If one thinks about all of the unanswered questions that have been swirling around the Big 12 in recent months, they’d conjure up quite a sizeable list. Will the league expand? Will there be a Big 12 network? Is the conference at a disadvantage for a playoff spot by not having a championship game? Will Baker Mayfield, and future walk-on transfers, be granted another year of eligibility?
The answers to these questions could very well be key indicators of the strength and future of the league. Given the gravity of such issues, you would think they would be the immediate hot topic of Big 12 discussion. Yet even with all of these pressing matters on the table, Baylor’s entanglement in their seemingly endless sexual assault scandal has dominated headlines, conversation and social media timelines.
To say BU is on shaky ground right now would be an understatement. However their football program may have received, if nothing else, some semblance of stability. Jim Grobe, former head coach at Wake Forest, was named acting head coach for the Bears on Monday.
Grobe, who led Wake Forest to an ACC championship in 2006, brings with him to Waco a reputation of impeccable character and discipline which is exactly what Baylor needs right now. The fact that he’s proven himself as a head coach by leading Wake Forest, hardly a program known for its football dominance, to an Orange Bowl berth is icing on the cake.
Grobe has been out of coaching for the last two years but he previously served as the chairman of the ethics committee in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA). If there are any current or prospective Baylor players who are on the fence about their future in Waco, Grobe may bring the calming presence needed to help show them that Baylor football still has plenty to offer.
Grant Teaff, a former BU coach and former executive director of the AFCA who served with Grobe, had this to say about the new Baylor head coach’s stint as chairman of the ethics committee.
“You don’t hold that position unless you have been vetted top to bottom and side-to-side. You sit in judgement of others.”
Baylor’s sexual assault scandal has left no small wake, neither inside nor outside of the football program. There are still many decisions that have to be made and much healing that has to be done. That being said, the hiring of Jim Grobe should, at the very least, provide a much-needed breath of fresh air for Baylor Nation, football-wise.