Year two under Matt Rhule was a success on all counts. While the Bears probably weren’t as good as their 7-6 record indicated (56th in the CSD Prime rankings), it was still an incredible improvement over the 1-11 year they had in 2017 where they lost to then-FCS Liberty. With Rhule getting more and more command of the roster and transforming the culture, I think an improvement this year feels likely.
The offense is loaded with talent. Stud QB Charlie Brewer (7.7 YPA, 62%, 19 TDs vs nine INTs), the top three backs, and all but one wideout all return along with four starters on the offensive line. This may be one of the top offenses in the Big 12.
Guys like Denzel Mims (794 yards, 14.4 YPC, eight touchdowns), multi-faceted weapon Trestan Ebner (6.0 yards per carry, 12.0 yards per catch), and sophomore deep threat Tyquan Thornton (17.7 per catch) are all exciting pieces to what should be a very fun offense.
The defense returns pretty much everyone from last year’s team, including end James Lynch (5.5 sacks, 3.5 TFL), MLB Clay Johnston (4.5 TFL, two PBUs), and CB Raleigh Texada (four PBUs, two INTs).
The D wasn’t great last year, but it was young so will be more experienced overall in 2019 despite a couple of departures. They played dangerous last year a lot due to inexperience, sometimes they got burned, sometimes they didn’t, but against Big 12-caliber offense I’d recommend dialing that back a little. If they do that, this figures to be the best defense since Rhule took over.
The schedule is super nice in the non-conference as you would expect from Baylor but obviously picks up into the meat of Big 12 play.
This team returns a hell of a lot from a 7-6 team so they could compete for a conference crown, but generally when teams have a better record than their ranking might indicate for their level of competition, it can cause for the team to not see any improvement in the record the next year despite actual improvement on the field the next year, and I think that may be the scenario we are headed towards for Baylor in 2019.
|Date||Opponent||OPp. rank||Proj. Margin|
|31-Aug||Stephen f. austin||NR||n/a|
|5-Oct||at kansas state||54||-1.9|
|19-Oct||at oklahoma state||26||-6.5|
Average Projected Record: 6.7 wins, 5.3 losses (4.0 wins, 5.0 losses)