Baylor athletic director Ian McCaw Thursday said his team is looking to take on a higher level of competition in the wake of successive years of unchallenging non-conference schedules.
McCaw hinted at the Bears potentially playing an opening weekend, neutral site game "soon," according to a Fox Sports report, but declined to give specific details.
"When we're in the midst of a 14-year bowl drought, our scheduling philosophy is: 'Let's try to find six wins,' because we needed to end that drought. We were scheduling with an eye on let's try to find a way to get to six,'" McCaw said. College football games are often scheduled many years before they are played.
"Obviously, as we've won back to back Big 12 championships and our program's in the national stage and we're recruiting at an extremely high level and have McLane Stadium in place, we're able to take on a higher level of competition and that's what we're looking to do," McCaw said.
The athletic director noted that the team was at least open to the idea of facing one Power 5 conference opponent outside of the Big 12, "probably not every year, but a good number of years."
In 2015, Baylor will face Southern Methodist, Lamar and Rice during the opening weeks of the season. Programs such as Buffalo and Louisiana-Monroe have made multiple appearances on Baylor's non-conference schedule in recent years. Last season, Baylor defeated its three non-conference opponents by a combined total of 178–27.
The Bears have not beaten a Power 5 opponent in a non-conference game since defeating Wake Forest during the 2009 season.
Baylor just missed being one of the four teams named to the inaugural College Football Playoff at the end of the 2014 season. It finished 11–2 in 2014, as well as 8–1 in the Big 12, which tied it for first in the league with Texas Christian.
- Will Green