Kevin Barrera - BearsIllustrated Co-Owner, Recruiting Analyst
When I look at this game, I see two things. 1) A team that is on its way to find its identity, and 2) and team that is working towards a National Championship. That is the difference between Baylor and TCU. TCU has been impressive this season, and pulled out all the stops in a 37-33 victory over the Oklahoma Sooners. But the Horned Frogs are coming in to Waco, facing a totally different atmosphere. It will be interesting to see how they react to being the “it” team. Many have called them the “Auburn of this season.” I don’t know if I’d go that far, but they have done some great things. However, the Bears are a totally different animal at home. To steal a thought from our friends at ODB, the Bears at home play to crush their opponents souls. On the road, the Bears play to win the game. I think that is a very important factor here. The Bears defense will attack Boykin early and try to make him win the game, which is something he hasn’t had to do this year. The offense will use it’s weapons to expose a TCU secondary that isn’t as good as its past groups, and Shock Linwood and Johnny Jefferson will bring the game home late in the 4th quarter.
Score: Bears win 38-27
Elliott Coffey - BearsIllustrated Contributor
I believe TCU and Baylor match up very well. Saturday could turn into the game of the year, stealing attention away from this weekends Red River Rivalry. On the offense side of the ball we need to score early and often. When we do, we force teams to be one dimensional and no one can keep up with our pace (Shoutout to Coach Kaz and his staff!). On defense we need to stop the run and limit big plays. With the devastating blow of losing Jamal Palmer, JaVonte McGee has a chance to step up and be that dominant force we know he can be. At the end of the day TCU is coming to Waco. We win in Waco.
Score: Bears win 42-31
James Holloway - BearsIllustrated Contributor
The Bears are a much better team at home than they are one the road, whether it's the crowd, the familiarity, or a combination of many factors, the Bears have just always played better in the friendly confines of Floyd Casey and now McLane. That is where the Bears take on TCU this weekend as the Bears look to go 6-0 for the second year in a row and continue their quest to the College Football Playoff. TCU is a much improved offensive team than last year's team which scored 38 points on Baylor, but Baylor's defense is also a better unit than it was last year. The Bears defense is going to have to do a good job at containing Boykin, as well as get consistent pressure on him. On the other side of the ball for Baylor, Bryce Petty is going to have to play like Bryce Petty always plays at home, and he is going to need a game similar to the OU game last year where he scored 5 total TDs. The TCU defense is always stout but if Petty and the gang get in a rhythm offensively, they should not pose that much of a problem. The fans will be going crazy, the team and coaches are amped up, and they should be ready to play in the friendly confines of McLane Stadium. It's going to be closer than the usual home game, but not too close.
Score: Bears win 35-27
Shehan Jeyarajah - BearsIllustrated Contributor, Lariat Sports Editor, and DMN Baylor Blog Writer
Score: Bears win 49-38
Chase Medina - BearsIllustrated Contributor
When it comes to Baylor and TCU there is definitely no love lost between these two teams. The utter disdain for each other seems to always lead to hard fought close games. This season TCU is fielding its most complete team since entering the Big 12. TCU has long been known for their defense, but this year they bring a new hurry up spread offense to the table. So far this season that offense has been able to put up points in bunches thanks in large part to the play of Trevon Boykin. However, Boykin is not only the leading passer for TCU, he is also their leading rusher. I see Baylor taking away Boykin’s running game either with a spying linebacker or safety help. I expect Baylor to try to make Boykin one-dimensional by keeping him in the pocket. I also expect Baylor to make someone else like Catalon beat them on the ground. These will not be easy tasks with the loss of Jamal Palmer and possibly Aiavion Edwards, but the Bears defense is probably the deepest it’s ever been. It is truly the cliché of the next man up.I think Petty and the offense find their mojo and rhythm early in this game. I also expect the Baylor running backs to have a big game, because TCU shows a lot of six man fronts. Although they tend to walk a safety down at the last minute, the Bears backfield has shown the ability to make people miss after getting through the line. I think we will also see some isolation of their safeties by our inside receivers, like K.D. Cannon, by running routes up the seam. In addition, McLane Stadium will be LOUD. This is TCU’s first true road test. They have yet to travel out of DFW and their only road game was at SMU. I believe that TCU will have a tough time dealing with the crowd noise, especially if they get behind the chains. I think this will be a higher scoring game than most do, and I think the Bears will win at home.
Score: Bears win 42-31
Ryan Resch - BearsIllustrated Contributor
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this game since I the final whistle blew in the UT game. I’ve been trying to temper that side of me that wants to be concerned about our offense, given its performance against Texas, and I think I’ve finally managed to do that. I am confident that Coach Briles will have Petty and the receivers on the same page this week. I have confidence that Petty will be able to put his performance against the Longhorns behind him and be more of the “perfect” quarterback he consistently strives to be. That said, TCU’s defense is nothing to baulk at. I predict that this good old fashioned revivalry will feature classic Briles: establish the run and throw deep passes off of play action. That said, it would be nice to see Clay Fuller featured somewhat on his traditional medium routes. He could provide the spark our offense needs to open up the entire playbook against Patterson. Our defense stays strong throughout the first half, getting pressure on Boykin consistently, but TCU’s running game has a chance at coming alive against our banged-up offensive line. In the end, though, Bennett and squad manage to continue winning the turnover battle.
Score: Bears win 42-20
Tim Watkins - BearsIllustrated Co-Owner, Publisher
Coming off their biggest win in their Big 12 tenure, the Horned Frogs are riding high. They should be, they are 4-0 and have one of the best wins in college football. Their offense has seen excellent improvement this year after holding them back in 2012 and 2013. Their defense is performing well still, but not to the level we have seen in the past. Some think it is just the tempo that their offense is using now. I think their defense is simply not as good this year. Their safeties are the weak spot, and the Bears speed at the wide receiver position will be able to win that matchup. If the Frogs adjust and drop more into coverage, the improved run blocking against Texas gives me hope that the Bears will be able to win that type of game again. Overall, I am picking the home team. The Bears were exhausted of being on the road in Austin last weekend. This week, they will have the home energy behind them, and will get a big victory to solidfy their Top-5 status.
Score: Bears win 38-35
Matt Wilson - BearsIllustrated Contributor
No getting around it, Gary P knows how to gameplan for Baylor. Offensively, Petty will have to be better than he was last week, as will the receivers. We'll lean on the run early and soften those safeties, then go to work over top.
Defensively, if TCU can move that pocket side to side like Texas did to neutralize the pass rush, Boykin will take better advantage of it than Swoopes. It really turns into a game of who is more disciplined in their scheme.
Baylor starts quick, but the grip on TCU slips a tad. Tight all game until mid-way through the 4th.
Score: Bears win 35-28