Baylor football is in a tough place. After the awful Briles scandal a few years ago, the Bears depth was decimated, and new head coach Matt Rhule was left with just a portion of scholarship players. That showed on the field last year, as the Bears went 1-11, and failed to close out games, due to their lack of experience, and their lack of reserves. This offseason, a new redshirt rule was implemented that could go a long way in helping Baylor with that depth issue.
The rule, when simplified, essentially states that players can play in up to four games without losing a season of eligibility, and will still be able to count as a redshirt. That means that teams will be able to see what they have with incoming freshman and get them experience without wasting a year, which is a huge deal for just about every team in America. However, there may not be a team that it’ll impact more than Baylor. With a great class coming in, and with so much need for depth, the Bears could be putting a lot of new faces on the field. We asked coach Matt Rhule about what that might look like in 2018.
“I think it’s a significant rule change and especially in the situation we’re in as we’re replenishing the roster we have to take tremendous advantage of it really if a couple different ways. To give guys some experience moving into their second season. We have some guys that because of the things that have happened over the last couple of years have had to play and a redshirt year would benefit them both physically as well as academically and making sure we are healthy down the stretch. The situation we were in last year with all the injuries that we had last year we certainly could have used it.
So to me it’s not about getting each kid four games but making sure you find the right four games and use guys in a very systematic way. Like anything else, it’s new. I’m sure we will make mistakes, but it’s a seismic change in our world.”
Rhule also thanked Gary Patterson for leading the charge on that change. Baylor will be one of the most intriguing teams to watch in all of college football this year, and a lot of that could be a direct result of this new rule.