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Matt Rhule was the perfect hire for Baylor. He has the character to help lead Baylor past the scandal that cost Art Briles his job. Rhule even went a step further, he cleared out all of Briles’ assistant coaches and brought in his own. Most notably, defensive coordinator Phil Snow. Snow worked his way up the west coast at different defensive jobs before leaving to the Detroit Lions, and then becoming the coordinator for Temple under Rhule. Rhule not only made great hires and will provide a new face for the program, he’s a really good coach. In his first year the Owls went 2-10, but the next year Rhule led them to a bowl, and then in 2015 and 2016, Temple had back-to-back ten win seasons. After a volatile 2016 where the Bears started the season 6-0, and ended it 0-6, can Matt Rhule lead Baylor back to national prominence?
Now, Baylor isn’t going to win ten games in 2017, but don’t think that they are going to suddenly turn into Kansas. Rhule will being order back to the program, and while this team is very young, it still has some talent left over from the Art Briles era. Arizona transfer Anu Solomon and last year’s backup Zach Smith will compete for the starting job. Smith shined in Baylor’s bowl win in 2017, but Solomon has the experienced throwing for nearly 7,000 yards while in Tuscon. While that quarterback battle is going on, Baylor will have a fantastic one-two punch at halfback, with Terrance Williams and JaMycal Hasty splitting snaps.
Rhule will slow down the Baylor offense we are accustomed too, and Snow is good enough that the inexperienced D will be able to hold up in the Big 12, but a 6 or 7 win season seems like a reasonable expectation for fans. This is a young Baylor team, that lost a lot of talent that transferred out of the program, but Rhule built an FCS team to an AAC championship in four years. It might take a little bit longer to compete in the Big 12, but Rhule is the man for the job in Waco.