FRISCO, Texas — Baylor football might have a new coach, but the players have no interest in taking a step back. To set the tone, linebacker Taylor Young wore his Big 12 championship ring and Cotton Bowl watch to Big 12 media day.
“I’m not here to win six games like we did last year,” Young said. “That’s every team’s goal, to win a Big 12 championship. I’m just letting it be known here, it’s our goal too.”
— Shehan Jeyarajah (@ShehanJeyarajah) July 18, 2017
Of course, Baylor was a very different place the last time this program brought home a championship ring three years ago. Since then, a new coaching staff came in and much of the roster departed. Only seven players on the roster were on the two-deep the last time the Bears won a conference title. That does not count Travon Blanchard, who remains suspended.
That just gives Young more incentive to show off his bling.
“We want to show [the young kids] that it’s possible here too. It’s possible to win that Big 12 championship. Keep it in the back of your mind because it’s the ultimate goal for us,” Young said.
Young was not the only one to wear previous memorabilia. Offensive lineman Blake Blackmar also rocked his Cotton Bowl watch to media days at The Star.
“The goals, the mindset, the expectations have not changed at all since Coach Rhule has come in,” Blackmar said. “Those have been constant. It’s just the guy who’s telling us what to do that’s changed. But that will always be a part of Baylor football if we can help it.”
Media picked Baylor to finish No. 7 in the Big 12 this season, ahead of only Texas Tech, Iowa State and Kansas. The Bears went just 7-6 last season, including 0-6 to close the regular season. However, the players still believe they deserve to compete on a national level in 2017.
“It doesn’t matter if we have a new coach or are transitioning or anything,” Young said. “This is the thing that we need right here.”