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2013 Baylor Bears
The talk on Baylor is that they ended the 2012 year really hot, winning four of their last five games including wins over Kansas State, Oklahoma State and UCLA. Their only loss during that period came at Oklahoma by eight points. The problem with riding that momentum is that it's a new year and some of their top players are gone like quarterback Nick Florence and wide receiver Terrance Williams. The two paved the way for 340 passing yards per game which was fourth in the nation. The Bears will turn to Bryce Petty at quarterback and will hope Tevin Reese can improve his receiving numbers in his senior season. According to the coaches, Petty has all the tools, but with only 14 career pass attempts, it's hard to put too much trust in him.
Baylor is currently listed at odds of 250 to 1 to win the BCS Titie at 5 Dimes Sportsbook and 300 to 1 at Sportsbook.ag
Of course, Baylor is also a great rushing team which they don't get credit for. Returning will be Lache Seastrunk who proclaimed that he would win the Heisman Trophy this year after averaging 138 rushing yards over his last six games. He's complemented by Glasco Martin who finished with 15 TDs last year. Three offensive linemen will be returning which should help the new QB and the Heisman hopeful RB.
The Bears were pretty brutal last season defensively, but they did pick it up when it mattered most stopping Kansas State and UCLA for a combined 50 points. That may not seem great, but for a team that allowed 37 points per game, it was good. Seven starters are returning so they aren't losing too much, including a great central core at the linebacker spot. If they can improve, Baylor is a team to watch out for the in the Big 12.
2013 Baylor Football Schedule
Aug. 31 vs. Wofford
Sept. 7 vs. Buffalo
Sept. 21 vs. LA-Monroe
Oct. 5 vs. West Virginia
Oct. 12 at Kansas State
Oct. 19 vs. Iowa State
Oct. 26 at Kansas
Nov. 9 vs. Oklahoma
Nov. 16 vs. Texas Tech (Arlington)
Nov. 23 at Oklahoma State
Nov. 30 at TCU
Dec. 7 vs. Texas
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Louisiana-Monroe gave Baylor a test last year because of poor defense, but this time around the Warhawks have to travel which gives the Bears an immediate edge. In reality, Baylor's first seven games are very winnable even at Kansas State. While the Wildcats will want revenge, they are a team that lost plenty of players and definitely won't be as good as they were last year.
The problem for Baylor comes in their final five games. Back-to-back road games against Oklahoma State and TCU is trouble enough, but surround that with matchups against Oklahoma and Texas and things may not end well for the Bears. Even a game with Texas Tech at Cowboys Stadium will be a tough one.
If Petty and the offense are rolling by the time those games come around, any of them are winnable, but winning three out of those five games will be the goal. Overall, eight wins is the minimum projection for this team, yet they have plenty of upside if their QB is for real and if their defense improves.