No. 16: Pepper Hamilton

What, don't recognize the name? If you follow Baylor football you know that Pepper Hamilton is the law firm hired by the University to investigate the sexual assault incidents that permeated the Baylor athletic department, including the nationally ranked football team.

With that in mind, Pepper Hamilton is the face of Baylor football for the 2016 season. [membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]

Let's see what we have.

The coach is gone, the athletic director is gone, the power of the NCAA, the Big 12 and public opinion have come crashing down on the Bears.

Former football coach Art Briles, who was in the middle of all of this and must accept responsibility for what happened under his watch, has been paid off, although Briles has made it clear that he is not happy about the way this played out.

Athletic director Ian McCaw is also no longer working at Baylor because it was his athletic department.

But here's my question. What is Ken Starr still doing here? Starr was the Chancellor and part of an administration which was aware these incidents were taking place and did virtually nothing about it.

Starr stepped down as Chancellor, but remains a member of faculty at the Baylor Law school.

Let's get this straight. This was the guy who was a special prosecutor who went after President Bill Clinton about having CONSENSUAL sexual relations with an ADULT and yet ignores sexual ASSAULT charges filed by teenage girls on his campus. Or at least downplays them.

What course is Starr teaching at Baylor? Ethics--for or against? Apparently, Starr does have some standards since he announced his resignation from his teaching position on August 20th.


Anyway, that is the backdrop for a Top 10 football program which won 10 games last season and has enough star power particularly in QB Seth Russell to merit Top 20 consideration.

Interim head coach Jim Grobe is a good coach and a better man and he will provide stability. But part of the consequences of the Bears off the field problems have been defections in recruits, which means there is no depth in terms of talent.

The opening non conference games as usual should be walk overs--Northwestern State, SMU and Rice--so the Bears should get some early wins. If they stay healthy, they should win enough games to stay in the game. But that's a big if.

A jersey guy's take on the other rankings: Rankman has Boise No. 16? Really. Why so low Rankman? Oh, it's not 2010. But then again Rankman was just on a radio show from--Boise. Promoting TMG makes that OK. But an early sweep of the Pac-12? Don't think so. The Gould Standard has Georgia at No. 16. Can't argue with that for some reasons that will soon be obvious. [/membership]