Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE
Baylor outscored TCU in 2011. They won't in 2012.
Baylor plays many of the same teams they did in 2011. Those teams all return potent offenses.
The start of the season is manageable with SMU, but it isn't a lock. June Jones was known for his offensive prowess at Hawaii, and while it hasn't turned into success for the Mustangs in Dallas, there will be a breakthrough at some point.
The Mustangs defense was 26th in the nation a year ago. Watch this game closely.
Sam Houston State was the FCS runner-up a year ago and is ranked No. 2 in their preseason poll. Baylor should win this game, but watch out for the Bearkats from nearby Huntsville to make it tough on them.
After the Bearkats, Baylor gets a gimme-game at Louisiana-Monroe. This is one of the rare times a BCS team travels to a lesser opponent, but the Bears really don't have much of a following outside of Waco. The Warhawks weren't in the top 50 in any major statistical category in 2011, and this might be the easiest game on Baylor's schedule.
Where it really gets tough is the middle of the season. They travel to West Virginia, host TCU and go to Texas in three consecutive games. If they come out of those three 1-2, I'll be very surprised.
There isn't a guaranteed win at Iowa State, but a homecoming matchup against Kansas is winnable. The Bears had to eek out a win in overtime over the Jayhawks last year.
They travel to Oklahoma before finishing the season with three straight home games versus Kansas State, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State. KSU should beat Baylor, Texas Tech is a tossup and Oklahoma State's high-powered offense—even with a freshman under center—should torch Baylor's secondary.
It isn't a tough schedule, but Baylor also won't be near the team they were last season. If they make it to a bowl game, it will be a HUGE success of a season. My prediction is four or five wins.