Puppet Theater


How many people would have liked to have seen Baylor and TCU square off again on the gridiron in a possible Big 12 Championship Game last fall?

Answer: All of us. In fact, I think there’s a few people in Iceland who don’t even watch football that would vote yes, just on principle.

“One True Champion” was anything but, as both the Bears and Frogs were crowned co-champions.

And stayed out of the National Championship Playoff as a result.

ncf_u_bowlsby_d1_600x400Things recently looked like the Big 12 was on the right track to figuring things out; Commissioner Bob Bowlsby met with selection committee chairman Jeff Long in North Texas last week and came away saying that all the data suggested that the Big 12 was at a disadvantage compared to other conferences with no championship game. All indications were that the commissioner would advise his member schools to work towards adding a championship game, even with only 10 teams.

Then Tuesday came, and once again the Big 12 head coaches and AD’s made their commissioner look like, well, Dan Beebe.

Tuesday, Bowlsby met with the coaches and admins of his member teams and walked out with an about-face message as to where the league should go. He said he does not think that the conference is headed towards a title game.

“I think we all believe that one year is not a long enough trial to draw any conclusions,” Bowlsby said.

Say what? It was the perfect trial. The Big 12 had not one, but two teams in the running for the playoff. Of the four teams that made it – three had one loss on their record. Only Florida State was unblemished on the regular season and respective conference championship game. Had Baylor and TCU played again, do you think the winner had a decent shot at getting in? I do. Instead, it opened the door for a Big Ten team that went on to win it all.

Spare me the company line, Bob. I don’t think there is any question as to who is actually (still) in charge of the Big 12. Why have a commissioner at all if you’re not going to listen to him?

Nope, Texas and OU are once again leading the way, manipulating what they believe is the easiest path of resistance in having no title game. Baylor is completely on board; though I’m sure Art Briles is only half paying attention in the meeting as he has been busy texting Incarnate Word and The Citadel inquiring about possible additions to his 2017 schedule.

Hey, whatever’s going to give me the best chance to go 12-0, right?

It’s ridiculous, actually. And we’re the real losers here, with one less great game to watch in that first weekend of December. The Big 12 was founded in 1995 as a powerful group of schools that would set a new standard. It did just that – setting a new standard for how fractured a conference could be. The league never became unified (and never has since). Nebraska and Colorado left first. Then A&M and Missouri. “Let em go,” said then-Texas AD DeLoss Dodds. “It’s their loss,” was his line of thinking.

One day these guys are going to have to look in the mirror and realize that they are their own worst enemies. Texas and OU will tell you that they are only acting in the best interests of the conference. Hog wash. They’re not looking out for Baylor or TCU, Oklahoma State or Texas Tech. A one-loss Horns or Sooners team would be difficult to leave out of the playoff (let’s be honest). And they certainly don’t want to have to play each other again in the same season.121114-SW-CFB-Art-Briles-PI.vadapt.620.high.0

Briles said, “I think if somebody runs the table in our league, they’re in. I don’t think there’s any question because you’re going to beat a couple of top 10 teams, probably three or four in the top 20. That’s a pretty good resume.”

Art, do you know the last time that Baylor went undefeated? Try never. How about just in league play? Just 35 years ago in the fall of 1980. But keep on feeding that narrative. Maybe it’ll do you some good.

Oh, by the way, Northwestern State is holding on line one.

Previous articleIt’s Not “Just Twitter”
Next articleLingering Like a Fungus
Rob Scichili (shick-lee) has worked in professional sports for over 24 years in PR and communications, including time with the Dallas Stars, Anaheim Ducks, MLB.com, Minnesota Timberwolves and Dallas Mavericks. A journalism graduate of Texas A&M, he is co-owner and editor at ScoreboardTx, principal at Shick Communications and VP at Franchise Sports & Entertainment while serving on the board of the Mike Modano Foundation.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here