There were a lot of surprising results over the weekend. There were top 25 upsets, blowouts, big moments and injuries just like every Saturday. But Baylor really surprised me.
After starting with losses to Libery and UT-San Antonio a home game against the No. 3 ranked team in the nation; an Oklahoma team which had crushed Ohio State; it seemed like a massacre waiting to happen in Waco. But that is why they play the games on the field.
Matt Rhule is a fantastic coach - possibly the best coach available in the past off-season. I know Oregon liked him a lot; I know they offered him a job; and I know he will really shock some people with what he does in the long run at Baylor.
While they played a fantastic game and showed plenty of heart in their loss to the Sooners, it is still going to be a long road back to good for the Bears.
Last week, Brenda Tracy took the Bears to task and pointed out that the reality of where this team stood, at 0-2, was proof that Rhule had come in and cleaned house. Those players who were a part of the extremely disgusting culture which had developed had been marginalized or dismissed. The team was struggling to be competitive.
Sadly, Baylor fans took to Twitter to excoriate her for pointing out that the need for a significant cultural shift likely meant a lot of short term losses. Their responses were despicable - and she was right. It will be a tough road; there is a lot of ingrained belief that Art Briles got screwed. Getting past that bias; past the acceptance of the culture that existed at Baylor will take a lot more than a close loss to Oklahoma. There will be a lot of down moments; but they will be for the greater good.
It's pretty quiet right now - and that is by design. As we have mentioned time and again, Willie Taggart and the Oregon staff are really adamant about focusing on game preparation during the season and are trying to keep official visitors at bay until the season is over.
It really does not help that Oregon already has 22 commitments and the only players really left on the board are the elite types who will not be making their decisions until much later in this process.
One of those is Isaac Taylor-Stuart, the five-star defensive back from Helix High School in San Diego just released his top 12 via Twitter:
Top 12...— Isaac Taylor-Stuart (@Kingathlete5) September 25, 2017
It is a pretty exclusive list - a who's who of college football elite. To be included is a pretty big thing; but don't get too excited just yet. Right now, everything I hear puts Oregon a distant third - at best. he likes Oregon a lot, but I just don't see it happening. Of course, this is recruiting; and these are young men under 18 years old, so things can change; but all of the word right now tells me it is not Oregon here.
Don't fret too much, though, as the Ducks have a fantastic DB class already and anyone else they add will be icing on the cake, so to speak.
2019 is going to be a very small, but potentially even more special class. When 2019 running back Ronald Thompkins decommitted from Florida State, he immediately named Oregon as one of the schools he really wants to visit. With the imminent graduation of Royce Freeman and Kani Benoit, Oregon will need to add some players. The Ducks already have Jamal Elliot and Travis Dye committed for 2018, but will need to add someone in 2019. the miss on running backs in 2016 will take some time for Oregon to overcome.
Right now, the best bet for a 2019 RB commit remains Sean Dollars, but keep an eye on Thompkins.
BREAKING: 2019 RB Ronald Thompkins has de-committed from #FSU. He gives the latest here: https://t.co/UWA8k4CmdT pic.twitter.com/hA6tmdmKZQ— Chad Simmons (@ChadSimmons_) September 24, 2017
Okay, that's a nice Tuesday Morning Rush! More later, have a great day (if you want to!)