From Sports Grid
The latest chapter in the inevitable “Texas A&M leaves the Big 12 goes to the SEC” saga happened this morning, when the SEC officially announced it voted to let Texas A&M in as the conference’s newest member. The move can’t be complete, however, until the SEC is assured no legal action will be taken by any Big 12 members. Right now, one school in the conference is holding that up: Baylor…and it sure doesn’t seem like it’s for the reasons the school is saying it is.
Baylor has it pretty good in the Big 12. They’re generally one of the conference’s lower-rung football teams (although possibly not this year), but it’s a big, lucrative conference. If Texas A&M’s move puts the league’s survival in further jeopardy – and if an eventual Pac-12 expansion (that doesn’t include Baylor, importantly) later decimates it entirely – what becomes of Baylor? Clearly, that’s what the school is wondering. What it wants to you to think it’s wondering, though, is: if the Big 12 is no more, what becomes of Texas football?
Baylor’s plea to save
Baylor Texas football has it all – talk of losing “hundred-year-old rivalries,” hand-wringing over “Texas’ flagship universities pledg[ing] their loyalties to other states,” worrying that “new rivals” could steal away Texas’ “most promising student athletes,” and this gem: “Will Texans watch as our most precious resources—the great minds of the next generation—are exported to new conference institutions?” The page even has a cute name: “Don’t Mess With Texas Football.”
It also has several problems. As far as new schools taking Texas recruits, schools from all over recruit Texas already, because the level of talent there is so good and so deep year after year. As far as “pledging loyalties to other states” goes: no, they’re pledging their loyalties to other conferences. Texas schools are/were the heart of the Big 12, yes – but they’re not the only schools in the league. And the “great minds of the next generation” thing is priceless – wasn’t this about football? Also, who says this realignment will make Texas students (again, not even football players) more likely to attend rival SEC, or hypothetical Pac-16, schools?
Baylor, in coming out with this initiative, is solely trying to promote the interests of Baylor, not “Texas football.” And that’s fine. Schools have to look out for themselves, and it’s because of that that we can be quite sure that if Baylor were a part of all these realignment talks (i.e. had a safe place to land if all this reshuffling winds up happening), they wouldn’t be saying a word to complain. After all, Baylor sure jumped at the Big 12′s offer to join back when that conference formed. Transparently trying to hide their intentions behind an altruistic shield isn’t fooling anyone. Ridiculous, self-serving pap? Yeah, that sounds about right.