Preview 2018: Previewing and looking ahead to the Baylor Bears season with what you need to know.
Preview 2018: Baylor Bears
It’s not that it all fell apart. It’s that it all crashed and burned so quickly.
But it might all be built up again just as fast.
There wasn’t any doubt that the transition out of the Art Briles era into something new was going to be rough, and everyone knew the program had to undergo an overhaul … but 1-11?
For those who wanted to see Baylor football take a hit, at least on the field, that’s exactly what happened.
And its wasn’t just that Baylor went 1-11 last season, but 2-17 over the last 19 games after going 42-7 going back to when the unbelievable run kicked in midway through 2011.
Nothing that happens on the field will erase all the issues under a former regime, but in terms of just wins and losses, and how good Baylor football might be going forward, last season appears to simply be a reboot.
Rhule was walking into a tough situation from a PR standpoint, from a recruiting angle, and with the Big 12 all of a sudden going through a renaissance period.
Last season, Kansas was bad and struggling, and there was … Baylor. That’s it. The other eight teams in the league went bowling. On the plus side, that might be it for the down period.
Partly by design, and partly by necessity, seven underclassmen started by the end of last year on the offensive side, six on defense, and overall, there were just four senior starters in the season finale against TCU.
With one of the nation’s most experienced teams returning, and with some excellent transfers – like RB-turned-WR Jalen Hurd from Tennessee, NC State QB Jalan McClendon, and Clemson OT Jake Fruhmorgen – all of a sudden, Baylor is looking like a possible dangerous team again.
Out of those 11 losses, four were by eight points or fewer, and the team was in a few other games that got away late. Teams loaded with veterans tend to win those game.
Nah, Baylor isn’t going to rise up and all of a sudden be a player in the Big 12 race, or go from 1-11 to 11-1. But expect a positive step forward for a program that needs a whole lot more of those.