Hell hath no fury like an Art Briles scorned.

I tell you what, getting passed over by the selection brings out the best in Baylor.  First you had Bryce Petty’s great quote and now we’ve got Art Briles unloading on any target he can think of.

And he’s pretty accurate, too.

His first shot was fired at Big 12 conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby and Bowlsby’s shortsighted decision to proclaim Baylor and TCU co-champs of the conference.

Briles confronted Bowlsby on stage after the Big 12’s trophy presentation and addressed his frustration about being presented as co-champions with TCU during his postgame news conference.

“You know, if you’re going to slogan around and say there’s ‘One True Champion,’ all the sudden you’re gonna go out the back door instead of going out the front?” Briles said. “Don’t say one thing and do another.”

I bet that slogan gets unceremoniously dumped in the trash can this offseason.  And you gotta love Briles for having the guts to say it directly to his commissioner’s face.

More importantly, he’s right.  From the Big 12’s perspective, this wasn’t a case of ranking teams, à la the selection committee.  You’ve got a conference playing a round robin schedule and two teams who finished with the same conference records.  In naming a champ in that situation, head-to-head is all that matters.  But Bowlsby decided it was more important to engage in an awkward tap dance in a flimsy attempt to influence the selection committee because he wanted to promote TCU’s chances to make the playoff.  It didn’t work and now Bowlsby is left with a precedent that is probably going to blow up in his face one day.

Well, it would if he had any intellectual consistency.  My guess is, if the opportunity ever presents itself, he’ll sell that out if he thinks it will help one of his schools make the playoffs.  Which, of course, is the real story here.  It’s just another example of how willing these idiots are to cheapen the importance of the regular season if they think it helps make the case for the postseason.  There will be more examples, rest assured.

As for Briles’ other barrel, that was pointed at the selection committee.

“My opinion, since people are asking? I think the committee needs to be a little more regionalized with people that are associated with the south part of the United States,” Briles said. “I’ll say that. I’m not sure if there’s a connection on there that is that familiar with the Big 12 Conference. To me, that’s an issue.”

“We’re all humans. When I die, they’re not going to bury me in Maryland. They’re going to bury me in Texas,” Briles said. “When those people die, they’re not going to bring them down here and lay their body to rest. They’re going to lay them to rest wherever they lived all their lives. And teams they follow. And teams they know.

“You want to ask me about a team in this part of the United States? I can tell you about ’em. I can tell you their weaknesses and their strengths, OK? They need to have somebody on there that knows the teams in this part of the nation. The only person born in the south on that committee is Condoleezza Rice. She was born in Alabama.”

During a Sunday morning appearance on “SportsCenter,” Briles suggested ex-coaches R.C. Slocum, Mack Brown or Spike Dykes would be more qualified to evaluate programs in the state and region. He argued that Archie Manning stepping down from the committee in October due to health reasons might have ultimately hurt Baylor’s chances.

“When Archie Manning went off, I said we’re in trouble,” Briles said. “I know Archie. He’s a friend. He understands football down here. When he went off that committee, we were in trouble. We need a voice. We need a voice.”

Regional bias?  I thought we got rid of that when we dumped the Coaches Poll from the process.  Surprise, surprise.  And of course Briles’ solution is to introduce more bias and potential conflicts of interest into the process to make sure his school gets at least the appearance of a fair shake.  Yes, I know that doesn’t make a damned bit of sense.  But it’s what the coaches are familiar with and comfortable with.

If he’s got a legitimate gripe, you could address it by expanding the size of the selection committee to represent all geographic regions and you could enlarge it sufficiently to cut the impact of regional bias.  Or you could simply expand the playoff field enough that Briles would quit bitching.  I know which path I expect the powers that be to choose.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Big 12 Football

27 responses to “Hell hath no fury like an Art Briles scorned.

  1. Smitty

    Briles voted Alabama 4th is his coaches poll.

    And this gem from twitter: According to FBS schedules, Baylor has 14 non-conference games already booked through 2019; 2 against a team from Power 5 conference: Duke


  2. NCDawg

    WVU’s AD was on the committee. He also has a degree from Texas (JD). Not sure what Briles considers him.


  3. Considering that all four teams selected for this year’s playoff won a conference championship game of some sort this past weekend, I would be shocked if the Big XII didn’t make a push to snag two more teams and return to divisional play. Of course, that solution might be just obvious enough to whizz right by Bowlsby’s oblivious head.


  4. 81Dog

    Art doesn’t understand what the committee was organized for: to protect the Big Ten and Pac 12, and give them a seat at the grownup table in the discussion about national championships. It wasn’t to get the best 4 teams together (though they might or might not have this year). If some deserving team gets left out so that the Big Ten and all it’s money and influence and tv eyeballs can sell ratings for the playoff games, c’est le guerre.


  5. As Jeff Long pointed out on Mike & Mike this morning, the Big 12 came awfully close to having two teams in the playoff.

    I guess Bowlsby would’ve looked like a genius if that had happened.



  6. Macallanlover

    Briles is right, and should be respected, for the way he has handled this; I think he is also right about where he had Alabama ranked….although we are all Alabama fans on New Year’s Day when they play ISIS. The commissioner should have his but kicked for playing conference politics and pursuing more money by calling it co-champs. But I think the Committee had it right before with TCU being the better team with a higher ranking.

    Doesn’t matter now as ohio rode the tidal wave of media pressure and was selected even with the worst loss in the Top 15. I do think the committee was given an out because TCU and Baylor only had 11 wins versus ohio’s 12. They had a much better resume but not having a championship game cost them a spot, imo. Whichever had won the rematch would have picked up another quality win.


  7. Cojones

    How would we feel with two conference teams with one loss each being excluded? This blog couldn’t contain our anger. Didn’t just the opposite happen in the SEC when Bama and LSU were rematched for the NC?

    Hasn’t Pellini already referred to this situation during the season? I don’t feel that it’s correct to slight anyone with a good record until we can fully equate opponent’s strengths and what they bring to a strength of schedule. We do it retroactively now since the preponderance of NCs came from the SEC in the last decade. And I concur. How many more years can we use that in our “objectivity” of selection knowing that strengths of teams and conferences will vary from year to year? Even with a “weak” conference having a CG, the questions will remain. We should look at how the dialogue manufactured early in the season put the East Div behind the eight-ball when the West hadn’t even hit it’s strength of schedule and how that made us feel impotent while jumping up and down to say “Look at our team!” as an equivalent feeling suffered by teams that were left out of this year’s NC.

    Eight teams has been the logical answer to most questions we have considered about playoffs for some time. Those who decry such a number have never tried to look objectively at problems that many of us feel could have been answered long ago. They would rather listen to illogical chaff like “slippery slope”, etc that tries to influence thinking with continual reference of “eight going to sixteen” teams and even comparing to “brackets” or “seasonal dilution” in other sports as “boogy men”(not even qualified as “straw men”) in our dialogue.. We should have gone to eight long ago and we would have seen a stop to most of the manufactured angst that now permeates the “selection”. The difference in selecting the eighth team from the top 8-10 teams would be met with much less calamity that now screws over teams and conferences who now have something tangible to offer in a quest for NC that will never see fruition. Sixteen teams is logically ridiculous except to those who try to throw it out to prevent going to eight by the not-invented-here mentality of a few.


  8. JT

    I like Briles…any chance he come in as our AD?


  9. Mayor

    Here is the real problem. The Committee picks after the season so they will always be susceptible to accusations of bias, regional and otherwise. The BCS computers were programmed before the seon with no knowledge of who any team was. When the BCS math came out of the computer with #1 and #2 it was totally unbiased. A lot of people didn’t like what the computer said but they couldn’t say there was favoritism. You cannot say that about what happened on Sunday. When TCU goes from #3 to #6 after winning a game 59-0 that is total BS. Baylor has a similar gripe and rightly so. The Bears beat a ranked team handily. FSU squeaked by with a 2 point win. So FSU goes UP and Baylor is not in the top 4? This entire system is flawed.


    • I view this as a consolidation of opinion to further the broadcast and commercial interests of The Establishment. I know it is simple-minded and convenient. But after 8 years of Southern football dominance how could anyone believe that three such teams would be permitted into this newly minted “National” system.