Fresh off their best season in school history, the Baylor Bears are soaring to heights many never thought would happen.
The Bears went 10-3 in 2011 and notched impressive wins over No.15 Texas Christian, No.5 Oklahoma and No.22 Texas.
On top of that, Robert Griffin III was awarded the schools first Heisman trophy while putting up great numbers and showing incredible leadership down the stretch.
Going into the 2012 season, Baylor will be missing several key players and will have to replace them quickly to try and resemble the successful team of last year.
It goes without saying that the loss of Robert Griffin III, the second overall pick in the 2012 NLF draft, will hurt the Bears significantly. There are a few less heralded players that Baylor will miss as well.
Wide receiver Kendall Wright was also a key component to the Bears offense during his entire career at Baylor.
During his senior season, Wright had 108 receptions, 1,663 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns.
The Tennessee Titans drafted the All-American wide out as the No. 20 overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft.
Running back Terrance Ganaway had a breakout season in 2011 rushing for 1,547 yards on 250 carries.
Ganaway is a big running back at 6'0", 245 pounds and can run over defenders. He also ran a 4.47 at Baylor's pro day this year.
Ganaway was the No. 202 pick overall, drafted by the New York Jets.
Lastly, the Bears had their fifth player drafted as Outside linebacker Robert Griffin, no relation to the quarterback, was selected by the New York Jets with the No. 203 pick overall.
Needless to say, the Bears lost a lot of talent this year and will need to replace it with quality players quickly.
Baylor hauled in one of their best recruiting classes ever last year as Scout.com rated the Bears 2012 class as the 30th in the nation.
A good mixture of offensive and defensive talent highlights this class.
Four-star players included S Aiavion Edwards (Stephenville, Texas), WR Corey Coleman (Richardson, Texas) and DE Javonte Magee (San Antonio, Texas). The Bears also brought in dual-threat QB Terrance Singleton (Port Arthur, Texas).
Look for Baylor to drop off quite a bit next year after losing so much talent on offense. The Bears will need to improve their defense from last year, which ranked a dismal 114th in total defense.
Senior quarterback Nick Florence will take over the starting role and team leader in 2012 and will have his work cut out for him unless the Bears defense can step up and make his job easier.
Senior wide receiver Terrance Williams will give Florence a target with height and speed as he had 957 yards on 59 receptions and 11 touchdowns in 2011. Along with Williams, junior wide receiver Tevin Reese will provide support as he went for 877 yards on 51 receptions and seven touchdowns in 2011.
2012 season record predictions:
Given wins: Sam Houston State, Louisiana-Monroe
Best-case scenario: 8-4
Worst-case scenario: 2-10
My prediction: 5-7