Sports Take: BU football has strong chance to bounce back in 2023

Four Bears stonewall Air Force's senior running back Brad Roberts during the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl on Dec. 22, 2022 at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth. Josh Wilson | Roundup

By Michael Haag | Sports Editor

The day has finally come. Baylor football fans can now see what’s in store for 2023 as the Big 12 conference released the schedule Tuesday afternoon. Now that dates and matchups are set, the Bears have a serious chance to bounce back this season.

On first impressions, there are eight games that Baylor will probably be favorites in: home contests against Texas State University, Long Island University, Texas Tech University, Iowa State University, the University of Houston, West Virginia University and road matchups versus the University of Central Florida and the University of Cincinnati.

The four games that could be expected losses are home games against the University of Utah and the University of Texas, along with road matchups at Kansas State University and Texas Christian University.

If it were to pan out that way, it would be a pretty impressive 8-4 campaign following the lackluster 6-7 season the Bears wrapped up this past year. As dangerous as it always is to look into the crystal ball, Baylor fans should be pretty excited about this schedule.

The biggest letdowns include not playing the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, the University of Kansas and Brigham Young University. After back-to-back seasons of playing BYU, this one stings the most. The green and gold seemed to build a strong friendship with Cougar fans across the two seasons, but it appears we will have to wait on that football matchup.

With 14 teams in this transitional era of the Big 12, there are several of things to keep an eye on. Baylor will play in eight different home games this season, the most in program history. It’ll also host four-straight contests at McLane Stadium, the most consecutive home games since the 2013 Big 12 Championship season.

It’s a super favorable schedule and the hardest road games are against foes that are expected to be among the conference’s best. TCU gives Baylor trouble no matter where they play, so at least that one’s on the road and not a wasted home game.

Kansas State would probably win at either location, too. So, the Bears might as well try to upset the Wildcats on the road and not welcome that tough opponent at McLane Stadium. The other two games that Baylor can be expected to drop are the home contests against Utah and Texas.

If standout junior quarterback Cameron Rising is healthy when the Utes make the trip to Waco, they should have no problem taking care of business. It’ll be a similar deal with the Longhorns as their quarterbacks — whether it’s redshirt freshman Quinn Ewers or incoming freshman Arch Manning — should be able to have a good day against the Bears.

There are still a million questions left unanswered as we head into spring camp, but Baylor fans should be able to rest easy for now. This is not too tough of a schedule and it allows for head coach Dave Aranda and the rest of the crew to bounce back in a big way.