1. Why fear the Bears? A bit of a drop-off last year, maybe a bit unexpected, but with Blake Shapen getting a bit injured that’s not a bad reason. Sawyer Robertson transferring in certainly helps with depth and competition and am a little surprised he didn’t beat out Shapen. The combination of Richard Reese and Dominic Richardson will be really good and I think Baylor realized they needed some help at receiver. The defensive line should be really good but the secondary may have some overhaul. We’re also getting to the point where these are no longer Rhule and McGuire kids, but Aranda’s and you wonder if how that process changed in terms of recruiting as Rhule and McGuire definitely had a type and plan for recruiting. I haven’t followed Baylor enough to know if Aranda is keeping to those processes.
2. The Best Jimmy’s and Joe’s. This is a list of players on preseason All-Big 12 teams. Maybe at the time these lists came out, we didn’t know if Robertson or Shapen would get the call. Reese is a terrific running back. Hall and Franklin along the line with Jones and Randolph at linebacker are very good players.
- QB Sawyer Robertson
- QB Blake Shapen
- RB Richard Reese
- WR Monaray Baldwin
- OL Clark Barrington
- DL Gabe Hall
- DL T.J. Franklin
- LB Matt Jones
- LB Garmon Randolph
- S Devin Lemear
3. Transfer Report. We’ve already talked about Robertson from Mississippi State, but Jake Roberts at tight end from North Texas, Dominic Richardson at running back from Oklahoma State (start to notice all of the Oklahoma State transfers as we go through these previews), Ketron Jackson at wide receiver from Arkansas, and Clark Barrington at offensive line from BYU. That’s a lot of offensive additions. Defensively, linebacker Mike Smith from Liberty was the big addition.
4. Tough to Replace. Defensive tackle Siaki Ika was the only NFL draft pick and he was an anchor inside. Three offensive linemen, Jacob Gall, Connor Galvin, and Khalil Keith represent 3/5’s of the offensive line last year (Keith was injured for a chunk of it I think). Tight end Ben Sims was a pretty good tight end and had 31 catches for 255 yards and 3 touchdowns. Receiver Gavin Holmes had 26 receptions for 517 yards and 4 touchdowns last year. Cornerback Christian Morgan was a big part of the defense and had 48 tackles and 3 picks last year.
Ed Note. This is what I worked on while on flights. I tried not to get too deep because that would be incredibly difficult to do this for 14 teams and I think most of us want a cursory idea of what opposing teams. I also found the idea of who is transferring in as more important than the freshmen arriving. That’s definitely changed over the course of the year. I also thought that knowing who is being replaced is relevant more than most things.