On Saturday night, Baylor will either be 5-1 in the middle of the season and in good shape to participate in the discussion of the conference title game, or at 4-2 and study the schedule to determine how they can qualify for the conference. bowling. I think Saturday’s game will be eye-opening for head coach Dave Aranda, in particular, I think fans will get a good feel for the program’s trajectory as well as his in-game coaching abilities.
For the first time in his tenure (outside of Kansas), coach Aranda will lead a team set to win a conference game. Last year the Bears embarked on a new training schedule and several new starters – factor that in with all the COVID delays and the season has never looked normal. As such, no one was really shocked when Baylor lost, with the only possible exception being Texas Tech. That won’t be the case if Baylor loses on Saturday and for that reason I think the West Virginia game is Coach Aranda’s biggest game as a head coach yet. Sure, the Bears have played against ranked teams for the past two weeks, but in those two games Baylor was not the favorite and no one will call a possible win over the Mountaineers an ‘upset’ like some. did so with Iowa State. No, this is a home game where your team is favored and your opponent is talented, but lost at home to Texas Tech last week. I think a mature program runs its business in this type of scenario.
Then it’s no secret that Baylor has looked relatively bad on the offensive end of the ball in the last 6 quarters. Gerry carved a three-way front against Iowa State with his arm in the first half a few weeks ago, no one can deny that. However, the Cyclones adjusted their halftime game plan, and Oklahoma State didn’t even give the Bears a chance to get up to speed with stretch runs or contraband passes. . Simply put, the Cyclones and Cowboys have found ways to slow down Baylor’s offensive attack. Conventional wisdom says other Big 12 teams will follow suit. And that is why college football coaches are paid dearly. Coach Aranda and his staff will have the opportunity to set up the X’s and O’s that can withstand anything thrown at them. You continue with your basic attack as long as it is effective, but hopefully there will be a Plan B this time around if it starts to stall.
Obviously, in second year, Coach Aranda is not in the hot seat. A loss does not mean he is not a good coach and the program cannot recover, but he would lose some of the the benefit of the doubt mentality with some fans which is integrated for new coaches. The last time I felt that was against Kansas State in 2018. I wrote about it on this website and even think I called it a ‘must win’. to the top. Hopefully we Baylor fans get a similar result this Saturday.