SAN ANTONIO — The road to the College Football Playoff is a bumpy one, even now that expansion is coming.
For Dave Aranda and his Baylor Bears, that road started with a 2-7 run through a 2020 season plagued with COVID-19 issues.
In 2021, Aranda is looking at the positives for the Bears, aiming to get Baylor into a bowl game and competing for Big 12 titles sooner rather than later.
So, what are the challenges facing the Bears this year?
"Cohesively continuing to build a connection on our team," Aranda said during his press conference Monday. "I think it's going to be handling the positives, the really high praise I feel is going to come with wins and then navigating the strong criticism that's going to come with losses."
A day after Aranda lauded the looming CFP expansion as a deterrent from coaches leaving in such short periods, he had the chance to talk at length about his team, rather than issues in the game as a whole.
He said some of the strengths this Bears team has are simply how it handles those exact things he addressed in the challenges.
Aranda also applauded several players for their abilities to break down and diagram plays, something he described as "getting on the board" and said they'll have to continue if they get an opportunity in the NFL.
The Bears open fall camp Aug. 6 and the 2021 season at Texas State on Sept. 4.