By JASON ELMQUIST
DALLAS — Baylor believes they get no respect — no respect at all.
But it appears as though they are starting to.
In the Big 12 Conference football preseason poll, the Bears received two first-place votes — the first time the program has ever received votes in the conference media poll. And the nods begged a question from Baylor coach Art Briles.
“I don’t know how many people vote, I guess 25. I was wondering why those other 23 didn’t believe in us,” Briles said. “It just shows, I think, that we’re gaining some respect. We’re certainly not where we need to be or want to be or going to be, but we got one foot out of the water and on the land.
“We’re gaining ground. That’s what we’ll continue to keep doing by recruiting good kids, coaching them hard, and letting them play hard on Saturdays.”
Baylor running back and Big 12 Conference Preseason Offensive Player of the Year Lache Seastrunk was happy to hear of the groundbreaking votes giving to the Bears, but he also wants to see the program gain more respect.
“We’re starting to get more and more people to understand that we can be in contention and do a lot of great things,” Seastrunk said. “They are starting to see that, but they still don’t believe that.”
Baylor makes bold statement in helmet
Baylor may not only be gaining respect from the media. The Bears may be gathering a following through its new uniforms.
As part of new uniforms they will be adding to its collection of Nike uniforms, Baylor brought a metallic gold helmet to place on the table during Briles’ morning press conference.
“Well, there’s two shiny things up here, that helmet and my head probably,” Briles joked. “To me, that’s what it’s all about. You got style, you got attitude, you got effort. You have an image, and our image is we’re going to play fast, we’re going to be fearless, and we’re not going to worry about what other people think because we know who we are and we know what we’re going to do.
“So the new uniforms and all that stuff, it’s tied in with presenting the image that we are at Baylor, and that’s being really good football players, really good students, at a really good university.”
The shiny new helmet brought comparisons to Oregon’s gaudy green shiny helmets — among the countless other looks the Ducks can sport on game day. But Big 12 Conference Preseason Offensive Player of the Year Lache Seastrunk doesn’t like the comparison.
“They keep trying to compare us to Oregon, like we are trying to steal Oregon’s swag,” Seastrunk said. “... We are our own image. We are Baylor. We are bold. We’re building our own image.”