The Baylor Bears’ 2013 football schedule is out, and it looks to be a fairly tough one.
The non-conference schedule isn’t much too write home about, but let’s be honest, nobody’s is. You’re not supposed to be ready to play the toughest competition in only the first few weeks of the season.
With non-conference games against the Wofford Terriers, the Buffalo Bulls and the UL Monroe Warhawks, the Bears shouldn’t have any problems until at least week six.
What concerns me about this schedule is the placement of bye weeks. Baylor uses two of its three bye weeks in the first five weeks of the season.
This causes Baylor to play four consecutive conference games against the West Virginia Mountaineers, at the Kansas State Wildcats, the Iowa State Cyclones and at the Kansas Jayhawks before getting a break.
After a quick break, it’s the second half of this schedule that worries me. Baylor has to play five consecutive conference games against the Oklahoma Sooners, the Texas Tech Red Raiders, at the Oklahoma State Cowboys, at the TCU Horned Frogs and the Texas Longhorns.
This is bad news Bears folks, pun intended. Consecutive road games against Oklahoma State and TCU could spell trouble, especially after facing Oklahoma and Texas Tech in the previous two weeks.
If there’s one thing Baylor will be able to say after playing this schedule, it’s that it will be battle-tested. Playing on the road against some of the tougher conference teams and facing the rest at home in consecutive weeks could give Baylor a lot of trouble this season.
Overall, I’m giving Baylor’s strength of schedule a B+. The non-conference schedule is weak, but it doesn’t have to be strong. The conference schedule, specifically the second half, is very strong. The bye week in the middle of conference play should provide a well-needed break after the first wave of conference games, but sets up the team for a difficult stretch of games at the end of the season.