Gary Mason, Bryan Swindoll

Baylor slips against Illinois, but progress is clearly being made


It’s tough being the private school in a BCS conference.

Just ask Northwestern and Vanderbilt.

Academic standards are higher, it’s tougher to recruit and success is often few and far between.

Yet, Art Briles has been able to do what no coach in 16 years had done at Baylor — the Big 12’s lone private university — and that’s go to a bowl game.

Yes, the scoreboard shows a 38-14 loss to a 7-6 Illinois team in the Texas Bowl, but to be honest, that doesn’t quite tell the whole story. At one point in the 3rd quarter, Baylor trailed the Illini 24-0. Illinois was doing a great job of containing Robert Griffin and, consequently, Baylor’s offense was stalling.

But the Bears kept fighting back, and eventually, were able to cut the lead to 10 with plenty of time left to play in the game. The comeback never fully evolved, but Baylor nonetheless showed a tremendous amount of heart.

And that is 100-percent a product of the players buying into what Briles is selling.

For a program who has struggled so mightily in recent history, to even make it to the postseason is an accomplishment. I’m not typically one for moral victories, but what Briles has been able to do at Baylor is one hell* of an accomplishment.

(*Quick note: I fully understand, and embrace, the irony of using the word “hell” in regards to the success at a Baptist university)

Baylor is headed for success under Briles. He’s recruiting well and the players are believing in his system. That does not, however, mean a conference championship is coming to Waco next year, or even the year after that. The climb up the ladder of success is still steep for the Bears, but as long as they have Briles, they have a chance.

That is, of course, assuming Briles is still the coach in Waco for years to come.

Diagnosed with bovine leukemia, Bevo XIV retires immediately

Associated Press

Turns out Steve Spurrier isn’t the only iconic college football figure to retire this week.

Texas announced Tuesday evening Bevo XIV has been diagnosed with bovine leukemia and has been retired to his pasture, effective immediately.

Bevo XIV missed Saturday’s stunning upset of then-No. 10 Oklahoma with what the school called a “life threatening” illness, and rumors circulated around the internet this week he had passed away.

Bevo XIV officially hangs up his horns with a 106-41 record with two national championship appearances.

There is no word at press time on a possible debut of Bevo XV.

Dabo Swinney won’t stop talking about “Clemsoning”

Dabo Swinney
Associated Press

Urban Dictionary defines “Clemsoning” as “the act of an inexplicably disappointing performance, usually within the context of a college football season.”

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney was asked about the phenomenon following the Tigers’ destruction of Georgia Tech Saturday and promptly went off. The question, asked by ESPN’s David Hale, was in reference to Swinney’s program shaking the label – Saturday marked Clemson’s 34th straight win over an unranked opponent – but Swinney didn’t see it that way.

Armed with some new facts (Clemson SID Tim Bourret noted 50 teams have fallen as ranked opponents to unranked foes since the Tigers last did so on Nov. 19, 2011), Swinney again targeted the “Clemsoning” label.

“I think it’s an agenda. It’s just bias,” Swinney told the Charleston (S.C.) Post & Courier Tuesday. “People are uneducated. They’re just ignorant and lazy because they’re not looking at the facts. If they did, they’d be focused on other schools and not Clemson. They’d be dialed in on what Clemson has done. There aren’t three other schools in the country as consistent as Clemson, in all aspects.”

I hate to break it to you, Dabo: you are absolutely correct, but the term, as they say, has been coined.

Just go beat Florida State, beat South Carolina, win the ACC and win a national title and maybe Urban Dictionary will delete that pesky page out of a sign of respect.

Also, No. 5 Clemson hosts unranked Boston College on Saturday. This would be a very, very unfortunate time for the Tigers to suffer an upset.