Conference play continues for the Sooners, who are now remain undefeated against Big 12 foes. In case you were thinking about getting complacent, we're here to remind you exactly why we hate all the teams in our conference. So read up, take to comment sections across the internet, and don't let anybody tell you to calm down.
This week, Baylor rolls into Norman with a two game losing streak intact. Here's why we hate them:
The Baylor Line
I have strong thoughts about when it's appropriate to rush the field. Generally, I don't think it should be allowed if you're ranked, if you've beaten this team in the last 3 years, if you're favored, or if you've been to a national championship game in the last ten years. Maybe there are exceptions, but that's how I feel. This year, Kansas drew my ire when they rushed the field after beating an FCS team.
Wherever you fall on the "should they or shouldn't they rush the field" debate, I think we can agree on one thing: at least wait for your team to win the game before you rush the field. Baylor, in the face of reason, rushes the field before every home game. The tradition is called the Baylor Line, and it's ridiculous.
I noticed the tradition for the first time last year, when Baylor was hosting the Sooners. I asked my Baylor friend what on earth they were doing, and she explained that it's tradition. The tradition has all the nonsense and danger of rushing the field, with students sometimes being run over. But unlike traditional field-rushing, this has the added "bonus" that it's coordinated by the school and organized in a way that takes all the excitement out of what rushing the field should be. All of the bad, none of the good, before the game even happens.
What could be better than a school-organized rushing of the field before the game even starts? Everything. Everything could be better than that.
For years, and to Baylor's great shame, they couldn't fill their stadium. Last year, Oklahoma sold out its 100th consecutive home game. Being popular is fun. If you can't do that, though, apparently decorating your stadium is the next best option. That's why Baylor put a massive tarp over a portion of their stadium. The tarp spent ten years adorning Floyd Casey stadium before it was pulled off in 2013 for a home game against Oklahoma (there was one other game--a loss to Texas A&M in 2006--that didn't feature the tarp during its tenure). A Baylor receiver said at the time that removing the tarp was "a very big deal for Baylor and the city of Waco." It's a bad sign for your team when making all the seats in a stadium available is a very big deal for the city.
Former Bears quarterback Bryce Petty suggested that perhaps they should burn the tarp, but Baylor had a better idea: build a new stadium with less seats. In my mind, McLane stadium comes with a built in tarp.
I get it: Waco isn't that big of a city, and the school isn't that big, either. But a tarp lasting a decade is crazy, and downsizing in the middle of your best period of football is a weird way to go.
Bonus: at that fancy new stadium Baylor built a few years ago, they decided to use a different tarp to complete the look. Man, they love tarps in Waco.
The assistant coaches
You may remember Jeff Lebby from his time as a student assistant at Oklahoma. More likely, though, you probably know him (if you do) as the Baylor assistant coach who was caught on the sidelines of a game Oklahoma played against Tulsa last season. Lebby said he was in town for a wedding, which is probably true. He also said he didn't take any notes, which is probably technically true. The problem for Lebby is that scouting future opponents on the sidelines is a pretty obvious violation of NCAA bylaw 11.6.1, since Baylor was scheduled to play Oklahoma later that year.
Even if Lebby didn't physically take notes, his presence on the Tulsa sideline was unsettling. Tulsa and Baylor ran very similar offenses at the time, and I have a hard time believing Lebby was just there to take in the excitement of a college football game and not analyzing what Tulsa did against the Sooners that either did or didn't work. Either way, Baylor brought the hammer down on Lebby by suspending him for...the first half of the game against Oklahoma.
It's worth noting that the game before he appeared on the Tulsa sidelines, Lebby served as the primary play-caller for the Bears since other assistants (Kendal Briles and Tate Wallis) were serving suspensions for recruiting violations. Come on, guys. How is anyone supposed to respect you when your coaches are out there breaking rules?
At least Kendal Briles wins some style points for his sweet finger tape...
If you're more than six years old, you remember a time when Baylor football was terrible. By "terrible" I mean it took until 2011 for them to beat Oklahoma for the first time ever.
Baylor fans, apparently, remember no such time. No fan base has ever gone from humble to snobby faster than the people down in Waco. In 2014, Baylor beat co-conference champion TCU by a score of 61-58 after an incredible comeback. In case you ever forget, Baylor fans are here to remind you.
Baylor fans were later up in arms after Baylor was not selected to the playoffs that year despite a loss to West Virginia and a non-conference schedule featuring the following powerhouse schools: SMU, Northwestern State, and Buffalo.
Seriously, Baylor, you don't get to act like the champions of the world when you repeatedly schedule the weakest teams you can find in non-conference play. Teams like Oklahoma and Texas (the traditional powers in the Big 12) maintain some of the more difficult non-conference schedules in the country. When you play pretty much nobody, we don't want to hear you cry about how no one gives you respect.
I'm going to lead with this: the incidents that have allegedly taken place at Baylor over the past several years are serious. If I were ever to write fully about the events, it would belong in a much more serious, much more investigative forum than this. Also, the issue extends far beyond the football field. That being said, it's difficult to write about Baylor without mentioning the scandal, at least to the extent it's tied to the football team. The problem that people have with Baylor moving forward is how their team has responded to the situation once everything has come to light.
It started with Jim Grobe saying he didn't believe there was a culture problem at Baylor. It continued as players have publicly supported Briles. The tone-deaf nature in which Baylor's program has handled its problems completely blew up last week as Baylor donned their all-black uniforms (players mentioned they were protesting Art Briles' termination), coaches sent out a joint statement in support of Briles, and fans dressed in black, sold #CAB shirts (Coach Art Briles), and even hung this embarrassing banner from a luxury box.
Baylor seems to be doing everything it can to buy more bad publicity as the year continues. It’s not the only reason to hate them, but it’s a big reason why they’re probably the least popular team in the country right now.