Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Baylor Bears begin practice for the 2016 season today

The 2016 Baylor Bears football team will hold its first official practice today. What to watch for and the new names to know as Baylor takes the field.

The 2016 Baylor Bears will take the field today for the first time in preparation for the season ahead.  With new Acting Coach Jim Grobe, Baylor looks to rebound from a disappointing 2015 season, and a very difficult summer that saw the program engulfed in a sexual assault scandal that resulted in the firing of head coach Art Briles, the departure of half of the 2016 signing class, and more attrition all across the roster. 

Scholarship Chart

The Bears are down to under 70 scholarship players for the 2016 season. The summer has seen key contributors like Jarret Stidham, Chris Johnson, Brian Nance, and Devin Chafin leave the program.  With Rami Hammad being suspended pending an investigation into stalking charges, the Bears are light on the offensive line and have little experience on the defensive line.  

Depth Chart ($)

Even with the massive losses from the roster the past few months, the Bears are still a very talented team. Depth and inexperience at a few key positions might hold them back though.  They are led by All-American QB Seth Russell, but have just a true freshman backing him up in Zach Smith.  Their running back group might be the most talented and deepest in the nation with Shock Linwood and Johnny Jefferson leading the way.  The Bears have good depth in the defensive secondary and at the linebacker position, but are young and untested on the defensive line.  

2016 Schedule

Date Opponent / Event Location Time / Result
09/02/16 vs. Northwestern State TV Waco, Texas 6:30 p.m. CT
09/10/16 vs. SMU TV Waco, Texas 2:30 p.m. CT
09/16/16 at Rice TV Houston, Texas 7:00 p.m. CT
09/24/16 vs. Oklahoma State * Waco, Texas TBA
10/01/16 at Iowa State * Ames, Iowa TBA
10/15/16 vs. Kansas (Homecoming) * Waco, Texas TBA
10/29/16 at Texas * Austin, Texas TBA
11/05/16 vs. TCU * Waco, Texas TBA
11/12/16 at Oklahoma * Norman, Okla. TBA
11/19/16 vs. Kansas State * Waco, Texas TBA
11/25/16 vs. Texas Tech * TV Arlington, Texas 5:00 p.m. CT
12/03/16 at West Virginia * Morgantown, W.Va TBA

The Bears schedule breaks perfectly for them to begin the year, partly due to their own doing.  Northwestern State, SMU, and at Rice are an easy way to start the season.  Their first test is at home against Oklahoma State, then they go back to facing the soft underbelly of the college football world with a homecoming game against Kansas, and a trip to Iowa State.  If the Bears beat OSU, there is little in the way of a 6-0 start going into their trip down to Austin to take on UT.  With trips to Houston to take on Rice, Arlington to take on Texas Tech and true road trips to Ames, IA;Austin, TX; and Norman, OK, the Bears will be in the state of Texas for all but two games this year. 

5 Names to Watch

  • Blake Lynch (RSFR. WR) 
  • Jameson Houston (RSFR. CB)
  • Clay Johnson (RSFR. LB)
  • Patrick Lawrence (SO. LT)
  • JMycal Hasty (RSFR., WR/RB/KR/PR)

5 Key Bears

  • Seth Russell (SR. QB)
  • Shock Linwood (SR. RB)
  • K.D. Cannon (JR. WR)
  • Treveon Blanchard (JR. NB)
  • Ryan Reid (SR. CB)

Offensive Line Preview ($)

The Bears offensive line took some massive hits this offseason, even after losing 80% of the starters and 1 key reserve.  Kyle Fuller is the lone man left on the line, and will be joined by four 1st time starters, whoever they are.  Luckily, the Bears rotated their linemen quite a bit last year, so guard/center Blake Blackmar, Guard Ish Wilson and tackle Patrick Lawrence have quite a bit of experience.  Junior College transfers Mo Porter, Dom Desouza and Tyrae Simmons will also need to make an impact. 

Key Dates to Remember

August 4th, 2016 - Fall Camp Begins

August 6th, 2016 - Meet the Bears Scrimmage and Fan Day

September 2nd, 2016 - First game of the season (Hosting Northwestern State)

September 24th, 2016 - First Big 12 game of season (Hosting Oklahoma State)

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