Best Case, Worst Case for 2024: Baylor Bears

Share or Save for Later

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Save to Favorites

With spring football and the portal movement slowing down (fingers crossed) forecasting the 2024 season becomes an easier proposition. The 13 FBS programs in the Lone Star State share a common feeling heading into June: Hope. New faces and new opportunities provide a fresh slate for rosters and coaching staff. 

The 2024 season is a new day for the Great State. Texas reunites with Texas A&M in the SEC and SMU joins the P4 as ACC members. But what are the best- and worst-case scenarios for each team in the upcoming season? We’ll breakdown at each one.

Previous best/worst case scenario pieces for 2024: Texas | Texas A&M | UTSA | Texas State | TCU | Rice | Texas Tech | SMU | North Texas 


2023 finish: 3-9
2024 schedule
Aug. 31                 Tarleton State                  
Sept. 7                  at Utah                                  
Sept. 14               Air Force                              
Sept. 21               at Colorado                       
Sept. 28               BYU                                           
Oct. 5                     at Iowa State                    
Oct. 19                 at Texas Tech                   
Oct. 26                 Oklahoma State            
Nov. 2                    TCU                                          
Nov. 16                 West Virginia                    
Nov. 23                 at Houston                         
Nov. 30                 Kansas  

Best case for 2024: Dave Aranda swallowed his pride and approached the Baylor brass with a proposition: He’d take over play calling duties on defense while hiring an offensive coordinator with head coaching experience and a modern approach. Heading into 2024, Aranda is the de facto defensive coordinator and Jake Spavital, former head coach of Texas State, is the offensive coordinator. The Bears also upped their NIL game which helped draw talent from the transfer portal like Toledo quarterback Dequan Finn. 

The best-case scenario for the Bears looks like 2021. In 2020, Baylor won two games. It won the Big 12 championship and a Sugar Bowl the next season. Last year, the Bears were back in the basement at 3-9. The hope is that a revamped offense and a finely tuned defense is enough to jump to the top of the Big 12. The conference is wide open and while a leap to a conference championship might be too much, an eight-win season isn’t off the table. 

A 4-1 start is possible with a trip to Utah in Week 2 feeling like the only game the Bears can’t pull off. Tarleton State, Air Force, and BYU come to Waco before the start of October. A visit to Colorado in Week 4 is tricky. Home games against Oklahoma State, TCU, West Virginia, and Kansas are tough, but winnable since they’re at home. 

Worst case for 2024: If the worst-case scenario plays out, Aranda won’t be the coach of Baylor in 2025. His teams have recorded losing records in three of the four seasons he’s been in charge, including the last two. It can’t get much worse than the three-win season of 2023. Or can it? Outside of the opener against Tarleton State, every game on the schedule is a potential loss. The 2024 schedule is set up nicely for Baylor with most of the hardest games, at least on paper, taking place in McLane Stadium, but this is a group that was 1-7 at home in 2023. 

The opening win total projections for Baylor from Circa Sports is set at five. That would be the third losing season in a row and the fourth in the last five years. If the defense continues to struggle and the offense can’t find explosive plays, another three- or four-win season is in the cards. 

This article is available to our Digital Subscribers.
Click "Subscribe Now" to see a list of subscription offers.
Already a Subscriber? Sign In to access this content.

Sign In
Don't Miss Any Exclusive Coverage!

We've been the Bible of Texas football fans for 64 years. By joining the DCTF family you'll gain access to all of our exclusive content and have our magazines mailed to you!