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First Look: Baylor Bears at SMU Mustangs

The Baylor Bears begin their 2015 campaign against the SMU Mustangs on Friday Night.

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Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, the wait is over. As I write this, we’re roughly 80 hours from the kickoff of the 2015 Baylor Bears Football Season. Excitement is in the air, anticipation is high, and we’re ready for kickoff. But before the fireworks are shot off, the band plays, and the team takes the field, let’s stop down and take a look at our first opponent of the season.

4/4 BAYLOR (0–0) at NR/NR SMU (0–0)
Sept. 4, 2015 | 6 p.m. CT
Dallas, Texas | Ford Stadium (32,000)

Listen | Gametracker Gametracker | Game Notes Notes | Tickets

ODB GAME HUB: Baylor Bears vs. SMU Mustangs 2015 MEET THE PRESS: Baylor vs. SMU
MEDIA GUIDE: 2015 SMU Mustangs Media Guide (Click here for roster)
LAST MEETING: 45–0 Baylor | ODB Game Hub
SB NATION BLOG: Underdog Dynasty, at right
SPREAD: Baylor –36 (Open: Baylor –35.5)
WEATHER FORECAST: Sunny, high of 96 with 10–15mph winds from SSE, 0% chance of rain (Wunderground puts temp at 93° at gametime)
BAYLOR UNIFORMS: No official word yet, Stormtrooper rumored SMU Preview Preview
Bears vs. Mustangs Coverage

New Bag Policy At Gerald J. Ford Stadium

For those that are planning on attending the game, DFW's NBC affiliate reported that there is a new bag policy in effect for those attending SMU games this season. From a quick perusal of the list of restrictions, it seems to be very similar to the bag policy employed by Baylor at McLane Stadium. I could be wrong about this, but I am fairly sure that it mirrors the policy at Jerry World and other NFL stadiums. (h/t Stephen Hardt on Twitter)

We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know

To say SMU is a bit of an enigma at this point is quite the understatement. After enjoying some success under June Jones, the Mustangs cratered in 2014. SMU lost its first 11 games of the season last year and notched its only victory on the final day of the season against Connecticut. That brought the June Jones era at SMU to a close, and the Mustangs were able to woo highly-coveted offensive coordinator Chad Morris into the head coaching job. This is Morris’s first head coaching gig on the collegiate level. The general view is that the hiring was sensational for SMU. Prior to being the OC for Clemson and Tulsa, he was a high school head coach in Texas, including a stint as the head coach at Stephenville High School. He gave an interview to Bruce Feldman for the Audible Podcast back in the spring, and I was struck by the similarities between he and our own Coach Briles. The interview was incredibly impressive and had me wanting to run through the nearest wall.

That said, this is Morris’ first gig as a head coach, and we get him for the first game. This post doesn’t have the stats that it normally does because there are none, and much of what I would say at this point has either been said by Bill Connelly in his Preview or by odbgrader in his Grading SMU post. As Bill C. said, much of the potential for the Mustangs is theoretical. SMU was so bad in 2014 and their weapons were either ineffective or unavailable, so it’s really difficult to say what this team will do or what it is actually capable of. Which, if you’re not careful, could be very dangerous. We really don't know what to expect from SMU or its brand-new head coach. That said, it’s the first game of the season, and I would be stunned if Briles doesn’t have Baylor ready and hungry on Friday night.

Seriously though, go check out those two posts I linked. Bill C.’s previews are some of the best in the business, and they’ll give you a great idea of what to expect. Odbgrader’s post is also worth reading for his analysis on each position group. I’m not going to be able to do a better job than either of those posts here, so I’ll defer to their work and encourage you to take a look at each.

2015 SMU Mustangs Schedule

Baylor Bears Friday, September 04 2015 7:00 PM EDT coverage
North Texas Mean Green Saturday, September 12 2015 7:00 PM EDT coverage
@ TCU Horned Frogs Saturday, September 19 2015 8:00 PM EDT coverage
James Madison Dukes Saturday, September 26 2015 7:00 PM EDT coverage
East Carolina Pirates Saturday, October 03 2015 12:00 PM EDT coverage
@ Houston Cougars Thursday, October 08 2015 8:00 PM EDT coverage
@ South Florida Bulls Saturday, October 24 2015 12:00 PM EDT coverage
Tulsa Golden Hurricane Saturday, October 31 2015 12:00 PM EDT coverage
Temple Owls Friday, November 06 2015 8:00 PM EST coverage
@ Navy Midshipmen Saturday, November 14 2015 3:30 PM EST coverage
Tulane Green Wave Saturday, November 21 2015 12:00 PM EST coverage
@ Memphis Tigers Saturday, November 28 2015 12:00 PM EST coverage

It’s Question Time!

FIRST: What questions do you have about anything pertaining to this game?
SECOND: The season is finally here. What was your favorite thing you did this past summer?
THIRD: Fun Fact: This is the first time since 2009 that the Bears open the season on the road. What’s your uniform prediction for the game?
FOURTH: What, in your mind, is the biggest question mark on the offensive side of the ball?
FIFTH: Exactly how excited are you that the season is finally here? Feel free to express yourself in prose, limerick or other form of verse, reaction gif, or interpretive dance.*
*Don’t do an interpretive dance unless you then upload the video to Youtube and post it here for us to grade.