3 Biggest Questions Facing Baylor Head Coach Dave Aranda Ahead of Big 12 Media Days

    With Baylor head coach Dave Aranda possibly coaching for his job this season, what are the biggest questions he'll face at Big 12 Media Days?

    The Baylor Bears are the old guard in a newly expanded Big 12 that now features 16 teams after the additions of Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, and Utah. Following a subpar outing in 2023, the Bears brought back head coach Dave Aranda for a fifth season in 2024, albeit with substantially more pressure.

    With Big 12 Media Days on July 9 and 10 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, what are the three biggest questions facing Aranda?

    Three Most Significant Questions for Dave Aranda at Big 12 Media Days

    1) Has a Starter Been Named, or Will the QB Competition Continue Into Fall Camp?

    Starting QB Blake Shapen transferred to Mississippi State following Baylor’s 3-9 campaign in 2023, meaning the Bears will have a new primary signal-caller this fall. Sawyer Robertson is returning after starting four games for the Bears as a sophomore last season, but Toledo transfer DeQuan Finn arrived in Waco this spring to stiffen the competition.

    While the assumption is that Finn, the reigning MAC MVP, will take the job, a starter hasn’t been publicly announced, with Aranda and his staff saying the competition is ongoing following the spring game in April.

    2) What Changes Has New OC Jake Spavital Brought to the Offensive Scheme?

    It’s not just a new quarterback but a whole new offensive scheme for the Bears in 2024 after replacing OC Jeff Grimes with former Cal OC Jake Spavital. Baylor tied for last in the Big 12 last season in scoring offense at 23.1 points per game, while Spavital guided Cal’s offense to 30.2 points per game in his lone season at Berkley.

    While Grimes’ offense scheme embraced physicality in the run game, Spavital has been known to be an Air Raid disciple and QB guru, having coached Kyler Murray, Johnny Manziel, Will Grier, Case Keenum, and Geno Smith.

    3) How Different Is the Defense With Dave Aranda Now Calling the Plays?

    Changes were made on both sides of the ball with Dave Aranda retaining DC Matt Powledge but taking away his play-calling responsibilities. The Bears finished last in the Big 12 in scoring defense, allowing 33.3 points per game. 52 touchdowns in total were scored on the Baylor Bears throughout the 2023 season.

    FREE: Sign up for the College Football Network Newsletter to receive unique stories from the world of college football directly to your inbox!

    Aranda was a successful DC at Hawaii (2010-2011), Wisconsin (2013-2015), and LSU (2016-2019) before taking the head coaching job at Baylor in 2020.

    Big 12 Media Days Schedule: Dave Aranda, Baylor Head Coach

    • Date: Wednesday, July 10
    • Time: 3:40 p.m. ET
    • How to watch: ESPN+

    It’s no secret that Dave Aranda is on the hot seat. Three of his four seasons in Waco ended in a losing record, and he’s 23-25 overall with the Bears. Remove the successful 2021 campaign, and he’s 9-16 over the last two years. After significant changes on offense and defense, it’s obvious that Aranda knows that his job is on the line if the Bears can’t find the winner’s circle.

    Aranda is coasting off the good feelings of 2021 when he led the Bears to a 12-2 record, a Big 12 Championship, a Sugar Bowl win, and a top-five finish in the AP poll. That feeling is waning as the losses pile up, with 2024 a make-or-break year.

    College Football Network has you covered with the latest news and analysis, rankings, transfer portal information, top 10 returning players, the 2024 college football season schedule, and much more!

    EA Sports College Football: Everything You Need For the Game’s Historic Return

    After a decade-long hiatus, EA Sports College Football has made its return to glory. The popular college football video game is here to stay, radically changing the video game landscape forever.

    Related Articles