Albama Arkansas Auburn Florida Georgia Kentucky LSU Mississippi State Missouri Ole-Miss USC Tennessee Texas A&M Vanderbilt
Latest News

Baylor Must Be Angling For An SEC Invite… That It Won’t Get

Confession: I don’t like it when politicians get involved in athletics.  Even when its something “bad” like steroids in baseball — gasp! — I expect my elected officials to worry about the economy, not Barry Bonds’ biceps.

Likewise, I don’t like it when athletic parties take their disagreements into our nation’s courtrooms.  One entity trying to force it’s will upon another is not okay in my book.  And our court system is filled with enough nonsensical lawsuits already.

Therefore — even though I believe the SEC is just fine as a 12-school collective — I’d like to see Mike Slive tan the hides of the Baylor Bears at this point.

Still, let’s look at Kenneth Starr’s power play more closely.  Is Baylor’s president trying to hold the Big 12 together with his legal posturing?

No. 

A thinking man would realize that any league already held together by duct tape and chewing gum isn’t going to be strengthened by adding spite to the mixture.  Think the schools in the Big 12 despise and distrust one another now?  Wait until they’re forced to spend more time together because of a Baylor lawsuit.

Litigation is not a long-term solution for the Big 12.  And Baylor isn’t likely to win any lawsuit against the SEC, either.  Too many Big 12 officials have already publicly stated a) that Colorado and Nebraska hurt the league when they left and b) Texas’ huge cash advantage is the root of all Big 12 evil.

But while BU likely couldn’t prove tortious interference against the SEC, Orangebloods.com reports that “multiple sources” as saying Baylor would consider a lawsuit against Slive personally.  Frivolous or not, that kind of threat is likely to give any conference commissioner pause.

But if keeping the Big 12 intact isn’t the angle, what are Starr and his Baptist Bears up to?  Well, clearly they want to make themselves more attractive to other leagues on the expansion front.  With Baylor threatening to muck up the waters, might Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas, for example, force the Pac-12 to accept BU rather than Texas Tech?

Probably not.  While some Sooner, Cowboy and Longhorn fans might be cheering Baylor for slowing their schools’ race to the Pacific Time Zone, it’s doubtful that administrators at those schools are pleased with BU’s stunt.  Royalty doesn’t like to be pushed around by peasants.

More likely, Baylor officials think they can attach themselves to Texas A&M and the SEC.  Baylor isn’t attractive enough to draw an invite on its own, so it could be looking to enter the SEC’s warm, calm waters like a remora riding on the belly of A&M’s shark.

If the SEC truly wants to land Texas A&M — and if the league truly doesn’t want to be sued — it should consider adding Baylor, too.  The Bears aren’t a member of the prestigious AAU, but they are a well-ranked school on most lists.  (According to US News & World Report’s rankings, Baylor would tie Alabama — #79 nationally — as the fourth-best school in the SEC if admitted.)  League presidents would go for that.

But from an athletics standpoint, the Bears would fall near the bottom of the conference in terms of tradition.  Also, with Texas A&M’s enormous alumni base, the SEC would already be able to claim the biggest Texas television markets.  So Baylor would likely bring little to the table moneywise.

But let’s play some number games anyway.  If the addition of A&M brought in enough money for the SEC to cover the costs of adding Baylor, then the SEC might be wise to consider such a move. 

Let’s say you want some apples.  You can either have five or none.  But to get five, you have to give someone else two.  It’s not the five apples you’d hoped for, but three apples would still beat none, right?

Ah, but even if the SEC stood to make a profit by adding Texas A&M and Baylor… the odds of Slive and his conference presidents being strong-armed by Starr and his band of whiners from Waco are slim to none.

Just as Baylor can’t hold the Big 12 together via spite, it can’t force its way into a new league using that method either.  Shotgun weddings don’t often last.

Fifteen years ago, Texas politicians forced Texas and A&M to drag Baylor and Texas Tech into the Big 12.  (It just so happened that Texas’ governor was a Baylor grad and the state’s lieutenant governor was a Tech grad at the time.)  How well has that shotgun wedding worked?

This time, no one’s around to save Baylor’ bacon.  As a result, they’re threatening to take the SEC — and perhaps Slive — to court.  How weak.

Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are looking after their own self-interests.  But they’re leaving Baylor with options to do the same.  Schools have always looked out for their own best interests.  Including Baylor.  But Starr and BU — incapable of taking care of themselves — are now going the lawsuit route, closing off options for everyone else.

So here’s wishing nothing but the worst for the school and its athletic programs.  As if the realignment debate weren’t nasty enough already, now the wackos from Waco are threatening to get the lawyers involved.

Could this story get any worse?

Oh, yeah.  It could.  If the SEC caved and invited Baylor to tag along with A&M.  Thank goodness that’s not going to happen.

 


26 comments
mith242
mith242

Baylor can bet the Vanderbilt of the SEC West.

CrimsonPunch
CrimsonPunch

If the SEC is going to expand I would rather see southeastern schools. Schools like Mizzou and aTm may add markets to the SEC, but I couldn't care less about those schools or their programs. If we expand, go after the FSU's and Clemson's of the region. Bama / FSU or Bama / Clemson sounds a lot better than a Bama / WVU matchup any day of the week to me. How much fun will it be to see Vandy / WVU? What about aTm... know anybody at work that goes there... exactly... who cares. At least if we keep it in the southeast region we get compelling match-ups that all parties will care about. Much more fun talking smack to a CU Tiger or Nolie at work than it would be traveling up to West Virginia or trash talking with Texans. Compelling match-ups drive revenue just as much as the added TVs. In aTm's case I see the merit of opening up Texas. But Mizzou and WVU? Come on. And as for the "gentlemen's agreement" the only thing that reeks from is fear. Both Clemson and FSU do just fine in recruiting without the SEC. Hope our conference goes for match-ups over new markets, but I bet that hope is in vain.

ShannyDeridan
ShannyDeridan

couldn't agree more

seems like we are pimping ourselves out for TV Markets

but will fans travel to College Station or Columbia Missouri for games? I doubt it

neither of those teams fits with the culture of the SEC in my opinion. Its all about TV markets and money unfortunately, I'd much rather see the SEC add Southeastern schools with big traditions and local rivalires

we dont have anything in common with A&M or Mizzwho, aside from we think we can exploit them for financial gains

eeAg91
eeAg91

Oh, but they're willing to travel to Baton Rouge or Fayetteville?

"we dont have anything in common with A&M"
I respectfully suggest you learn a bit more about my school. Having lived in the SEC states of Lousiana, Florida, and Georgia I think there's a lot more in common than you believe.

After all, which of his Alabama Championship rings was Bear Bryant wearing when he died? Oh, right, the only ring he had on was inscribed "The Junction Boys". You know, from when he coached at A&M...

SecFan
SecFan

Agree. Never thought I'd ever be on the same side as Ken Starr but as a long time fan of SEC football, nothing would make me happier than to see this thing implode. This is only about money. In the history of college football no other conference has ever won five straight national championships. If Slive and his brain trust can't figure out amother way to leverage the quality of SEC football as it exists already to further fill the coffers beyond the gobs he's getting already, he's one poor negotiator. The lure of 'Bigger is Better' has produced just as many failures as successes and the risk of failure is just not necessary at this time .

bubblescreen
bubblescreen

To be fair...what would YOU do if you're Baylor? Just sit back and get screwed? A lawsuit is literally their last option. If they can even delay Texas A&M from leaving, maybe the Big XII can stay together. I'm pretty sure that's the motivation....there's no way they can think they end up in the SEC.__And if this drags out further and Texas goes independent....does Baylor become part of the Pac-16?__Say what you want, but a good lawyer ALWAYS stalls when they're in a bad spot. It may not get better...but for Baylor, it can't get any worse.

ShannyDeridan
ShannyDeridan

yep

Bad Publicity is nothing compared to going from a BCS conference to a "mid major" (thats a basketball term in Football there really aren't any mid majors... its the big leages and the minors)

ShannyDeridan
ShannyDeridan

SEC wont be strong armed by anyone

if Baylor screws this A&M deal up, so be it. SEC will be just fine without either of those schools

A&M needs the SEC more than the SEC needs A&M's TV Market (which is all they really bring to the table anyway)

SEC wont be forced to make a move that doesn't make the conference better, b/c the SEC is doing just fine as it is. When opportunities arise they will look at them and move forward if it makes sense

But if Baylor makes this deal no longer make sense for the SEC, the SEC will bail and be happy to sit at 12 for another year or so and laugh at the Big XII teams for getting themselves in this mess in the first place

We are doing A&M a favor, in exchange for potential TV Market revenues. But if at some point this favor has too many strings attached... deal is off go join the WAC

ShannyDeridan
ShannyDeridan

As a Bama fan

I can assure you that any school that is in a "tie" with Alabama in academics- isn't considered an Upgrade to the conferences scholastic achievements

I love my Tide... and while it certainly is not a bad school (at least we aren't Ole Miss), nobody is gonna confuse T-Town with Chapel Hill or Durham. We are a run of the mill SEC state school... and if Baylors biggest attribute is that it compares acadmically to Alabama OUCH

If we wanted another academic institution with a mediocre in goods times athletic department, we could add Tulane!!

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

ShannyDeridan...

We wrote that Baylor would be tied with Alabama at #79 in the US News rankings. That's all we wrote.

John

ShannyDeridan
ShannyDeridan

i'm not attacking you

just saying that if being tied with Bama for #79 is the best argument for adding Baylor, that doesn't say much for their chances... or their school in general

tradeassociation
tradeassociation

Now that being said, Baylor's doing this is absolutely dumb. As they are going to do very well in football and basketball this season, they had a chance of being "national media darlings", and a sympathetic symbol of what college athletics is now evolving into. But thanks to pulling this stunt, they are getting nothing but negative headlines. Now the truth is that Baylor's options are very limited, even among mid-major conferences. The Mountain West doesn't want them, and the former SWC members will block them from getting into Conference USA. They may honestly be looking at the WAC or even the Sun Belt. As soon as they exit the Big 12, Art Briles will leave, as will their very capable men's and women's basketball coaches, and that will be that. This is after they have invested tens of millions in building state of the art facilities. They started taking athletics seriously about a decade too late and have only themselves to blame for their plight, but the fact is that their plight is extremely dire. Had they not pulled this maneuver, more people would care about their plight, but now thanks to this, everyone is going to laugh at them.

ShannyDeridan
ShannyDeridan

i dont think its dumb

Baylor wont get an invite to a real conference if the Big XII implodes... so its in their best interest to scratch fight and claw to keep the Big XII together

If it falls apart, they are going to CUSA or the WAC if they are lucky

Media Darlings doesn't mean anything, ask Boise & TCU how being a small conference Meida Darling has worked out for their teams when it mattered most. TCU is joining a conference on the other side of the planet just to have a chance at a BCS tie in

This is Baylors last grasp to stay in a real conference, so I dont expect them to go down without a fight. And while they look pathetic and desparate... can you blame them for not wanting to go quietly into the mid major sunset?

tradeassociation
tradeassociation

"Fifteen years ago, Texas politicians forced Texas and A&M to drag Baylor and Texas Tech into the Big 12. (It just so happened that Texas’ governor was a Baylor grad and the state’s lieutenant governor was a Tech grad at the time.) How well has that shotgun wedding worked?"

First off, this is an urban legend spun by the bitter SWC members who were left out. Ann Richards didn't give two cents about football. The fact is that Baylor was a no-brainer for the SWC, as at the time, under Grant Teaff, Baylor had a much better football tradition (and accomplished it without cheating) and prospects than commuter school Houston, death penalty SMU, TCU, Rice, and Texas Tech, and was also considered to be a better school academically. Baylor wasn't forced in by Texas politics ... on merit they were the 3rd of the 4 schools in, and more deserving than the Texas Tech Red Raiders, whose tradition of success basically begins and ends with Mike Leach, and even Leach never led the Red Raiders to so much as a division title. Baylor's lack of success since joining the Big 12 (due to a slew of bad coaching hires, including Guy Morriss from Kentucky) has allowed the whining of Houston, SMU, TCU and Rice to take root, when the truth is that any one of them would have gladly taken Baylor's spot had it been offered to them. But had Baylor been the school to hire Mike Leach instead of Texas Tech, or had they hired Mike Singletary (who wanted the job) instead of Morriss, they'd have no problem finding a conference.

eeAg91
eeAg91

While Anne may or may not have cared about football, as a politician she certainly attended a lot of Baylor football games. However, tu certainly was pressured (or if your prefer lobbied) by both Gov. Richards and Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock to include their school in the new conference. You can argue that Baylor was a no brainer, but you can't argue that the public statements made by the Govenor and Lt. Govenor didn't mattter. If you're the president of a State university and the word comes from the two highest elected official in your state, you're going to listen.

And yes, it wasn't about football, it was about prestige and the money that prestige can bring.

jbmcgregor
jbmcgregor

Partially true. Most would agree that Baylor was a reasonable choice for the Big XII at the time. However, some friendly persuasion was used to keep Texas A&M from joining the SEC (instead of the Big XII) and perhaps to keep Texas from moving west to the PAC-10. Had it not been for that friendly persuasion (which Ann Richards probably had little, if any, involvement), there would have been no Big XII. So it really was a shotgun wedding of sorts.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

tradeassocation...

We did a full expansion series last year in which we quoted one paper after another FROM THE TIME stating what was happening and how it was happening. If it were urban legend, it wouldn't have been reported as news at the time it took place.

John

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

Stacy...

We're talking about current members of the conference. Yes, if A&M gets in, A&M would also rank above Baylor.

Also, as we've said a few million times here... Please do not link to other sites in our comment boxes.

John

ShannyDeridan
ShannyDeridan

lets put it this way:

What gave you the idea the SEC was concerned whatsoever about academics?

If they were, would West Virginia, one of the WORST academic institutions in America, be being tossed around as a possible expansion candidate?

The SEC cares about BCS (and of course TV Markets and money)... not AAU

while the latter may be seen as bonus for the conference, it is most certainly not anywhere near the top of the checklist when the SEC evaluates the resumes of potential suitors

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

ShannyDeridan..

Perhaps the people in the SEC office and at SEC institutions that I communicate with. But believe what you want to believe.

John

ShannyDeridan
ShannyDeridan

first of all that comment was for Stacy

I'm not saying that AAU wont be a bonus factor for some schools when being considered

but AAU isn't why the SEC wants A&M... its TV Markets. AAU is something the SEC can say to try not to come off so greedy and purely money hungry. But I dont care if Princeton wanted to join the SEC, if they didn't bring a TV Market or some sort of BCS competitiveness... they aren't getting an invite

And as a graduate of the UofA- i'm here to tell you that while its a descent school, its average at best scholastically, and claiming a school is as good academically as Alabama is not really saying much if that is your best argument as to why you should get an invite

Stacy
Stacy

Wow. Deleting my comment? Weak.

I apologize for not knowing a rule that isn't posted anywhere, and for daring to provide sources for my statements. Lesson learned.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

Stacy...

I thanked you for reading the site. But it's our comment box and we don't have to provide it. We've asked people repeatedly not to post links -- because we get ads for shoes and sunglasses and plugs for folks' own blogs -- so we usually delete them when we see them.

John

Micheal Cummings
Micheal Cummings

Like I say, I think that Starr and Baylor Bears has picked the wrong conference to sued, the SEC is going to show Baylor what happens when you crossed them.



Follow Us On:
Mobile MrSEC