Looking Through the Crystal Ball: Baylor

Layne Murdoch

The Baylor game was one of the few bright moments in 2012 for TCU. Can they replicate that in 2013?

After a dizzying loss to Iowa State the week before, along with the arrest of Casey Pachall and the promotion of Trevone Boykin to starting quarterback, TCU fans didn't know what to expect for the rest of the season.

It seemed like the worst week to head down to Waco to face off against high-powered Baylor, who had just come off of a bye week after a shootout loss to West Virginia.

By the end of it however, there were more TCU fans than Baylor fans left in the stadium, and we had all witnessed the emergence of Deuce Boogie. It wouldn't last long, but this was by far the best performance by Boykin on the season.

In 2013, things look to be leaning in TCU's favor, but with the Baylor game being the last battle of the season, anything could have happened by then. Baylor will be breaking in some new guys on offense, but one thing they don't lack is confidence.

Offense

Lache Seastrunk will be the unquestioned leader of this Baylor team heading into the 2013 season. The running back transfer from Oregon saw little playing time at the beginning of last year, but ended the season on an extreme high. Seastrunk rushed for 831 yards and six touchdowns in the last six games of the season (including a Holiday Bowl victory over UCLA), after having rushed for only 181 yards and one touchdown in the first seven games. Seastrunk, possibly inspired by his performance the second half of last year, has also claimed he'll win the Heisman in 2013. If he averages 140 yards/game for an entire season, continuing his pace to end last year, he may just be in the picture.

For the second straight year, the Bears have to replace a stud quarterback and a stud wide receiver. While neither Nick Florence or Terrance Williams won the Heisman last season, they were definitely the key ingredients to making Baylor's offense tick. They'll be replaced by junior Bryce Petty and senior Tevin Reese, respectively. Petty is a big unknown, but Reese has been an outstanding receiver for the past few seasons. Like Williams two seasons ago, Reese was a great #2 receiver in 2012, catching 53 passes for 957 yards and nine touchdowns.

Defense

Baylor's defense ranked dead last in the Big 12, and near the bottom of the NCAA in most major categories last year. In 2013 they return nine seniors (eight of whom are projected as starters) to their two-deep, all of whom are a year older and more experienced, which is never a bad thing. If you think back to TCU's "bad" defense in 2011, most of those guys returned in 2012 and were dominant.

While I don't see a dominant defense from Baylor this year, it could be an improved unit. With the commitment of Andrew Billings back in February, the Bears got a big defensive tackle that can help shore up their run defense and put a little pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

Their major weakness still lies within the secondary though, and if they're going to have success, it starts with shoring up that unit.

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Currently, I've got TCU as a favorite to win this game (but then again, what game do I not have TCU as a favorite, besides LSU), but with a long season ahead, we know how much can change before the end of November. This is one of the games I want to see the Frogs win most next season. Mostly because I really don't like Baylor (not as much as I don't like Texas Tech though), and also because it helps with recruiting in the metroplex and in North Texas, which is a huge, huge deal.

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