There may not be a better head-coaching candidate out there than Baylor’s Art Briles.
He may have only one 10-win season under his belt, but Briles has a proven track record of making something out of nothing.
Just imagine what he could do at a big-name program.
In 2003, Briles inherited a Houston program that had a handful of problems. The team just 8-26 under its previous coach and they were just two seasons away from a 0-11 campaign.
Over five years, Briles led the team to four bowl games, its first Conference USA title since 1996 and an overall record of 34-28.
That success has continued at Baylor.
When he took over the program in 2008, the team hadn’t won more than five games in a season since 1995. It took Briles just three years to change that, going 7-6 in 2010.
In the past two seasons, he has helped the Bears compile an impressive 18-8 record. That includes tying a school-record 10 wins in 2011 and recording wins against six ranked opponents—No. 5 Oklahoma in 2011 and No. 1 Kansas State in 2012.
But this year’s squad may be Briles’ best yet.
Baylor is 3-0 for the third straight year. Amazingly, the team has outscored its opponents 209-23.
Sportscenter put the accomplishment into context:
Don't feed the Bears. Baylor is the first team to score 60+ in its first three games since LSU in 1930. #sicem— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 22, 2013
In wins against Buffalo and Louisiana-Monroe, the Bears put up 70 points, which set a modern-era school record and is the most since an 88-0 win over Stephen F. Austin in 1929.
Furthermore, Baylor hasn’t posted less than 400 yards of total offense in a game since 2011 and has scored 40 or more points in 17 of its last 20 games.
But the offense isn’t only one of the best in school history, it’s also one of the best in the country.
Coming into the weekend, the Bears ranked No. 1 in scoring offense (69.5 PPG), No. 1 in total offense (736.5 YPG), No. 3 in passing (431.5 YPG), No. 8 in rushing (305.0 YPG) and No. 9 in third-down conversions (60.9 percent). The team is also No. 1 in passing efficiency, posting a QB rating of 253.4.
Briles’ defensive unit has come to play this season as well.
Baylor came in ranked No. 20 in total defense (298 YPGA), No. 22 against the pass (170.0 YPGA) and No. 40 against the run (128.0 YPGA). The defensive unit ranks No. 2 in scoring defense, allowing just eight points per game.
With a team that can perform on both sides of the ball, Briles has set the Bears in prime position to add another first in school history: Winning a Big 12 title.
Any team would be foolish to overlook someone like him.
All stats used in this article are courtesy of NCAA.com