2012 Baylor Bears Football Preview
2011 Record: 10-3 (6-3 Big 12)
Head Coach: Art Briles, fifth season (25-25 at Baylor) (59-53 overall)
Projected Returning Starters: 16
Spring Game: April 14th (Blue 45 White 0)
Notes: Baylor has been known as the cellar dweller of the Big 12 in college football. That has changed in the past two seasons, with the rise of Art Briles, as coach, and Robert Griffin III as quarterback. Building the program has been key, as Briles has taken the team from pathetic program to one that is a contender. Baylor is expected to break ground on a new stadium in coming years, which is to be located near the Brazos River. Because of the program’s success, donations have made the new state-of-the-art facility possible. Replacing RGIII, however, could prove to be a tough task.
BVTSB Take: Briles took a huge risk by accepting the Baylor head-coaching job. For many, taking the Baylor job reflected a career ending decision – the previous four coaches were the head coach in Waco for no longer than five seasons. But Briles will have the task of replacing key components of the offense in 2012. Griffin III departs with senior Nick Florence projecting to be the starting quarterback. Florence saw minimal time in 2011, completing 9 of 12 passes for two touchdowns. Running back Terrance Ganaway will be playing on Sundays for the New York Jets, but USC transfer Lance Seastrunk is projected to start for the Bears. Despite wide receiver Kendall Wright’s departure for the NFL, the Bears return two of their top receivers in Terrance Williams and Tevin Reese, who combined for over 1800 receiving yards and 18 touchdown catches in 2011. Having a veteran receiving corps should help Florence’s transition to the starting position. Still, Williams and Reese combined for slightly more grabs than did Wright, which should paint a picture that the loss of Wright cannot be understated. Baylor will open the season with three non-conference games, playing host to SMU and Sam Houston State, while travelling to Louisiana-Monroe. Baylor faces a tough Big 12 schedule, which includes road trips to West Virginia, Texas, Iowa State, and Oklahoma. Expect Baylor to take a step back in 2012, but the Bears should still make their third straight bowl game.
2012 Early Projection: 6-6
To see the 2012 Big 12 composite schedule, click here.
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