• From Heisman candidates to Big 12 titles, media outlets predict a fun 2013 for Baylor football

    Lache Seastrunk in ESPN the Magazine

    So much has been written about Baylor football headed into this season that I thought I’d try and round up the best of it in this post. If you’re among the record 24,000+ Bear fans who have now purchased season tickets for this fall — or the thousands more who will attend at least one game this year — here’s what you have to look forward to.

    Baylor football opens 2013 with higher expectations than any season in recent memory. Head coach Art Briles’ Bears are ranked in the top 25 by many media outlets — 17th by Sports Illustrated and Sporting News, 19th by CBS Sports, 25th by ESPN The Magazine — and sit just outside the top 25 in the AP rankings and USA Today Coaches Poll.

    USA Today’s sports desk put the Bears 33rd in its lengthy preseason analysis, but noted, “This team is so confident, so well-coached and so athletic that a Big 12 title is absolutely a possibility…” and “… it seems clear to me that Baylor will head into November right in the mix for a BCS berth.”

    Running back Lache Seastrunk is being widely hailed as a legitimate Heisman Trophy contender (see stories from ESPN The Magazine, pictured above, CBS Sports and NFL.com). The sport’s most accurate Heisman poll, HeismanPundit.com, included both Seastrunk and quarterback Bryce Petty on its preseason Heisman watch list. Baylor is the only Big 12 team to have multiple preseason All-Americans on either the ESPN or CBS Sports lists (Seastrunk and senior offensive lineman Cyril Richardson earned spots on both).

    USA Today and Sports on Earth each hail Baylor as a Big 12 title contender; in fact, two CBS Sports analysts joined SoE in picking the Bears to win the conference. Sports Illustrated named seven Baylor games among the year’s must-watch games and says that if you don’t have a Big 12 rooting interest, you should pull for the Bears.

    Enjoy this final season at Floyd Casey, Baylor fans — and keep an eye on that new stadium that continues to grow back on campus.

    Sic ’em, Baylor football!

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