The Baylor Bears are on the doorstep of the 2013 season, waiting almost impatiently as their rabid fans for the kickoff against Wofford to occur. Chomping at the bit never seemed more normal to a Bear fan as the expectations are sky high for this iteration of the Baylor Bears. It also isn't like the Bears players or coaches are doing anything to diminish the excitement either, be it with their Heisman declarations, or expectations for first year starting quarterbacks to set Baylor records.
With us tantalizing close to that first kickoff, wouldn't you like to know what happens to the 2013 Bears and the Big 12 as a whole? I know I sure would, so I went down to the Bayou of Louisiana and stole me a crystal ball. I promise to only use it for good and entertainment purposes. No going to your neighborhood gambling establishment either! So with that, let's take a look at what the first third of the season will bring the Bears and what the Big 12 will look like at that point.
Week 1 – Wofford
The Bears host the Wofford Terriers in week one in their season opener as well. The Terriers are a FCS team, which has been to the playoffs the last 3 seasons, including a visit to the quarterfinals last year. This is a very solid FCS team with a long-time coach in place, Mike Ayers. In his 26th season, Ayers is a very successful coach at the FCS level.
Facing an offense that the Bears have not or will not see a lot of in the Wingbone, the Terriers will get off to a methodical start with two long drives that result in a missed field goal and a turnover. The usually strong Bears offense will hiccup a bit at first and the score will be just 7-0 Baylor going into the second quarter.
After the quarter change happens though, the Bears wake up on offense and go on to a 24-6 halftime lead. They continue to pound the ball on the ground as Lache Seastrunk gains over 180 yards, and 3 touchdowns to give the Bears a 48-13 win in their season opener.
Week 2 - Buffalo
Week two sees the competition get a bit tougher than the week before, this time facing an FBS school in Buffalo. However, the Bulls have fallen on hard times the past few years, including just a 4-8 season in 2012. The Bears and Bulls have met a few times in this century, with Baylor winning each game, including a trip to New York.
The Bears offense this time gets off to a quick start as Bryce Petty finds Robbie Rhodes for a long 50 yard touchdown pass early in the game for the true freshman's first touchdown reception. The hype reaches outlandish proportions around the highly rated freshman receiver as he gets his first 100 yard game and starts getting more and more time on the outside for the Bears.
Baylor's defense continues to dominate, holding the Bulls to just 17 points as the Bears win 52-17.
Week 3 – Bye
Nothing much goes on after the first two games and in preparation for a sneaky ULM team that gave the Bears fits last year. However, the Bears do crack the Media Top 25 poll for the first time, breaking in at #24.
Week 4 – Louisiana- Monroe
Last year, the Bears visited a hornet's nest in Monroe and escaped with a win. The 47-42 win was back and forth all game, as the Bears held off the Kolton Browning led upset machine. Well, Browning is back and is looking for a huge senior season. The Warhawks have a lot of talent coming back for 2013, and are one of the favorites in the Sun Belt conference this year. They are a better team in 2013 than they were in 2012. The big difference this year is that the game is in Waco instead of Monroe.
But this game is still neck and neck through most of it. In fact, no team either gets more than a TD lead until late in the 3rd quarter when the Bears go up 10 points. ULM fights back though with Browning gaining over 100 yards rushing as he continues to lead his team back. The Warhawks even get the ball back down just 7 with 7 minutes to go, but the Bears defense steps up and gets their second turnover of the game and give the explosive Bears offense the ball in great field position. Baylor scores to put the lead at 14 with just a few minutes left and hold on to the 45-31 victory.
Glasco Martin has his breakout game, rushing for over 125 yards as the Bears get their first true balanced offensive attack, with 275 yards passing and 225 yards rushing in an offensive battle.
Week 5 – Bye
At 3-0 with their second bye week out of the way, the Bears have a light week and see themselves rise up to 21st in the country and finally ranked in the Coaches poll at 24th.
Big 12 after 5 Weeks:
With the non-conference season pretty much over, most teams are still pretty optimistic. The Big 12 has a few big non-conference wins under its belt, with Oklahoma upsetting Notre Dame, Iowa State beating Iowa in their annual grudge match and SMU being swept by its Big 12 opponents TCU and Texas Tech. Speaking of TCU, they had a tough loss to open the year against LSU in a game that just got away from the Horned Frogs late.
West Virignia will have two losses to the Oklahoma schools in their second season in the Big 12, as they play two very early conference games while working on rebuilding their offense. Blake Bell answers critics with a fast start and the upset win over Notre Dame puts them atop the Big 12 rankings as they are the first Big 12 team in the Top 10.
1. Texas 4-0 (1-0)
1. Oklahoma State 4-0 (1-0)
1. Oklahoma 4-0 (1-0)
4. TCU 3-1 (1-0)
5. Baylor 3-0
6. Iowa State 3-0
7. Kansas 2-1
8. Kansas State 3-1 (0-1)
8. Texas Tech 3-1 (0-1)
10. West Virginia 3-2 (0-2)