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Jim Grobe to serve as Baylor's interim head coach

Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe looks on before an NCAA college football game against Maryland in Winston-Salem, N.C., Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Photo credit: AP

When the Baylor football scandal came to a head Thursday with the dismissal of head coach Art Briles, we wrote in the immediate aftermath that defensive coordinator Phil Bennett would be the perfect choice to serve as Briles' interim had the circumstances not been what they were.

However, the circumstances are what they are, and four of the five Baylor football players accused of sexual violence hailed from Bennett's half of the locker room. Baylor's offensive coordinator is Briles' son, Kendal, and a non-starter for that reason alone.

We outlined last week where Baylor may look when the time to find a permanent replacement arrives, but an entire season waits between now and then. No sitting coaches were leaving for Baylor. Not in May.

With that in mind, the path of least resistance was to look outside Baylor's walls for a coach to lead the team for the rapidly approaching 2016 season. And it appears the Bears have done just that, with multiple outlets reporting Monday afternoon former Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe stepping in as interim head coach.

Update: Baylor has formally announced Grobe as "acting head coach."

Grobe, 64, won 77 games in 13 seasons as Wake Forest's head coach, peaking with a once-a-half-century ACC championship and Orange Bowl appearance in 2006. Grobe has been out of the game since 2013 and has wanted back in. Baylor cornerback Ryan Reid indicated on Twitter that Briles-for-Grobe would be the extent of the changes.

The situation he inherits is precarious -- Baylor's 2017 recruiting class imploded over the weekend, and three of the Bears' top four 2016 signees have indicated they will not report to Waco -- with troubling precedent.

In 2011, Ohio State fired Jim Tressel for NCAA improprities on Memorial Day and stayed in-house for their interim head coach in promoting defensive coordinator Luke Fickell. Those Buckeyes watched their record fall from 12-1 to 6-7. A year later, Arkansas recalled John L. Smith to serve as its interim in the wake of Bobby Petrino's motorcycle fiasco and watched their record plummet from 11-2 to 4-8.

Baylor went 10-3 last season on the heels of two straight Big 12 championships. The 2016 team would have had eyes on a third -- had circumstances been different.

But, again, the reality the Baylor football program finds itself is settling in like the sticky heat of the Texas summer. Dreams of another Big 12 championship have been replaced with something entirely different -- with a new man at the helm.