Folks, let's talk conspiracies. Now, I'm not normally one to seek out the faint whiffs of impropriety in the layers of malodorous clouds surrounding college athletics, but the comments in yesterday's piece about our #4 seeding in the NCAA Baseball Tournament have convinced me.
Now, the lesson here is twofold. First, if you have a wild internet opinion, never stop beating that drum. One day you WILL succeed in convincing someone. Second, there is a vast and deeply-rooted wish amongst all the murky power players in the NCAA to see us play teams from our former conference at every opportunity.
Have we not proven our worth? Our first season in the SEC, we were given a Cotton Bowl berth against OU and proceeded to eviscerate the cream of the Big 12 in one of the most lopsided top ten matchups of the bowl season. Two years later we were paired with Big 12 plebe West Virginia and rallied for a big win. Even this year in basketball, the Aggies' first trip to the NCAA tourney since joining the SEC, after making the biggest comeback in sports history, what was our reward? A Big 12 foe.
Same this year. After rolling off a bunch of wins against top ten teams, including a trouncing of the #1 team to win the SEC tourney, we were rewarded with a #4 seed, virtually guaranteeing a matchup with who in the next round? That's right, TCU. The signs are everywhere, and I suggest you stop choosing to ignore them. We will never be free of this obsession to see us face Big 12 teams that drives the entire mysterious, spidery network of collegiate post-season governing bodies until we take aggressive action.
Here is my three-point plan to take down this NCAA bias:
- a self-imposed post-season ban on all sports unless the team is undefeated or a consensus #1. This will not completely eliminate the possibilities of impropriety, of course, but having the upper hand is always desirable.
- stop treating sports as if they were "fun". Enough of this "just happy to be here" attitude. This is a business, plain and simple. If we're not going to win it all, no point in participating.
- all Texas A&M public figures will be required to refer to the Big 12 using a cutting, clever nickname such as "Miniscule 12" or "Big Disaster Thing LOL" while doing public interviews. This level of intellectual disdain will cause discomfort among the NCAA stakeholders and eventually push them to reason.
It's really this simple: we moved away from that crazy patchwork conference so that we would never have to deal with them ever again at all because that is how things work in real life. The last thing we need is some meddlesome bureaucracy forcing us to dance with a partner we spurned years ago.
Of course, we could just take the easy route and re-join the Big 12. That would really show 'em.