After an 11-3 season which included appearances in the Big 12 Championship and Sugar Bowl, Matt Rhule left Baylor in order to become the head coach of the Carolina Panthers. That wasn’t the only major loss from the 2019 Bears as nine defensive starters from BU’s matchup with Texas either graduated or left for the NFL.
Back in the early 2000s Texas teams all followed a very similar pattern for the season. They’d lose to Oklahoma in October and drop one other game either in the non-conference or toward the end of the year that would invariably be the difference between having a Big 12 title/BCS season or not. The three-game stretch following the Oklahoma game could always be counted on to supply a three-game winning streak as the Longhorns adjusted to whatever deficiencies Bob Stoops had made apparent for them.
In the Big 12 conference, coaching staffs are pretty ruthless about game planning to personnel. The nature of a spread league is such that if teams can find a weak spot on your depth chart, they can expose it in high stakes situations. There were a number of matchups in this game that needed to be game planned by either side to avoid problems and then a few matchups that offered opportunities.
Somehow there’s still an outside shot of Texas making the Big 12 championship game. They don’t really deserve it, having blown the Iowa State and TCU games with ridiculous mistakes while also nearly blowing both of the Kansas games. The running theme to the season has been, “did Texas manage the game so that Sam Ehlinger was in position to win or so that the defense was in position to lose?”
The Bears are 9-1, assuming the break-out dark horse role that I thought Iowa State would fulfill this year. I thought my preseason 8-4 regular season prediction was aggressive and a sizable bet on Rhule and Brewer, but it turns out I undersold them. Matt Rhule has done a terrific job in Waco in his three years, progressing Baylor from 1-11 to 7-6 to their current 9-1. Baylor nailed their football hire and his three year progression at a school that had effectively been hit with tactical nukes on the recruiting trail and in the transfer portal is a natural contrast to Tom Herman's own three year tenure. Rhule has done more with less under much more trying circumstances.
It was a crazy Saturday in college football. The No. 9 Texas Longhorns held onto the win over I-35 rival Baylor. Coach Venable drops his game grades. Positive signs sprinkled with some guys that need progress reports. OFFENSE We knew it was coming. The good news is we hired coach Hand last spring. The bad …