Last week’s speculative report from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the one that hinted that Baylor was pondering a bowl ban for this upcoming season, made me wonder how likely the Bears are to get bowl eligible this season.
I don’t want to speculate on what Baylor will do or if the Star-Telegram story was even credible. But I think that Baylor has an outside chance to quality for a bowl this season. In order to do that, I think they’re going to have to play to their strengths.
If all goes according to the long-term plan, Baylor coach Matt Rhule would like to control games using the rushing attack. But that ability might still be a year or two away. If Baylor is going to run the table in nonconference and then post enough Big 12 wins to go to a bowl game, I believe they’re going to have to do it with their experienced QB and WR corps.
We’ve looked at quarterback Charlie Brewer’s trajectory based on the promising beginning to his college career last fall. Here’s a glance at the WRs that the Bears will need to turn loose to outscore foes.
Denzel Mims, 6-3, 208, Jr. – Mims became Baylor’s go-to WR in 2017 as he caught 61 passes for 1,087 yards and 8 TDs. He’ll be the spearhead this season and the Bears need him to threaten the 100-reception mark.
Chris Platt, 5-11, 170, Sr. – Platt looked really good through four games last season before a knee injury sidelined him the rest of the way. He caught 16 passes and averaged 25 yards per grab. Coupled with Mims, he could be an outstanding big-play threat.
Tony Nicholson, 5-10, 192, Jr. – Nicholson was one of the Bears pressed into front-line service in 2017 due to injuries elsewhere and responded well. He finished the year with 41 catches for 344 yards, helping the Bears move the chains.
Pooh Stricklin, 6-2, 185, Jr. – Stricklin increased his production from 11 receptions his freshman season to 32 for 414 yards as a sophomore. Another jump up and he’ll be a valuable asset for the Bears’ offense.
Jalen Hurd, 6-4, 217, Sr. – Hurd sat out last season after transferring from Tennessee. He was a running back for the Vols, but will transition to WR. He has play-making ability as he showed in 2015 when he rushed for 1,285 and caught 22 passes for 190 yards and scored 14 total TDs.