Baylor Bears 2016 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart, Outlook
Baylor Bears 2016 Preview
Odds To Win National Championship: +2600 See the Latest Odds
The Baylor Bears are going to look a little different entering the 2016 college football season with Jim Grobe taking over as interim coach and Art Briles being fired. Grobe previously coached Ohio and Wake Forest, and he’s won 48.9 percent of his career games. Baylor is a program that’s won double-digit games in four of the last five seasons.
But let’s take a look at the Baylor Bears overall.
USA TODAY Sports
Here’s the 2016 Baylor Bears college football preview.
Offense: Baylor’s offense should be in good hands with Shock Linwood and Johnny Jefferson leading the way. Possibly the best 1-2 punch in college football, this running back duo rushed for more than 2,000 yards and 18 touchdowns last season, helping Baylor have the second-best rushing attack in the country. Baylor did lose some depth at wide receiver, but KD Cannon is a guy who’s racked up more than 100 receptions and 14 touchdowns in two seasons. Chris Platt and Ishmael Zamora also showed promise last season as freshmen. The biggest question with Baylor offensively is at quarterback and the offensive line. The Bears don’t have another returning lineman besides Kyle Fuller at center, while quarterbacks Seth Russell and Jarrett Stidham finished last season with injuries. Even with some question marks, the Baylor Bears have enough talent to be one of the top offenses once again in the Big 12.
Defense: Baylor has serious concerns in the trenches on defense as well with key players such as Andrew Billings, Shawn Oakman and Jamal Palmer no longer around. Baylor hopes Byron Bonds, K.J. Smith and Brian Nance can step up and replace a unit that finished last season with 56 quarterback hurries and 30 sacks. The strength of Baylor’s defense will be in the secondary, as Ryan Reid has 20 passes broken up the last two years while Travon Blanchard is the ultimate playmaker and Chance Waz finished fourth in team tackles. Taylor Young will continue to hold down the fort at linebacker and should be the leader of this defense that helps keep everything together. Last season Baylor finished second in Big 12 defense and while those numbers may drop a bit due to holes on the defensive line, there’s potential for more game changing plays due to an experienced and athletic secondary.
Special Teams: Drew Galitz will return at punter after averaging 40.6 yards per punt on 40 attempts last season as a freshman. Chris Callahan returns at kicker after making eight of 13 field goal attempts and all 83 extra points.
Overall: It’s tough to predict what Baylor is going to do this season with a coaching change in the end of May. How will the players respond to a new voice? Will Baylor’s offensive and defensive line be that big of an issue? Will Russell or Stidham return to form at quarterback? As you can see, there’s a lot of questions surrounding the Baylor Bears. Baylor has the talent to push for 10 or more wins, but there’s also room for this program to take a backseat due to all of the moving parts, particularly with the coaching staff.
|Sept. 3||Northwestern State||Waco, Texas||TBD|
|Sept. 10||SMU||Waco, Texas||TBD|
|Sept. 17||at Rice||Houston, Texas||TBD|
|Sept. 24||Oklahoma State||Waco, Texas||TBD|
|Oct. 1||at Iowa State||Ames, Iowa||TBD|
|Oct. 15||Kansas* (Homecoming)||Waco, Texas||TBD|
|Oct. 29||at Texas||Austin, Texas||TBD|
|Nov. 5||TCU||Waco, Texas||TBD|
|Nov. 12||at Oklahoma||Norman, Okla.||TBD|
|Nov. 19||Kansas State||Waco, Texas||TBD|
|Nov. 25||vs. Texas Tech||Arlington, Texas||TBD|
|Dec. 3||at West Virginia||Morgantown, W.Va.||TBD