We knew it was going to be bad. We just didn't know it was going to happen this quickly.

From a football standpoint, the bottom is beginning to fall out at Baylor. When Bears backup quarterback Jarrett Stidham announced he was transferring Thursday, it was news. It also opened up a figurative crack in the Earth.

The crack -- it should be noted -- is widening by the day. It's a crack down which Baylor football's hopes are falling. The sexual assault scandal that has cost the jobs of the president, athletic director and coach is now costing the team.

You knew that was inevitable. And maybe that's the way it should be.

Baylor can deal with the loss of a backup quarterback. Maybe. (See below.) But recruits are also shunning the program. To its credit, Baylor has also purged some players from the current roster for character issues.

The net effect is a self-inflicted death penalty.

Stidham's departure drove a big yellow highlighter through that phrase. I'm not saying Baylor deserves The Big Haircut nor that the NCAA will apply one. Far from it. It may simply be that, in future years, natural football forces unite to keep Baylor from fielding a Power Five-worthy football team.

You know, Baylor going back to being ... Baylor.

These are not the hot-take thoughts of a flamer. This is a rational conclusion from one of those who endured Baylor pre-Art Briles. The innovation, the foundation from which the Bears took off at the beginning of this decade is gone.

Will it ever be back?

The Bears have a fine starter at quarterback in 2016 as Seth Russell has the goods to be the Big 12's best despite coming back from neck surgery. That's not the point.

What they don't and won't have is depth. Not in the near term. More than half the 2016 signing class is gone. The 2017 class is ranked 116th in the 247Sports Composite with exactly one commit. That's one spot ahead of Eastern Michigan.

Crack in the Earth? Acting coach Jim Grobe said Stidham's transfer came out of a wish to be a starter. What you have to ask yourself is this: If the scandal never happened, would Stidham have taken until July to figure out he wasn't going to start?

The quarterback consequences are immediate. Baylor is another Russell injury from playing true freshman Zach Smith. After that? Don't ask. A wide receiver and a bunch of walk-ons.

What Baylor doesn't have is much of a future. Not right now. Oh, the Bears will likely be competitive, perhaps even make a run for the conference title in 2016. After that?

Assuming enrollment and donations stay level -- a reach, by the way -- the Baylor brand is still damaged. There will be legions of parents who don't want their kids to attend Baylor, even on a free ride.

Damage to the Bears' football brand can't be far behind.

What Baylor doesn't have is the tradition and history of Southern California, Penn State or Ohio State. All three programs suffered crippling NCAA penalties this decade.

Out of the three, only Ohio State (6-7 in 2011) endured a losing season since their penalties. The Buckeyes have since followed up with an undefeated season (2012) and national championship (2014).

USC won at Oregon during a 10-win season in 2011 while traveling 51 scholarship players.

Point being, there will always be kids who want to be Buckeyes, Trojans and Nittany Lions. Those schools have winning traditions and histories that go back decades. Baylor was a laughingstock as recent as the late 2000s.

The first thought in any discussion regarding Baylor should be about the victims. As mentioned, the school has rid itself of several players since the scandal broke.

That includes the likes of projected starting nose tackle Jeremy Faulk, whose name appeared on a dormitory resident assistant's incident report while at FAU.

ESPN additionally reported Faulk was questioned by Baylor officials about an alleged sexual assault in April. Faulk, who was dismissed from the team in early June, has denied any wrongdoing. He was not arrested or charged in either case.

"Is this situation it's probably appropriate to clean house," said Brenda Tracy, a rape victim who will speak to the Baylor team on July 25.

"There may be innocent victims in the wake of it. They really need to do that. They basically need to start over from scratch. They need to have a good new core group of kids."

Grobe has done everything right since he arrived May 30. But his reach probably only extends to the end of this season. The "acting" coach is unlikely to be the permanent coach after 2016.

Stidham's departure is the news of the day. But think of that 2017 recruiting class for a moment. What do Grobe and Baylor tell prospects who want to know who their coach is going to be?

"I want them to look at Baylor," Grobe told 1660 ESPN in Central Texas on Thursday. "Where can you get a better education than Baylor, better academic support, where can you have better coaches?

"The one thing I can promise you, they're always going to have -- whether it's me or somebody else -- Baylor will hire great coaches."

But what great coach wants to start out staring at a crack in the Earth?