Baylor’s head coach, Art Briles, may not be a name the casual college football fan knows about—since he’s made a name for himself down in Waco, Texas—but after leading the Bears to their third straight seven-win season he should be on the mind of every SEC fan that has a school that needs a new coach.
Currently, at the time of this posting, there are three open jobs inside of the SEC: Tennessee, Auburn and Arkansas.
Each school possesses its own positives as to why heading there would make sense.
Plus, each school is searching for a leader that can rebuild its program back to the position as contender for a conference championship.
Briles hasn’t done that at Baylor, but he has led the Houston Cougars to back to back Conference USA championships in 2006 and '07.
But what Briles has done at Baylor will be what makes him such a great candidate for those three schools.
He’s helped develop Baylor’s first Heisman Trophy winner, quarterback Robert Griffin III. Briles has led Baylor to three straight bowl games, something that hasn’t been done in school history.
And Briles has brought this Baylor program to a national respect that has helped the school in recruiting against the other Texas powerhouses: University of Texas and Texas A&M.
Baylor hasn’t overtaken UT or Texas A&M as the place to be in the state, but the Bears have the 22nd-ranked recruiting class for 2013, according to Rivals.com.
Beating Oklahoma State in the season finale, 41-34, was the Bears' third straight win to close out the season, its fourth in the last five games and its second over a ranked team in three weeks.
In fact, in Baylor’s three other games against ranked opponents in 2012 saw the Bears lose by a combined 21 points: 70-63 vs. WVU, 56-50 vs. UT and 42-34 vs. Oklahoma.
Which school should pursue Briles the most?
Just last year the buzz around Briles to leave Baylor was put to rest when the coach and the school agreed to a contract extension, as was reported by John McClain. Terms were not released by the school at that time, but rumors were that the university could be paying Briles $2.5 million in 2012.
Briles could be, and should be, pursued heavily by those SEC schools with coaching vacancies.
However, if they would get the coach to leave what he’s built at Baylor then they will have to back the Brink's truck up to his house.
But after seeing what he’s done, the question is: isn’t Briles worth whatever sum of money it will take to get him to leave Waco?
And the smart answer should be: yes.