Those Baylor fans demanding respect should be walking with a bit of a jump in their step this morning based on the release of the Sports Illustrated Preseason Top 25, which has the Bears at #17, one spot behind TCU and two ahead of our Sooner neighbors to the north. UT leads the conference at #11, something we can argue about should everyone want to do that. Somewhat strangely, our other Oklahoman neighbors didn't make the Top 25. That's a bit of a surprise.
The cases for and against Baylor are fairly easy to understand and totally predictable: we have an incredible offense loaded with talent that will probably have to score a lot of points to overcome our defensive deficiencies. You could write that sentence about any of the last few Baylor teams and not change a word. That our offense gets a 90 in their "Power Rankings" while the defense only musters a 66 is a bit galling, though. Even at its worst, I'm not sure our defense was ever actually that bad. The 64 given to our special teams is nothing worth arguing over; they earned it.
The team preview (linked above) is a good one worth reading. It doesn't go into a lot of depth, but there are quotes from Briles about our recruiting class, projections for Bryce Petty and Lache Seastrunk (everybody is in the projections game now!), and talk from Phil Bennett about how defenses should be judged in the Big 12. After you finish that, check out the previews for our conference-mates in the Top 25. The more we know about our enemies, the better.