Baylor football is in a tough spot.

The university's sexual assault scandal has cast a dark shadow over the football program. Coach Art Briles was fired in a house-clearing move over the offseason and there's little direction moving forward. The big story on the recruiting front is the Bears have one -- one -- verbal commit for the 2017 class. While no one reasonably mistakes the players and coaching staff for victims, there's nevertheless an awkward situation of trying to field a team amid a huge scandal.

The effects have been noticeable. Baylor started the season 6-0 but has lost five straight, and the Bears are an underdog in the season-ending game against West Virginia. Trying to navigate through the losses is former Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe.

Speaking to reporters Monday, Grobe expressed the difficulties of being the acting coach through a tumultuous time while trying to do what's best for the players.

"I've not ever had the mindset that I was doing more than helping out," Grobe said (via ESPN). "It's been a little more challenging than I expected. ... The thing that I have found that I expected to find is a lot of really good kids. That's what we've got to stay focused on. Those are the guys that have probably been hurt the most."

To his credit, Grobe is in a difficult situation. He never planned on taking on the full-time coaching job and he inherited a team and group of coaches that were chiefly loyal to Briles.

But for every controversy, big and small, Grobe has deflected. He said he didn't know "who Shawn Oakman" was when the former pass rusher, indicted on sexual assault, visited the team's locker room earlier this year. He also said he didn't know about Baylor's assistant coaches tweeting out support for Briles ahead of the TCU game.

Suffice it to say, Grobe isn't in the loop when it comes to big issues at Baylor, but he does care about the players he has right now. Moving forward, Baylor needs a clean slate.

"Honestly, football needs a fresh start," Grobe said. "I'm very, very proud of our players who have remained loyal to Baylor. They've given me 100-plus reasons for hope in these difficult times."