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"Once abolish God and the government becomes the God." -G.K. Chesterton

Sunday, September 4, 2011

With Big 12 in Turmoil, Is This Baylor's Last Hurrah?

Friday night the Baylor Bears achieved excellence on the football field with a victory over old Southwest Conference foe TCU, which came into Waco ranked 14th in the country and riding a 25-game winning streak. It was a marquee win over a well-respected program on national TV. For the first time in a long time, Baylor football is relevant. Unfortunately, the Big 12 may not be.

Since Texas A&M announced their intention to leave the conference, the college football landscape for Big 12 schools has changed dramatically. It was one thing to lose Nebraska and Colorado, but the Aggies jilting of the conference a mere year after agreeing to the terms that kept it together is back-breaking. Now the Big 12 is left with nine teams, and it's going to be hard to find a school that fits the gaping hole left by A&M's departure.

The Aggies claim they left for the SEC due to the University of Texas' arrogance and the formation of the Longhorn Television network, but the truth is Texas A&M has been crying about Texas arrogance as long as there has been a Varsity football team, and the Aggies flirted with going to the SEC last year before the Longhorn Network even existed.

Now it appears the Big 12 is on its last legs, done in by the pride and hubris of the maroon and white. True, BYU would be an interesting addition and save the conference for at least a few more years. And BYU brings more national exposure than Texas A&M did in terms of television audience. TCU, loser of the thrilling 50-48 finish to Baylor, would also be a desirable addition, but just agreed to terms with the Big East and may not have an out.

Should no marquee university be willing to step in to fill the shoes of the Aggies, the next most likely scenario has Oklahoma bolting for the Pac-12, forcing Texas, which turned down the conference's offer last year (partly because they couldn't entice the Aggies to come along), to reconsider and follow suit. A football landscape that doesn't include TX-OU seems unimaginable, but then again a season without UT-A&M also seemed like a longshot a few months ago.

This leaves the smaller schools of the Big 12 scrambling to find a new home and a way to replace the $15 million they currently receive thanks to their affiliation with a conference that includes Texas and Oklahoma. It is assumed Oklahoma State and Texas Tech, with pressure from the state legislatures, would also get invites to the Pac-12, giving the new superconference 16 teams.

Left behind in the wreckage would be Baylor, Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, and Missouri. That's a shame given Kansas' basketball pedigree. And it's a shame given the programs Baylor has built in basketball and football, including a Heisman candidate in Robert Griffin III and a realistic chance to finish second this year in the Big 12.

In other words, 2011 could be Baylor's last hurrah, but don't blame the Longhorns. Texas has used its position of strength to try and keep this conference and its traditional rivalries together. Meanwhile, A&M is jumping ship for a place among the nation's most competitive football programs before they have built anything remotely competitive. Evidence of a premature move by the Aggies includes an 0-5 record in recent bowl games, no BCS bowl appearances, and just one Big 12 title way back in 1998.

You can catch what may be the last possible football game between Baylor-A&M on October 15. Here's hoping the electrifying RGIII solidifies his Heisman Trophy campaign that day and gives Bears fans something to remember for a long time. The future looks less promising.

UPDATE: There is no Big 12 South anymore. I fixed this part of the post.

9 comments:

  1. umm. there's no big 12 south anymore.

    and... i know texas is your lone ticket to significance, but a suck-up post like this doesn't change the damage caused by longhorn greed and arrogance.

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  2. When an Aggie says "Longhorn greed and arrogance", it's like a Democrat saying "Republican greed and arrogance". It means nothing, just an easy way to demonize those with which you disagree. It was UT, after all, who didn't jump at the Pac-10 money last year, thus keeping the conference together. Texas A&M continued to pursue talks with the SEC even after an agreement to stay in the Big 12 was reached and after they gave their approval for each school to pursue their own TV network.

    The fact Texas A&M has now chosen to bolt the conference for what they consider greener pastures AND deflect any blame for the damage done to Baylor, Tech, etc. on their hated lifetime rival has got to be one of the biggest Aggie jokes in history and one done out of pure spite.

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  3. Congrats on the win over TCU. It is time someone ended their streak and what better team to do it then Baylor.

    If RGIII was playing for a good team then yes he would be a legitimate Heisman contender but Baylor will finish no higher than 4th in the Big XII this year and most likely 5th. Time will tell on that account.

    The offense without question is good but the defense is just plain offensive right now.

    Instead of blaming Texas A&M for the relegation of Baylor to a lackluster conference because of the greed and arrogance by their brothers in Austin why not take a look inward and ask yourselves what has kept up from achieving athletically. Baylor had a 16 year period in which to improve their standing but through numerous attempts has failed to do so until a modest turn around on the field in the past few years.

    Baylor moving forward needs to continue to push itself in its still lackluster football program if it hopes to make it into a AQ conference again when the Big XII falls apart in a matter of weeks and increase the size of its fan base, facilities, and prestige.

    Kansas will likely have a chance into the Big East as another basketball superpower but Baylor's best hope is the CUSA or the Mountain West.

    RGIII is quite a talent. Too bad he does not play on a team worthy of his skills.

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  4. "It was UT, after all, who didn't jump at the Pac-10 money last year, thus keeping the conference together."

    If you bothered to check your facts, you would discover UT was asking the PAC 10 for additional money to "sweeten the pot" before they would leave the Big 12--sort of a payoff for bringing the other schools along. Larry Smith refused, and the Longhorns had to stay put in the Big 12-2. Ironically, it was their own greed that cost them that opportunity last year, so don't paint it like they rescued the conference.

    Now you can kindly remove your lips from DeLoss Dodds' sphincter.

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  5. Well, the Aggies have shown their poor upbringing once again. What more can you say really? They live in denial and pretend to be up there with the big boys when they never rated as more than the 4th or 5th best team in the Big 12. I used to hate Texas but I learned over the years how gracious they were in winning and losing a national title, how classy they acted after the bonfire collapse at A&M, and such. I think Baylor has a good shot at beating all the Texas schools this year or at least going 2-1. Pretty sure we can't get past Oklahoma without a better defense. Hopefully, the Big 12 stays together. It's good for the Texas economy, defintely good for Lubbock and Waco. As for the Aggies and their fake army and male cheerleaders, we beat you by 20 pts when RGIII was a freshman. Pretty sure he can do it again. Enjoy Tuscaloosa and the high academic standards of the SEC. Good riddance, A&M.

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