July is the last month before Baylor football starts back up again. It will be here before for you know it. In the next few weeks conferences all across the country, including the Big XII, will host media days. A couple of weeks later fall camp will start. From that point on fans will be hanging on to every word from the coaching staff trying to read between lines. But for now, all we can do is speculate using the information we have. Taking into account the schedule, returning experience, and program trajectory, I believe that 7 wins is a realistic expectation for Baylor fans. It can be done by 7 regular season wins, or 6 wins in the regular season and capping off the year with a bowl victory.
In recent history, Baylor has consistently met preseason expectations. Since 2010, I would say that Baylor met preseason expectations seven times (2010,11,12,13,14,16,18), exceeded expectations in 2019 and failed to reach them in 2015, 2017, and 2020. There are a few programs in our conference that haven’t had such luck.
The schedule sets up nicely for the Bears to achieve a bowl season. Baylor will play seven home games, and two of the five road games are against Texas State and Kansas. The probable wins are games against Texas State, Texas Southern, and Kansas. Conventional wisdom says the Bears probably lose at home against Oklahoma and Iowa State, and on the road against TCU and Oklahoma State. That means the Bears have to win three out of BYU, Texas, Kansas State, Texas Tech, and West Virginia. All of those games will be played in Waco except Kansas State. It’s reasonable for fans to believe that can happen and possibly steal a game against an upper-echelon team in the conference. Remember, out of those four “probable loss” games I mentioned earlier, Baylor won three of them during the last rotation of this schedule in 2019.
The obvious challenge will be what fans have heard a million times at this point—quarterback play. For the first time since the 2013 season, Baylor will be going into the season opener with a QB who has not recorded a career start. It worked out pretty well that year for the Bears and hopefully it can happen again.
Expectations don’t mean that the team is incapable of accomplishing more. With the returning experience on both sides of the ball and the way that the schedule is set up, if Baylor can find lighting in a bottle at QB, the Bears could challenge for a Big 12 title appearance.