The Big 12 schedule did Baylor few favors, as the Bears face league heavyweights Oklahoma, Texas and West Virginia on the road in BU's first season of the post-Robert Griffin III era.
Must-see matchup: Nov. 24 vs. Texas Tech
This game won't grab national attention, but in the Lone Star State, it will be worth watching. The game will again be played at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, and it should match two teams fighting to secure middle-of-the-pack finishes in the Big 12.
Last season, Baylor beat Texas Tech for the first time since 1995, the final season of Southwest Conference play. If the Red Raiders don't have a strong season and drop another game to the Bears, it could bode poorly for Tommy Tuberville's job prospects in Lubbock.
Upset alert: Oct. 13 vs. TCU
The Horned Frogs will already have played a pair of Big 12 games by the time this one rolls around, but playing at Kansas and at home against Iowa State shouldn't prove quite as foreboding as a game at Baylor. The Bears, in contrast, will be coming off a tough game at West Virginia and should have a keen sense of what it will take to compete in this one.
TCU's schedule is so back-loaded (it finishes the season at Oklahoma State, at WVU, vs. Kansas State, at Texas and vs. Oklahoma) that few could blame the Horned Frogs if they overlook a few early opponents. If they make mental mistakes in Waco, BU could earn a marquee midseason win.
It's a breeze: Sept. 2 through Sept. 21 -- vs. SMU, vs. Sam Houston State, at Louisiana-Monroe
Baylor will only have to leave Waco once in the first three games of the season, and the road trip to play at Louisiana-Monroe shouldn't exactly leave Art Briles and company feeling intimidated.
The bookends of this trio of games aren't necessarily games that BU can just take the field and expect to win -- SMU did upset TCU at Amon G. Carter Stadium last year, after all -- but there's every opportunity for Baylor to start the season 3-0 before heading into Big 12 play.
Brutal stretch: Sept. 29 through Oct. 20 -- at West Virginia, vs. TCU, at Texas
Just after that relatively easy first third of the season, the next three games get considerably more difficult. Baylor will travel to Morgantown for the Mountaineers' first-ever Big 12 game before returning home to face TCU. A trip to Austin looms after that to conclude the three-game stretch.
None of these games stands out as an automatic loss for the Bears, but none will be easy to win. One or two victories would be a strong statement about the year ahead. A trio of defeats -- a very real possibility -- could send the season into a tailspin.
Sept. 2: SMU
Sept. 15: Sam Houston State
Sept. 21: at Louisiana-Monroe
Sept. 29: at West Virginia
Oct. 13: TCU
Oct. 20: at Texas
Oct. 27: at Iowa State
Nov. 3: Kansas
Nov. 10: at Oklahoma
Nov. 17: Kansas State
Nov. 24: vs. Texas Tech (neutral site)
Dec. 1: Oklahoma State
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis on the Big 12 from bloggers C.J. Moore and Patrick Southern, follow @CBSSportsBig12.