BEAR-ing Down

Published on 31-Aug-2014 by Steve Soprano
Football - NCAA / NCAA Football Daily Stake

Baylor Bears need more speed.

Today's college football menu has only two games scheduled, with most attention drawn to nationally-ranked Baylor facing their rivals from just up the road in Dallas, the SMU Mustangs.  

Bovada has the Bears listed as a gaudy 34-point favorite, and I think they'll be able to manage a cover.

SMU, of course, got the dreaded NCAA death penalty back in the day for throwing cash around 'way too blatantly. They're still recovering. It's ironic that they'll now be helping Baylor open one of the most opulent new stadiums in the country.

From the looks of this video's opening montage, Art Briles must own the construction company, too:

The Bears not only return last year's starting quarterback and Heisman candidate, Bryce Petty, but a super-speedy running back in Shock Linwood -- does a name like that beg for a future in porn or what? -- who makes Petty all the more dangerous in the passing game. The Mustangs couldn't stop average offenses last season, and this Baylor attack is far better than average.

Speed will also play a factor on the other side of the ball. SMU will he starting a new quarterback this season in Neal Burcham, and this is not the kind of team an inexperienced quarterback wants to face to start a season. Look for Baylor's speed defensively to totally disrupt SMU's attempts to run their spread offense effectively.  

As you will see using the Bovada data tool on our Home page, Baylor is 4-0 against the Mustangs dating back to 1995.

SMU at Baylor graphic

SMU-Baylor head to head

But the one game that matters to me was two years ago, when Baylor won by 35. That one was coached by the two same head coaches, played under the same systems with some of the same players. Baylor is every bit as good now as it was then, while SMU is every bit as mediocre as it was that night.  

So look for the Bears to jump out quick, never look back, and probably get this one close to 60 before they take their foot off the gas pedal, making it a grand opening performance in thir brand new digs.

My pick:  Baylor   -35

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Result:  Baylor 45 SMU 0     Bears cover

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