Baylor didn’t have the season anyone expected in Dave Aranda‘s first season on campus with a 2-7 record. But Aranda walked into a tough spot as a new coach dealing with no spring camp, limited summer camp and a weird COVID-19 football season that saw lots of starting and stopping.
Well as we look ahead to 2021, CBS Sports put together its of teams who can have a bounce-back season this fall, and the only Big 12 team on the list was the Baylor Bears.
Regarding Baylor, CBS Sports wrote, “Just one year removed from playing in the Big 12 Championship Game, Baylor took a nose dive in Dave Aranda’s first season. I’d argue that, other than Houston, no team was harder impacted on the field by the fallout of the pandemic than the Bears. They were introducing a completely new staff with no real offseason to get acquainted. Then, COVID-19 spread rapidly throughout the Baylor program during the season, especially early on.”
I agree with CBS Sports’ analysis here, and I do believe Baylor can make a big jump. The Bears have spring practice underway and while there are places that can definitely improve, their biggest impediment may be the depth of the conference.
Look around the Big 12 and find me the obvious team Baylor will jump? Oklahoma and Iowa State are two favorites to reach the College Football Playoff. Texas has new leadership, and while the hype is often overstated, Steve Sarkisian has a ton of talent, as always. Oklahoma State returns a ton on defense and is a year older on offense. TCU is due for a breakthrough. Maybe they can jump Kansas State and Texas Tech? I suppose a “bounce-back” could be going from two to four conference wins? That depends on your definition.
But the quality of this conference and the round robin nature makes it tough for anyone to make a big leap. However Dave Aranda has been given all the resources he needs so he will need to show significant improvement this fall.
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