DALLAS — Given Art Briles’ tenure at Baylor — three straight bowl games, two bowl wins and a Heisman Trophy winner — one wonders how the lone private school in the Big 12 Conference can afford to keep him. Also, given that tenure, one also wonders if the Bears can afford not to.
Listening to Briles at length always offers a glimpse into the unvarnished charisma he’s brought to Baylor, not to mention the homes of so many young athletes who have chosen to attend Baylor.
Tuesday, the final day of Big 12 football media days, Briles waxed upon a big part of his legacy, the new Baylor Stadium, set to open for the 2014 season. By the way, it sits on the banks of the Brazos river.
“What it’s going to do is not just change Baylor, but it’s going to change Waco and central Texas, because it’s on I-35 and the Brazos River,” he said. “If it sounds rehearsed it’s because I’ve said it a million times. There’s people going to be driving by there with 6-year-olds and 86-year-olds in their vehicle and they’re going to look over there.
“Where they’ve driven by for the previous 50 years, they’re going to look and say, ‘That’s Baylor University? That Stadium on the Brazos River? That’s their campus? That’s unique. That’s different. That’s something I want my grandchildren to be a part of.’ And, as a 6-year-old, ‘I want to be a part of.”
Briles was reminded he had three open dates before his team will have played eight games.
“Is that what it is? Speed limit is 55, drive 55,” Briles said. “You got three open dates, deal with it.”
On the perceived dominance of the SEC over the Big 12?