College Football 2014 Preview – Baylor Bears

The Baylor Bears are coming off their most successful season in program history.  After winning their first ever Big 12 title in 2013, the Bears appeared in the Fiesta Bowl.  And despite their BCS loss to Central Florida, the experience of playing in a big-time bowl game will help moving forward.

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The Baylor Bears are coming off their most successful season in program history.  After winning their first ever Big 12 title in 2013, the Bears appeared in the Fiesta Bowl.  And despite their BCS loss to Central Florida, the experience of playing in a big-time bowl game will help moving forward.

The Bears carry unprecedented momentum going into the 2014 season and will be a preseason top 15 team.  More importantly, they return heralded senior quarterback Bryce Petty, who’s on every major award watch list.  Petty will also be an early Heisman contender after passing for 4,200 yards and 32 touchdowns and rushing for another 14 touchdowns on a record-setting offense.

Baylor coach Art Briles is also confident in the returning wide receiver corps despite losing star receiver Tevin Reese to the NFL.  Antwan Goodley will lead the way.  The preseason All-Big 12 receiver had 71 catches for 1,339 yards and 13 touchdowns last year.  Additionally, keep an eye on incoming freshman receiver K.D. Cannon, the most highly rated recruit in Baylor’s 2014 class.

Briles and his staff will have to replace three players on the offensive line and the team’s top two running backs, however.  This includes standout guard Cyril Richardson and electrifying back Lache Seastrunk.

The Bears will also rely on a lot of young talent on defense after losing seven starters.  But their defense will be anchored by linebacker Bryce Hagar and a solid defensive line in front of him.

Defensive ends Shawn Oakman, Javonte Magee, Jamal Palmer and Sam Ukwuachu (a transfer from Boise State) headline a talented group and tackle Andrew Billings could be a star in the making.  Briles is extremely high on his defensive front.  “I think our front four can be as good as anybody in America,” he said.

Baylor’s schedule sets up favorably until an October 4th trip to Austin, where they’ll face-off against Texas.  The biggest game of their season will undoubtedly be their November 8th tilt against Oklahoma in Norman.  The Sooners seek vengeance after suffering a blowout loss in Waco last season.

Baylor currently stands at 28-1 to win the 2015 National Championship and 11-4 to repeat as Big 12 champions.

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