Head Coach Matt Rhule comes to Baylor knowing he has the double duty of winning games and changing culture. With Rhule on board, the last vestiges of the Art Briles era are gone. Rhule brings a more balances offensive attack than the wide open throw deep attack Baylor has used lately.
Sophomore quarterback Zach Smith, who filled in for the injured Seth Russell the last 4 games of 2016, gets the early nod to lead the offensive unit. He will face a challenge from transfer Anu Solomon.
Running back Terence Williams rushed for 1,048 yards last year and should get more carries in the new offensive system. JaMycal Hasty will improve upon his 623 yards from last season.
There is still depth at receiver, with Chris Platt, Blake Lynch, and Pooh Stricklin returning.
The offensive line is shallow, with only two returning starters. Center Blake Blackmar and guard Ishmael Wilson will anchor the group, which will probably consist at times with freshmen in the lineup.
Defensively, the Bears have some depth, which may be needed given the wide open Big 12 offenses they will face. Defensive coordinator Phil Snow wants the squad to be more physical than in years past.
The Bears should have enough talent to return to a bowl game, but challenging for a conference title will be difficult in a new system. It Rhule can match the young players to his system, the rebuilding process could be short. If not, 2 years of poor recruiting classes will make for long years ahead for the Baylor faithful.