Back in 1993, when the old Southwest Conference was starting to collapse, there was a lot of uncertainty for a handful of schools who appeared were going to be left out of the rumored combining of the Big 8 and the big three remaining schools of the SWC. It is also rumored there was a lot of back room negotiating going on between representatives from Houston, Rice, SMU, TCU and Baylor. Each of these teams wanted to be the lucky “tag along” program who would get into the new twelve team conference which was to be formed.
Each team had a solid argument as to what they would bring to the table, and why they felt their existing rivalries would be a good fit in this new conference. But one team had an “ace in the hole” which would give them something the other three didn’t; political connections! Yes, apparently the Baylor Bears had a political connection with the Governor of Texas (or theTexaslegislature) to help them get their way into the conversation and the new conference. It appears It was this one connection which got them attached to the leg ofTexas, and brought them into the newly formed Big XII.
Fifteen years later, the Big XII has been on life support for two full seasons with teams leaving, and rumored to leave. Baylor had to stand up and publish a statement to keepTexasfootball together and as it is. It has been written they even threatened a law suit to keep Texas A&M from leaving to the SEC. But the Big XII got a shot in the arm when TCU agreed to join the conference next season. Now the conference is looking to survive. It is ironical to look back and see how the Baptist school sold its soul to get into a big conference.
In the years Baylor has been in the Big XII, they have never competed for a football conference title, and have never really beaten the top teams in the conference on a consistent basis. It seems only last year and the first part of this season have they shown any life as a “big time” football program. Baylor appears to have sold its soul for this conference, wielded it’s legal power and now it will renew a rivalry with TCU which may have a few new issues with them from their past actions. The conference may not be completely saved from extinction yet; but if it survives… Baylor will have to attest for their apparent sins of the past.Please be sure to follow me on Twitter and Facebook