Few teams were playing better than Baylor at the conclusion of last college football season. The Bears won their final four games, averaging 48 points while knocking off then top-ranked Kansas State, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and UCLA in the Holiday Bowl.
A poor start prevented Baylor from having a truly memorable year, but the Bears enter the upcoming season with high expectations. They were picked to finish fifth in the media’s preseason Big 12 poll and received two first-place votes. Along with preseason player of the year Lache Seastrunk, who boldly considers himself a Heisman Trophy contender, the Bears were one of the most intriguing teams on Tuesday at Big 12 media days.
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Then they showed up with fancy new helmets — gold chrome ones that reflect light like mirrors — and everyone’s focus shifted.
“That’s what it’s all about,” Baylor coach Art Briles said while pointing at one of the helmets. “You got style, you got attitude, you got effort. You have an image, and our image is we’re going to play fast, we’re going to be fearless, and we’re not going to worry about what other people think, because we know who we are and we know what we’re going to do.
“So the new uniforms and all that stuff, it’s tied in with presenting the image that we are at Baylor, and that’s being really good football players and really good students at a really good university.”
Things certainly are looking up for Baylor right now. They have momentum, new uniforms, a new stadium on the way and an explosive offense. Seastrunk is one of the top running backs in the nation and Tevin Reese has breakout potential at receiver.
The Bears will be breaking in new quarterback Bryce Petty, but the junior seems ready to wear that shiny new helmet.
“His expectations are to win every game,” Briles said, “and be the best quarterback in the United States of America.”