nation of the talents he displayed in his Freshman All-American season With all that, he's a Leader and he wants to win first.  He's all about team.  That said, if he's still here his senior year, I think he's got a decent shot at hearing his name called at the Downtown Athletic Club. (wipes green kool-aid from lips)

Bull Run: Baylor is in one of the most difficult divisions in football, where do you see six wins coming this year?


Thee Bears: I'm glad you asked.  We published our season prediction on our blog last week. TheeBears.com has Baylor going 7-5.  So far we're right on track.  In summary, we circled, Sam Houston State, Buffalo, Rice, Kansas, Colorado, Kansas State and Texas A&M as W's.  If we take care of business and possibly steal one or two, this could be a truly special season.  We'll focus on taking care of business first though.

Bull Run: If you had to pick one area on your defense which a spread team like UB might be able to exploit, what is it? 

Thee Bears: Defense is one of our bigger question marks this year. We've significantly upgraded the talent since Art Briles arrived, but Sam Houston State made it tough to truly evaluate any weaknesses.  As can be expected, losing two key defenders in Joe Pawelek at Linebacker and Jordan Lake at Free Safety leaves some big opportunities for the younger guys to step up and some huge holes to fill.

Until we consistently prove otherwise, our rush defense and ability to get the other teams off the field on 3rd down are going to be seen as weaknesses.  Sam Houston State was able to exploit our pass coverage through the play action pass for decent yardage well after the game was decided.  That said, I'm interested to see how our secondary handles a more traditional spread offense and a step up in quality of opponent on Saturday when we play you guys.

Bull Run: Other side of the ball, what is the one area that UB would most be able to exploit?

Thee Bears: Until I see otherwise, I will continue to expect all our opponents to scheme against us as if we're the Baylor Griffins instead of the Baylor Bears (I'll throw 6'6 340 pound RG Robert T. Griffin in there as well).   This team has a surprisingly large number of weapons on offense and is FAST!  Our running game is likely to be our biggest question mark until we prove we can grind out yards when we need to (we ran for 200 against SHSU on 25 carries).  Our primary running back, Jay Finley, is coming back from off season surgery and appears to be healthy, but questions remain if he can weather a season of pounding the ball game in and game out?  We have several backs in the stable that are ready and hungry to prove they can compete for carries.  I was personally most impressed with the aggressiveness and determination that backup running back Isaac Williams ran the ball with in the second half.

If our running game is functional, it opens up our full play book and makes Robert Griffin and our receivers lethal.

Thee Bears: For those Buffalo fans coming to Waco, be sure to get to Floyd Casey Stadium early.  You'll be impressed by the tailgating and game day atmosphere along with some of the most beautiful girls in the state of Texas.