Big 12 Football: The Baylor Bears Are Wizards On Offense, But Where's The Defense?

By Zach Pugh

If you had been told you would read an article during the 2012 season, or life after Robert Griffin III, explaining how the Baylor Bears‘ offense was the most efficient and dominant unit in the country, you would have assumed you might be in Arkham Asylum. As it stands now the Baylor offense hasn’t missed a beat without the greatest quarterback in program history.

In fact, according to Football Outsiders the Bears’ offense ranks No. 5 nationally in offensive efficiency this season, which is only down two spots from the RG3 led unit last year. They also rank No. 1 in first down rate, the percentage of offensive drives that result in at least one first down or touchdown.

The defense, however, has been the complete opposite. Baylor ranks at the bottom of the nation as the worst team in total defense and 118th in scoring defense allowing over 39 points a game. FO has the defensive unit at 124th in defensive efficiency. Last Saturday, against the Oklahoma Sooners was much of the same story that has befallen the Bears this year.

The game marked the sixth time the defense had allowed at least 40 points. When you’re able to put up 34 points and run for 252 yards on a defense that ranks 22nd nationally, that should be enough to win, but the Bears’ defense is horrid and has prevented wins all season.

The Baylor Bears have a chance to knock off the No. 1 team in the country on Saturday, but there is zero chance for an upset unless the Bears play defense. Well, that’s obvious, right? Of course, but when looking over the match-up of the Kansas State Wildcats and Baylor, there is a couple of things that jump out.

For one, the Bears defense is allowing opposing offenses to convert on third down 58.94 percent of the time and the Wildcats’ offense ranks third in the conference in converting on third down. It also doesn’t bode well for Baylor that the K-State defense has held the No. 1, 3, 4 and 5 ranked passing offenses in the Big 12 to just 19, 14, 24 and 30 points.

As long as Art Briles is in command of the Bears the offense should flourish, but in order for this team to get back to 10 wins, the defense needs to improve big time. It’s not enough to settle for bowl eligibility, Briles and his staff have shown that, so get the defense in check and maybe you keep up in the conference.

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