If there was any doubt where Texas stands on the Big 12 totem pole, look straight up I-35 toward Waco, home of the Big 12 champion Baylor Bears.
“We have the belt around our waist and it’s buckled up pretty tight,” Baylor coach Art Briles said Friday, according to the Waco Tribune-Herald. “It will be a struggle to get that sucker off, I can promise you that.”
Smack talk? From Baylor!?
“We certainly learned a good lesson down in Phoenix (at the Fiesta Bowl), and that’s what it’s like now that we are the hunted,” Briles said. “Other Big 12 schools are talking about what they can do to beat Baylor. That’s what we need to understand.
“The way we are going to approach it is that we’re going to fight our tail off to be even more formidable.”
Baylor absolutely has reasons to be brimming with pride. As the Waco Tribune-Herald pointed out, a new Big 12 championship banner is hanging inside the practice facility. And the team will christen its new $260-million stadium this fall.
“This is what we came here for — not just one of them, but multiple (titles),” Baylor senior quarterback Bryce Petty said. “So it’s about defending that, knowing that the target is on our back now. People know about us, people have been talking us all spring. That’s where we want to be, so it’s definitely motivation for us to make sure that we come out with all T’s crossed and I’s dotted.”
If you think Baylor is feeling good, wait until Thursday when Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops meets the media for his pre-spring football press conference. The Sooners are coming off an impressive win over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.
Texas coach Charlie Strong isn’t sleeping on the job, though. The Longhorns host a second round of high school juniors Saturday at their football facilities. Last week, Strong convinced Huntsville offensive lineman Ronnie Major to flip his commitment to Texas from those same Big 12 champion Bears.
Longhorn Network was allowed inside the team’s offseason workouts to video some of the drills new strength coach Pat Moorer is putting the players through. Strong is shown participating on a tug-of-war with players.
Spring football practice is scheduled to start March 18. The Texas spring game is scheduled for April 19.
News on Bevo Beat is free and unlimited. Access to the rest of Hookem.com is included with an Austin American-Statesman subscription in addition to Statesman.com and the ePaper edition. Subscribe today at statesman.com/subscribe.