Morriss' future in doubt as Baylor enters tough finishing stretch Print
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Wednesday, 24 October 2007 13:25
NCAAF Headline News

 WACO, Texas (AP) -When Baylor played its first Big 12 game under Guy Morriss four years ago, the Bears pulled off a shocker by beating two-time North Division champion Colorado.
One of the goal posts came down in the post-game celebration and there was new hope in the post-Grant Teaff era. Morriss was already the fourth coach in the 11 seasons since the last game for Teaff, who won 128 games and took the Bears to eight bowl games in his 21 years.
Morriss also delivered the first Big 12 road victory, in 2005 at Iowa State, and then last year the Bears won three Big 12 games in the same season for the first time after having won more than one only once.
While there have been those highlights, there has still been a lot of the same for long-suffering Baylor fans: losing seasons, no bowl appearances, the bottom of the Big 12 South standings and lopsided losses.
Without winning three of their past four games, a difficult task, the Bears (3-5) will have their 12th straight losing season. And they may again be looking for a new coach.
Morriss has another season left on his contract, but there is growing speculation that he won't be back. He is 18-36 overall, and the 29 Big 12 losses in that span have been by an average of 29 points.
Baylor athletic director Ian McCaw, whose first game after taking the job was that Colorado victory in 2003, has repeatedly said the program and Morriss' future won't be evaluated until after the season.
The Bears lost 31-10 to No. 17 Texas, which led by only a touchdown before intercepting three passes in the final 10 minutes.
The crowd of 41,335 was heavy on Texas fans, judging by plenty of burnt orange clothing and ``Hook'em Horns'' signs.
Among the many wavering in their support of Morriss, there is renewed talk about replacing him with Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker and Baylor icon Mike Singletary.
Singletary was interviewed for the job before Morriss was hired, but had no coaching experience at the time. Singletary has said he was offered the job then, but after asking for more time to decide, that Morriss was hired in the interim.
Since then, Singletary has been an NFL assistant coach, now in his third year at San Francisco after two in Baltimore. He is also the assistant head coach for the 49ers, but still hasn't been a head coach.
Now there are questions about whether Singletary would even want to return to Baylor. He has interviewed for three NFL head coaching jobs, including with the Dallas Cowboys last winter, and would seem a likely candidate for future jobs.
For now, there isn't a coaching vacancy at Baylor, which is getting ready for a tough finishing stretch.
After going to Kansas State on Saturday, the Bears have games left against Texas Tech, No. 4 Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. Those four teams are a combined 22-9, and Morriss is 1-12 against them at Baylor. He's also 1-12 in November.
Instead of sophomore Blake Szymanski, who has three 400-yard passing games and 16 TDs this season, 26-year-old Michael Machen will make his second start at quarterback Saturday.
Szymanski missed the Texas game after a concussion against Kansas, and Machen - a fifth-year senior transfer from Kent State - completed 25 of 44 passes for 231 yards against the Longhorns. But Machen also threw three interceptions, including two in the fourth quarter that led to Texas touchdowns.
Morriss remains focused on this season, not what might happen after it's over.
``I think they know that there is still the opportunity for them to reach their goal,'' Morriss said. ``It's frustrating because we've seen what this team is capable of in spurts this year.''
 

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