The Wrong Time for Baylor’s Stand
By Paul Myerberg // Sep 8, 2011
Seventeen years ago, Baylor had a chance to make a stand. The Southwest Conference was dissolving: what was once a nine-team league had dwindled to eight when Arkansas left for the SEC in 1991, leaving the conference’s long-term future was in doubt. Yet the remaining eight teams held on through 1992 and 1993, playing a seven-game conference slate and adding a fourth game outside of SWC play. The death knell came in March of 1994, when four teams accepted to join the Big Eight, soon to be the Big 12: Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Baylor.
That’s when Baylor should’ve made its stand, if Baylor truly means what it says when the university climbs upon its high horse in defense of the “integrity of college athletics.” Or when it warns the masses: “Don’t Mess With Texas Football.”
Baylor didn’t stand up for “Texas Football” then, nor for this unimpeachable “integrity,” as it left for higher ground, bigger deals and fatter paychecks in the Big 12. That move left four key members of “Texas Football” out in the cold: S.M.U., T.C.U., Rice and Houston.
“Will Texans stand by and watch hundred-year-old rivalries be cast aside as the state’s largest universities align themselves with others states across the country?”
That’s not me asking; that’s Baylor asking, just two days ago, and the irony is so thick you can cut it with a knife. Really? Baylor’s asking who’s going to stick up for the little guy as rivalries are “cast aside” in pursuit of the highest bidder? The Bears would know about leaving a small fish in a lurch, I suppose, having done so to the Mustangs, Horned Frogs, Owls and Cougars 17 years ago.
Yeah, that was the time to make a stand, not now. Today, such preaching reeks of the newfound faith of a longtime sinner: preach away if you’d like, but don’t think we’ve forgotten your history, friend.
But there’s a bright side to this whole thing, Baylor — you just need to look close. I’m sure Conference USA would welcome you with open arms, perhaps softening the blow should the Big 12 dissolve, as most expect.
One problem: you need the necessary votes. I’m not sure if S.M.U., Rice and Houston are going to have your back. Maybe if you had had theirs 17 years ago?
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