The start of college football preseason practice brings with it a set of expectations. For the next four weeks, college teams will lay the foundation for the upcoming season, searching for a fit between the returning players and new faces.
But college football is unique. In the NFL, the teams can work toward preseason games and focus on those measuring points during the long grueling days of preseason practice. Similarly, high school football teams work around scrimmages versus other schools. But college players and coaches will have one opponent in mind throughout August.
For Baylor, that means looking forward to a home game versus Abilene Christian on September 1.
Ordinarily, a season opener versus a Football Championship Subdivision opponent like Abilene Christian would barely cause more excitement than an intrasquad scrimmage. The Wildcats aren’t even on the list of FCS programs that cause nervousness for Power 5 schools, like North Dakota State or Eastern Washington. Abilene Christian enters this season trying to rise above the level of back-to-back 2-9 records.
But Baylor is trying to bounce back from a 1-11 campaign in 2017. That rough season started with a 48-45 loss at home against Liberty.
So for the next three weeks, Abilene Christian will have Baylor’s attention. And the reward is a good one as starting the season with a win would be a relative momentum boost for the Bears.