Art Briles and the Baylor Bears have established themselves as a program that should be taken seriously. It may have taken a Heisman Trophy winner in Robert Griffin III to get them to that level, but they were able to maintain it in 2012 when Griffin was in the NFL. They're changing quarterbacks again in 2013, going from Nick Florence to Bryce Petty, but the offensive machinery led by Lache Seastrunk should continue to roll onward. Let's take a look at their schedule to see what we can expect from the 2013 Bears.
2013 Baylor schedule
Projections from Football Outsiders' 2013 college football almanac.
Baylor's season breaks down into two halves. The first half gives the Bears an easy run in for the second half, which is good because it will need it. Baylor doesn't leave Waco until mid-October when it plays Kansas State, and it should be undefeated when it makes the trip up to Manhattan. It has a pair of manageable games after that against Iowa State and Kansas, but things get hairy after that.
After a bye week at the beginning of November, Baylor plays Oklahoma at home, Texas Tech in Arlington, back to back road trips to Oklahoma State and TCU, and finishes the season against Texas at home. Four of those teams are projected to finish in the top 12 in the nation, and Texas Tech is no pushover. Baylor won't be able to outscore all of those teams, and it remains to be seen whether its defense is up to the task.
Many thought there would be a significant drop when Baylor transitioned from Robert Griffin III to Nick Florence, but it didn't happen. Briles has earned the benefit of the doubt at this point, and it's hard to imagine this Baylor team missing out on a bowl game. Its late season schedule is brutal, but this is still a team that can get to seven or eight wins.