You have questions about the 2015 Baylor Bears football season. I know you do. Well you have come to the right place my friend. Below is the list of "Best of" everything you can imagine about Baylor, Baylor Bear football, and everything you will need for the 2015 (and hopefully at least one game in 2016) season. Dive in below, and remember, this is one simple man's opinion.
Best Local College Sports Bar
BAYLOR: George's Sports Bar
The big name in Waco is George's Sports Bar, an institution in Waco known for cold beers and great chicken fried steak. Make sure to ask for a Big O!
Best Road Trip
@ Kansas State
A trip to Manhattan is always a good thing, with great fans and usually a competitive game. Add in the Bears success in recent years, and it should be a great trip for Baylor fans.
Best Tailgating Spot
BAYLOR: Bear Walk and Touchdown Alley
With the Bears facilities graduating to the big leagues last year with the introduction of McLane Stadium, the Baylor tailgating options improved drastically. You can pick your poison all along the Bear Walk and Touchdown Alley.
Biggest Game of the Year
BAYLOR @ TCU
This is the biggest game by far in the Big 12. Two top-5 teams, with plenty of hate and controversy the last few years to make it interesting.
BAYLOR: CB Xavien Howard
With all four starters returning in the Baylor defensive backfield, the Bears much needed improvement will have to come internally. Howard has great size and insticnts for the position, and looks to improve on his great first half of 2014 (before struggling down the stretch) and put in a complete season.
BAYLOR: TE/G LaQuan McGowan
If you can't root for a 400+ man catching touchdowns and being a tight end for one of the most exhilarating offenses in the nation, we just can't be friends.
Fan Rival (the team the fan base wants to beat every year)
TCU Horned Frogs
This answer has changed the past few years, with Texas A&M being the answer for most before realignment took that option away. Texas is the other obvious answer, but for me it is TCU. The recent reintroduction of this rivalry has been excellent for the Big 12 and both schools.
I'm most looking forward to (what) this football season?
Baylor and TCU, two small-private schools that would have been left for dead 5 years ago if super-conferences became a reality, competing for domination of the Big 12 again, and hopefully a shot in the CFP.
Must Win Game
BAYLOR @ Oklahoma State
The Bears have never won in Stillwater, and really have not been very competitive in recent trips up north. To reach their goals this year, a win in Stillwater is a must-win, especially considering their trip to Fort Worth 6 days later.
BAYLOR: DT Andrew Billings
One of the strongest players in the Big 12, Billings is the rock of the Bears defensive line. With his improving technique to go along with elite strength and agility, Billings could be one of the best defensive tackles in the nation.
BAYLOR: WR Corey Coleman
Coming off of a huge sophomore year, Coleman looks to take a step forward and be the Bears go-to receiver replacing graduated Antwan Goodley.
Top NFL Prospect
BAYLOR: DE Shawn Oakman
The Bears could have several draft picks go in the first round, with senior tackle Spencer Drango a good possibility. Oakman profiles as the top pick though in the Big 12. With his incredible size (6-foot-8, 290 pounds) tremendous length and athleticism, Oakman profiles as a top tier pass rusher at the next level. His production will need to take another step forward, but he has more than enough potential to be a top-10 pick.
Player Rival (the team the players most want to beat every year)
The Texas Longhorns are the team I think the players want to beat the most. The long overrated Longhorns with their elitist attitude and arrogance towards the lowly Bears has rubbed the team in the wrong ways the past few years. Anytime you have a chance to once again prove that you are the team that actually runs the state, you have to enjoy it.
Predictions (out of the box)
TCU and Baylor will once again tie for the Big 12 lead in the standings, with TCU securing the tie-breaker due to a close win on Black Friday (much to the chagrin of Baylor fans screaming "one year too late"). TCU will advance to the CFP while Baylor will settle for another New Years Day Bowl game.
BAYLOR: 11-1, loss to TCU and advance to a New Years Day Game.
With their schedule, especially the non-conference portion, the Bears need perfection to advance to the CFP more than likely. With a single loss to TCU on the road, the Bears finish tied for the top spot in the conference but lose the tie-breaker.
Will one of the Bears or Frogs do enough to get into the College Football Playoff? The Bears non-conference schedule still pails in comparison to all other major contenders, so perfection is probably needed to secure a Top-4 ranking. TCU has Minnesota on the road, but will they improve as a road team from their sometimes lack-luster 2014 performance and handle being the hunted team?
The Bears season will be defined by that 6-day run from November 21st through the 27th. Back-to-back trips to Stillwater and Fort Worth take on the two best bets to be at the top of the Big 12 standings is the toughest thing on anyone's schedule in the Big 12. Splitting those two games, the Bears get to a New Years Day game for the 2nd year in a row.
The team you cover will with the conference if....
…Seth Russell can be the dangerous dual threat that some expect him to be, the Bears upside could be even higher than though. With great speed and athleticism, Russell also has the arm strength to continue the vertical attack that has made the Bears offense elite.