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2021 Baylor Bears: Can Baylor Rise Again?
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

2021 Baylor Bears: Can Baylor Rise Again?

The Baylor Bears have several good seasons in recent years and have consistently recruited well especially in the skill positions. They have had great quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers, sprinkled in some very good defensive players with them and they had teams that were damn hard to beat. Can they get back to where they were before the Art Briles’ mess where they were good every year?

Offense: The up and down Charlie Brewer era has ended and the Bears will have a new quarterback in 2021. The candidates are Gerry Bohanon and Jacob Zeno and they both have their strengths. Zeno has the bigger arm, but Bohanon is a better runner with the tools to be a more consistent passer. Translation: He is the the most trusted of the two. They have a new coordinator in Jeff Grimes who comes from BYU and brings an explosive style of offense with him. There is depth at running back with the speedy Tristan Ebner and Craig Williams. The receiving corps is experienced with R.J. Sneed, Tyquan Thornton, and Josh Fleeks. The offensive line needs to protect the passer better this year and be more consistent.

Defense: The defense should be the strength of the team. They were good last year and they have ten starters back from that team. They return All-Big-12 performers in linebacker Terrel Bernard and safety-linebacker Jalen Pitre. Bernard will be joined by Dillon Doyle so the linebacker position is going to be among the best in the conference. The secondary is experienced and looks strong. The pass rush needs to get better and should get a boost from gigantic LSU transfer Siaki “Apu” Ika at nose tackle.

Non-Conference Schedule:

9/4 at Texas State

9/11 Texas Southern

10/16 BYU

The non-con schedule includes two lesser Texas schools and the Bears desperately need those two wins. The mid-October game with BYU is in Waco and that game in winnable.

Conference Schedule:

9/18 at Kansas

9/25 Iowa State

10/2 at Oklahoma State

10/9 West Virginia

10/30 Texas

11/6 at TCU

11/13 Oklahoma

11/20 at Kansas State

11/27 Texas Tech

The conference schedule features 5 home games and there are a couple of games against West Virginia and Texas Tech they should win at home. They have a chance against Texas and if they could upset Iowa State or Oklahoma they might be the surprise of the Big-12. There is a must win at Kansas and toughies at Oklahoma State and TCU. The finale at K-State could possibly be for a bowl game.

Summary: Baylor is going to have to rely on their veteran defense until the QB situation gets settled. They could start off the year 3-0 with Iowa State coming to Waco. It is very possible that I have this team rated a tad bit too low but they are going to have to win all the games they should and upset someone along the way. That could very well happen.

Predicted Finish: 8th Place in the Big-12.

Overall Record: 5-7

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