Tag Archives: Baylor Football

Texas, Baptists and Football

Not all Texans love their football, but a sizable majority do.  And although the state has produced exactly zero championships on any level above high school in more than a decade now, there remains the perception that Texas football is somehow superior and more manly than the rest.  The quest to achieve football prominence (or prominence in any sport) can overwhelm more pedestrian desires such as education, quality of life and safety.  What has happened at Baylor and in Waco is a prime example of misplaced priorities and an institution run amok in its goal of building a nationally recognized college football program.  Baylor had had brief moments of football success winning the Southwest Conference several times in the early days of the SWC and twice (1974 and 1980) under Grant Teaff in a more competitive era.  But until winning the Big 12 in 2013, it had been over 30 years without a trophy on the shelf.  Then sharing a Big 12 title in 2014 opened the possibility that the Bears might actually be on the road to long term success and regular national recognition.

But a what price?  Red does not know and probably does not care to know all the details of the investigation that has resulted in the firing of Head Coach Art Briles, the demotion of Ken Starr and the quick exit of the Baylor Athletic Director (whose name only the faithful knew before this week and even they will want to forget it).  Suffice it to say, that to fire a highly successful coach that had brought Baylor to national prominence, the facts are probably worse than we will ever know or want to know.  The athletic program, the administration and the Waco police and district attorney are all complicit in a horrendous cover up of gross criminality.  Anyone who has spent hard-earned money to send their child to what has been revealed to be a corrupt institution cloaking itself in Christian teaching can only be truly shocked and disappointed at how low this place has fallen.

Everyone Red knows that went to Baylor really loves the place.  It has a great reputation for being a place where students feel at home and build a sense of community and friendship.  Will that still be the case?

Red gives no credit to Baylor whatsoever for firing Briles and demoting Starr.  It is incredible that all of this occurred under the noses of the Board of Regents and they too must be considered complicit in the lack of oversight of a program that completely lost any ethical or moral mooring.

So when you are watching college football next fall, think about the consequences of the bloated importance placed on these games, these coaches and these players.  Something is seriously out of order when what happened at Baylor can go on for years without some consequences.

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Texas Bowl Games or More Correctly, Bowl Games to be Played in Texas

The College football Bowl schedule for Texas is now set.  In addition to the national semi-final playoff game between Alabama and Michigan State at JerryWorld in Arlington (aka the Goodyear Cotton Bowl) on December 31, the overcrowded Bowl schedule includes the following soon to be classics:

December 26 –

Hyundai Sun Bowl at the Sun Bowl Stadium in El Paso: Miami vs. Washington State  – featuring the return of former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach to Texas with the resurgent Cougars. 1 pm on CBS.

Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl at the Cotton Bowl Stadim in Dallas: Washington vs. Southern Miss  – just to make sure that all major college teams from Washington get to play in Texas this year. 1:20 pm on ESPN.  They didn’t want anyone to miss the kickoff at the Sun Bowl.

December 29

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth: California vs. Air Force – a game sure to draw in thousands of fans, as in about 2000.  1 pm on ESPN

AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl at NRG Stadium in Houston: LSU vs. Texas Tech –  just to disappoint those looking for a Texas Tech/Texas A&M matchup8 p.m. on ESPN.

January 2

Valero Alamo Bowl at the AlamoDome in San Antonio: Oregon vs. TCU – which actually looks to be one of the more entertaining games on the undercard. 5:45 p.m. on ESPN.

In addition, several Texas teams will travel outside of the great state to end their seasons:

 Baylor will face North Carolina in the Russell Athletic Bowl at the Orlando Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida on Dec. 29 (4:30 p.m. on ESPN)

Texas A&M will match up against Louisville in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee on December 30 (6:00 pm on ESPN).

Houston will try to finish 13-1 against Florida State in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia on December 31 (11:00 a.m. on ESPN).

All time CST of course.  Red will have his predictions later.

 

 

 

 

Red’s Texas College Football Game of the Week

Until bowling season begins, this will be the last of Red’s TCFGOTW.  But this one may be a doozy.  The UT Longhorns travel up I-35 to the unfriendly confines of McClain Stadium on the banks of the Brazos to face the Baylor Bears in the last Big 12 game of the year.  Texas is a huge 21 point road dog coming off of what was their second best performance of the year in a losing effort to Texas Tech.  Of course, the best performance was the butt-whipping they laid on the eventual national champion OU Sooners.  Yep, Red is calling that one right now before the final 4 field is even set. Amazing to think that OU’s only loss of the year might be to the lowly Horns.

Baylor is coming off its own disappointing loss to TCU on Thanksgiving weekend which shattered what dreams it had left of making the final four playoff.  Red is tired of the Bears already.

Baylor has nothing to play for except a possible New Year’s Bowl bid, but even that is looking unlikely and a trip to San Antonio seems almost inevitable now.  UT has absolutely nothing left to play for but pride and possibly salvaging head coach Charlie Strong’s job.  Red thinks the players really like Strong and are not about to let the first African-American head coach in UT history go down the tubes without a fight.  Red’s key to the game is freshman running back Chris Warren.  His incredible 276 yard, 4 touchdown performance in the loss to Tech on Thanksgiving had longtime Longhorn fans reminiscing about past greats such as Jim Bertelsen, Earl Campbell and Ricky Williams – none of whom ever had a breakout performance like Warren.  Red thinks Warren is the real deal and a mere 150 yard, 2 touchdown performance may be enough to beat the despondent Bears.

Red calls it UT 29 Baylor 28.  Take the Horns and the points.

 

 

Open Letter to Kenneth Starr

Chip Brown of Scout posts a powerful open letter to Baylor University Chancellor and President Kenneth Starr.  In the aftermath of Sam Ukwuachu’s rape conviction, the pathetically incompetent BU investigation into the allegations and apparent lies of Head Coach Art Briles about what he knew about Ukwuachu’s past, someone’s head needs to roll.  Whose will it be?  Brown calls out Starr for the failed investigation especially given Starr’s stellar legal stature.  Brown clearly questions whether any university athletic program will go after its rainmaker – the men’s football program – and why Starr did not do more to insure that Baylor students were safe.

That probably puts the onus on yourself, a top legal expert once considered for a U.S. Supreme Court appointment (by George H.W. Bush), to make sure everything about the rape allegations were properly vetted, right?

To make sure your campus was safe from a potential predator – especially in the wake of defensive end Tevin Elliott’s conviction in 2012 after he was accused in court of being a serial rapist?

You have legally defended someone accused of sexually preying on young girls. In 2007, you joined the defense team of Palm Beach, Fla., millionaire Jeffrey Epstein, who was accused of sexually molesting several underaged high school girls before paying them off. (Epstein later pled guilty to soliciting prostitutes and spent 13 months in a private wing of the Palm Beach Jail).

And you also investigated the sexual dalliances of then-president Bill Clinton in a $70 million probe laid out in graphic detail in a 445-page report that led to impeachment proceedings. If anyone was qualified to try to separate fact from fiction in the case of Ukwuachu and a female Baylor soccer player, wouldn’t it be you? With the university’s reputation potentially on the line because of the Elliott conviction in 2012 and the U.S. Dept. of Education Title IX probe?

As the head of the university, and with what was already on the line, was it your responsibility to talk to Art Briles about if Ukwuachu needed to remain at Baylor?

It’s been my experience covering college athletics the most powerful person on a university campus is a conference-championship football coach making it rain with donor millions with a chance to win a national title.

Few, if any on campus, maybe outside of the school president and chancellor, are willing to be the voice of reason when it comes to having a hard conversation with a football coach in hot pursuit of being No. 1.

Was there a hard conversation about how, after Ukwuachu’s indictment in June 2014 for raping a Baylor women’s student-athlete, it might be time for Briles to recruit another pass-rusher? Briles has a daughter, and he undoubtedly respects you.

At that point, would it not have been fair to conclude Ukwuachu had violated the BU Student Conduct Code and needed to be expelled as a threat to the rest of the campus (especially after previous issues involving a rocky relationship at Boise State helped lead to his transfer to BU in the first place)?

In this case, it appears a female Baylor soccer player was left to fend for herself in more ways than one, including – according to Texas Monthly – having her scholarship cut after accusing Ukwuachu of rape and then not being found credible by anyone in a position of authority on campus. Is that accurate?

In my experience, this is a situation where the leadership at the top of the university needs to stand up and be accountable for whatever it did or did not do on behalf of a once-proud Baylor women’s soccer player who came to Waco to enjoy the best years of her life and transferred out shattered, humiliated and ignored.

TCU and Baylor Flying High in AP Preseason Poll

Texas and Texas A&M – not so much.  Ohio State pulls off a first ever sweep of the 61 first place votes up for grabs in the AP Preseason Top 25.  TCU ranks second and Baylor (despite current travails) is in fourth place in the meaningless annual preseason exercise.  Ohio State has been top-ranked 7 other times at the beginning of the season and has never won the national championship in any of those years.

Texas comes in unranked but in 38th place in the voting with a mighty 3 points.  A&M lands just outside the rankings with 61 points in 26th place.

The Longhorns at least have a chance to move up quickly when they face Notre Dame in South Bend on Labor Day weekend.  The Aggies also would get a huge boost from beating a highly regarded Arizona State team in the Texas Kickoff Classic at NRG Stadium in Houston on September 5  and probably would move into at least 15th place.   As usual, most of the top 25 play the typical first game assortment of lower division patsies, perennial doormats and conference weak sisters.  A handful of the top 25 may face actual tests in the first week.  Notable matchups other than Texas v. Notre Dame and A&M v. Arizona State include:

No. 1 Ohio State at Virginia Tech

NO. 2 TCU at Minnesota

And the likely game of the week in  No. 3 Alabama v. No. 20 Wisconsin

Is Art Briles a Liar?

USA Today remains on the case of soon to be embattled Baylor Head Football Coach Art Briles.  In a press conference, Briles denied any knowledge of the trouble and violent past of Sam Ukwuachu who was dismissed from the Boise State program after attacking his girlfriend.  Washington Coach Chris Petersen calls Briles out on that one.  According to Petersen, he personally called Briles to inform him about the potential danger with Ukwuachu.

Washington head coach Chris Petersen issued a statement Friday saying that he informed Baylor’s Art Briles about why defensive end Sam Ukwuachu was dismissed at Boise State.

“After Sam Ukwuachu was dismissed from the Boise State football program and expressed an interest in transferring to Baylor, I initiated a call with coach Art Briles. In that conversation, I thoroughly apprised Coach Briles of the circumstances surrounding Sam’s disciplinary record and dismissal,” said Petersen, who was Boise State’s coach at the time.

Briles said in a news conference Friday morning that he had no knowledge of Ukwuachu’s violent past at Boise State.

Fire Art Briles Now!

USA Today excoriates Baylor Head Football Coach Art Briles for taking in Sam Ukwuachu when there was strong evidence that he was a danger to the young women on campus.  Ukwuachu was dismissed from Boise State after viciously attacking his girlfriend.  The sad tale came to an end when Ukwuachu was convicted after raping a Baylor student.  If Briles knew all this and let young women at Baylor be exposed to Ukwuachu then he is indeed a scumbag who should be fired immediately.

When Art Briles recruited Sam Ukwuachu to Baylor University, he turned every female on campus into a potential victim. When Briles’ superiors signed off on bringing the talented defensive end to Waco, they tacitly approved of putting students in harm’s way.

It was all right there in the most basic of investigations into Ukwuachu’s exit from Boise State, when he was dismissed from the program in May 2013 because he attacked his girlfriend. Despite the clear warning signs of violent behavior, Baylor had brought Ukwuachu into their community because, by golly, he sure could help the pass rush. Five months later, all that had really changed about Ukwuachu’s tendencies was the venue.

On Thursday, in a district court in Waco, Ukwuachu was found guilty of sexually assaulting a former Baylor women’s soccer player, who was 18 and in her first semester of college in October 2013 when the big-shot football transfer twice her size attacked her.

Maybe if she had been warned that the Baylor football player in her tutoring sessions once became so crazed during a domestic dispute at Boise that he broke a window, she wouldn’t have even been in position to be in his apartment that night. Maybe if Briles, athletics director Ian McCaw and school president Ken Starr had looked at his background and realized Ukwuachu didn’t belong at Baylor, she wouldn’t have had to go get a rape kit the next morning.