84 Days: Opponent Preview – Baylor

With 12 weeks to go, we look ahead at KU’s 12th opponent in 2019, the despicable Bears of Baylor.

How does Baylor even still have a football program? It’s despicable. It’s embarrassing for the league. Fans don’t want them here anymore. And, well, it’s probably not going to change anytime soon, so I guess we’ll go ahead and take a look at the Bears from a football-only perspective the rest of the way.

Game Info

Baylor @ Kansas

Nov 30, 2019, Time TBD

Lawrence, KS: Memorial Stadium

About the Baylor Offense

Baylor returns 65% of its offensive production last year. JR QB Charlie Brewer returns after picking up over 3,000 passing yards and 400+ rushing yards in 2018. WR Jalen Hurd is gone, but Denzel Mims and Chris Platt both return after combining for 91 receptions last year. Baylor also returns its top two RBs from last season in John Lovett and JaMycal Hasty. Baylor does have to replace four seniors who started on the offensive line last season.

About the Baylor Defense

Defensively, the Bears return 85% of their defensive production, which includes 7 of their top 8 tacklers from 2018, including the top two tacklers from last year in LB Clay Johnston and S Chris Miller. Baylor started mostly juniors with two seniors on defense in 2018, both in the secondary, so expect the Bears to be stingy on defense this upcoming season.

Preseason Rankings

Updated S&P+ projections aren’t out yet, but we do have a couple of rankings we can look at. Bill Connelly did a pre-spring S&P+ ranking back in February of all 130 teams and has Baylor at #40, or sixth in the Big 12.

Meanwhile, Athlon also ranked all 130 teams in pre-spring as well in March, and has the Bears at #37.

For reference, the Jayhawks were ranked #107 by S&P+ and #106 by Athlon.

Fearless Prediction

Two days after Thanksgiving, Baylor will walk into a likely frigid Memorial Stadium. Kansas has been no match for Baylor lately, having lost nine straight vs the Bears, with the only respectable loss a 31-30 affair way back in 2011 (a game which Kansas led 24-3 in the fourth quarter).

With all of the changes in the Kansas football program over the past eight months, it’s very difficult to predict how this upcoming season will go. I think most fans are hoping for a minimum of two non-conference wins, a Big 12 home win, and several more competitive outings. If KU is 2-9 or 3-8 coming into this game, Memorial Stadium could once again be pretty barren, especially considering the date and the weather. Sometimes, that works in favor of the good guys, but not always, and even when it does, it’s still difficult to spring the upset.

Baylor will likely be a better team than Kansas, and by all indications, should prevail on the day. Kansas hasn’t come close to Baylor since 2011, and honestly, there’s not much reason to think otherwise for this year. Cross your fingers and hope that the Jayhawks can give you reason to tune into the second half. Baylor 45, Kansas 24.

Source: Rock Chalk Talk