Baylor will be breaking in a new coaching staff. Which means new schemes which might surprise a few teams. However, it also means that the Briles’ spread system will be replaced and the offense and defense must learn a whole new playbook. Depth will be a concern with the roster attrition Baylor has suffered recently. It was primarily depth issues that lead this team to finish 6-6 after starting 6-0 last season.
Baylor Football 2017 Schedule
Sept. 2 – Liberty
Sept. 9 – UT San Antonio
Sept. 16 – at Duke
Sept. 23 – Oklahoma
Sept. 30 – at Kansas State
Oct. 14 – at Oklahoma State
Oct. 21 – West Virginia
Oct. 28 – Texas
Nov. 4 – at Kansas
Nov. 11 – vs. Texas Tech (Arlington, Texas)
Nov. 18 – Iowa State
Nov. 24 – at TCU
Nobody really knows what to expect from these Bears. They have the upper level talent to beat just about anybody. When healthy, they were one of the best teams in the country – just see what they did to Boise State. However, they lack the depth to resist too many injuries, the mean reason they had a six game losing streak. The schedule is much stiffer this year. Looking at it and it is refreshing to see an actual Power 5 opponent in the non-conference schedule. And, though Duke football is not the powerhouse that the basketball team is, they were in almost every game while dealing with their own injury issues last season. Also, UT San Antonio went bowling.
The first five weeks of the conference schedule are as brutal as it can get. Oklahoma, Kansas State, and Oklahoma State are all expected to be contenders for the Big 12 title and possibly a playoff berth. West Virginia is everybody’s favorite dark horse pick. And, Texas is a trendy pick with Tom Herman taking the reins on the 40 acres. That’s a gauntlet.
November might bring some relief with games against Kansas and Iowa State, but both those teams have been on the move up while Baylor was definitely on the way down last year. November also sees two rivalry games: Texas Tech in Arlington and at Texas Christian. This also means that both Kansas and Iowa State have the potential to be trap games.
By the time November rolls around this team could be a shell of itself ready to just get the season over. Or, it could be writing one of the greatest Cinderella stories of all time. It will be interesting to see how the return talent meshes with Rhule, his staff, and the new schemes. Also, how competitive will the new recruits be? There is quite the talent difference between the AAC and the Big 12. Was Rhule able to bring in Big 12 caliber talent or is it closer to Temple level? In all likelihood, if Baylor hopes to make a bowl game in 2017 they will need to catch just about every break.