Just a few quick thoughts on the Recap of LSC Media Days. Hat tip to Gentry “Ace” Little who let me know the overall atmosphere of how it went. Suffice it to say people are ready for football and despite it being just under 40 days away, it feels like it cannot get here fast enough.
- Runaway-The Lions picked up 175 total points in the preseason rankings, beating the nearest school, Angelo State, by more than 20 points. They also took home 15 out of 23 first place votes. This shows something. The rest of the nation might not be taking Bailiff and Company seriously, but it shows the rest of the conference is. This is good for a couple of notable reasons. First, it shows the rest of the conference is going to give their absolute best game when playing the Lions. The lower teir teams have nothing to lose and everything to gain when they match up with us, so look for them to give the Lions their best game. Also, it shows that what David Bailiff is doing and has done is getting the recognition in the LSC and on paper, shows the Lions are the team to beat in this conference and the margin is wide between the Lions and the rest of the field.
- Superlatives-The LSC coaches also selected Lion QB Miklo Smalls as Preseason Offensive MVP and DB Dominique Ramsey as preseason defensive MVP. Bottom line is this. We have seen both of these guys and how good they are, and so has the rest of the conference. It feels like for once, not only is this team, but the superstars on it, are getting the hype they deserve, but hype is something that may or may not be real. These guys are all real and the conference knows that. It is also a testament to the coaching staff and how HC Bailiff has developed offensive and defensive plans that allow Smalls and Ramsey to be as effective as possible, and of course you have to give credit to Billy Riebock and Xavier Adibi for their development of these guys as well.
- Potential Challengers-Angelo State was looked at as the main challenger to the Lions, but something that caught my eye was how UTBP got 5 first place votes, which is the second most aside from what the Lions got. Everyone seemed to be on notice that the Lions are the team to beat and have the weapons to really do some serious destruction. However, the coaching staffs in the conference are not just conceding defeat off the bat, they are looking to challenge the Lions as much as they can.
- David Bailiff Quotes: “It was a tough year on all of us, and we actually voted not to play (in 2020), but they all voted to come back (for 2021). As hard as it was not playing, we did have a routine………it was easier mentally on us, because we knew what to expect Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday……..We actually made Wednesday a mental health day. There was no football. We saw the suicide rates were up in the millitary because of COVID, so Wednesdays, we played cornhole at the stadium, we turned the big screen on and watched the Lakers,. we had karaoke, battle of the bands, stuff like that. We injected some fun into it, because there was nothing fun about last year.”
- Kader Kohou (Euless Trinity) and Chance Cooper (Leander) accompanied Bailiff to McKinney to represent the program. Bailiff said that both of the players he chose were “total package guys on the field, in the classroom, and in the community.” Fun fact, the Lions have two players that were born in the Ivory Coast, a nation in West Africa, and Kohou is one of them. English is Kader’s second language, while French is his native language. Chance Cooper is going to graduate with his Master’s degree and wants to be an athletic director. Bailiff on his schedule: “We will have to play like a veteran team. On taking over in Commerce: “Colby Carthel handed me the keys to a Porsche…..this is very different than when I took over at Texas State and Rice. In Commerce, you better win 10 games a year or there are for sale signs in your yard.”
Full video of Bailiff and all LSC Coaches at the link below-
Lions Start at the 1:30 mark.