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Schedule Analysis: Must Win, Toughest Matchup, Best Individual Opponent

July 11, 2018
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Baylor Schedule Analysis

Sep. 1: Abilene Christian
Sep. 8: @UTSA
Sep. 15: Duke
Sep. 22: Kansas
Sep. 29: @Oklahoma
Oct. 6: Kansas State
Oct. 13: @Texas
Oct. 25: @West Virginia
Nov. 3: Oklahoma State
Nov. 10: @Iowa State
Nov. 17: TCU
Nov. 24: Texas Tech in Arlington

Must Win: After a team goes 1-11 it is hard to be picky with games that should be won. Baylor should win the first two games of the season, something they weren’t able to do last year. After that comes the biggest game of the year. The Duke game at McLane Stadium is the most important because it very well could be the difference between making a bowl or missing out for a second season in a row. Baylor hung in there at Duke last year before eventually fading down the stretch. Look for the Bears to be in this one from start to finish in a game they need to win.

Toughest Matchup: Going to Morgantown on a Thursday night is not a dream scenario for any team, but for Baylor, it is a complete nightmare. Since joining the Big 12 in 2012, Baylor has not won a game on the road in Morgantown despite winning two Big 12 Championships during that time period. It is really the only accomplishment the Bears haven’t achieved in conference play in recent memory. West Virginia is a very talented team with four All-Big 12 Presason players including Preseason Offensive Player of the Year Will Grier that should finish at or near the top of the Big 12 standings. Baylor better be ready for this challenge or it could get ugly.

Most Intriguing: When Baylor travels to Austin on October 13 the whole city will be buzzing at a potential high school rivalry matchup. Baylor QB Charlie Brewer, who split time with Zach Smith at QB in Waco last season, and Texas QB Sam Ehlinger, who missed the 2017 matchup with an injury, both had their ups and downs as true freshman a year ago but look like the starters heading into fall camp. These two played at Lake Travis and Austin Westlake which has been one of the biggest high school rivalries in the state. 

Best Player: There are a lot of good players in the Big 12 this year but the one that stands out in an offensive league is TCU defensive end Ben Banogu, the 2018 Preseason Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. After transferring from UL-Monroe he bursted onto the scene with 16.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks last year. He will look to be even more of a problem for the Big 12 next season as he tries to guarantee that he will be a first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. With Baylor’s issues on the offensive line, this could be a scary matchup for the Bears.

Final Thoughts: Baylor starts off with a very favorable schedule and ends with some winnable games, but the stretch in the middle is going to be difficult. From Sept. 29 until Oct. 25, Baylor has three road games against only one home game facing four very good opponents. This stretch is one of the toughest in the nation and one that will be a challenge for the Bears to even win one game. If Baylor could sneak out wins in two of these four games then they could be heading to a top five finish in the Big 12, but the odds just aren’t very good for that happening. Regardless, the schedule sets up well for Baylor  to be in the mix for reaching a bowl game.

Tags: Football, Baylor, 2018
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Schedule Analysis: Must Win, Toughest Matchup, Best Individual Opponent

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