BAYLOR FOOTBALL PREVIEW 2009: AB + RG + the Green & Gold Team = Bowl Bound?
By Denton Ramsey, Big 12 Fans Baylor Correspondent
WACO, Texas — It’s been 15 years since the Bears last made the postseason, and they have yet to reach a bowl game since joining the Big 12 Conference.
However, Head Coach Art Briles and his staff have plans to change things at Baylor — and that plan began last season when Robert Griffin and company were introduced to the college football world.
To reach a bowl, though, it takes much more than just AB + RG. It’s a team sport, and both Briles and Griffin will be the first to back that fact.
“I think a lot of people’s expectations are lower than ours, so it’s not that tough looking at the expectations,” Griffin said. “But every time you turn around, there’s another article out and you just have to take that and be humble about it. It’s only because of what your team has done that you have accomplished those things. I couldn’t have those stats or receive those accolades without the other 10 guys on the field.”
I had the wonderful privilege of being a classmate of Robert’s this past summer in Waco. This guy is the definition of an all-around stand-up star; (if you want a comparison to a professional athlete, think of Shane Battier of the Houston Rockets).
Not only is Robert extremely smart (he aced Latin with flying colors), he also has a complete “I’m 3rd attitude” [the general principle of God first, others second, oneself third].
When I ran into Robert at Subway on the second day of Fall classes, he told me, “those are my teammates sitting over there. It’s not all about me.”
I digress… We’re here to talk about Baylor Football, right?
The Bears kickoff the 2009 season this Saturday, Sept. 5, at Wake Forest at 2:30 p.m. CT (the game will be airing locally on ABC).
For Briles and the rest of the Green & Gold team, Saturday couldn’t come sooner…
“New venue. New setting. New year. It has been emphasized many times, but it is definitely an honor and blessing for us to be over here on Baylor’s campus,” Briles said. “To think that our players have the success building now that they haven’t had in previous years, it is a neat experience. It’s a pleasure to be able to hold these events on campus. Everyone is aware that the season is upon us.
“We’re just like everyone else in America today – we’re excited, anxious, eager, hopeful and our questions are going to be answered this weekend. Our guys are focused and intense and they know what they have to do.
“We have to stop saying and start playing. I think we finished up as a pretty good football team last year. Our goal this year is to be better the first step than the last step last season. We were a good team when we stepped off the field last year so that means we’ve got to be pretty good against Wake this weekend.”
In a little less than 48 hours, the young Bears aim to put Briles’ ‘09 plans into action when they hit the gridiron in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
“Last year was very uncomfortable,” Griffin said. “There were a lot of unknowns, a new quarterback, a new coach, just a whole new philosophy and system. We’re a lot more confident going into this game; we know the quarterback and we know the philosophy and we know what the other team is going to try and do to us so we’re hoping to go out there and get the win.
“I’m really excited just like the rest of the team. We’re ready to put all of that effort from the off-season to work and put it on the field and see if we can exceed our expectations.”
Denton Ramsey may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org