Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Baylor Issues a Call to Arms. Laughter Ensues.

Before I even begin to dig into one of the saddest cries for help I've seen since, well, last week's episode of Louie, please take a few minutes to read Baylor President Ken Starr's statement in full, as seen in today's edition of Austin American-Statesman. I'll wait.

Assuming you've quelled your LOL'ing at the notion that Baylor believes they are an equal in the Big 12 and are thus entitled to being involved in high level decision making, let's skip the exposition and break the key points of this abortion apart.

When I assumed the presidency of Baylor University 14 months ago, I never would have guessed that one of the most significant challenges we would face as an institution would be the future health and unity of the Big 12 Conference.

"I was far more certain it would be hoping Coach Scott Drew dispose of all the hookers he murdered! Fingers crossed!"

Of course, we celebrated with all Texans when the agreements were signed last year assuring a vigorous future for the Big 12, including even stronger ties among Texas A&M, the University of Texas, Texas Tech and Baylor University.

HA - What? Even stronger ties? You must mean railroad ties, because all you bitches did was lay track for Texas to railroad you even further into obscurity.

Let me be perfectly clear: Baylor continues to fully support the Big 12.

He tosses this out immediately after bringing the whole aggy/SEC situation to light. In that context, this statement is just absolutely SILLY, making it sound as though Baylor has options to leave just like aggy but is choosing not to exercise them. Sorry, Ken, but even the Sun Belt Conference isn't exactly licking their lips at taking you on board.

We especially appreciate our fellow Texas institutions in the conference and the special rivalries that entertain and energize our respective alumni.

You mean sell out your stadium, because Texas, Tech and aggy fans are the only reasons that ever happens. I'm not a betting man, but if Friday in Waco isn't at least a 50/50 split, I'll give you a nickel.

Now, in a formation that includes an incredibly strong regional association of ten schools, four of which represent the State of Texas, we believe that the Big 12 is one of the nation's foremost athletic conferences.

Apparently Tech and Baylor hold the same away as, say, Auburn and Alabama, or USC and Oregon, or even Ohio State and Michigan. I'm pretty certain that when people think of the Big 12, they kind of overlook the fact that there are teams other than aggy, UT and OU involved at all.

For Texas, strong connections among rival Big 12 institutions produce income and jobs and help with student recruitment, both by keeping students in our state and by bringing others into our fold. And, of course, there is the great pride that we feel as Texans when our teams dominate the national collegiate athletics landscape as they did during the past year.

Is that a shout out for the Frogs? I'm not holding my breath, especially since this is supposed to be pimping the Big 12. But let's recap what those teams did: Texas went 5-7, aggy got raped in a bowl, Baylor got raped in a bowl and Tech lost to Texas which negates the rest of their season. So by process of elimination, I guess he means TCU, which doesn't exactly aid his side in the "Kick Baylor out of the Big 12 argument."

As we saw last summer, many in the Texas Legislature understand the economics associated with a strong and unified Texas presence in a dominant athletic conference.

Kind of like how they understood the economics of inviting Baylor over TCU in the first place, eh? Or the economics of, you know, not destroying public education in our fair state? I wouldn't base future arguments for the Big 12 on the opinions of our local politicians.

Our elected officials are again taking notice of a flurry of activity related to the Big 12 and have postponed hearings, pending developments, to discuss college athletics. We believe such conversations are certain to conclude that it is in the best interest of our state that the four Texas schools of the Big 12 stay together.

I hate tooting aggy's horn as much as anyone, but recent reports suggest the SEC situation is, under the table, a done deal and is just sitting in legal limbo. So, wrong again, Kenny.

Texas A&M has expressed concern with the launch of the Longhorn television network. A number of us have expressed such concern, but it calls for conversation, not calls to other conferences.

I'm betting Starr has said ZERO words against Texas about the LHN. That's how bitches wind up with black eyes, fewer teeth and a mangled weave.

In the spirit of the venerable biblical tradition, if we have issues to resolve, let us resolve them together. Decisions that impact our state's largest higher education institutions and their many constituents, as well as our economy and quality of life, ought to be reviewed thoughtfully and informed by input from all those with a vested interest, including alumni, citizens and lawmakers.

OH my god, PLEASE let this happen!! Please let all the Techtards and aggy male cheerleaders and East Texas UT T shirt fans have a public forum to discuss this. IMAGINE the possibilities. It will make Paul Finebaum's callers look like freaking Rhodes Scholars. Seriously, you could firebomb the location and immediately solve the lack of education problems I mentioned above. Heck, hold it in Lubbock, just to take guessing out of the equation. I TAKE IT ALL BACK KEN, YOU'RE A GENIUS!

Baylor, Texas and Texas A&M have been competing against one another for more than a century, while Texas Tech has been facing these foes for more than 80 years. Frankly, I can't imagine having a Baylor home football game without a Midnight Yell or an A&M game without the pageantry of the Fightin' Texas Aggie Band marching at halftime.

Pretty sure every single one of those schools can imagine their annual athletic schedule without Baylor. Also, this confuses me - Baylor has a midnight yell? Like aggy? So you hate them, yet you're ripping their traditions? The state of affairs in Waco are even more dire than I imagined.

I shudder to consider a future gathering of my fellow university presidents during which conversations about the disappearance of our historic rivalries lead us to ask what we were thinking back in 2011 when we let something so valuable slip away.


Fortunately, it is still 2011. There is no need for a rush to judgment. Cool heads can prevail when we take the time to listen to one another.

And with that last delusional statement suggesting anyone but Texas has a say in the matter beyond aggy leaving, we're done.

Awwwwww poor wittle Baylor! You mean you might finally get some comeuppance for being the zit on the Big 12's ass for nearly 20 years? Seriously, as much as I hate for aggy to be happy, Baylor's sadness more than makes up for it. Could it really happen to a more deserving group of folks? I'll be honest - if a win in Waco meant the Big 12 would stay together and loss meant Baylor would be drop kicked into the Sun Belt, sorry Casey Pachall, but I'd give a hard thought to making your career line 0-1 out of the gate. Of course I'm mostly kidding - fan hate should never trump on field performance - but my god it'd be a fantastic consolation.

The problem with Baylor is exactly what you see in Ken Starr's statement: Their delusions of grandeur are nowhere close to matching their reality. I think our own lyle lanley put it best when he said, "It's sort of like a 3rd class passenger on the Titanic who snuck onto a lifeboat and wants to stick together with the rich folk now that the lifeboat has sprung a leak" But that may be too lofty of a comparison - after all, at least DiCaprio got to bang Kate Winslet before he became shark bait. Sure, they got to beat Texas last time out, but Texas was terrible, and Baylor is no DiCaprio... so it'd be kind of like DJ Qualls getting to bang Christina Aguillera now that she is 200 pounds and has a drinking problem before he called it quits.

Honestly, I don't think aggy leaving is going to have the impact everyone says it will. Baylor will still be in the Big 12, although a far less lucrative one with a talent level closer to next year's MWC than this year's. Aggy, who currently has a ceiling of third in Big 12 play on average, will not clear that number in the SEC.. in their own division. But hey, at least Ole Miss will have some different maroon company at the bottom of the West. Meanwhile, TCU will continue to reap the benefits of having the best coaching staff in America with a firm grip on recruiting despite not playing in, "one of the nation's foremost athletic conferences." All is well, I suppose.

But seriously UT, do you see what you're enabling? For the love of god. PLEASE kick Baylor out of the Big 12.

Top Moments of the GP Era: #9

If you were in tune with Horned Frog football during the first month of the 2005 season, you have a pretty good idea what it's like to be a manic depressive. The win in Norman, followed by the loss in Dallas, followed by the OT victory against Utah at home felt like a roller-coaster designed by evil executives from Pepto Bismol looking to increase sales. That's why it felt like more of the same when the Frogs fell behind BYU 34-16 in the 3rd quarter during their first trip to Provo as members of the MWC on September 24, 2005.

To add insult to the injury of what looked like a sluggish road loss that would've dropped the Frogs to 2-2, quarterback Tye Gunn went down with his 1,000th career injury late in the third quarter. In came little-used junior Jeff Ballard, who had previously been working his way toward the "at least he's getting a free education"-type of career. But he drove the bus for the final 30 yards-all rushing- of the touchdown drive that Gunn had started, getting the Frogs to within 34-23 at the end of the frame.

In the fourth quarter, Ballard led the Frogs on touchdown drives of 12 yards (set up by a David Roach interception), 80 yards and 76 yards by going 8-of-12 passing for 150 yards and two touchdowns through the air. TCU actually took a 44-41 lead with 1:25 remaining. With no timeouts, John Beck led BYU 59 yards and Cougars' kicker Jared McLaughlin forced OT with a last-second 39-yard field goal.

Beck through a 25-yard touchdown pass to Todd Watkins on the first play of overtime to give BYU the lead back at 50-44, but McLaughlin shanked the extra point. On the Frogs' possession, Cory Rodgers scored his fourth touchdown of the game with a 3-yard run on 3rd & 1. Chris Manfredini's PAT was good, and the Frogs had pulled off the upset with the ridiculous, this was made up by the writers of some bad TV show on either the Disney Channel or TGIF-type score of 51-50 in overtime.

When combined with the OT win against Utah the week before, the incredible comeback by the Frogs gave them a 2-0 start against the toughest two teams in the MWC in their first year as members of that conference. It catapulted them to a perfect 8-0 conference record in year that they would end up with a Top 10 ranking in the coaches' poll, and for the first time gave Patterson a reliable starting quarterback. No offense to the guys who came before Ballard, but the inconsistency of Casey Printers and Sean Stilley and the aptness for injury of Gunn and Hassell made QB a constant question mark for this program until Ballard took the reins.

Interestingly enough, this was also the first football game I ever tivo'd, and believe you me I spent much of the rest of that fall watching the replay what most girls, who make networks millions of dollars by watching trash like The Bachelor and Keeping up with the Kardashians, would consider "too much."

Frog Alumni Camp Report

-Jeremy Kerley had 99 total yards on 8 touches in the Jets' preseason opener against Houston last night. I saw him have a few good looks on kick returns and also get blown up for an 8-yard loss on a reverse before I quit watching. LaDainian Tomlinson had one carry for four yards in that game in limited playing time for the Jets, and Jason Teague recorded one tackle for the Texans.

-Andy Dalton was 11-of-15 passing for 69 yards in his preseason debut against Detroit. He had an interception on his first possession. Bart Johnson didn't record a reception for the Bengals, but was thrown to once. Aaron Brown had 70 total yards on 9 touches for Detroit.

-Zach Roth was signed by the Patriots over the weekend, and was back in practice Monday after being injured on Saturday.

-Colin Jones got some pretty vanilla praise from the San Francisco Chronicle, who said he "did what he was supposed to do" on punt coverage in the 49ers' preseason opener against New Orleans.

TCU tickets are a hot commodity

A few weeks ago, TCU's season ticket sales climbed past 20,000 for the first time in school history, so they are probably somewhere between there and the stated goal of 25,000 right about now. With that many season ticket holders and a reduced capacity this year of right about 32,000, that means buying tickets for a single game is going to be tough.

That was proven correct when single game tickets went on sale yesterday at 8:00am. By lunchtime, all reserved seats for the SMU game and the Portland State game (parent's weekend) were sold out- you can still get a standing-room only seat for those games, but if I were in that situation I wouldn't dilly-dally. Very limited number of reserved seats are left for the other home games, so they'll likely also be sold out sooner than later.

I'm not trying to brag about TCU selling out a 32,000-seat stadium, because obviously we could (and have and will) do better. But it is good to see a ticket to see TCU football be in such high demand that people were hurrying to buy them online as soon as they went on sale. Hopefully we are waving a permanent goodbye to the days where you could stroll up to the stadium right before kickoff and have your choice of seat.

Morning Dump

Oh, and this actually exists somewhere in Houston...