Colorado's departure from the Big 12: Good riddance, says Baylor

Last week, my wife and I accompanied our seventeen-year-old twin daughters on tours of four Big 12 campuses. Included among them were Texas and Baylor -- and at both of these stops, counselors took the opportunity to ridicule the University of Colorado, with a Baylor rep making the point that the conference is now stronger because CU isn't in it.

My daughters toured CU last year, and while they were initially certain they'd attend college in Boulder, they've lately been thinking about the appeal of a scenery change. That led to our mammoth road trip, which began with a visit to friends in Houston before a drive to Austin, where we met with an extremely personable UT counselor.

At one point, she argued that Texas' reputation as a party school was overstated -- a subject that naturally led to a mention of CU. She said she hoped the University of Colorado was getting its act together in respect to such issues, because a few years ago, people in her profession were dismayed about what were perceived as loose standards there. "Escort parties," she said, shaking her head in disapproval.

This jab was nothing compared to the one delivered by a counselor at Baylor, however. Upon hearing about the schools we had on our visitation list, including Oklahoma State and Kansas, he brought up the Big 12, which had been saved days earlier by Texas' decision to remain true to the affiliation rather than leading a multi-university leap to the Pac-10.

Had this last scenario happened, Baylor would almost certainly have been stiffed, particularly given Colorado's decision to accept a Pac-10 invite earlier this month. Perhaps that accounts for his passion when he said that no one in Texas "gives a rip" that Colorado abandoned the conference. In fact, he stressed that the overall quality of the athletic competition, particularly in football, will now be stronger because schools won't be under an obligation to play CU anymore.

Counselors at OSU and KU resisted making similar comments. But were they thinking them? Probably so...

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts