By CLINT FOSTER
As I've written the last two weeks, Dave Campbell's Texas Football magazine is on shelves and, more importantly, in my office. Can you tell I'm excited for football season?
Last Sunday, I gave my take on the Big 12 for the 2014 season and now, as promised, I will offer my answers to the magazine's famous Writer's Poll – a feature which I was unscrupulously not asked to participate in this year.
No hard feelings, though. Dave Campbell's loss is your gain.
So without further ado, for what it's worth, here's my take on Texas Football's 10 Writer's Poll questions for 2014.
Q: Coming off its first Big 12 Championship, will Baylor be a mainstay in the top tier of the conference?
Let me put it this way, I don't see the Bears winning back-to-back Big 12 titles – I think their defense will prevent them from doing that – but there's no reason to believe Baylor won't be a staple in the top half of the conference for years to come. With a new stadium, flashy offense and a new Big 12 trophy on the shelf, Baylor is the new thing all the "cool kids" are into and it's reflecting in recruiting. Regardless of any of my personal opinions, Art Briles is a fantastic coach and will undoubtedly keep the Bears very competitive for as long as he's there, and that should be for a long time into the foreseeable future.
Q: How will Charlie Strong fair in his first year at Texas?
There will be growing pains. You're delusional if you don't think so. But there is no doubt in my mind that Strong was simply the perfect hire for the Longhorns and if boosters can be patient he will have them back as regulars in the national title conversation sooner rather than later. As for this year, the defense should be stout, but with major questions under center the offense will be prohibitive to the 'Horns making any real noise. Don't get me wrong, I'd be stunned if Texas doesn't finish in the top five of the conference this year, but a Big 12 championship in Strong's first year may be asking a bit much.