Game-by-game predictions for Baylor in 2022: Can the Bears live up to the hype?
Picked as the favorites to repeat, Baylor has a target on its back all year long.
In less than two weeks, Baylor faithful will make the trek across the Sheila and Walter Umphrey Pedestrian Bridge toward McLane Stadium in hopes of seeing a Bears win. The green and gold play host to Albany and enter the season with high expectations, coming off a 12-win season.
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The question is: Can they do it again? Are the Bears going to live up to the preseason hype?
Here are predictions for every game on the 2022 Baylor football schedule:
Sept. 3: Albany vs. Baylor
This is a good entry game for the Bears this season, as lots of eyes will be on them. Expect some Baylor first-half mistakes, but once they settle in and get the crowd into it, Albany will get steamrolled. Offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes will keep a conservative playbook for this one, so the offense may “struggle” at times, but Baylor takes the cake in game one.
Sept. 9: Baylor at BYU
This matchup, which will be broadcasted on ESPN, is a must-watch. Last year, the Bears “upset” the Cougars in Waco, although Baylor came into the games as the favorite. Even then, it was a tight contest the whole way through, and this will be Blake Shapen’s first real road test. Shapen will set up a great comeback story after struggling to generate offense in Provo, Utah. The future of the Big 12 is bright with matchups between these two schools and this year will be further proof of that.
Prediction: BYU 28, Baylor 16
Sept. 17: Texas State vs. Baylor
The Bears will be thankful to return home after a bitter loss, thus providing a spark to crush the Bobcats. Texas State was a few costly mistakes from altering Baylor’s 2021 campaign, but this year will be much different. Shapen and Co. will bounce back in a huge way en route to a comfortable win.
Prediction: Baylor 52, Texas State 21
Sept. 24: Baylor at Iowa State
This is where things get tricky. People are quick to write off Iowa State after who they have lost, but they are no slouch playing at home. There is a real shot Baylor gets knocked off here, but losing to BYU in week two will provide experience for the Bears to prevail in this one.
Prediction: Baylor 31, Iowa State 28
Oct. 1: Oklahoma State vs. Baylor
A Big 12 title game rematch, disregarding the fact that the game is in Waco. This game is a tough one to gauge, but it feels like the Bears will fall behind early and slip up at home. Oklahoma State will roll in with a tunnel-visioned focus and sneak away with the win, shattering Baylor fans’ hearts in the process.
Prediction: Oklahoma State 38, Baylor 24
Oct. 13: Baylor at West Virginia
Morgantown, W. Va. is never fun to visit and the Bears won’t like what’s in store for this one. This game will be one of those low-scoring defensive slugfests. Both teams will struggle to generate offense, and it may end up coming down to special teams. Like Iowa State, a very losable game, but Baylor squeaks out with a win.
Prediction: Baylor 17, West Virginia 14
Oct. 22: Kansas vs. Baylor
There won’t be a Kansas fan in sight at McLane Stadium for this game, and it’s probably for the best. The Rock Chalk community has already reserved their season tickets to watch men’s basketball in Allen Fieldhouse, so I’m sure they aren’t too worried about what’s in store for this game.
Prediction: Baylor 56, Kansas 21
Oct. 29: Baylor at Texas Tech
There is a lot to be excited about with Joey McGuire at the helm for Texas Tech, and it’s safe to say the Baylor family wishes him good luck in Lubbock. However, once TTU is up next on the schedule, all that goes out the window. Sorry coach McGuire, you’re on the right path but you won’t get the best of your old team just yet.
Prediction: Baylor 35, Texas Tech 14
Nov. 5: Baylor at Oklahoma
Hopefully, Brent Venables doesn’t call a timeout with one second left, resulting in OU students storming field early and causing chaos. Oh, wait — that will stay exclusive for Aranda and Baylor students. This will be another exciting one, just like 2021′s matchup that featured all its chaos. Unfortunately, the “Boomer Sooner” chants will be too much for the Bears, as they’ll end their winning streak in Norman, Okla.
Prediction: Oklahoma 42, Baylor 35
Nov. 12: Kansas State vs. Baylor
K-State is always sneaky good, and very lethal at home. Deuce Vaughn will be an absolute headache to deal with, but Baylor will return home and handle business. The friendly environment will play a huge factor in the Bears getting back in the win column, providing huge momentum for the final stretch of the season.
Prediction: Baylor 31, Kansas State 17
Nov. 19: TCU vs Baylor
Baylor’s biggest thorn in its side has to be TCU, no question. The Horned Frogs always find a way to pose major problems against the green and gold. It’ll help that Baylor stays home for this one, as it feels like it never goes well in Fort Worth. Barring another Johnny Manziel-like performance from backup quarterback Chandler Morris, the Bears should handle this one with ease.
Nov. 25: Baylor at Texas
Fired up after back-to-back home wins, Baylor will have one last challenge. In the final game of the season, the Bears will make the short trip to Austin in hopes of putting together another impressive season under Aranda. This will be another grind-it-out win for Baylor, but this one is much more losable than TTU, Iowa State or West Virginia. Keep an eye on this one, it may have big-time implications both ways.
Prediction: Baylor 28, Texas 24
Prediction for the 2022 season: 9-3 (7-2 Big 12)