Briles: ‘Cannot’ envision talking to other schools after the season

Baylor is 9-0 and heading to Stillwater this weekend for a showdown of top 10 teams that may decide the Big 12 title. With a win, the Bears would continue a possible march to the first Big 12 championship in school history, and their first conference title since sharing the Southwest Conference crown in 1994.

Bears coach Art Briles sat down to talk with Fox Sports Southwest about the media frenzy of the week, his coaching future, how he built the program and Baylor and more.

Note: Portions of this interview were edited for length.

David Ubben: On a personal level, having been at Baylor for five-plus seasons now what does it mean for you to see your work paying off like it has this season?
Art Briles: I just think it’s a tribute to our players, our administration and our board of regents. Our players for the way they have performed and prepared for times like this, to get to this, and our administration and board of regents for being proactive with our branding and our facilities. It’s all a process and it just takes time. We’re now starting to breed some of the best yet of a five, six-year journey.

DU: So what’s been the most rewarding part of that process?
AB: I hope the most rewarding is still out there. I don’t think we’ve crossed over the bridges that we’re going to cross over yet. The part of it that I appreciate is just the maturity and the focus and leadership of our football team.

DU: It sounds like you’ve been pretty busy this week. How many interviews would you say you’ve done so far?
AB: Oh shoot, David, I haven’t even tried to keep up. The thing that I’ve always conditioned myself to is I’ll give up 15-20 minutes a couple times a day, but when that time is over, I’ve conditioned myself to stay focused in at the job at hand, and that’s going with this football team up to Stillwater this weekend.

DU: In terms of media attention, is this the most you’ve seen this week?
AB: I think so. This and Oklahoma, I’d say.

DU: These days, how much can you get out in Waco?

AB: First of all, I never go out. I just don’t during the season, you’re talking about from August 1st to hopefully the first week of January. If I’m eating, I’m just eating at the office or eating at home with my wife. We’re up here at the office so much there’s really no “out” time.

DU: What about in the offseason? Do you get stopped often?
AB: You know, not really. Just a ‘Hey coach, how you doing?’ Or a ‘How’s it looking next year?’ Just the general coach stuff. I’ve been here six years, so it’s not like they’re seeing anybody they haven’t seen for awhile.

DU: It always seems to me like your players are marked by development. Why do you think your program has been so successful in getting guys to progress so much from Year 1 to Year 4 or 5?
AB: Without question, I’ve always thought consistency is the key to success. And we’ve got the same people, the same program, the same thoughts, the same ideas and our players are never uncomfortable in any situation, because they know what’s going to happen before it happens. I think that allows a trust level between players and coaches that allows us to get more done. We’re not playing any mind games with each other.

DU: There’s been a lot of talk about your latest contract extension. Is it fair to assume that it it’s a signification that you’re going to officially help open up the stadium next season?
AB: I would certainly hope so. Yeah. That’s been a goal of ours for the last couple years. Our hat’s off to the alumni that made that happen, because it’s going to be one of the premiere stadiums in the United States of America.

DU: Could you envision a scenario in which you listen to other programs in the offseason?
AB: No, I cannot.

DU: There’s been plenty of talk, and I remember (former Oklahoma coach) Barry Switzer telling me he thinks you’re the perfect man for Texas. There’s plenty of others talking about it, too. What do you think when you hear stuff like that? 
AB: I think about what’s my job at hand, and that’s to be the best that I can be where I’m at, just like I ask my players. We’re focused on what we need to do to be the best we can be every day. Talk’s talk. You can’t control what’s said, but you can control what’s done.

DU: I spent time this week talking to defensive coaches around the league for a piece, and the thing everybody pointed to and wanted to talk about were the wide receiver splits, having guys so close to the sideline. When did that start? Does that date all the way back to Stephenville?
AB: Oh yeah, that’s all the way back to Stephenville. If you run the four corners in basketball and you spread the floor out back in the old days, you could do that. If they’re going to give you 53 1/3 yards in football, use ’em.

DU: Do you remember when you first came up with that?
AB: Oh, probably 1990. That’s when we first started really throwing the ball.