Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Schadenfreude: Baylor Edition

While we typically limit non-TCU postings on this site to jam-band related deaths, I feel like, with the weekend's pounding still fresh in our minds, this post will be deemed appropriate. At the risk of having another post flailing our hands about conference expansion, I'll spare the details and commentary about possible scenarios and reveal one truth that will likely be self evident if anything happens: Baylor is SO fucked. And they know it, too.

We're all familiar with the potential Pac-16 expansion where the Conference grabs six altogether non-Pacific teams from the Big 12, being five members from the south division and Colorado. You've also likely realized that the sixth south member not included is none other than the Baylor Bears, otherwise known as the chairman of the metaphorical Lucky Uterus club. In this instance, said lady parts would belong to former Governor Ann Richards, who all but forced Baylor into the Big 12 over SMU, TCU, Rice and Houston when the Big 12 was formed, seeing as how she went there and all. See what happens when you elect a democrat?

As we're all well aware, Baylor is by no means shy about building themselves up by way of their conference affiliation, which is about as relevant Houston Texans fans - they of 0 playoff appearances - legitimizing their team because they beat the Dallas Cowboys in their first game as a franchise. The best part about it, though, is that Baylor genuinely thinks they bring something to the table, despite their relative lack of success in money making sports, IE football. And that is what makes them being left out of the Pac 10 expansion discussion altogether so satisfying.

Baylor would have you believe a report that the Pac 10 is willing to substitute the Bears for the Buffaloes if the ball really gets rolling on their proposed mega conference. But in these emails gathered by the Dallas Morning News, Baylor regent Buddy Jones apparently sees the writing on the walls for the Bears, and let's just say it's not too positive.

That Waaahmbulance you have stalling on the other line? Better give them the directions to Waco.

In his emails, Jones PLEADS with the major alumni, suggesting that if Baylor isn't allowed to piggyback their way to more success, it would be "perhaps a setback of immense proportion!" He begs them to contact the major power brokers from Texas, Texas Tech and Texas A&M and plead Baylor's case to be included in any potential realignment deals. He even gives them a few talking points, which I will naturally pick apart here:

  • The four Texas schools in the Big XII conference have decades (if not a century) of history as being a family. The continuation of this almost sacred relationship is important to our State and to higher education in Texas.
Oh yeah, asswipe? Where was that "sacred relationship" when you ramrodded your way into the Big12 in lieu of equally, if not more deserving schools like TCU, SMU and Houston? They'll cite that they were a charter member of the conference, which I will note, but so was Rice. And SMU came in three years later. What happened to "family" then? Baylor is like the accidental child you had during a drunken fling with a Taiwanese hooker that you can't get away from because she has DNA evidence that you're the father, so you have to raise it as your own and give it all the breaks your legitimate children would receive. Or maybe that's only happened to me...
  • As the Big 10, PAC 10 and Big XII discuss re-alignment, the best possible scenario for these four schools (U.T., A&M, Tech and Baylor) is to stay in the Big XII Conference as it currently exists. That is the absolute BEST THING FOR ALL OF US – KEEP THE BIG XII INTACT.
Yeah it's great for everyone... except for the fact that the above mentioned schools would generate TONS more money by dumping the Bears and forming a super conference without them,as outlined by every article ever written about conference expansion
  • However, if some schools in the Big XII North feel compelled to go elsewhere (we hear rumors of Colorado, Missouri and Nebraska looking toward the Big 10), the next best scenario is to KEEP ALL SIX SCHOOLS FROM THE BIG XII SOUTH AS A PACKAGE DEAL. Do not leave Baylor out.
If you lose the two dominant football schools in the Big 12 North, what do you do then? Let's say the Big 12 stays intact, likely the only way Baylor will remain a part of a BCS conference. Then you have an even more lopsided conference. Actually, maybe this IS the best scenario for the Bears - if Nebraska and Missouri leave, then Baylor could be shifted to the Big 12 North, where at least they wouldn't have to finish sixth in the division every year... because there'd only be five teams.

  • There was a report today that the PAC 10 might extend an offer to invite five of the South schools to join the PAC 10 (Texas, A&M, Tech, Oklahoma and OSU). The report said Baylor would be replaced with Colorado. This is Armageddon for our University. This would be devastating to Baylor and to the state of Texas. WE MUST STICK TOGETHER.
Think this has been covered. Even Armaggedon star Bruce Willis would agree that this situation would be bad for Baylor
  • Baylor is superior to Colorado academically. Baylor has athletic facilities superior to Colorado. Colorado doesn’t participate in the number of sports that Baylor does. Baylor’s overall record in all collegiate sports dwarfs that of Colorado. Our football, basketball (women’s and men’s), baseball, softball, track, tennis, golf programs are vastly superior to Colorado’s. The Baptist church base extends across the country and certainly trumps the University of Colorado’s local base limited to a small town in Colorado.
Now here's where the real fun begins. As far as the number of athletic programs each school boasts, I suppose I can't dispute facts. If Baylor has more in number, then there's no argument Colorado can give. As for facilities, I've never had the pleasure of visiting either campus, so I can't be the judge there either, although I will say that Folsom Field in Boulder has one of the coolest settings you will see in all of college football. And while you can't argue that Baylor's men's basketball program is on the rise, let's not forget they aren't 10 years removed from one of the biggest murder scandals in NCAA history, if not THE biggest. Scott Drew has put together a solid program in Waco, but let's not kid ourselves - that guy is one of the slimiest coaches this side of John Calipari and, as their success grows, it's only a matter of time before his "tactics" are exposed. There's a reason why every other coach in the conference hates the guy. This would likely not settle well with a conference whose flagship football school is embroiled in some controversy of their own.

And when you start arguing for inclusion based on your golf and softball teams, I have to take some issue. This move is 110% about football and football related revenues. And, while Colorado has seen some SERIOUS down years under current Head Coach Dan Hawkins, there's not even a remotely legitimate argument Baylor can make in light of touting their accomplishments over that of the Buffaloes.

Colorado is the 16th winningest college football program of all time; Baylor? Well, they don't mention any sort of accolades in this department, but seeing as how they have 140 fewer overall wins, I think it's safe to say they aren't exactly knocking down any barriers. In the conference titles department? Colorado has 26 to Baylor's... 5. Yes. Five. And actually, four and a half because they shared their last one... in 1994... in the Southwest Conference... that doesn't exist anymore. Shall we talk bowl appearances? 27-16, Buffs. Big 12 division titles? 4-0 Buffs. Heisman's? 1-0 Buffs. National Titles? 1-0, Buffs - although I'm not going to say that Gary Barnett did it the "right" way, but it's still probably as legit as Baylor's recent Elite Eight run. Head to head results - Colorado 9, Baylor 6 and 4-2 since the Big 12 was formed. And the ultimate trump card? The one around which this entire debate centers? Baylor's football program generates roughly $44 million annually. Colorado generates roughly $53 million annually. I'm not mathematician, but that's nearly a 10% difference, which, when you're talking millions of dollars, is a pretty significant difference. I'm not trying to act like I'm some know it all about either football program, but if we're talking hard numbers, can you argue with me?

I was going to expound upon the whole "THE ENTIRE BAPTIST CHURCH BACKS BAYLOR!!" vs "ONLY A SMALL PART OF COLORADO BACKS THE BUFFALOES" scenario, but I couldn't stop laughing long enough to type. Let's just leave it at this: Denver, which is seriously just over a mountain from Boulder, boasts the 16th largest media market in the country. Waco? 89th.

I rest my case.
  • I am asking you to commit to me to keeping all six schools from the Big XII South together if we can’t keep the whole Big XII intact. BAYLOR MUST BE INCLUDED IN THE PACKAGE. Make it clear that when it comes to our four Texas schools, IT IS ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL!!
... And when you begin quoting movies starring Chris O'Donnell and Oliver Platt, I think it's time to close.

Until we started playing them again in football, I really had very little against Baylor. Seriously, they were always a tiny fish in a big pond that might occasionally make ripples. Their biggest victory in 20 years is an overtime win against the 8-5 2004 Texas A&M Aggies. Truly an accomplishment to hang your hat on. I just always assumed they had no fans. But once I was forced to pay attention to them again, I realized that they may have the very worst fans in the entire country, definitely in Texas. Scott Nix may have accused us of being a bunch of trust fund punks who ride our daddies coattails to success, but holy hell, Baylor's entire EXISTENCE is based on riding coattails. They were invited into the Big 12 and allowed to reap those benefits because the governor at the time happened to be an alumnus. And now, if they don't get their way, they're going to attempt to do it again!

My initial thought in this entire thing has been that if Texas - the biggest money shaker in all of these negotiations - ever decided to leave, aggy would be the only attachment based on the history and politics of their relationship. Oklahoma could be penciled in as an annual non-conference matchup and Tech may or may not be factored into their furthering scheduling. Now it looks like Texas would definitely not leave without Tech, but Baylor? I still just find that hard to believe. I'm not so naive to think that the state legislature would not get involved in any negotiations involving the three major state institutions, but would they really argue on Baylor's behalf?

To Baylor's credit, god bless them for taking such a proactive stance in all of this because, really, who has more to lose than them? You could say Iowa State, but they don't seem to be the primadonnas that Baylor are and would grudgingly accept their place in the MAC. Baylor though? Where do they go? Logic would dictate to the Mountain West, but, truthfully, where is their place? Boise is first in line, and then they'd presumably be up against Kansas, Kansas State, Houston, Fresno State, Nevada, etc, and would you take them outright over any of those schools? Would Conference USA add them to their already overflowing roster of schools?

The only thing that we can continue to say is that this situation will surely be fascinatingly ugly to watch unfold. And I hope Baylor ends up being the guy standing in the corner frowning and stroking himself during the orgy.


Rotten Arsenal said...

I'm also not sure what they think being Baptist brings to the table, especially when talking about a conference on the West Coast... I'm not sure that a small town Baptist school in Texas is going to appeal to a wildly liberal part of the country.
That's just a dumb argument.

Lyle Lanley said...

Ken Starr...probably not real popular in Berkeley, CA.

Ann Richards didn't do shit for Baylor, that was all Bob Bullock.

LT4heisman said...

This is sooo desperate it's sad. Baylor is fucked, and they know it. Hilarious.

Rotten Arsenal said...

Mom and Dad aren't around to force the State Schools to play with their little brother anymore

Sir Wesley Willis said...

Exactly, can you IMAGINE having Cal Berkeley and Baylor in the same conference? Jesus Christ that'd be amazing. Or, even aggy and Berkeley?

Matt said...

Baylor is superior to Colorado academically. Wow....I would love to see his argument there. At least he could've looked up both schools wikipedia page on academics. Jesus....

Texas Hammer said...

Can you imagine aggy MARCHING into Berkeley with sabres drawn???

The horror...the horror.

Chris said...

I went to Baylor for 2 years before transferring to TCU and I have a job that sends me around the Big 12 schools for football and basketball all schoool year. So I've seen the facilities first hand on numerous occasions. Folsom Field in Colorado is far superior to Floyd Casey Stadium in Waco. Hands down. The basketball arenas are probably a toss up. Baylor wins baseball by default since Colorado doesn't have a team. (although the BU baseball stadium is very nice so probably would have won anyway). This is a pure panic move by Baylor. They're grasping at straws. I like the school and want it to succeed, but I would love to see them get left in the dust as the South and Colorado bolt for the Pac 10

Bleedin'Purple said...

Richard Justice may have the best timed stories ever for the Houston Chronicle. This one is a cry for keeping Baylor with the rest of the Texas Big 12 schools. It makes me so happy that Baylor is going to get the shaft.


Rotten Arsenal said...

My favorite Justice bit:
Baylor's climb to respectability provides a road map for Houston, Rice and every other school that would like to make itself relevant. Instead of cursing the darkness, Baylor lit candles.

Excuse me? TCU started with less and has achieved a whole lot more. That's asinine.

And then from Baylor's website:
Baylor's strong preference is to keep the Big 12 Conference intact. But what's most important is that Baylor retains its deserved place among the nation's elite athletic conferences, along with its fellow Texas institutions

"Deserved place"?!?!? WTF?!?!! I've been browsing the history of the SWC and TCU, despite being pretty mediocre at the end, STILL managed to win more SWC sports titles (and National Championships) than Baylor over the years.
Baylor has utterly wasted their time in the Big12 and deserve NOTHING!

Sir Wesley Willis said...

That's extremely telling - TCU went off the radar for like 50 years and STILL is more legit than the sic em sunbelts