Did I miss something or did the Baylor Bears disappear?
The reigning BIG12 champions enter the 2022 season being unnoticed by a few other schools in their conference. There is not a hesitation that HC Dave Aranda has made the stunning turnaround for Baylor. In 2021, the Bears tied for the best improvement in the NCAA boasting a ten-win upgrade from the previous year. The reversal included a school-record five wins against ranked opponents.
Since the firing of Art Briles, Baylor has always started off sluggish with new coaches, but picked up steam quick. Before Aranda, Matt Rhule started 1-11 with the Bears year one of coaching five years ago. Rhule’s last season with Baylor he went 11-3 and quickly took the HC position for the Carolina Panthers.
The Bears are returning a total of 13 starters from last season, but they lost nearly every one of their offensive production from 2021 and almost every part of their starting secondary.
Baylor is ranked 124th (37%) for overall returning production on the offensive side of the ball. Baylor’s dual package, Abram Smith and Trestan Ebner, left the program. The two combined to rush for 2,400 yards last season, so their production will be challenging to replace. The starting QB for most of the season, Gerry Bohanon, transferred to USF after Shapen’s performance vs. Texas Tech and Oklahoma State.
Right now, Blake Shapen looks like the merely returning skilled player this season. A positive to look forward for Shapen and the Bears, 4/5 OL starters are returning this season.
Baylor Bears Season Preview
- Sep 3 vs. Albany
- Sep 10 @ BYU
- Sep 17 vs. Texas State
- Sep 24 @ Iowa State
- Oct 1 vs. Oklahoma State
- Oct 13 @ West Virginia
- Oct 22 vs. Kansas
- Oct 29 @ Texas Tech
- Nov 5 @ Oklahoma
- Nov 12 vs. Kansas State
- Nov 19 vs. TCU
- Nov 25 @ Texas
The oddsmakers certainly seem to believe that Baylor will regress. Baylor’s O/U for season win total is set at 7.5 wins this season. The Bears will be evaluated early in the season with a road trip to face BYU. The road schedule for Baylor includes five conference games with West Virginia, Texas, and Oklahoma who look to improve.
Defense wins championships and last season for the Bears proved that. HC Aranda is a defensive genius and his background with Wisconsin and LSU proves that. I know the secondary will be assessed, but their front seven should relieve the pressure on the defensive backs.
I do not see the Bears disappear this season like others seem. If Shapen can be accurate like he was in the BIG12 championship game, I see the Bears sneaking up in the BIG12 again! Sic’ Em!
Pick: Over 7.5 wins
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