Like me, you probably looked at Baylor on the home schedule this year and quickly passed over it. Now you can circle it on your schedules. The Dallas Morning News has obtained e-mails sent by Baylor regent and prominent lobbyist Buddy Jones to Baylor alumni and supporters within the Texas legislature in an attempt to get the Bears into the Pac-10, shooting Colorado down as being inferior in about every way possible, including that darn adventurous weather.
Maybe if Baylor keeps talking, the Pac-10 and it's current schools will see what they are getting into. All of this might end up helping Colorado when it is all said and done, especially when you start trying to sell your religious background as a reason you should be invited into the Pac-10. Ask Cal, Stanford and Oregon how the feel about such comments. Pretty childish if you ask me, especially when you consider this is coming from a supposed "academic institution." Hopefully the University of Colorado is getting it done behind the scenes with the Pac-10 and they are noticing but I am very glad we haven't seen this sort of stuff from the Colorado side out in public (knock on wood).
Here are the juicy parts:
I have a critical issue that directly affects Baylor and it is very time sensitive. The Big XII and PAC 10 are both meeting separately today. According to a recent newspaper report, the PAC 10 may well issue an invite to all the Big XII South schools to join the PAC 10 – WITH THE EXCEPTION OF BAYLOR. In our stead, the PAC 10 is rumored to substitute Colorado. In this scenario, Baylor gets left out and this would be a major, major setback for our University. Perhaps a setback of immense proportion. The mere rumor of Baylor being left behind is harmful.
We cannot let the other schools in Texas (A&M, U.T., Tech) leave the Big XII WITHOUT BAYLOR BEING INCLUDED IN THE PACKAGE. Long and short – if U.T., A&M and Tech demand that any move to any other conference include ALL TEXAS BASED TEAMS from the Big XII, we are golden. We need to be in a PACKAGE DEAL!
As the Big 10, PAC 10 and Big XII discuss re-alignment, the best possible scenario for these four schools (U.T., A&M, Tech and Baylor) is to stay in the Big XII Conference as it currently exists. That is the absolute BEST THING FOR ALL OF US – KEEP THE BIG XII INTACT.
• However, if some schools in the Big XII North feel compelled to go elsewhere (we hear rumors of Colorado, Missouri and Nebraska looking toward the Big 10), the next best scenario is to KEEP ALL SIX SCHOOLS FROM THE BIG XII SOUTH AS A PACKAGE DEAL. Do not leave Baylor out.
• There was a report today that the PAC 10 might extend an offer to invite five of the South schools to join the PAC 10 (Texas, A&M, Tech, Oklahoma and OSU). The report said Baylor would be replaced with Colorado. This is Armageddon for our University.
This would be devastating to Baylor and to the state of Texas. WE MUST STICK TOGETHER.
• Baylor is superior to Colorado academically. Baylor has athletic facilities superior to Colorado. Colorado doesn’t participate in the number of sports that Baylor does. Baylor’s overall record in all collegiate sports dwarfs that of Colorado. Our football, basketball (women’s and men’s), baseball, softball, track, tennis, golf programs are vastly superior to Colorado’s. The Baptist church base extends across the country and certainly trumps the University of Colorado’s local base limited to a small town in Colorado.
• I am asking you to commit to me to keeping all six schools from the Big XII South together if we can’t keep the whole Big XII intact. BAYLOR MUST BE INCLUDED IN THE PACKAGE. Make it clear that when it comes to our four Texas schools, IT IS ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL!!
Please DO NOT BREAK UP the history and working relationship we have nurtured over the decades.
The Texas legislators taking up for Baylor are pointing to the political and economic importance of keeping the Texas members of the Big 12 South together as well as Colorado's recent athletic struggles and lack of sports such as baseball, softball and men's tennis.
(The CU football team is 16-33 the past four years, and the hoops team has made the NCAA Tournament twice in the last 41 years. Baylor's football isn't much better at 15-33, but the Bears' hoops program is on the rise.)
"Denver as a television market doesn't really support Colorado," the source said. "And the weather can also be an adventure."
If the PAC 10 makes it's offer today without a final answer from Nebraska I am not positive what it means for us. My guess is that Colorado hasn't taken enough broadside hits to sink their boat yet and they may well be on the invite list. I hope I'm wrong. But there's still time left to change the scoreboard. We aren't through.
Andy Staples of Sports Illustrated points out that Baylor says they are "loyal" to the Big 12 but are doing a lot of work behind the scenes to align themselves with the Pac-10:
Starr did say one thing that reflected more closely what really is going on behind the scenes. Responding to a question about whether he believed Baylor will be invited if the Pac-10 pillages the Big 12, Starr said political forces have marshaled to defend Baylor against those who would suggest that the program doesn't deserve to go along with three Texas public schools.
"What we do know is that members of our board of regents are working tirelessly to make Baylor's case known," Starr said. "There are these great traditions and rivalries among the Texas schools."
Of course, Starr had to throw in this: "But our energy is devoted entirely to keeping the Big 12 together."
Replace "Big 12" with "Texas schools which happen to be in the Big 12 at this moment," and you've got something closer to the truth. Athletically, Baylor has a case for inclusion. The Bears have won more Big 12 titles than anyone except Texas and Texas A&M. Also, Baylor's athletes have led the Big 12 in graduation rates five times and finished second three times. (With the inclusion of those stats in a column on a national site, Starr accomplished his goal Monday.) Still, the politicians in Texas working to add Baylor to the list will have to clear some hurdles out west. The Pac-10 contains eight state schools and two secular private schools. Baylor is the nation's largest Baptist university, and state- and secular-school CEOs can be hesitant to embrace a church school.
Also, Colorado is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. Baylor is not. Colorado brings the Denver television market, the nation's 16th largest. It doesn't matter how big the Waco, Texas, market is (No. 89, if you're scoring at home), because the three Texas public schools would deliver every market in the Lone Star State to the Pac-10.
So, if the Big 12 crumbles, Baylor will have to rely on the politicians to win itself a golden ticket. Otherwise, the athletic department becomes TCU with an inferior football team or SMU with an inferior location.
But what am I talking about? Baylor is committed to the Big 12, just like Texas and all those other schools in the south division. Their leaders can't stop talking about how much they love the Big 12.
Even as they plan for the day they may leave it in ruins.
I wonder if and when the University of Colorado will start "playing the game."