Baylor is ranked seventh or higher in all the major preseason publications, ranking as high as second (Sports Illustrated). The Associated Press Preseason Top 25 is unveiled in mid-August. Baylor has been in the AP’s preseason rankings only five times: 1951 (13th), 1953 (20th), 1957 (7th), 1986 (12th) and 2014 (10th).
The Bears return 17 starters (eight offense, nine defense)--tied with Texas Tech for most in the Big 12 Conference. Among Power 5 Conference schools, only UCLA, Tennessee and Vanderbilt (18 each) return more starters.
Baylor's offensive linemen have logged 106 career starts--most in the Big 12 and fourth nationally behind only UCLA (132), Bowling Green (125) and Mississippi (120).
Remember the bowl drought? Baylor has reached a bowl game in each of the past five seasons. That streak is tied (Kansas State) for the third-longest active streak in the Big 12 behind only Oklahoma (16) and Oklahoma State (9).
Baylor has a chance to match Oklahoma (2006-2008) as the only schools to win three straight Big 12 titles in football. The record for fewest Big 12 losses in a three-year span is two--a mark held by Kansas State (1997-1999) and Texas (2003-2005), both in eight-game conference schedules. Baylor can tie that record with an undefeated Big 12 season and would accomplish the feat in three consecutive nine-game conference schedules.
No team has ever gone undefeated in Big 12 play and not played in the National Championship Game. Texas (2009) was the last to accomplish this. In 2003, Oklahoma went undefeated in Big 12 play, lost to Kansas State in the Big 12 Championship Game and still played in the national title game.