Twelve months ago, if it is to be believed, it was Baylor University, a small private school in Waco, Texas that used political might to force the Big 12 to stay together.
They would have you believe it was to preserve historic rivalries and keep the Texas schools together.
What about the TCU v Baylor rivalry one of the most played in college football? these schools are 50-50-7 all-time!
Did this rivalry matter in 1996? Not so much...
Or SMU v Baylor? Baptist and Methodist Universities 90 miles apart, surely this one was important enough to keep going, right? Nah...not this one either. And this was one of the best tickets in college football during the early to mid 1980's. Every Baptist and Methodist youth group in a 100-mile radius would show up at Texas Stadium for this brawl. But, no, this one didn't matter either.
This is the same school that used the sitting Governor and Lt. Governor of Texas to force the three state universities to take them along to the Big 12 in 1996.
If history serves me, there were at that time eight Texas schools in the Southwest Conference. That's twice the number that were absorbed into the then Big 8. So where was the love of history and tradition that 82 years of being in a conference should foster?
Baylor, who screams about breaking up rivalries and the financial impact separation would have on both Baylor and Waco, did not worry about those issues for Houston, Fort Worth, Dallas, or the four schools left in the wind when the Big 12 was formed.
Are we really to believe that Baylor truly cares about tradition or rivalry games?
After all, Baylor's two biggest rivals were left behind when Baylor chose the greener pastures of the Big 12.
Question: When did Baylor grow a soul?
So this bluster about tradition coming from Waco is just that...bluster and greed.
Baylor has no heartfelt care for their "traditional" rival Texas A&M any more than they did for their bitter rivals in Fort Worth and Dallas 15 years ago.
This is all about dollars, millions of TV dollars that they stand to lose by playing in the WAC, Conference USA or MWC after the Big 12 comes unraveled. Baylor is not going to get an invite to the dance when the real dominoes start falling after the Aggies exit.
If Baylor really cared about history, they would be pushing for SMU, TCU, Rice and Houston to return to them in a rebuilt SWC...or the Bears would have never left them in the first place.