2019 Baylor Bears College Football Preview
BET ON THE BAYLOR BEARS
45,140 Seat Stadium
Last year’s record (7-6, 4-5 Big-12)
Head Coach: Matt Rhule
Record at School (8-17) 2 years
Career Record (36-40) 6 years
How can you not consider 2018 a great year. 2017 was a nightmare going 1-11 and that was just a continuation from 2016 when the team started off 6-0 only to lose it’s final 6 regular season games.
Somehow that team not only made a bowl game but beat a talented Boise St team. 2017’s only win was vs Kansas, and everybody beats Kansas. Don’t be fooled by that 1-11 season. It is hard to explain and I can’t even attempt to try.
It was just one of those years where everything went wrong. It makes the program sound like it is in disarray and that is not the case.
Baylor has gone bowling 9 of the last 10 seasons. Last season Baylor won the games it was supposed, but they lost to the ranked teams they played on the way to another bowl game and win. Coach Rhule is certainly happy to make up for 2017, but is far from satisfied with last season. There is still work to be done.
Last season was certainly a step in the right direction in bringing back those explosive offenses we have grown accustomed to seeing in Waco. They were ranked 5th in the conference in passing & total offense last season as well as 22nd in the nation in total offense. With (8) returning starters coming back, they are poised to be even better in 2019.
It starts with QB Charlie Brewer. He completed over 61% of his passes for 3,019 yards last year. With the Big-12 being full of talented QB’s, he has gone under the radar, but is considered of the league’s best returning this fall.
The O-line is a concern after allowing the most sacks and tackles for a loss in the conference. The coach has been quoted as saying he doesn't care about starters or experience and that he will figure out who are the five best this spring and those guys will start.
The running game has no stars but a slew of guys who will share the load this season. SR JaMycal Hasty is the leading candidate to get the most carries. The do lose leading receiver Jalen Hurd, but everybody else does return. Mims who led the team with 8 TD’s & Platt are deep threats, but the position is deep this year.
With Brewer throwing the ball expect plenty of points from this group of receivers. The key will be the offensive line. If they had that much success with a bad o-line last year, just imagine what they can do with an improved line. Things are looking up in Waco, Texas this season.
The defense was just ok last season. The biggest weakness was their ability to create turnovers. They were last in the conference in turnovers (10) and next to last in the country nationally last year. They are trying to get back to a few years ago when they were a solid team on that side of the ball.
They are headed in the right direction with (6) starters returning as well as 7 of the 10 leading tacklers. The entire LB crew return, so that will more than likely be the strength of the stop unit.
The secondary was 3rd in the conference in defending the pass, but with only one guy returning from that unit, as well as some injuries this spring, it will be a work in progress. The d-line does lose two starters, but the have some big, fast guys waiting in the wings.
What they need is somebody to step up and apply some pressure to opposing quarterbacks and increase the sack total from last year. Depth is a big concern as well, so health will be a big key to their success this season.
This conference is tough on all defenses, but Baylor has as good of a chance as any to be one of the better stop units. They have done it before, so don’t count them out.
BAYLOR SPECIAL TEAMS
The Bears will be replacing both kickers this season. Both Pk John Mayers and P Issac Power were forced into action in the bowl game last year when injuries knocked out both kickers. So with very little experience they are just hoping what they have works. Time will tell. Baylor has been known for having some good punters over the years, so don’t be shocked if Power turns out to be one of them.
2019 BAYLOR BEARS OUTLOOK
Baylor has always been one of those teams who has always on the edge of very good things, if not greatness. They do not get the exposure of those other Texas teams, let alone Oklahoma. There is no question this team will be better than last year’s version. The schedule alone will see to that.
The first half offers them a chance at running the table. The middle of November is going to be the difference between a good season and a great season with Oklahoma & Texas coming to Waco. The conference as a whole might be down a little, so don’t be shocked if this team has a chance if everything falls into place at giving Oklahoma a run for their money.
No they will not be in the running for a playoff spot, but will be in the running for the conference title and a major bowl game. Expect more of those Big-12 shootouts again this season. The defense will be the difference between a good and great season. I expect good things.
BETONLINE has listed the regular season win total at 7½. As I mentioned above, if things break right, this team will certainly start out 4-0 with a realistic shot at 6-0. If the latter happens, 7½ is a lock. The final six games have them getting Oklahoma, Texas and West Virginia at home.
They are going to upset one of those teams, maybe two depending on what kind of season those three are having. The road games vs Oklahoma St, TCU should be close and the final game at Kansas should be a winner. This is another one of my stronger future selections in 2019. I love it. I am taking OVER 7½ wins.
Don't forget to take some time and read more about other teams from our 2019 college football betting guide.