Baylor Football: Don’t give up on Matt Rhule and the Bears

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

You might find Baylor football at the bottom of the Big 12 standings by the end of the 2017 season, but things will turnaround soon under Matt Rhule.

Baylor football is the toughest head coaching job in college football right now. What head coach Matt Rhule is doing in Waco, Texas, is something that most head coaches in the nation could not even imagine. After an offseason scandal that cost former head coach Art Briles his job before the 2016 campaign, the recovery job had begun.

The Bears brought in former Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe during the 2016 season to clean things up to start. Baylor did still manage to make a bowl game last year, when they defeated the Boise State Broncos in the Cactus Bowl.

However, things are not looking great right now during the 2017 season. Baylor has started out win-less in its first six games. The momentum seemed to be shifting too when Baylor started out conference play competitive against the Oklahoma Sooners and Kansas State Wildcats.

Yet, the Oklahoma State Cowboys manhandled the Bears in Week 7, to the tune of a 59-16 win. Baylor’s defense had no answer for quarterback Mason Rudolph and the Oklahoma State offense. Even backup quarterback Taylor Cornelius notched a rushing touchdown.

The way that Rhule is going to have to clean up this program and build the foundation for long-term success starts with getting his young team to buy into what he is doing. Rhule built his former program, Temple football, into a competitive Group of Five program with tough players and a gritty defense.

Rhule is going to have a tough time building a gritty defense with the way the Big 12 plays. However, he could still build a solid defense while incorporating some of the aspects that Briles had in place that made this Baylor offense so deadly.

The recruiting for Baylor is already impressive, as Rhule has reeled in a top-40 class in 2017. Right now, 247Sports ranks the Bears as the 30th best recruiting class in the country for 2018. That shows that Rhule is doing something right.

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It’s only a matter of time before this program starts to see a real turnaround with a good culture in place. Baylor fans should have some patience with Rhule considering all he had to deal with to get this program straightened out and to implement his own style and culture.