Texas Legislature to Demand Baylor Be Included in Pac 16

Submitted by psychomatt on June 6th, 2010 at 4:06 AM

Just like the Texas legislature tanked the deal the last time Texas was set to move to the Pac 10, they might once again overplay their hand.  They are preparing to demand that all four Texas teams - Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Baylor - be included in any deal, with Colorado being dropped to make room for Baylor.  You couldn't make this stuff up if you tried.

http://sports.espn.go.com/dallas/ncf/news/story?id=5256377

Comments

bignige1000

June 6th, 2010 at 4:24 AM ^

This is encouraging news. Hopefully the Oregon legislature will follow Texas's example of devoting their time to the pressing issues and order the Ducks to replace their hideous uniforms.

MGauxBleu

June 6th, 2010 at 8:55 AM ^

Houston and TCU? Just because the aren't in the big 12 doesn't mean they shouldn't be in the Pac-10. Why not Texas State University– San Marcos or UTSA? Just because they are FCS and have no football team,respectively?

MaizeAndBlueWahoo

June 6th, 2010 at 9:21 AM ^

Which brings up the point: why is the Texas legislature shilling for a private school over much larger public schools like UTEP and Houston?

Either way - good.  I really don't want to see superconference realignment and if the Texas legislature fucks up the Pac-10's plans and stops the whole machine, then I'm all for it.

Robbie Moore

June 6th, 2010 at 11:11 AM ^

Baylor and Texas Tech have large alumni bases.  Baylor grads, in particular, are strongly entrenched in the Texas power structure. And they are very provincial.  And they spend a lifetime jawing with the Texas and A&M crowds like UM and MSU alums only on crack.  And they have a bunch of alums in the legislature. And they will throw sand in the gears.  THAT you can count on.

psychomatt

June 6th, 2010 at 11:36 AM ^

Yes, that is exactly what they are going to do here. They are going to overreach and give schools like Stanford cover to vote against it, leaving TX, A&M and TTU far worse off than they should be. This would be a great (best possible) deal for those three schools when taken together and if the TX legislature kills it they will regret it.

FWIW, all I keep reading is how TX is the prettiest girl at the prom. The problem is she has a bunch of ugly sisters who her parents make her take everywhere. TX alone would be a phenomenal pick up for any conference solely based on the state's population (nearly 25 million), but when you realize they come with three additional mouths to feed they are average from a financial point of view.

For example, every team added to the B10 today (and forget the fact for a minute that this also applies to every dollar of growth in the future) must bring in approximately $22 million of additional revenue just to keep revenue per team from going down.  In contrast, the combo of TX/A&M/TTU/Baylor would need to bring in four times that amount, or $88 million, to simply achieve revenue neutrality.  I REALLY hate to say this, but ND is starting to look a heck of lot better to me the more I understand the cost of getting TX.

BlueAggie

June 6th, 2010 at 1:10 PM ^

You're right about Baylor and Tech, but you're wrong about A&M.  If you look at the Chip Brown article that started all this, A&M has apparently quietly had talks with the SEC, which is something they would seriously consider.  In fact, Brown's article mentions that if A&M and Texas were to go their separate ways, they wouldn't play anymore in any sports.  That's a clear shot across A&M's bow by UT.

UT wants A&M in their conference.  As long as they are together, there is a clear pecking order.  If they separate, is a clear high-risk, high-reward situation for A&M.  Maybe they can sell Texas talent on the lure of playing in the SEC and pull even with Texas in recruiting, or maybe playing against LSU, Alabama, Arkansas (and maybe Oklahoma, depending on how things shake out) they become more like Mississippi State.

And, don't forget, for all our backwoods "charm" and gubenatorial meddling, A&M is still a tier i research university and a member of the AAU.

blueheron

June 6th, 2010 at 9:22 AM ^

I was just remembering the break-up of the Southwest Conference in the mid-'90s.  It was easy to see that UT and A&M were the schools with the most political power.  Texas Tech, while not in their league, was obviously a huge state school with (I think) a big alum base.

What about Baylor?  Why was it included in the Big 12 instead of TCU / Houston?  (Aside: I can see why SMU and Rice, for different reasons, would not have been appealing.)  Would any Texans (or otherwise knowledgable people) care to comment on that?  I'd guess that Houston was viewed as a so-so academic commuter school and that TCU was just too small ($, alum base, etc.).

DoubleB

June 6th, 2010 at 4:11 PM ^

Baylor was included because the governor of Texas at the time was a Baylor graduate. Baylor has some pretty powerful people in the legislature, private school or not, and more so than  the other SWC teams that were left behind.

This is why A&M, which has more powers in the levers of government than Texas, has a fair amount of control over this entire situation.

West Texas Blue

June 6th, 2010 at 9:31 AM ^

Ann Richardson, who was governor of Texas at the time and a Baylor alum, demanded that Baylor be included in Big 12 or Big 3 in Texas would have alot of funding stripped. So yep, we are crazy down here

Noahdb

June 6th, 2010 at 9:38 AM ^

The Virginia legislature did something similar when the ACC was expanding. They said that if UVa didn't vote to include VPI in the expansion, they'd cut off funds for UVa.

If I were the UVa athletic director, I would have immediately called for a press conference and revealed the threat. I would have said that as UVa AD, my job was to look out for the best interests of the Univ. of Virginia. The well-being of VPI fell outside of my job description. Furthermore, the UVa athletic department received no public dollars. If the Virginia governor or general assembly felt that cutting off academic funds was the best way to respond, that was their prerogative...but next time the politicians who voted to do so ran for re-election, their opponent was going to have at least one additional supporter in their corner. I would plan on going to every single campaign rally and explain exactly what happened and why the offending politician needed to be booted out of office.

Furthermore, every single media inquiry and request that came into my office would get a response. Every podunk, supermarket circular, every short-wave radio host, every public access tv show would get my attention. Can you comment on this story....you damn skippy I can respond. I'll answer every single question you have on this.

Off the top of my head, I can think of half of a dozen times when some idiot state legislature has threatened to pull funding for an academic institution if the athletic department at State U. didn't play his alma mater, or vote a particular way for some OTHER college, or some other bit of irrelevant nonsense. And the reason they do it is because no one stands up and says, (figuratively, of course) "My name is Inigo Montoya. You're a worthless, self-serving, glad-handing, overly-populist, f***-stick, **uchebag ***hole. Prepare to die."

mejunglechop

June 6th, 2010 at 10:19 AM ^

I suspect the Texas legislature thinks it has a lot more power than it actually does. Just because it worked in the 90s doesn't mean it'll work now with two potential suitor conferences. If Nebraska and Mizzou defect, Texas will have a lot less leverage and the ugly sister schools could easily get left in the cold. The Texas legislature isn't calling the shots, nobody is.

wile_e8

June 6th, 2010 at 12:27 PM ^

Uh, that's exactly what is being threatened here.  The legislature has alums of all these schools, but it also has Baylor alums who would take their ball and go home if they don't get their way.  And since Baylor is a private school, they don't need to worry about revenge by other legislators.

Hemlock Philosopher

June 6th, 2010 at 10:19 AM ^

All the schools in Texas should form the Texas National Conference, sponsored by Lone Star Beer, the National beer of Texas:  UT, A&M, TCU, Baylor, Rice, Tech, Houston, UNT, and UTEP.  That way all the politicians can be happy.  Either that or they can allow UT and A&M to leave for the B10, P10 or SEC and make a lot more money for themselves and the state.  

Section 1

June 6th, 2010 at 12:08 PM ^

It's less funny if this is what the Big Ten becomes.

I'm all in favor of our playing more Texas teams.  In bowls, and as marquee out-of-conference games.

Njia

June 6th, 2010 at 5:32 PM ^

Why Texas teams should not be invited to the Big Ten.

EDIT: Well, look, its evident that quite a number of folks disagree with me on this point. I get that the competition would be awesome, and as a sports fan, I see that clearly. However, do we really want to deal with the Texas State Legislature on every conceivable issue? We don't get just Texas. As many people have already pointed out here, we get all of the cheerleading captain's ugly sisters, too. Her mom and dad say so. The 'rents are jacking up the Pac 10 already, and if A&M continues to flirt with the SEC, they can count on dear ol' dad standing on the porch with a shotgun waiting to fend off the bad kid from the wrong side of the tracks. No thanks. I think Jim Delany should just offer to go steady with the farmer's daughters down the road.

Bleedin9Blue

June 6th, 2010 at 12:41 PM ^

I just want to point out that if you count all the legislators listed here you'll see that there are 153 representatives.  So, a block of 15 can't really do anything*.  And I'm more than willing to bet that there's more UT and A&M representatives than TT and Baylor representatives.  And, according to this comment from Frank the Tank's blog, the current Governor is an A&M grad and the two candidates for Governor text year are UT and A&M grads.

This is all to say that a block of 15 representatives can't really do anything unless there a lot more people behind them then I'd guess.

And, as several commentators above me have said, UT could just call their bluff of saying that the state will reduce their funding if they leave.  There's no way that a representative could vote for reducing funding to the most popular school in the state because they changed athletic conferences and expect to be re-elected.

We'll just have to wait and see what happens.  Unlike football games where what I wear and the pre-game rituals I go through directly affect the outcome of the game, I have no control in this situation.

*This of course assumes that all 15 legislators against this move are representatives, if some are senators then they might have the power to block this kind of thing since there are far fewer state senators than representatives.

Zone Left

June 6th, 2010 at 1:47 PM ^

Individual legislators do have quite a bit of power, both informally and formally.  For example, single US Senators can effectively block confirmation votes on appointees by putting the votes on "hold," without being forced to give a reason.

Informally, politicians can use favors, threats, and media pressure to bend other politicians to their will.

http://blog.taragana.com/politics/2010/05/06/inside-washington-its-a-big-secret-a-single-senator-can-block-senate-business-33387/

Sgt. Wolverine

June 6th, 2010 at 3:17 PM ^

state governments and the NCAA will trade duties: state governments will run college athletics, and the NCAA will govern the states.  I can't decide if that would be worse, better or more of the same.

Brodie

June 6th, 2010 at 5:34 PM ^

According to some reports from the New York Times, the Pac-10 has agreed to add Baylor over Colorado. Big win for the Mountain West, I guess.

jmblue

June 6th, 2010 at 5:44 PM ^

 You couldn't make this stuff up if you tried.

Why?  I don't find this surprising in the least.  Of course the Texas legislature was going to do this.