The Baylor Bears have been on a roll of late, especially last year, in which they went 11-2 on the year, which securing a berth in the Fiesta Bowl. They lost that game but this team is loaded once again and ready to make a run at joining the new NCAA playoff system. Prediction & schedule are below.
The Bears have been an offensive machine, scoring 44.5 ppg or more in each of the last 3 years, which was topped off by last year’s 52.4 ppg overall and 61 ppg at home. The offense figures to be explosive once again with QB Bryce Petty back, after throwing for 4200 yards with 32 TDs and just 3 INTs. Petty has a super array of weapons to throw to, including last year’s leading WR Antwan Goodley, who grabbed 71 balls for 1339 yards and 13 TDs last year. Last year’s leading rusher Seastrunk is gone, but Shock Linwood showed he can step in and do a fine job, after rushing for 881 yards and 8 TDs last year. Also remember that Petty did run for 209 yards and 14 TDs last year. Overall, Baylor has the 2nd best collection of RBs in the league. That running corps will also be running behind a very deep and talented OL that rates 2nd best in the Big 12 and 20th in the nation. The Bears also played good defense last year, allowing just 23.5 ppg overall and 16 ppg at home. This year they have back just 4 starters, but Briles has done a good job recruiting so this defense may not miss too much of a beat the year. The DL lost two starters, but their replacements may be better after Shawn Oakman and Jamal Palmer combined for 23.5 TFL last year as subs. The LB corps is a little weak, but the secondary has some solid playmakers and some good depth as well.
The defense does have some question marks in their back seven, but still this will be tough defense, especially with a DL that is one of the best in the league. Even if the defense slips, the Bears still have that amazing offense that will be a threat to put up 45+ points anytime they touch the field. I see this as a national contender team, especially if they beat either Texas or Oklahoma on the road and then win the Big 12. I see them beating Texas, but not Oklahoma and that will keep them from winning the Big 12 title and going to the playoffs in all likelihood, but this team will still have an outstanding year and be fun to watch. KEY TREND: 1-7 ATS last 8 games vs Oklahoma State.
2014 Baylor Football Schedule
Sun, Aug 31st, 2014 SMU
Sat, Sep 6th, 2014 Northwestern State
Fri, Sep 12th, 2014 at Buffalo
Sat, Sep 27th, 2014 at Iowa State
Sat, Oct 4th, 2014 at Texas
Sat, Oct 11th, 2014 TCU
Sat, Oct 18th, 2014 at West Virginia
Sat, Nov 1st, 2014 Kansas
Sat, Nov 8th, 2014 at Oklahoma
Sat, Nov 22nd, 2014 Oklahoma State
Sat, Nov 29th, 2014 Texas Tech
Sat, Dec 6th, 2014 Kansas State
Info gathered From Phil Steele's CFB Preview and Athlon Sports
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Golden Nugget Games Of The Year
Steve Fezzik from Pregame.com takes a look at some the games of the year that have been released by the Golden Nugget, along with some tips for handicapping them.