Big 12 notebook: Baylor, Matt Rhule agree to long contract extension

Baylor will let Matt Rhule rule for eight more seasons.

The school announced Sunday that it agreed to a contract extension with rule that will last through the 2027 season. Because Baylor is a private school, details of the contract are not immediately available.

It’s a bit unusual for a college to announce a contract extension four games into a season, but Rhule explained the process during Monday’s Big 12 coaches teleconference.

“It’s been something we’ve talked about for awhile. Last week we were able to finalize it, but didn’t want to announce it before the game. We wanted the game to be about the players,” Rhule said. “But it’s a tremendous commitment by Baylor. We hope to reward it by running a really good football program.”

The last sentence provides plenty of insight into Baylor’s desire to keep Rhule around.

The program was a mess when Rhule was hired to clean up the Three Mile Island-level catastrophe left behind by former coach Art Briles and the school’s now-disgraced administration for brushing over a wave of campus sexual assaults.

Even with this year’s 4-0 start Rhule is only 12-17 as Baylor’s head coach, but the off-field product has improved enough for the Bears to reward him. A former New York Giants assistant, Rhule is among the college coaches who faces frequently speculation about making the jump to the NFL level. Now an NFL team will have to make such a leap enticing enough to leave his long-term security at Baylor.

Texas Tech apologizes

Texas Tech defensive lineman Eli Howard and Red Raiders coach Matt Wells have both apologized for an illegal block Howard laid on Oklahoma running back Kennedy Brooks during an interception return.

At full speed, Howard’s intent looks suspect at best.

Howard tweeted out an apology after Saturday’s game.

Wells said he called Sooners coach Lincoln Riley to discuss the play too.

“I picked up the phone and called Coach Riley and we talked,” Well said. “I think everyone has seen what Eli said. It’s not who we want our program to be about. I’m glad [Brooks is] going to be alright. I think Eli handled it right and with class. It’s not who we are at Texas Tech. That’s not how we play the game. A mistake was made, and we’ve done what we can to right it.”

Herbert on way out at Kansas?

As it turns out, West Virginia is likely the last opponent that will get a glimpse of Khalil Herbert in a Kansas uniform. The Jayhawks’ leading rusher abruptly left the team a day before they played at TCU last week.

“I don’t think he’ll be with us for the foreseeable future,” said Kansas coach Les Miles.

Just two weeks previous, Miles was praising Herbert as “the type of man everyone on the team pulls for” and noted his role on the team’s leadership council.

Herbert has not yet entered the transfer portal, creating the possibility that he may redshirt the remainder of this season and play again next year.

Herbert is averaging 96 yards per game, but was limited to 27 yards on seven carries against the Mountaineers.

Chuba Chuba choo-choo

Oklahoma State running back Chuba Hubbard may be running away with the race to be college football’s leading rusher in 2019.

Hubbard is already at 938 rushing yards through four games, and likely to pass over the 1,000-yard barrier with Texas Tech on tap this week.

Hubbard is averaging 187.6 yards per game — nearly 50 yards per game better than Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor, who is the nation’s next-best back.

Mind-blowing stat

TCU is averaging 276 yards per game on the ground. If the Horned Frogs can get that pace to stick, it would be the best they’ve run the ball since 2000 — otherwise known as LaDanian Tomlinson’s senior season.

Tomlinson averaged 196 yards per game and the Horned Frogs gained an average of 275 rushing yards per game that season.

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