Will the Baylor Bears find a way to repeat as Big 12 champions? Or will we see a new king of the Big 12 in 2022?
Next up on our list of Big 12 predictions, we have the defending champion Baylor Bears. Despite losing some talented players on both sides of the ball, Baylor is entering 2022 as the favorite to win the Big 12 again. Baylor being the preseason favorite breaks a six-year streak set by the Oklahoma Sooners.
After going 2-7 in 2020, Baylor had one of the greatest turnarounds in college football history. The Bears finished 12-2 overall and 7-2 in conference play. That is the program’s first-ever 12-win season which ended in a Big 12 Championship and a Sugar Bowl victory. This Baylor team is set to be just as good in 2022. That being said, let’s start breaking down the Baylor Bears 2022 schedule.
Week One, Home Game vs Albany
Baylor will begin their title defense with an absolute cakewalk of a game. Baylor will take on the Albany Great Danes and this game will be over by the end of the first quarter. This “tune-up game” will be a good chance for the coaching staff to figure out their depth chart. It will also be a good chance for the new pieces to find their footing and get a feel for the team overall. Do not tune in to this one folks, it won’t take long for it to be finished.
Score Prediction: Baylor 64, Albany 14
Week Two, Away Game vs BYU
After an easy one in week one, Baylor has to go on the road against BYU. The Cougars are looking like a top-20 team heading into 2022. They replaced their holes in the roster with more talent and this will be a tough game for Baylor. While I am sure Baylor’s new QB Blake Shapen will be at peak performance later in the year, I do not see him being ready for this big of a test in week two. I like BYU to upset Baylor in this one.
Score Prediction: BYU 30, Baylor 27
Week Three, Home Game vs Texas State
Following a week two loss, Baylor will be gifted a win with their final non-conference game against Texas State. Baylor will likely put up another 50-piece considering they will be rather upset they already have a loss on the year. Look for Shapen to lead the offense in a scoring display that will show Baylor will be a problem late in the season. Baylor takes this one by a bunch just like in week one.
Score Prediction: Baylor 55, Texas State 14
Week Four, Away Game vs Iowa State
To start off their conference schedule, Baylor goes on the road to take on the Cyclones. I have mentioned it a few times already but Iowa State might have a tough venue but their roster is not what it used to be. I do not see Iowa State being a serious threat in the Big 12 other than playing spoiler for the actual contenders. The Cyclones will be able to hang around for a quarter or two but I can see Baylor gaining control and coasting to a close win.
Score Prediction: Baylor 34, Iowa State 21
Week Five, Home Game vs Oklahoma State
Baylor’s conference schedule does not get easier in week five as they go home to host the Cowboys of Oklahoma State. I have preached highly about this Cowboys team and I stand by the fact they will be dangerous in 2022. The Baylor defense is returning most of their playmakers and this will be a game for them to shine. With Spencer Sanders returning to Oklahoma State, the Baylor defense will be all too familiar with his abilities. I like Baylor to once again prove why they are the defending champs of the Big 12.
Score Prediction: Baylor 34, Oklahoma State 28
Week Six, Away Game vs West Virginia
Baylor will follow up their tough week five with a road matchup in Morgantown. Again, West Virginia is nowhere near a contender in the Big 12 but easily can spoil a contender’s mood. West Virginia will likely look to use the passing attack much more than last year and their defense can be stingy. However, the Bears still have some solid pieces left and they will be enough to get the road win.
Score Prediction: Baylor 34, West Virginia 14
Week Seven, Home Game vs Kansas
After a tough beginning to conference play, the Bears come back home to host the Jayhawks. KU might have some offensive pieces that could be exciting but it will be short-lived. Baylor is far too skilled and is just better in every way possible on the field. Look for the Bears to win this game early and cruise to another Big 12 victory.
Week Eight, Away Game vs Texas Tech
After blowing out KU, the Bears go back on the road to take on Texas Tech in Lubbock. The Red Raiders are likely going to be competing with KU for the worst record in the Big 12 this year. With a new head coach and offensive coordinator, it is time for a rebuild. The Red Raider offense will likely be pass-heavy so Baylor will need to be prepped. However, Baylor will not have any issues in Lubbock and another dub will be added to the win column.
Score Prediction: Baylor 38, Texas Tech 24
Week Nine, Away Game vs Oklahoma
The final four games of the 2022 season are going to be tough for Baylor. The first big test will be an away game against the Sooners. Oklahoma is easily the Bear’s biggest threat in the Big 12 and this game will prove exactly why. I talked about this game in the OU win/loss prediction piece but OU will simply just make more big plays in the end. The Sooners and Bears are going to be so similar that this will be a close game probably until the end of the game. However, give me the Sooners to knock off the Bears.
Score Prediction: OU 28, Baylor 24
Week Ten, Home Game vs Kansas State
The next big test for the Bears will be a home game against Kansas State. Again, I have talked about this matchup already but K-State will only be able to compete for a couple of quarters. Baylor has far too much talent and K-State is still just below the level of competing for a Big 12 title. As much as K-State wants to win this game, I think Baylor will be too much for the Wildcats.
Week Eleven, Home Game vs TCU
Baylor heads into week 11 for a home game against the TCU Horned Frogs. TCU would be a tough outing on the road but at home, I think Baylor has this one under control. TCU is also going through a transition phase where wins might be tough to come by. This will be all Baylor needs to get another win at home and add to the win column.
Score Prediction: Baylor 34, TCU 17
Week Twelve, Away Game vs Texas
To close out the 2022 season, Baylor goes on the road to face the Texas Longhorns. This will be a tough game to close the year out with. The Longhorns are primed to either be a legitimate threat in the Big 12 or be just below the cusp of competing for a title. Texas is going to make this a dog fight but Baylor has more talent and I like them to close out the season with a huge road win. This will put them in prime position for the Big 12 title game.
Final Record For Baylor Football In 2022: 10-2 (8-1)
The Baylor Bears will be a force to be reckoned with in the Big 12 in 2022. However, that early loss I have to BYU could be detrimental. They will get a chance at the Big 12 title yet again and likely against Oklahoma. With both teams entering that game at 11-1 overall, it would be a huge showdown. Baylor has the chance to be a legitimate contender in college football overall not just in the Big 12. If they can put the pieces together, the Bears have a real shot.
Which Big 12 team will improve the most in 2022? Comment below and join the discussion!
Check out the rest of the conference’s predictions here!