Don’t expect Baylor football to find the win column just once all season again in 2018.
CBS Sports’ Tom Fornelli recently listed the Bears among the five college football teams most likely to improve by multiple wins this fall, placing them at No. 2 in the group. Baylor was joined by Florida, Florida State, Nebraska and BYU.
Baylor’s lone win of 2017 came against Kansas, but the Bears still found themselves in several tightly contested games during the fall. That included Big 12 matchups with Oklahoma and West Virginia — the Bears nearly overcoming a 25-point second-half deficit in the latter.
It’s not to say that Baylor will necessarily be a Big 12 title contender in 2018. Alas, here is Fornelli’s outlook on Baylor below:
“With a non-con of Abilene Christian, UTSA and Duke, a 2-1 start is realistic, if not expected. That means Baylor would only need one win in the Big 12 to reach three on the season, and last I checked Kansas is still in the Big 12.”
For what it’s worth, Baylor did fall to UTSA and Duke in 2017, though the former came by just 7 points before the Bears suffered a 14-point loss in Durham, N.C., one week later.
If Baylor shows significant improvement, as expected, sophomore quarterback Charlie Brewer should be center stage. Brewer, though only seeing action in eight games last year as a freshman, passed for 1,562 yards and 11 touchdowns. Brewer did not play in either of the two games mentioned above.
Baylor is also adding a new face in former Tennessee running back Jalen Hurd, who rushed for more than 2,000 yards in three seasons with the Volunteers.
ESPN is also a believer in Baylor for 2018. The early FPI projections have the Bears bowl eligible at either six or seven wins on the season.
Baylor kicks off the 2018 campaign with a home game against Abilene Christian on Sept. 1. You can get a preview of the 2018 Baylor team when the annual spring scrimmage is played at McLane Stadium in Waco, Texas, on April 21.