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The Countdown

A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.

Need to Know

Getting to the Heart of the Matter

We know the following. We know that Texas A&M allocates 3,850 tickets to visiting teams for each home game in College Station. We know that visiting teams can sell all of those tickets to its fans or return them to Texas A&M; if a team opts to retain the tickets and play the odds that each gets snapped up, the university must pay Texas A&M $80 for each ticket that goes unsold. We know that Baylor has sold less than its full allotment, and that the university sent a significant portion of its share back to Texas A&M. Is that the whole story? In the quest for balance, I asked Baylor for its side of this twisted, rancorous and off-kilter back-and-forth.

Yesterday, I came to the conclusion that Baylor’s argument about the financial burden of traveling to away games should the Big 12 disband simply didn’t have legs: Baylor doesn’t travel now, when rivals are within less than 100 miles, so whether the trip for an away conference game is 100 or 1,000 miles away shouldn’t matter — fans aren’t showing up regardless.

I cited the paucity of tickets Baylor sold for its 2011 date at Texas A&M as evidence. According to Texas A&M, Baylor has sold only 830 of its 3,850-ticket share. Is that true? Is this more, less or a similar total for Baylor in past trips to College Station?

The number of tickets sold “is nearly the same as (in) 2009,” Baylor’s last trip to A&M, said executive associate director Nick Joos. And that’s an important admission, one that provides further evidence for the consensus that Baylor cannot cite travel issues as rationale for maintaining the Big 12 in its current formation.

Or does it? According to Joos, Baylor never committed to the “entire allotment” of 3,850 tickets, instead requesting 2,000 tickets “based on historical sales” when the Bears have traveled to College Station. Said Joos: “Only one of A&M’s home opponents this year took the entire allotment (of available tickets), that being Texas.”

So Baylor only took 2,000 tickets from the start, not the entire 3,850-ticket allotment. And last Tuesday, due to demand from Texas A&M fans for season tickets, A&M asked Baylor if it had any tickets to return, said Joos. “Any tickets that we retain and don’t sell cost Baylor $80 each. Based on our sales at that point and as a courtesy to A&M, we sent 750 tickets back to them.”

And Baylor doesn’t take kindly to the fact that this information — the sale, or lack thereof, of visiting tickets — is being made public by Texas A&M.

“In nearly 30 years of work in intercollegiate athletics, this is the first time that I’ve ever seen a home team report what the visiting team sales were,” said Joos. “I think we both know what they are trying to do here,” he continued, clearly referring to the bitter debate over conference expansion between A&M, Baylor and a select few other members of the Big 12.

“So, the bottom line is that we did not return 3,000 tickets as A&M wants everyone to believe; we returned just 750 of our allotment, and the only reason we did that was as a courtesy.”

Courtesy is one thing, but that’s not the only motive behind Joos and Baylor opting to return 750 tickets to A&M. Joos cited four additional reasons:

“The ticket location at Kyle Field is beyond the goal line or high in the upper deck,” said Joos. No surprise there, and no excuse. Visiting team seats in the Big 12 — everywhere, actually — are notoriously poor. They’re poor in College Station, they’re poor in Norman, they’re poor in Eugene: they’re poor everywhere.

A second reason? “The cost of the ticket keeps many of our fans from purchasing seats over there.” Again, the cost of the ticket is not overly prohibitive; not cheap, of course, but an $80 ticket, if that’s the average price, is not going to break the bank for the wide majority of fans.

And what of the fans that opt not to purchase university seating because of the reason above — that the seats are too far off the field? Tickets get pricier the closer you get to the action, obviously. Paying more isn’t an issue for those fans, it would seem. And A&M, among others, has no problem getting fans to pay full price for an away ticket for a game against a conference opponent.

That fans buy tickets from elsewhere is a third reason why Baylor returned its allotment of tickets, according to Joos. “Many of our fans who do travel to (College Station) have access to better tickets from family, friends, work, so they don’t buy from Baylor.”

Lastly, Joos gets to the heart of the matter: “Many of our fans complain of being mistreated (at Kyle Field) and as a result, refuse to travel there.”

This is a serious accusation: true, perhaps, but an inhospitable home field and crowd is one of the hallmarks of a conference rivalry, and any complaints about such treatment should be directed in an official manner towards the Texas A&M administration. In other words, it should not be cited willy-nilly as late-breaking reasoning for a marriage gone sour.

To recap: according to Baylor, the university did not accept the entire allotment of visiting tickets but rather 2,000 — about 52 percent of the entire 3,850-ticket allocation provided by Texas A&M. And an additional 750 tickets were returned to A&M per the Aggies request.

But Baylor is not happy about A&M publicly issuing the number of tickets sold by a visiting institution. Baylor is also unhappy about the treatment its fans receive when taking in a game at College Station. Baylor isn’t happy, period, and it’s clearer now more than ever before, based on statements from both parties, that the relationship between the Bears and the Aggies is damaged beyond repair.

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Comments

  1. Dave says:

    Clearly A&M has lots to gain from this move, and so does the SEC – in the short term. But has anyone thought about whether a 13 (and inevitably, a 16) team conference is even viable?

    Beyond Paul’s point about the loss of regional coherence, rivalries, and traditions, what does it even mean to be part of a conference where you won’t play half the other teams? (Unless they get rid of OOC games, or extend the season) Does anyone out there actually think this is good for college football?

  2. Rafe says:

    Are Aggies obnoxious? Yes. Are they mean or inhospitable to fans of visiting teams? Not in my experience.

  3. Clint says:

    Hello,

    Can you PLEASE do your research before you put pen to paper? If you had done any research at all you would see that Baylor does actually travel well. All you have to do is look at the Texas Bowl last year, in which an estimated 40,000 BAYLOR fans attended. Also, the previous year the Elite 8 played in Houston had the highest attendance in the NCAA and it was again estimated nearly 40,000 BAYLOR fans attended.

    Additionally, please contact TCU and SMU and ask them about Baylor attendance numbers when we have played them in recent years.

    Also, please look to the women’s basketball NCAA Elite 8 in Dallas last year, in which Baylor by far outnumbered Texas A&M’s fans at the games and it is estimated at least 10,000 Baylor fans attended the final game.

    So, you are absolutely correct and bought into the PR motives of this announcement by Texas A&M to make Baylor look bad. Simply put, Baylor fans don’t like to travel to A&M because they’re football fans are just plain nasty to Baylor.

    Gosh does anyone actually do research nowadays? I guess I should start my own blog because I could certainly do a better job than all these pseduo journalists out there today.

  4. Burnt Orange says:

    Paul, you have strayed into the middle of a cornfield in Antietam. I would get the hell out of there.

  5. Kris says:

    Hmmm….Let me get this straight, Clint. Baylor can launch a public war against A&M, led by their President with op-ed articles and pious exclamations that the Aggies are killing football in the state of Texas…blah, blah, blah…not to mention the last minute “oh, we didn’t MEAN to agree to let A&M go to the SEC, now we are gonna sue everybody,” but A&M’s “PR move” to release tickets sales info is scandalous?!?! Give me a break…

    Say what you want about visiting Kyle Field – and I apologize for a rogue Aggie fan here and there who might have been “overserved,” but MOST guests have a blast and are invited to tailgate with us, no matter the color of their gameday attire.

    So, you are wrong about those two points, but what REALLY ticks me off this morning is your suggestion that Paul doesn’t do his research! What? NO ONE does a better job of telling it like it is than Pre-Snap Read…period. If you can’t handle the truth, so be it…but don’t blame it on Paul’s lack of homework – them’s fightin’ words!

  6. schedule nit says:

    Citing figures for the Texas Bowl and basketball tournaments translates to “Baylor’s got nothing.”

  7. Bird says:

    @Burnt Orange
    I second your opinion.

  8. brandon says:

    Since Texas A&M is a public institution it can release ticket information at the request of the public.

    Dave, I think four 16-team conferences is likely and that they will have to form a new division of football that is a tier higher than the current FBS. There would be a Southern Division, Northern Division, Mid-West Division and a Western Division. The remaing 56 teams would form a lower tier.

    People will complain but, I think with the amount of money involved it will happen.

  9. Lee says:

    Dave,

    I think that the “idea” of the super conference is great. The potential for a playoff, more competitve conferences, more money, new rivalries, etc….BUT the logistics behind this are a potential nightmare. The travel expense is going to be a a burden. The sheer number of conference opponents presents a problem…how do you play everyone( or Most) in your conference and get a true champion. What happens to OOC scheduling? What happens to the BCS? What Happens to the Bowl system? What happens to the team left out of the super conferences, i.e. Boise State? What happens to the other sports in theses super conferences? Do they get cancelled because the travel expense is to great a burden etc…?

  10. Richard says:

    Clint,

    Every example you cited for Baylor attendance has something in common. Those were post-season events where you would expect larger crowds or a game Baylor was expected to win. (Not many outside of women’s basketball lately.) Sounds like a prime example of fair-weather traveling.

  11. Ag In Arky says:

    Clint-
    In addition to the points above, Baylor MADE the ticket sales relevant when they included it in THEIR PR offensive regarding the “damage” being done to Texas FB with the Aggies move. You can bet your boots your dirty little secret would have remained in the vault if you hadn’t tried to make a mountain out of your molehill.

    BU completely fabricated a case in order to veil their true motivation, riding true fans coattails to a payday they don’t deserve.

    So to you and any Bear who feels this is unfair, I say you should have had considered that before attempting to derail the TAMU to SEC move with lies.

  12. Mike says:

    The fact that only one of A&M’s opponents used all of their allotment speaks volumes to Baylor’s case.

  13. DMK says:

    Roll Tide.

  14. Allen says:

    The fact that only one Big 12-2-1-X team travels well enough is argument enough to get out of this pathetic conference and move to a conference where they mandate visitors get not just 3850 but over 7000 visitor tickets, and they sell them all out every time!!!!!! Isn’t there a tarp over most of your seats Baylor? You took it off for an Aggie game a few years ago and realized your mistake when A&M bought up 75% of your tickets and made it Kyle Field North. So, continue to cut off your nose to spite your face, cover your seats, sue everybody for not taking care of you, forget that Baylor was the first BOR to vote to leave the SWC leaving behind those historic rivalries with SMU, Rice, UH, and TCU, and start worrying about doing something now that your visitor pass to an AQ conference is being revoked.

  15. Nathan says:

    Mike,

    The fact that EVERY one of A&M’s opponents except Idaho used more of their allotment than Baylor also speaks volumes. That includes Kansas, who travels hundreds of miles farther to watch an even worse football team.

  16. Allen says:

    Also, don’t miss the specials going on now from the “fans” at Baylor, their tickets are selling for less than ONE DOLLAR on the internet.

  17. Jonathan Montgomery says:

    “The fact that only one of A&M’s opponents used all of their allotment speaks volumes to Baylor’s case.”

    This is true. There are only four schools that sell out the 3.8k allotment in the Big 12 – Nebraska, A&M, UT, OU. Now that Nebraska and A&M are gone there are two schools left who can travel – UT and OU.

    This is why the Big 12 is bound to fail. Too many bottom-feeders who can’t sell out a small allotment. In the SEC away fans receive 7k to 9k tickets and that is not a problem. And it won’t be a problem for A&M fans, no matter how bad the seats are.

    There is a reason Baylor’s stadium looks like this when A&M plays in Waco:

    http://graphics.fansonly.com/schools/bay/graphics/Floyd-Casey-aerial-600.jpg

  18. jason says:

    To be fair, $80 is $79 more than what it costs to attend a Baylor game.

  19. Brian says:

    Tons of seats for Baylor home games – including 50 yard line seats for this week and their home conference opener – on sale on StubHub for $1 and $2! Of course they think $80 is too much to pay for tickets!

  20. Mike says:

    So Baylor only requested 2,000 of their 3,850 allotment and still couldn’t sell them all? What a joke! Furthermore, Baylor fans getting treated badly at Kyle Field? I beg to differ. I’ve been tailgating at Kyle Field for the last 5 years, and every year, through conversations with the opposing fans, I’m told that visitors feel more welcome in at Texas A&M than at any other road game for their team.

  21. Bruce says:

    Clint,
    I’m glad you brought up your attendance numbers vs SMU. That argument is about to become very relevant when you are conference mates. You just better hope they don’t call your school out on its historical hypocrisy when you are begging to join them.

  22. Steve says:

    So how many of those 40K seats at the Texas Bowl were covered by a TARP of SHAME????

    Sell out your own stadium first, then worry about how you travel.

  23. Chris says:

    Mike,
    Look at the numbers. Baylor is the closest team to a&m and they can’t get more than a 1k fans to drive 1 1/2 hours to watch their top 25 and best team since the 80s play their most hated rival. Baylor struggles to sell their own home game tickets when a&m comes to town… their stadium is usually half aggies when the 2 play in waco. My wife went to baylor one year before transferring and when I went to the games that they lost, maybe 20% of the fans stayed till the 4th quarter, most left at halftime. This whole thing is about money and staying relevant for baylor. They don’t want to go to a more appropriate lower tier conference due to status and revenue reasons. A&M and texas bring in tons of ticket sales that their own fans won’t buy and a bcs conference brings in tv revenue that they don’t deserve. Every conference in the country wants a piece of the texas tv market (heck, the big east took tcu to get into it even though tcu doesn’t bring many tv sets) and baylor isn’t really desired by anyone despite being right in the middle of texas, only a few hours from houston, dallas, austin, and san antonio. It is amazing that they don’t have more to offer in marketshare but this is just a testament to their weak fanbase. Don’t feel sorry for them… they have had decades to improve their position but sometimes you have to admit, you are what you are. The nerd only gets the hot cheerleader in the movies… this is real life.

  24. Chase says:

    Kyle Field is, indeed, known for how we treat other teams fans…in that regard, Mr. Joos is correct. Where he is wrong is that we are known for being hospitable.

    Does this mean there are not incidents that occur that deviate from that norm? No. But the vast majority of A&M fans not only go out of their way to be hospitable to opposing fans but would not put up with other Aggies treating a visiting fan poorly.

    Traveling 800-900 people to a “rivalry” game less than 90 minutes away is pitiful and a prime example of why Baylor is *not* Big Boy Conference material. They are fighting tooth and nail to hold the conference together because this is SOLELY about the parasitic income they leach from their host, the Big XII conference.

  25. Dan Beebe says:

    Bruce, C-USA won’t be inviting Baylor back, after 3 schools in that conference were screwed by Baylor back in 1995.

    Baylor will be conference mates with Sam, SWT, SFA, etc.

  26. Chris says:

    Like chase said… they are a parasite. What happens to parasites when they don’t have a host to suck life out of? They die. Nobody would leave a leach on their leg b/c they felt sorry for it.

    Baylor didn’t have a problem with a&m leaving till they realized OU would leave too and kill the conference. They don’t care about rivalries and honoring contracts. They care about losing their undeserving parasitic income stream from tv revenue they rarely contribute to.

  27. Dave says:

    Clint,

    Baylor travels? They don’t even travel to Floyd Casey. The only time that tarp is removed is when the Ags come to town, like last year, when the A&M game drew 45K.

    You drew 36K for Oklahoma, a team you hadn’t beaten in 19 tries, but were 7-5 and bowl eligible for the first time since 1995. You had your best team in years, and drew 36K at home for a game you surely had to hope was worth a shot.

    And as far as traveling? How about that Rice game in Houston? That was a game made up of players who, as Ken Starr said, “grew up in Texas and competed in Texas high schools. Each week, they are cheered on by Texans who have rooted for these programs and for these athletes for years.” That was a “Texas football” matchup of old rivals. That game drew 23,295. It was 180 miles away and you had a good team.

    Gosh, do you actually do any research? Or is it just citing one game in 20 years?

  28. aggie93 says:

    First off, I find it fascinating that the only research done here was getting Baylor’s opinion. No attempt at all to get a comment from A&M as to why the information was released.

    The ticket announcement was made without comment toward Baylor other than they were the source of the tickets. What exactly was our AD supposed to do to take this “high road”? Announce that over 3k tickets for a completely sold out game came out of thin air so as to cover for Baylor’s inability to get more than 800 people to drive the full 90 miles to College Station? How exactly were we going to explain that we had this sudden allotment of tickets in the visiting fan section without people figuring out where they came from either? It’s not like we have some confidentiality clause that is designed to keep that information from leaking out (which it would have even if it were not announced).

    Baylor is the one who has the President of their University out writing articles in every paper he can find bashing our school. Baylor is the one who is putting out microsites on their school webpage bashing our school. Our press release on the tickets did not bash Baylor. It was merely a statement of fact and an announcement of ticket availability. We actually would have been well within our rights to have Loftin or Byrne write Op Eds to newspapers destroying Starr for his hypocrisy but we did not do that.

    I can tell you this. I have a block of 7 season tickets that I use several of which for friends and clients. I have gotten more requests for the Baylor tickets than even the Texas game this year and most of them have been in the last 2 weeks (corresponding with the controversy and the request for return of unused tickets). I could literally have a block of 30 and still probably not have enough for everyone wanting to go to that game and I certainly haven’t had a soul whine about the price. If I am seeing that I guarantee you the AD is seeing it as well and it is their responsibility to sell every ticket they can. They have to publicize tickets to sold out games and get them sold, those tickets are instant cash for the AD.

    Baylor is simply terrified about losing their cash cow. The Top 10 attended games in Waco are almost all Aggie games and it is isn’t because of Baylor fans. The stadium is heavily maroon, it’s the reason we call Floyd Casey “Kyle Field North”. Baylor needs A&M to fill their stadium. All you have to do is look at Stubhub and the mass quantities of $1 tickets for the Baylor game this weekend.

    Paul: A&M’s side of the story has been covered here several times. Not to mention in The Associated Press, The New York Times, on ESPN and so on. It is stated in the beginning that I reached out to Baylor for its side of the story. That should be a clear sign that everything that follows is Baylor’s side of the argument.

  29. calmer than you are says:

    So, Clint, speaking directly with and quoting higher-ups in the Baylor athletic department doesn’t constitute appropraitely rigorous research, while giving the “estimated” attendance for three Baylor games does? Good luck with that blog of yours.

  30. Mark says:

    What a joke.

    Baylor can’t bring more than 1000 fans from 90 miles away and continues making excuses. KU is 1000 miles away, a worse team and sold twice as many as you did. This against a team you consider a rival and your president mentioned football as one of the fabrics of the state and your university.

    In addition you want to make unsubstantiated claims of being mistreated there, when Kyle Field is renowned as one of the greatest atmospheres in college football and particularly welcoming to visitors. Most aggies go out of their way to welcome visiting teams and include them in tailgates, etc. In 30 years of attending aggie games I’ve only seen a handful of even rude comments directed at visitors, and that is usually self policed by other aggies in quick fashion.

    Since baylor fans don’t travel well maybe you aren’t aware of other venues….but try going to a game in baton rouge, lubbock, miami, the swamp or any of several other worst places to be a visiting fan and then tell me what you think of kyle field.

  31. Mark says:

    Speaking of research how about doing a little research yourself Clint and other BU apologists. Don’t take our word for it, but do a search on best or worst college football fans, stadiums, visitor experiences, etc.

    You won’t find BU in either of those usually….but you will find A&M prominently in many of the best lists.

    This is something we actually pride ourselves on.

    Unfotunately for the Big12 you have lost 2 of the top programs in these lists with Nebraska and A&M, who had an epic game and experience with 90K fans just last fall at Kyle Field.

    Here are just a few, but feel free to do your own searches. I defy anyone to find a published list with A&M in a worst list of anything relating to gameday experiences.

    http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/32561906/ns/sports-college_football/page/2/

    No. 14: Kyle Field, Texas A&M (Big 12)
    With no female cheerleaders and a tradition known as “Midnight Yell Practice,” Aggieland is as unique as they come. Spend a quarter in the student section at the home of “The 12th Man,” and the atmosphere from Kyle Field will leave you happily dizzy.

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/592904-25-best-college-football-game-day-experiences/page/23

    4. Kyle Field, Texas A&M

    Venturing to College Station is a week long experience.

    “Home of the 12th Man,” the fans have some of the best traditions in the country, including the “Midnight Yell Practice.”

    No cheerleaders, a football only atmosphere and fans that fill as much of the stadium as humanly possible.

    They know how to party both before and after the game and simply have more spirit than almost any program in the country.

    http://hellspawnedjavelinas.wordpress.com/2008/11/20/best-and-worst-fans-in-college-football/

    3. Texas A&M – The friendliest campus in a America, visiting fans rave about the hospitality shown by Aggies. The beautiful campus and outstanding tailgating atmosphere make Texas A&M the class of the state of Texas.

  32. George says:

    Virginia Tech played at Texas A&M nine years ago, and every Hokie I have spoken to about the experience said that the Aggies could not have been more welcoming. Texas A&M and Nebraska are always listed at the two most hospitable away venues.

  33. Buck Feucht says:

    Nobody from the old Southwest Conference travels to away games. I spent a couple of years in grad school at Texas after getting a degree from an SEC school, and I was shocked at how few (a) Texas fans/students traveled to away games (other than OU in Dallas) and (b) how few opposing fans showed up in Austin. Every single one of those fan bases–including Texas–would be the lamest group in the conference if their school joined the SEC. 3,800 tickets for opposing fans?!? In the SEC the minimum is 8,000!

  34. ichthusag says:

    Heck, Baylor Fans don’t travel across Waco to that Dump for $25 seats. They tarp off a chunk of seats becaus they can’t sell out their home stadium.

    Yes A&M pulled a PR stunt against a dishonorable hypocritical school that is threatening a law suit because they don’t have legs to stand on their own. If the new american way – if you can’t win, sue!

  35. AggieJerry00 says:

    While I recognize this piece is from Baylor’s angle, I still don’t believe any of their arguments hold any water at all. The fact is, Baylor needs us more than A&M needs them. In order to fill their stadium, Baylor NEEDS Aggies to show up in droves, but to fill Kyle Field doesn’t require a large Baylor contingent. Not even a small one, the stadium is practically full already even without the Baylor fans showing up.

    I’ve been to Waco for an Baylor/A&M game, and had it not been for all the Aggies that had invaded Waco for the day, I cannot imagine a more apathetic atmosphere to watch a football game. Baylor fans don’t care enough to go to the games in Waco, I wouldn’t expect them to travel a little over an hour to watch their team.

  36. Brandon says:

    All I have to say is look at Baylor’s all time largest crowds at Baylor! They are all against Texas A&M and Aggie fans purchased more tickets than Baylor fans by two to one. The facts are not only does Baylor not travel, but they do not even attend their own home games with any consistency. The stands at Baylor home games are consistently less than 2/3 full. Baylor stadium is the smallest in the big 12 and consistently empty unless the Aggies play in Waco and the Aggies out number Baylor fans almost 2 to 1. Do you need proof, just look up the stats. Further proof needed? Look at the attendance for the Baylor vs TCU game this year, huge holes in the stands with empty seats. What is sad, is this is the best and most talented team Baylor has ever fielded! Baylor your grounds are baseless and you only stand to be further embarrassed in court!

  37. Burnt Orange says:

    @ Brandon- on this being the best and most talented Baylor team ever- the 10-2 1980 team led by Mike Singletary might have a little something to say about that.

  38. proud Baylor Bear says:

    LOOK, PEOPLE.

    I would love to tell you that we’re ok with the Big 12 breaking up. I’d love to stand here and say, “naw, we’re cool A&M. Go. we’ll be just fine without y’all”. I wish I could tell you we’re dancing down 5th street (we CAN do that now) in anticipation of going to a lower conference.

    but we’re not. we’re freaking out. and when i say “WE” i mean people just like you: Baylor Alumni & fans. See, we didn’t make this mess.

    Let’s take a brisk walk down the hallways of history and stop in the year 1995. Robert Sloan and Tom Stanton are standing before you with the keys to your brand new athletic department and a brand new athletic conference to put it in. shiny. new. exclusive. your friends wanted in, but you were the right fit at the right moment. how cool is this!?! I wish I could tell you that Sloan & Stanton will lead you to the promised land. That they will take you to places you never dreamed you’d go.

    Nope. they won’t. Your President and Athletic Director will take you to the bottom. and fast. Not only will your school become a punch line but your football team will become a punching bag. Blue Chip athletes? Try Funyons. That’s the closest you’ll come to a Blue Chip. Distinguished Alumni? Try Daryl Gardner, Gary Baxter & a few offensive linemen. Busts? oh we got plenty of those. Odell James anyone? Basketball you ask? ohhh, you don’t wanna know. NO, seriously, you don’t wanna ok FINE. one of your players will kill his teammate and the head coach will try and cover it up by telling players to spread lies that the perp & victim were drug dealers. happy?

    now you’re starting to see. you’re starting to understand that as a fan base, it’s not easy wearing the Green & Gold. It must be awesome to wear Orange or Maroon. Must be nice to have a winning tradition. And let’s get something straight: total and complete respect for the tradition and honor that A&M students carry. we WISH Baylor students had an ounce of that. But they don’t. Know why? There’s no one to teach them. Upperclassmen have no clue, because when they were freshmen, no one taught them because the seniors above them weren’t taught… now you’re starting to see.

    Let’s talk head coaches for a second. Do the names Chuck Reedy, Dave Roberts, Kevin Steele or Guy Morriss raise the hairs on the back of your necks??? no, they shouldn’t. they don’t raise the hairs on the neck of a Pop-Warner coach. We all bow down at the alter of Art Briles and pray to Bear Bryant’s ghost that he stays after the dust settles. We finally have a real head coach, which leads me to…

    the TCU game. a tale of 2 schools, really. BU gets picked up and carried into the Big 12 while TCU is left to fend for itself. What happens? TCU builds itself into a football powerhouse with a REAL head coach. Gotta hand it to them. They’ve earned it. But in case you have a short memory, or maybe you’re new-school, TCU was on the same par as Baylor in 1995. Not better, not worse. Same. You have to take your hat off to what they’ve done in 16 years. Then you have to look at Baylor and what they’ve done (in football) in those 16 years.

    Which FINALLY (i know, i know, you don’t even care anymore) leads me to the Baylor Administration. they stink. all of them. Starr, Sloan, the Regents the whole bunch. They have a distinguished history of stinking. They don’t even care that they stink as long as the money keeps streaming in. They’ve been blowing it for 16 years. And ya know what? they don’t really care. All those Big 12 millions they get every year doesn’t go to building a better product, it just goes to pockets. Hungry Hungry Pockets.

    So, in closing, please understand that as a Baylor Bear, I love my team. I’m proud to wear the Green & Gold and I cheer for them, even though we’re probably gonna lose, simply because it’s where I went to school. It’s my Alma Mater. I don’t agree with the religious aspects (I’m not Baptist), the political (i’m far from Red State Conservative) or socio-economic (i’m what most would not call rich), so I guess I’m not the typical Baylor Bear. But I hope you understand that as a FAN, this hurts.

    This hurts because we finally have a competitive team. We finally have an Athletic Department committed to recruiting the best players possible and won’t accept losing.

    The dust had barely settled from that AMAZING TCU game two weeks ago and already, people were showing up with shovels, ready to bury this conference, this season & this team.

    Much love to the SWC, the BIG 12 and all the schools we battled along the way… I don’t know where this road will take us, but I hope we can all play again soon. I love Texas football.

    I will miss these rivalries.

  39. [...] what’s really going on here? Paul Myerberg at Pre-Snap Read dug into the issue in a blog post. It’s great [...]

  40. Kris says:

    PROUD Baylor Bear,

    KUDOS, my friend…well said! Those of us who love our alma maters can surely feel your pain. We, too, lived through years of poor athletic administration and horrible coaching (heard of Fran?) and there is nothing more frustrating to a loyal fan.

    As an old A&M former student (not ancient…but old enough to be Mom to a couple of current Aggies) I remember the brighter Baylor days of which you speak. You very eloquently described the downward spiral and your genuine disgust with the current situation. As an aside, don’t you think it such a shame that RG3′s incredible performance was immediately overshadowed by the public comments of Mr. Starr? I do!

    I hope many eyes will encounter your post as it is good for us to remember that TRUE fans are the collateral damage in these things! If more Baylor folks were as honest and well-spoken as you are (with Pres Starr being at the top of that list,) I have no-doubt there would be more sympathy for the Bears in this crazy world of football fanatics.

    Here’s hoping the Bears land in a good spot…really!

  41. cfbaddict says:

    When AU comes to Kyle next year get ready for 14000 to 16000 to drive 12 hours to see the Tigers play the Ags.

  42. Lyndsey says:

    If the Baylor administration thinks their fans aren’t treated well at Texas A&M then they better pray they never visit Baton Rouge on gameday! I love LSU fans but they can be pretty horrific to visiting fans. Personally I’ve never heard anything but good things about the gameday experience at A&M. They will be a welcome addition to the SEC!
    I understand that the Baylor fans don’t want to see their team go down in flames but Baylor has absolutely no right to hold A&M, and the other profitable programs, hostage to save their own behind since they aren’t a contributing member to the conference millions (the Big 12 didn’t get those lucrative TV contracts based on any Baylor team). Kudos to A&M getting their own jab in at Baylor’s “save Texas” campaign! Even Vanderbilt shows up at away games with more than 800 fans for heaven’s sake! It’s time for Starr & his cronies to drop the pretense about this being anything more than a desperate attempt to save their unearned conference income.

  43. Rodo says:

    I’m surprised a horn would have any knowledge or perspective on an armed conflict among men.

    Rodo

  44. Pete says:

    I say all Aggies in the Waco Area should buy up the less than $5 tickets for the 10/8 Baylor vs Iowa State game and just make it miserable for both schools. Chant S-E-C. Beat the Hell outta the Big 12. Get the few fans that they do have attending games to start sending emails and calls to Starr to let us go.

  45. proud Baylor Bear says:

    Thank you, Kris.

    Unfortunately, we don’t get to vote for our University President.

    Ken Starr should let his Athletic Director, Ian McCaw do the talking.

    Seriously, who did Starr think he was with that op-ed in the Houston Chronicle? Did he SERIOUSLY think people would say, “heyyy, wait a minute, he’s got a point. this ISN’T about advertising dollars and is all about the pure nature of competition between Texans!”

    Sorry, Ken, you don’t get to all-of-the-sudden out of NOwhere grab a sword and attempt to defend the sanctity of Texas Football. You’re transparent, Ken. The entire country knows College Football = $$$.

    Parading around a publication such as the Houston Chronicle with that naive parable only makes Baylor look worse. But, such is life in Baylor land.

    again, I wish we could all keep these rivalries. I wish I could txt my step-brothers (all Aggies) in October during the Baylor/A&M game. I wish I could txt my sister (a Longhorn) when we win (only once since txt messaging has even existed. think about that).

    But that’s going away. And it’s change. We have to accept change whether we like it or not. Aggies, y’all fit perfectly in the SEC. I don’t know how many Conference Championships you’ll win but DUDE, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Alabama, Tennessee??? All teams that will come to Kyle field every other year or so??? I get goose bumps just thinking about how awesome that is. I’m happy for the Aggies.

    I’m glad good things are happening to them.

    The only real problem with everyone going in different directions is: it opens the door for schools to come into Texas and recruit. That I don’t like very much, but, it’s change. and we have to accept it.

    Personally, I hope Baylor excelles wherever we end up. I hope our football program continues to grow as well as our other sports.

    The most frustrating part of all of this is internally, we’re starting to get our act right: Football, Men’s & Women’s Basketball coaches are solid. Baseball at Baylor is great. Track & Field? we got that. Men’s Tennis: National Champions. Let’s hope it keeps going in the right direction.

    And yes, Kris, it was a shame the Baylor Football team didn’t earn a little more lime light with that amazing game against TCU. Here’s to hoping we give the Big 12 a run for it’s money in this final season!!!

  46. Burnt Orange says:

    @ Rodo – I suspect you didn’t know that former Texas head coach Jack Chevigny was a Marine Officer killed on Iwo Jima. Or that Memorial Stadium in Austin was dedicated to 5000 Texans who died in WWI – naturally, many Longhorns and Aggies were among those honored. I would like you to meet my son who served in the 101st not that long ago- that alone would answer any questions you have about my perspective. Life is full of surprises and not all of them are pleasant.

  47. Redleg82 says:

    I wouldn’t want to come to College Station for the 15 October game if I were Baylor fan either. Its going to be downright beyond hostile in Kyle Field. Not in a physical sense because Aggies aren’t that way. But make no mistake there is a hatred of Baylor now because of Ken Starr that didn’t exist previously. Its gonna be that way for every sport until June 30, 2012 when A&M leaves. I doubt seriously that A&M schedules Baylor ever again in any sport.

  48. proud Baylor Bear says:

    @Redleg82

    I’d go, if I could. I’ll miss these rivalries. I think people are short-sighted amongst all this mess: These Rivalries are going away. Again, that alone is NOT the reason these schools should stay together. Obviously, money is the reason the Big12 Small Schools are fighting for their lives. They don’t want to lose that money. Once the dust settles, hopefully we can all go back to hating each other based on what happens on the field of play rather than the stupidity of our respective administrations.

    Make no mistake, A&M will go to the SEC. Public pressure will make ALL the schools that retain their right to sue (again, that’s all the small Big12 schools are doing: retaining their rights) to allow these schools to depart. It’s short-sighted and petty to attempt to keep an institution such as Texas A&M from leaving.

    This reminds me of that break-up you always hear about. One person wants out, the other desperately tries to keep it together.

    the bottom line is: when someone wants out, you can’t make them stay. Ken Starr and the BU board of Regents should recognize this, as should all the small schools, and attempt to find schools to replace A&M, instead of attempting to keep them somewhere they no longer want to be.

    Actually, I kinda want to be at Kyle Field wearing Green & Gold to give them an object to hate, if that makes them feel better. And now that you mention it, it makes sense why Aggies are so up in arms right now: It’s kinda like they won the lottery, but these small schools have strings attached to the ticket. Instead of hating on Baylor, why don’t you hate on Beebe who falsely told the SEC that all was clear when in fact it wasn’t. just sayin’. (oh, but go ahead and hate on Baylor. it really is a fish in a barrel in many ways. we accept it. we understand it. hell, we hate on ourselves probably more than you could accomplish, but if it makes you feel better, go right ahead).

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