As Day 2 of “Crisis in the Southwest: Aggies Held Hostage” continues with no end on the horizon, Baylor has once again cranked up its propaganda machine in an attempt to either prevent Texas A&M from going to the SEC (highly unlikely) or make Oklahoma think twice about heading out west with a couple of Big 12 schools in tow (again, highly unlikely, unless that’s what OU and others wants).
With “Don’t Mess With Texas Football” still fresh on the mind, and as the threat of legal action looms, Baylor has fired off yet another shot in an initiative it describes as “taking steps to preserve Big 12 football and integrity in college athletics”. In this latest campaign, BU writes on the school’s website that, with a conference apocalypse looming, what’s being “lost in the midst of this mad scramble for the next lucrative TV contract is any sense of what’s best for the universities involved.” BU also takes great pains to note that something is missing from all of this expansion talk.
Absent from the discussion is any consideration of the welfare of the student-athletes, the best interests of the fans (who watch historic rivalries go by the wayside), the effect on the home states involved (which have much to lose in the shuffle), and the impact such hysteria can have on the very essence of the collegiate football experience.
Really, “the best interests of the fans… who watch historic rivalries go by the wayside” aren’t a consideration?
Between 1925 and 1995, Baylor played Rice, SMU and TCU every single season with two exceptions — during a time of war in 1943-44, and again in 1987-88 when the Mustangs did not field a team due to NCAA sanctions. Since 1995, Baylor has played Rice and SMU just twice and TCU three times. Why? BU was part of the SWC membership that bolted for the Big 12 after that conference officially launched in 1996. For some reason, those historic rivalries were willingly allowed to fall by the wayside by Baylor 16 years ago.
And again, really, “the effects on the home states involved… which have much to lose in the shuffle” are not a consideration? The SWC consisted of eight members in 1995: Baylor, Houston, Rice, SMU, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and TCU. Four of those schools left for the newly-created Big 12 the following year. The other four schools — Houston, Rice, SMU and TCU — were left to fend from themselves. That quartet of institutions also happen to be located in the great state of Texas. What’s that again, Baylor, about the effects on a state and how much they have to lose in a conference shuffle?
As we’ve stated before, it’s understandable why Baylor would do anything and everything to stave off the extinction of the Big 12; without that conference they’d be in BcS no man’s land and football purgatory — or the Big East. Just dial down the rhetoric, OK? It’s getting really, really hard to see through all the hypocrisy both past and present.