In the history of college football in Texas, Baylor (all-time record: 532-537-44) hardly looms large. The Waco school sits somewhere below Texas Tech and probably a notch above North Texas in the all-time state rankings. Heck, even scandal-ridden Texas State was able to rebuild its program in Necessary Roughness faster than the Bears have been able to develop into a regular bowl contender.
Despite its shortage of on-field success, Baylor is not shy about trying to maintain the current structure of Texas college football. In a statement posted on the university's website, Baylor urged Texans to "stop this madness" and keep Texas A&M, Texas Tech and the University of Texas from abandoning the Big 12 Conference, moves that many believe would lead to the dissolution of the league.
"Will Texans stand by and watch hundred-year-old rivalries be cast aside as the state's largest universities align themselves with other states across the country?" the statement asks. "Will Texans sit and watch as Texas' flagship universities pledge their loyalties to other states? Will Texans stand by as our most promising student athletes are lured out of Texas by new rivals? Will Texans watch as our most precious resources — the great minds of the next generation — are exported to new conference institutions?"
The Southeastern Conference announced Wednesday that it had accepted Texas A&M into the conference, but the move was held up because the Aggies' current league, the Big 12, has threatened legal action. Texas has been trying to coordinate a move to the Pac-12 (formerly the Pac-10) for years. Texas Tech is also rumored to be formulating a plan to join the Pac-12.
These moves would likely cause the ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 to pick apart the remaining Big 12 schools. The result would be the death of the Big 12, and the end of many in-state Texas rivalries. So much bad blood reportedly exists between Texas and Texas A&M, the schools would most likely never play again if they joined separate conferences.
Baylor's administration says it wants to preserve those rivalries. Interestingly, however, the university doesn't seem very concerned about preserving in-state relationships with TCU (which once played Baylor as many as three times a season), SMU or Rice, none of which have yearly contests with the Bears. It's probably just a coincidence that Baylor is far more concerned with Texas, Texas Tech and Texas A&M, which have much more money and therefore much more to offer Baylor as rivals.
Yeah, that's got to be a coincidence. Baylor's motivation surely has everything to do with maintaining the "fabric" of Texas football — and nothing to do with cash.