On Tuesday, Baylor head coach Dave Aranda was named a finalist for the 2021 Dodd Trophy, presented by the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and Peach Bowl to the nation’s top coach in college football who embodies the award’s three pillars of scholarship, leadership and integrity, both on and off the field.
Aranda joins Dave Clawson (Wake Forest), Luke Fickell (Cincinnati), Jim Harbaugh (Michigan), and Pat Narduzzi (Pittsburgh) as this year’s finalists for the award.
Aranda led the Baylor Bears to the 2021 Big 12 Championship and finished 11-2 on the season, earning a berth into the Allstate Sugar Bowl against Ole Miss on New Year’s Day. This season was quite an extraordinary turnaround from 2020, when the Bears went 2-7 in Aranda’s first season in Waco.
Sic’Em365 tells the story, statistically, of Baylor’s resurgence this year under Aranda and his coordinators: Jeff Grimes (OC) and Ron Roberts (DC).
“Behind the guidance of Aranda and first-year offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes, Baylor’s offense ranked 16th nationally with 5.26 yards per rush and 29th in the country with 6.37 yards per play. BU increased its rushing production by 138% from last season, raising its rushing average from 90.3 yards per game (123rd nationally) to 214.7 yards per game (17th nationally). Additionally, Baylor ranked inside the nation’s top-25 in fewest sacks allowed with 18 and turnover margin at +18, in addition to ranking 26th in pass efficiency (152.33) and 37th in scoring (32.5 ppg).“
“Defensively, BU held opponents to 13.1 points below their season average and was one of three programs to limit every opponent to 30 or fewer points, joining Cincinnati and Clemson. Under Aranda and defensive coordinator Ron Roberts, Baylor led the Big 12 and ranked fifth nationally with 16 interceptions. The Bears placed 14th in the country in scoring defense and 16th in rushing defense, holding opponents to just 19.2 points and 116.9 rushing yards per game in 2021.“
Aranda has now been named a finalist for three Coach of the Year Awards (Eddie Robinson, Bear Bryant, Bobby Dodd) and was awarded Big 12 Coach of the Year honors from the Associated Press a couple of weeks ago.
The winner of the 2021 Dodd Trophy will be named in Atlanta during the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on December 30th.