3- That is how the Lions are picked to finish, third in the conference. Not a complete knock, but below Tarleton and Midwestern State. I have to say I understand the ranking. The media knows we have too much talent to be any lower but any higher with a new coach, new offensive systems, new defensive systems, and of course new players are going to raise questions going in. Preseason polls mean nothing. It’s the final standings that count.
David Bailiff was quite the hit during Q&A time and statement time with Erin Hartigan of Fox Sports, who did a great job mediating all the teams and questions. Coach Bailiff came across as excited and personable as he was during his introductory press conference and made it clear he is in Commerce, Texas because he wants to be there and wants to win. No questions asked. He also said he has become very fond of the town, the school, and the administration in a short amount of time.
Bailiff addressed the expectations of winning. He knows, and he said that since he’s been in Commerce, he gets questions at the Grocery store, the gas station, restaurants, and really everywhere he goes about the team and gets the obligatory “Are we going to win the National Championship again, coach?” at those places. He knows there is pressure here and not a pre-retirement stop, and that is why I think he fits here perfectly.
The two players who accompanied Coach Bailiff were Amon Simon and Dominique Ramsey. Bailiff was quick to point out how well they represented the program and the leadership an ownership both have taken in their upcoming Junior seasons. Both guys said that Coach Bailiff was a great guy to play for and very much had the sense of humor that Colby Carthel did and invested time in his players as Students and not just athletes.
All 3 acknowledged the fact that the offensive and defensive systems were now different than the previous years, but that the personnel was there to execute the systems well. All 3 also said that they were excited to see how they worked out for the team. Bailiff was also adamant about coming in for the first time into a program and not having to rebuild it. I do believe Bailiff wants a National Championship as the crown on top of a pretty good football coaching career. He almost won one at Texas State when they were in FCS and led Rice to it’s best stretch of Football in nearly 70 years. The can win, and he has the tools to win the big one that has eluded him here.