Baylor’s efforts to land its next coach fell flat with Chad Morris. Per multiple sources, the school offered the SMU coach five years that was worth between $4.5 to $4.9 million annually, to which he passed.
Who can live on $4.5 million a year, especially in a place as expensive as Waco?
Morris passing on Baylor is revealing, and not in a good way. A head coach at a non-power five school with two years of head coaching experience apparently passed on a Big 12 job for a ton of cash.
He’s either banking on himself big to land a more attractive job, or just wants no part of the Baylor rebuild.
Morris is 7-17 in two seasons at SMU, but a far more respectable 5-7 in his season year there. The Ponies were going to a bowl until they lost their last two games of the year. Although, 5-7 this season will actually push several teams into a bowl game this season ... because that’s not embarrassing.
Speaking of embarrassing, the college team in Waco will close out what is now the 35th Canto in the latest edition of Dante’s Inferno — Baylor Football.
The Bears are 6-5 and bowl eligible. Even if the Bears win their season finale at No. 9 West Virginia on Saturday, which they won’t, they need to end the season. The Mountaineers are 17 point favorites — take WVU.
On Saturday, the Bears will fall to 6-6 with their sixth consecutive loss. On Sunday, there is a good chance they will be offered an invitation to the The Gamblers Anonymous Bowl in North Dakota.
Aside from parents and family members, no one from Baylor will go this bowl game. Don’t be surprised if the mascot finds a reason to stay home. None of the players, and certainly not the coaches, will want to participate in this, either.
The school needs to start the 2017 season on Sunday morning. Get that current staff of resentful quitters out the door and start anew. No college football team in recent memory needs to hit the re-set button any faster than Baylor.
Retaining former coach Art Briles’ staff was a decent idea in theory, and it may have been the only choice given that Briles was fired in late May, but in reality it blew up.
Acting head coach Jim Grobe, who said this week he will retire when the season is over, had the impossible task of trying to gain the trust and interest of his players and staff in about two months.
Players go to the college for the head coach, and the assistant or two with whom they developed a relationship with during recruiting. Those players went to Baylor for Art Briles, offensive coordinator Kendall Briles and the other members of that staff.
And that staff felt stabbed in the back, and the chest and the face, by the Baylor administration when their leader was fired over a rape scandal that has fractured the entire school.
That staff appeared to be engaged and with it when Baylor started the season 5-0 and ranked eighth in the nation, too. The second they lost to Texas in Austin on Oct. 29 by one point, however, they all checked out.
The staff has not wanted to be there since June 1; they need to find other jobs and that is their priority.
Baylor have lost five straight games, including the last four by an average of 25 points.
I asked Grobe this week if he thought the players had quit, to which he flatly said, “No. Absolutely not.”
Maybe not, but their spirit is broken. How could it not? There is a better than 90 percent chance men like defensive coordinator Phil Bennett, OC Kendall Briles and others will be gone before the bowl game.
Even though Baylor won’t land Chad Morris as its next head coach, the first order of business should be to end the season and that starts on skipping a bowl game.