Location: Waco, TX (a.k.a. the butthole of the earth)
Weird Fact: Just read this about the NoZe Brotherhood…
Interesting Claim: Baylor claims that they are the originator of Homecoming, with their first event occurring in 1909.
First Season: 1899 (2-1-1)
First Game: vs. Toby’s Practical Business College (W 20-0)
Their first season was also the first season they played TCU, which ended in a 0-0 tie. It was a thrilling game I’m sure.
Strange Fact: From 1899 to 1911, Baylor and TCU played 26 times, with Baylor holding the 14-8-4 edge over the Frogs.
2011 Season: 10-3 (6-3).
Key Wins: vs. #15 TCU (50-48), vs. #5 Oklahoma (45-38), vs. Texas (48-24)
Bowl Game: Alamo Bowl vs. Washington (W 67-56)
The 2011 Bears were unlike any other team that came before them. Robert Griffin III, the first Heisman winner in Baylor history, led the team on a historic run, defeating both Texas and Oklahoma, along with longstanding rival TCU.
Both Griffin and receiver Kendall Wright were taken in the first round of the NFL Draft, with Griffin going to the Redskins and Wright heading to the 49ers.
2012 Season: 3-1 (0-1)
This season, Griffin and Wright are replaced with Nick Florence and Terrence Williams (a W.T. White High School alum, like me). Florence and Williams are doing their best to make Bears fans forget Griffin and Wright, and to this point, they've done an admirable job.
Florence is second in the Big 12 (15th in the nation) with 1,585 passing yards on the season (396 yards/game). He’s thrown for 16 touchdowns, good for 4th in the country, and 5 interceptions. His marquis game this year came against West Virginia, where he threw for almost 581 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Meanwhile, Williams is clearly his favorite target, hauling in 34 receptions for 667 yards and 6 touchdowns.
Their rushing game hasn't suffered a whole lot since the loss of Terrence Ganaway, but they haven't had to rely on it much this season.
Jarred Salubi and Glasco Martin, Baylor's two primary backs, have combined for 477 yards rushing and 7 touchdowns. Salubi is the #1 back, but Martin is their bruiser. He's got 5 touchdowns on the season. Their combined stats would rank 41st in the country in yardage, and tied for 19th in the country in touchdowns (with the likes of Collin Klein, Johnny Manziel and Le'Veon Bell).
He's no RGIII, but Florence is capable of making plays with his legs as well. He's run for 153 yards and a touchdown this season, and is gaining 5.5 yards per rush.
Baylor's defense has forced 10 turnovers in for games this year (6 interceptions and 4 fumbles), but they've given up a lot of yards, and a lot of points. Baylor's defense ranks dead last in the Big 12, allowing 39.8 points per game, and 571.3 yards per game. That's over 100 yards worse than West Virginia, who ranks 9th in the conference in yards allowed.
Baylor has had two weeks to prepare for TCU, but the change at quarterback for the Frogs should slow their planning just a bit.
With a full week to prepare as the #1 quarterback, I have confidence that Trevone Boykin will be able to move the ball against Baylor.
The real question lies with whether or not they can convert yards into points, and if the defense can slow down this potent Bears offense.
For more game information, check out Game Week #6.