The Big 12 presents a tough road ahead of its 14 teams in 2023 and the Baylor Bears are a testament to that. Just how many games can the Bears compete in this year? Let the Baylor season predictions tell us about their 2023 prognosis.
Baylor Season Predictions: Predicting the Game-By-Game Results
Using groupthink, College Football Network analysts have painstakingly gone through every game for every team in the Big 12 and across the country.
Picking these games straight up with a projected score using the rosters as up-to-date as the last spring practice, the Baylor season predictions indicate what fans can possibly expect for the Bears in 2023.
Week 1 – Baylor vs. Texas State: Win, 28-16
The Texas State Bobcats are a work in progress under first-year head coach G.J. Kinnie. The fast-rising coach has deep Texas ties and should be a welcome addition to the FBS level, expected to push Texas State into relevancy within the Sun Belt and nationally.
However, that ship gets off to a rough start for Texas State and Kinnie when they have to open the season in Waco against a stout Baylor defense. Sure, the Bears have been ravished by pushing talent into the NFL over the past two seasons, but head coach Dave Aranda has proven to be able to replenish talent all the same.
This is a closer-than-anticipated game but a matchup that Baylor should be able to work out their first-game woes throughout.
Week 2 – Baylor vs. Utah: Loss, 20-29
Non-conference games don’t get much more difficult when you have to square off against two-time defending Pac-12 champion Utah. The Utes, led by starting quarterback Cam Rising, are a tough, well-coached unit under head coach Kyle Whittingham.
They’ve recently added multiple players through the transfer portal and host one of the nation’s best tight ends in the return of Brant Kuithe. The difference-maker is Kuithe as he can eat up yards after the catch and no one over the middle of the field has proven to be able to match his skill set.
Week 3 – Baylor vs. Long Island: Win, 45-7
Before Big 12 play kicks off, Baylor welcomes Long Island in what looks like the only sure-thing on their remaining schedule. The Bears can finalize any details left to finalize and if they stay healthy, should be in a good position to kick off Big 12 play with a banger the next week.
Week 4 – Baylor vs. Texas: Loss, 17-28
The Baylor defense will have to bring its best performance early on in their Big 12 slate as they welcome in the Longhorns. Led by Quinn Ewers and a host of talented players on offense, Texas is poised to battle it out with Oklahoma for Big 12 supremacy in their final season in the conference.
Before jettisoning to the SEC in 2024, the Longhorns present an issue for every team on their schedule, including Baylor. Ewers and Xavier Worthy are as good of a QB-WR duo in the conference and are enough to power them past the Bears here.
Week 5 – Baylor @ UCF: Loss, 26-31
In their first season in the Big 12, UCF is ready to play spoiler against the conference regulars. Playing at the Bounce House in Orlando is a different kind of atmosphere for most of these Big 12 teams and the Knights can score with the best of them.
A key defensive stop by any one of the UCF transfers on defense will be key here as QB John Rhys Plumlee is every bit of a top-tier, elite athlete at quarterback. The additions of Decorian Patterson, Jireh Wilson, DeJordan Mask, Fred Davis, Brian George, Isaiah Paul, and Rian Davis will pay major dividends on defense for UCF this fall.
Week 6 – Baylor vs. Texas Tech: Loss, 23-24
Not quite a toss-up as the Texas Tech team present a more complete roster, but the home-field advantage for Baylor pushes this game a bit closer in the end. The Red Raiders will present a re-worked offensive line this season and have the pieces in place to win in multiple ways.
The skill players for Texas Tech, however, are the difference in this game. Drae McCray is every bit of a potential all-star as he joins an already star-studded receiving corps for Texas Tech to deploy all over the field. The speed for the Red Raiders is too much for the Bears here.
Week 8 – Baylor @ Cincinnati: Win, 23-22
Heading to the Queen City after a bye week, Baylor will be looking to get back on the right side of things. Cincinnati enters their Big 12 era with a new head coach and a new identity after Luke Fickell left for Wisconsin and Scott Satterfield came over from Louisville.
It’s a unique team that Cincinnati brings to the table in 2023 as there look to be pieces that can compete in multiple positions. However, the Bearcats are far from anything other than just the sum of all their parts and those parts don’t compete with the full roster that Baylor brings to the table.
Week 9 – Baylor vs. Iowa State: Loss, 21-23
The Iowa State Cyclones are hoping for the proverbial next step from QB Hunter Dekkers and have surrounded him with the talent to allow him to take such a step. The overlooked addition of Jayden Higgins will have already paid off for Iowa State by this meeting but especially in this game.
Higgins stands 6’4″, 215 pounds and is an absolute nightmare to defend with his full route tree and dominant hands. Dekkers and Higgins should be making major waves this season and do so here in Week 9 in Waco.
Week 10 – Baylor vs. Houston: Win, 26-22
Grabbing what looks like another potential win against a newcomer to the conference, Baylor gets their first of the new trio at home when Houston visits. The Cougars have a lot to answer and are seeking a new identity through the summer.
While we’ll have an answer to that new identity they’re seeking when we come to this matchup, on paper at this time, it’s hard to say they’ll compete against some of the top dogs in the conference.
Week 11 – Baylor @ Kansas State: Loss, 22-23
The defending Big 12 Champions Kansas State Wildcats welcome Baylor to town in Week 11. While they are defending their title, it’s hard to say they’ll repeat the levels of success they saw a year ago, but certainly have the players to do so.
By this time, each team should be firing on all cylinders and expect some of Kansas State’s transfer portal additions to be paying major dividends. Former FSU RB Treshaun Ward headlines that group of instant-impact transfers as he fills a big role within the Wildcats offense.
Week 12 – Baylor @ TCU: Loss 25-26
In a similar vein, the TCU Horned Frogs made the College Football National Championship a season ago. With a completely different roster, a step down from the success they saw last year is expected — and if our season predictions are correct, it’ll be a big one.
However, TCU’s roster comprises several key pieces that return, mainly on defense, and ultimately, it’s that unit that should be the biggest difference maker for TCU in 2023.
Week 13 – Baylor vs. West Virginia: Win, 27-26
All signs point toward West Virginia’s 2023 season being a disaster at this rate. That season ends with a trip to Waco as Baylor looks to end their season on a high note.
For Baylor, they get their fifth win here, but by a slim margin. In fact, our predictions for the Bears this year were so slim in both victory and defeat that it’s imperative to enter the season with optimism as a Baylor fan.
At 5-7, only two of Baylor’s defeats were by more than one possession and three of them were less than a field goal. The 2023 season for Baylor could go in a million directions and they need some answers at the most important position: quarterback.
However, with a few lucky bounces, it’s clear that Baylor has a road map for potential success in 2023.