College football fans love to get underneath their opponents skin but that just might backfire this week when Baylor visits Oklahoma State.
That’s because it’s homecoming in Stillwater this week and as part of the festivities, the school dyed a fountain orange outside a campus library following an annual tradition. It’s one of those simple things that are always cool to see when a university gets into the spirit prior to a big game.
Well it seems some Bears fans decided to get in on the tradition too, only this time they snuck on to campus and then re-dyed the previously orange fountain to Baylor’s primary color of green. Per OSU blog Pistols Firing, here’s a look at the fountain in both shades:
Baylor is 0-5 on the season and ranked 115th in total defense at the moment. Given that Mason Rudolph, James Washington and the rest of the high-flying OSU offense is one of the best units in the country, perhaps it was wiser for the Bears to not poke the, um, bear in this case. Something certainly says this little bit of fun between Big 12 rivals won’t turn out so great if the team takes it personally come Saturday afternoon.
This season has been a comedy of errors for Baylor. But one of those errors could turn into genuine comedy.
Baylor will have to navigate the rest of the season without punter Drew Galitz, who tore his ACL in the Bears’ 32-20 loss to Kansas State. And among the candidates to replace him is James Lynch. Lynch plays defensive line. He stands 6-foot-4 and weighs 285 pounds.
Lynch averaged more than 43 yards per punt as a senior at Round Rock High School, according to Max Preps.
And though he isn’t the immediate choice to serve as Baylor’s punter moving forward — that would be kicker Connor Martin and walk-on kicker Peter Webster — head coach Matt Rhule told Big 12 Die Hards the Bears are preparing Lynch for punting duties, just in case.
No offense toward Martin, Webster or anyone else at Baylor, but let’s hope “just in case” comes to pass.
It’s been a while, relatively speaking, since there’s been a negative story regarding Baylor football, so I guess you could say we were due.
In a book released in late August on the sexual assault scandal at Baylor, the athletic department’s drug testing policy, or lack thereof, came under heavy fire. It was alleged that the program circumvented the university’s harsh policy on drugs — one positive test for marijuana resulted in a semester suspension, a second likely expulsion — by avoiding random drug testing. Not all of the random tests were avoided, however, as former Bear wide receiver Josh Gordon was dismissed from the team in August of 2011 after he failed a second test.
Now attempting a comeback in the NFL — the 26-year-old hasn’t played in a game since 2014 because of drug suspensions — Gordon opened up to Uninterrupted.com in a documentary that debuted Tuesday morning, telling the website among other things that, while at BU, an unidentified Bears assistant coach helped him pass what otherwise would’ve been failed drug tests.
From the Akron Beacon Journal:
Not too long after I got arrested for possession of marijuana at Baylor, one of my coaches came by saying, ‘You are going to get drug tested by the compliance office. This is how it’s going to work. This is what they are going to do. If they do call you in, here goes these bottles of detox,’” Gordon said. “He showed me how to drink them, showed me how to take them. That was my first real experience with getting over on the system and that authority not really being taken serious because it was kind of being guided by somebody that’s employed by the same university.”
Gordon explained he failed a drug test at Baylor when he ran out of the masking agent and the coach didn’t replenish his supply in time.
“I failed the drug test because I was getting high,” Gordon added with a laugh.
Since last year’s purge of the football program and athletic department, the university has revamped its drug policies when it comes to student-athletes. ESPN.com has the details of that new policy:
It calls for a six-month probationary period for the first positive test for marijuana; one year of probation and ban for 33 percent of competition for a second; one-year ban and probation for a third; and dismissal from the team for a fourth. There are more severe penalties for using street drugs other than marijuana, including a one-year ban for a second positive test and dismissal from the team after a third.
That’s some progress, I suppose.
In what the Associated Press labeled as a dismissal, Matt Rhule confirmed Monday that two players, senior offensive lineman Ishmael Wilson and junior cornerback Jourdan Blake, are no longer a part of his Baylor football program. Rhule gave no specific reasons for the tandem departures, although he did go out of his way to note that it was “nothing criminal.”
“I’m not going to get into the particulars because they’re really good people and I want to be respectful of them,” the head coach said according to the Waco Tribune. “It’s important to note this is nothing criminal. It’s just really about our program as we move forward. We wish them the best as they stay here and graduate but they will no longer play for us as we move forward.”
Blake started the first two games this season for the winless Bears and had played in all five. After starting 12 games last season, Wilson, a former Texas A&M lineman who transferred to BU in 2014, started just one in 2017.
In addition to the news involving Blake and Wilson, Rhule also confirmed that Terence Williams is still a part of the team. There had been speculation over the last couple of days that the running back, who led the Bears in rushing last season, had either been dismissed or left the team of his own volition. However, the team’s leadership council voted to give the running back a second chance.
That said, Williams could be facing a suspension for the Oct. 14 game against Oklahoma State.
This season, Williams, who missed the first three games this season as he recovered from offseason shoulder surgery, has rushed for just 53 yards on 22 carries. He has yet to score a touchdown on the year, and has a long carry of seven yards.
One of the biggest upsets of the season happened back in Week 1 when Liberty beat Baylor to spoil the debut of new Bears coach Matt Rhule. While many thought the outcome was a sign of how far things have fallen on the gridiron in Waco, the victory by the FCS-transitioning team on the other side was an eye-opener for those that didn’t know much about the Flames.
If you can get past the fact that the religious school hired ex-Baylor athletic director Ian McCaw to run their department despite the scandal he left behind, the fact is Liberty has spent a considerable sum of money to make football not only a viable sport, but a regional powerhouse. Part of that effort includes moving up to the FBS ranks full-time but it’s no secret that the team would love to find a home in a conference instead of going the independent program route for the foreseeable future. While reports have surfaced that the university has offered $20+ million to join a league, so far there’s been no takers.
Which brings us to Jerry Falwell Jr., the chancellor at Liberty who sent several Tweets recently on the subject and the fact that religious discrimination is playing a part in the Flames being unable to find a conference. USA Today followed up on the comments and… you might be able to guess where things went from there.
“Most college presidents are open-minded, most of them supported us, but there are some who are just plain religious bigots,” Falwell said in a phone interview with Dan Wolken. “And when somebody like me has a political opinion they don’t support, they can’t hide or contain that bigotry, and it’s just sad.”
There’s a lot more in the USA Today article where that came from too. Conference USA didn’t provide a comment on the reports and the Sun Belt cited geography as a reason why their expansion favored Coastal Carolina over Liberty.
Based on those recent comments from Falwell Jr. — no stranger when it comes to political controversy — though, it might be a while before any FBS league comes around to the idea of Liberty joining no matter how good their football team might be.