Baylor is ready to improve significantly in 2018 after a disappointing campaign in Matt Rhule’s first season as head coach.
247Sports’ Chris Hummer tabbed the Bears as one of the five programs in college football best positioned to be one of the sports “big risers” this season. Between Baylor’s returning starters and the potential the program showed in 2017, it’s hard to argue against that point of view.
There isn’t really anywhere to go but up for Baylor following a 1-11 campaign in Matt Rhule’s debut. It should be noted, though, the Bears were much better at season’s end than their record would indicate. Baylor was within striking distance in the fourth quarter of all but three Big 12 games (Oklahoma State, Texas, TCU) despite a hemorrhaging depth chart due to injury. In 2018 the Bears will be healthier, deeper and more talented. Most importantly, they’ll look more like the team Rhule intends for them to be.
The Bears bring back one of the best quarterbacks in the Big 12 in Charlie Brewer, and they should have a deeper, more talented roster in Year 2 under Rhule.
Combine all that with a more wide-open Big 12, and Baylor could be positioned for major improvement. ESPN’s Football Power Index projects Baylor to get back to bowl eligibility this season. That would be quite the rise after the Bears won just one game in 2017.
Baylor opens the 2018 season at home against FCS program Abilene Christian on Sept. 1.