Robert Griffin III finally confirmed what had been widely speculated regarding whether or not he would return to Baylor for his senior season.
In a press conference on Wednesday, he announced that he would forgo his final year of eligibility and declare for the NFL draft.
This is great news for the NFL, particularly for a team like the Washington Redskins, but it is terrible news for Baylor. Without their Heisman winner at quarterback, the Bears will sink back into irrelevance.
Art Briles is a good coach and Phil Bennett is an impressive defensive coordinator, but of all of the great universities in Texas, Baylor is not the place kids go to play football. While one player may make a small impact, having one Heisman winner go through the program does not change things in the long term.
Without RG3, elite receiver Kendall Wright and running back Terrance Ganaway, the offense is going to go through some serious growing pains. And we all know how terrible the defense was this year.
But even more importantly, Baylor was an absolutely terrible road team. It lost three of four on the road and needed a fourth-quarter comeback against Kansas to get that lone win.
The Big 12 should be one of the deeper conferences in the country with five teams in ESPN’s way-too-early 2012 Top 25, not including West Virginia, who could join next year. Texas Tech could also sneak into the Top 25 at some point.
With all of that competition and a lack of defense, Baylor will need to have the greatest offseason in college football history in order to not fall back into the doormat role in the Big 12. And if the coaches do end up turning things around, you can bet they’ll get hired away in no time.
The university is having the greatest athletic season in history with the basketball team undefeated, the women’s basketball team ranked first in the country and their star quarterback winning the Heisman.
Enjoy it while you can, because the football team is going to be in free fall really, really quickly.