Texas vs. Baylor Rivalry Heating Up Is Just What Big 12 Football Needs

Ben KerchevalCollege Football Lead WriterApril 21, 2014

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The best postgame comments are the ones you least expect. On Saturday, no one was expecting Texas linebacker Steve Edmond to take his shot at Baylor. 

Following the Longhorns' spring game, Edmond, apparently unprovoked, told reporters he still felt the sting of last December's 30-10 loss to the Bears that helped decide the Big 12 title. Interestingly, he didn't actually play against Baylor last season because of a lacerated liver he sustained the previous week in a win against Texas Tech.

Here are Edmond's comments from Mike Finger of the San Antonio Express-News

I really don’t like Baylor. I still feel they’re trash.

Y’all think it’s funny, but I’m dead serious. They’ve had some good players. … But I don’t understand how we lost to Baylor.

Baylor gets a win and act like they haven’t won before. They won it. So what? They still suck to me.

Not surprisingly, Baylor's players weren't impressed by Edmond's comments: 

For anyone curious, Baylor and Texas will meet Oct. 4 in Austin, so get your popcorn ready, because it's going to be spectacular. 

First, a hearty congratulations to Baylor is in order. It's not often you draw the ire of someone from Texas, so the Bears have truly made it to the top of the mountain. And, as B/R's Adam Kramer previously wrote, they are there to stay

Nov 9, 2013; Morgantown, WV, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers quarterback Paul Millard (14) throws the ball while getting pressured by Texas Longhorns linebacker Steve Edmond (33) at Milan Puskar Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Secondly, Edmond's comments weren't the smartest if recent history is taken into consideration. In three of the past four meetings, Texas has lost to Baylor by an average of 17 points. Edmond's tired of it, though, and he's calling his shot.

If you're a Texas fan, the past three years have angered you too. No team in the Big 12 moves the interest meter like Texas, especially an angry Texas. The Big 12 needs that to generate interest coming off a season when conference perception was bad. As Travis Haney of ESPN tweets, Baylor vs. Texas is turning into a fun rivalry that could move into Texas vs. Texas A&M's old slot:

Texas and A&M won't be playing anytime soon, despite their own war of words, so the conference needs another lively rivalry besides the Red River Shootout Rivalry Showdown.

Head coach Charlie Strong will likely get in Edmond's ear about his comments. He's also likely to tell Edmond to channel that anger in a constructive way this offseason to give his team an edge. The biggest knock on the Horns from the past three years is that they haven't played with one.

The same couldn't be said about Strong's Louisville Cardinals, especially in bowl wins over Florida and Miami. For Strong and his players, those bowls were extra personal. 

Now, Strong is working from the inside-out to change the culture at Texas. Edmond's comments are only a reflection of that, but it would appear the "nice guy" days in Austin are over. 

The term "class" is overrated anyway in a game where the objective is to violently hit the opponent. Besides, Baylor players could have been classy and refused to dignify the comments. Instead, some pointed to the scoreboard, and you can bet head coach Art Briles is going to have those quotes posted around the locker room.

Now there's a juicy storyline for the next several months. 


Ben Kercheval is a lead writer for college football at Bleacher Report. All quotes cited unless obtained firsthand.