Matt Rhule, Baylor focused on a better start to 2018 campaign


Matt Rhules second season at Baylor begins with nowhere to go but up.

In case anyone has forgotten, Baylor dropped its season opener against FCS opponent Liberty last season, 48-45 at McLane Stadium. That was bad footing and then injuries beset Baylor on the way to a 1-11 campaign.

As game week began and Rhule met with the media at his weekly press luncheon on Monday, he visited last years failure on a couple of occasions. Fortunately for Rhule, his job is as much about restoring the programs reputation as it is about winning and losing at this point, so his position is secure for a while. That gives a coach a chance to be relaxed and optimistic.

Even so, Rhule doesnt want to dwell on 1 win and 11 losses.

I dont think last year has anything to do with this year, Rhule said. If we were 12-0, Im sure Nick Saban is telling his guys, Hey, lets get off to a good start. And I will say, and I mean that very respectfully, I just want our kids to go win because they want to win. I think sometimes when we focus on the past, we end up being victims of that. Last year is over, we have to go play.

Once again Baylor opens with an FCS opponent as the Abilene Christian Wildcats come to town. The Bears have a more experienced team this time around and theyve worked in Rhules system for more than a year. Add to that ACUs bumpy record the last two seasons the Wildcats are coming off consecutive 2-9 seasons and this should be a Baylor win.

Rhule is taking ACU seriously, of course.

I know a lot of ACU, as much as I can know, but first week opponent is always hard, Rhule said. They might have changed things in the offseason, and we have to have a lot of confidence in the things we have done in this camp. It just comes down to who plays the best, which coach coaches better. I know they will come to play, and they are excited to come and play. I know our guys are excited to come play as well, hopefully we will find a way to get it done.