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Berry Tramel

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Bad blood boils in Texas-Baylor rivalry

by Berry Tramel Modified: April 21, 2014 at 5:30 pm •  Published: April 21, 2014
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Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty (14) passes as offensive linesman Kelvin Palmer (77) blocks Texas defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat (44) during the first half of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty (14) passes as offensive linesman Kelvin Palmer (77) blocks Texas defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat (44) during the first half of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Texas linebacker Steve Edmond just made the Big 12 off-season much more interesting.

For some reason known only to Edmond and probably Charlie Strong by now, the Longhorn decided to go off on the fighting Baylor Bears.

“We could have won the conference,” Edmond said. “Even though I didn’t get a chance to play in the Baylor game, I really feel like we should have beat Baylor. I really don’t like Baylor. I still think they’re trash.”

And this: “I’m mad as I can be. I knew we were a better team than they were. And then … Baylor gets the win and acts like they had never won before. Even in high school, you know how to react when you win a game. It’s not like you never won a game. I’m like, ‘They won it, so what?’ They still suck to me.”

And: “I don’t like Baylor. When [receiver] Kendall Wright came through, they were just airing the ball out, throwing deep. It was nothing serious. I don’t understand how we lost to Baylor.”

This is all wildly fascinating, and we sure don’t want to muzzle a suddenly-interesting talker. But still. Edmond is nuts.

Let’s see. Yes, Texas could have won the championship. Had the Longhorns not lost to Baylor. A game won 30-10 by the Bears. There was nothing flukish about Baylor’s victory. A dominating win. The Bears’ third in four years against Texas. There is no one in America who believes Texas was better than Baylor in 2013.

Let’s move on. Edmond doesn’t like Baylor? OK. That’s acceptable. Baylor is “trash”? How is Baylor trash, just because it won by 20 points? This reeks of the Holy Roman Empire. Medieval Europe. Class warfare. Sounds like Baylor is supposed to know its place and not dare threaten Texas’ social standing.

Edmond pops Baylor of acting like “they had never won before.” Well, Baylor never had won before, at least Big 12 football. I’d say a program’s first Big 12 championship is reason to celebrate. Go crazy, folks. If the St. Louis Cardinals can mob the mound after winning the World Series, why can’t Baylor act like it’s V-J Day when it beats the Longhorns? Because it is.

And the stuff about Kendall Wright just catching deep balls? Sounds like that OU talk after OSU’s beatdown of the Sooners in 2002 Bedlam. The assertion that Josh Fields just threw a bunch of deep balls to Rashaun Woods. Since when are jump balls illegitimate? Since when is athletic superiority somehow children of a lesser football god? “Airing the ball out” is a perfectly acceptable form of football strategy.

Edmond says he doesn’t understand how Texas lost to Baylor. The rest of us understand it. Baylor was better. The Bears ran into an OSU buzzsaw in Stillwater, but otherwise, the Bears dominated the Big 12. Only TCU played the Bears within single digits.

This is a clear reaction to revolution. The Big 12 has changed. Five schools have won the last five Big 12 titles. Texas in 2009, OU in 2010, OSU in 2011, Kansas State in 2012, Baylor in 2013. This league no longer is an Oklahoma/Texas stranglehold. And when the culture changes, there is natural kickback. The old guard doesn’t like it.

But tough. As Jordan Najvar, a senior on Baylor’s team last year, tweeted: “Lol to Steve Edmond’s comment. Sorry your 4/5 rating on Rivals doesn’t translate to you beating Baylor.”

So circle your calendar. Oct. 4. Baylor at Texas. Bears vs. Bevo. New money vs. old money. Trash vs. trash talking.

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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