Football shocked Baylor with the Big 12 Championship last year. This year, the Bears are seeking to prove they can hold their crown by reloading rather than rebuilding.
Dave Aranda entered Waco’s third year in much better shape than last year, with the Big 12 in cup status.
Now that he had reached the top, he needed to figure out how to keep Baylor there.
The Bears entered the season at #13 in FanSided’s Top 50 pre-season rankings.
What can fans expect in 2022?
Baylor Football Season 2021 Review
Aranda’s second season couldn’t have gone off to perfection. After debuting 2-7 during a season affected by COVID-19, the head coach pulled his team together to win the Big 12 for the first time since 2014, going 12-2 with a Sugar Bowl win to seal things off.
Defense was stifling and attack hit the rock as the Bears made their way through the big 12 and demolished BYU’s rank. While they lost to Oklahoma State and suffered a two-point defeat in the TCU, they hit a ticket to a conference title match where they avenged their loss to the Cowboys for the coronation.
Baylor Bears offense 2022 season preview
- Return appetizers (6): T. Drake Dabney, TE Ben Sims, C. Jacob Gal, RG Grant Miller, RT Khalil Keith, LT Connor Galvin
- Notable newcomers: QB Luke Anthony (Louisiana Tech), 4-star WR Armani Winfield
- effect player: QB Blake Chapin
Blake Shapen put in a stellar performance in the Big 12 to get him started this spring, ousting Gerry Bohanon, who has since moved on and is now the starter in the USF. Now he is the undisputed No. 1 responsible for moving the Bears forward in attack.
There will be more on QB’s shoulders this season with the departures of reading speeders Abram Smith and Tristan Ebner. They’re integrated for 2,400 yards and 14 touchdowns, so replacing them won’t be easy. Ty McWilliams is the best returning player in running and had just 181 yards in 17 runs last year. Will fill some big shoes.
QB will also work with a reconstructed Receiving Corps. Tyquan Thornton, RJ Snead and Drew Estrada all left, leaving Ben Sims as one of the best passing players alongside Drake Dabney. The arrival of new four-star Armani Winfield may be just in time.
On the plus side, Shapen will have a veteran offensive line led by Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year defender Conor Galvin and boost Buffalo transfer Jacob Gal. Staying stationary in the trenches should be of great help to the attack.
Baylor Bears defense preview for 2022
- Return appetizers (5): DT Cole Maxwell, NT Siaki Eka, WLP Matt Jones, MLB Dillon Doyle, S Christian Morgan
- Notable newcomers: DL Jackson, player (Tulsa), LP Josh White (LSU)
- effect player: NT Seyaki Ika
The defense led the Bears to the Big 12 title and if there’s one thing Aranda can count on, it’s a good defense.
However, this year’s group will have some big absences to contend with, including the 12th Senior Defensive Player of the Year, Galen Peter, and the Big 12’s first-team linebacker pick, Terrell Bernard.
At least the defense will be backed by Seyaki Ika and a defensive line that must be as brave as last year, especially with the addition of Jackson’s player from Tulsa.
LSU’s Josh White will try to bolster his quarterback corps, bringing back quarterback Dillon Doyle.
High school is retooled with Christian Morgan introducing the best veteran presence in Aman.
Baylor Football Player Awards Watch for the 2022 season
The Bears have six players on their pre-season watchlists for the National Awards.
Seyaki Ika, Nagurski / Outland / Bednarik
Ika made immediate impact as a transfer from LSU, receiving the 2021 Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year award. He earned his first All-Big-12 team honor and is now seeking national recognition.
Jacob Gall, Remington/Outland
Another transfer, Gal worked his way from Buffalo to a key role in the Baylor Premier League offensive line in 2021. After helping the Bears reach the semi-finals for the Joe Moore Award, he was able to target individual honors in 2022.
Conor Galvin, Lombardy/Outland
Galvin was the first All-Big-12 player to be named an All-American last season. Returns the attention of the voters the main offensive line prize.
Dillon Doyle, Nagorski
Doyle finished second in the Bears defense with 90 interventions, adding 8.5 interventions for a loss. He was an honorable mention for the All-Big-12 in 2021 and will seek to prove he deserves even more with 2022.
Isaac Bauer, Ray Jay
The Force is vying for the title of Most Valuable Player in College Football after averaging 45 yards per kick in 2021.
Ben Sims, Macy
Sims had the best season of his career with 361 yards and six touchdowns last year. No other tight end for Bear has had as many touchdowns as his nine points in his career. .
Biggest Baylor Bears game in the 2022 schedule
Oklahoma and Texas will loom large in the second half of the season, but the October 1 game with Oklahoma State could be the early indicator of what the Bears can do. Baylor will bring the Cowboys home, but they will be back from a road trip to Iowa while OSU is coming in for a farewell week.
Football Baylor Best Scenario
All on the Aranda Train. The Big 12 may look wide open but Baylor has proven itself last year and can come back as sharp as ever with a roof top in the middle and a defense capable of fending off any attack they encounter.
Last year was the Big 12 title. This year it could be the playoff by avoiding another loss like that annoying loss against the TCU.
The worst case scenario for football Baylor
The travel schedule is tough for Baylor with flights to BYU, Iowa State, Oklahoma, and Texas. Things could take a turn for the worse early on if the defense is not at 2021 level in the first half of the season. And it won’t get much easier in the second half.
Nobody will underestimate the bears this time around and that could mean dropping unexpected games on the way to the 7-5 record.
Baylor 2022 football season predictions
The 2021 season was no luck. Baylor will compete for the Big 12 again this year. The tough part will actually be defending the title as Oklahoma State continues, Oklahoma with its defensive mentor on top and strengthening the Texans.
Without the certainty of running back or in the back seven defenses, it’s fair to expect the Bears to hold back a bit. It won’t be big, but it will be enough for the Cowboys to close the gap.
We expect Baylor to give Texans a wake-up call at the end of the regular season but settle for a 9-3 campaign.
Baylor Football Predictions 2022
Bill Bender Project from Sporting News He will face the Oregon Bears at the Alamo Bowl.
next one: Number 12: Sooner Oklahoma
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