Excellent ESPN article on SWC demise

Teaff may not have been directly involved in cheating – but Baylor cheated. Assistant coaches I knew were fearful of Baylor alums in certain towns and felt they were at a disadvantage. Baylor was no different than any of the rest. Teaff escaped with a decent reputation in some ways, but there are stories about him as well.

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Clay I’ve always wanted to visit with you and get your thoughts on what would have happened if we had gone to the Big 8? What was the money split like there ? I know that OU and OSU were on probation… and the bottom level schools were bad , KSU and Iowa St… it seems to me that some of the problems that were going on with the SWC were also going on in the BIG 8…

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I’ve heard stories about Teaff from one of his former players. Not good stories…

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Baylor alumni put so much pressure on Teaff & made the $ available such that he & subsequent Baylor coaches had no choice but to cheat to sign blue chip recruits that would otherwise go to ut or aTm. That culture was still in place when Briles was at Baylor. SMU did the same with support from the TX governor until their death penalty.

Heard the stories about how wealthy Baylor & other SWC alumni grew tired of the constant taunting by arrogant ut alumni at the country clubs after ut beat them in football. Aggie friend in Houston brought wads of $100 bills to hand out to aTm football players in the locker room after the games when they won. Everyone understood payouts & cheating were the norm & to be expected.

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True dat.

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I was privy to some conversations between my dad and Frank on what was going down. Frank was convinced the SWC was dying. And a merger with the big 8 would eventually take place. His friends (at SWC schools and at OU, OSU and Nebraska) told him Arkansas would not have a place in the new league.

At any rate, he also sincerely believed (through Darrell Royal) that Texas and A&M would also eventually go to the SEC. The idea of competing with Texas on equal footing (without the heavy influence Texas had in the SWC) was appealing. Ultimately Texas crap ran off Nebraska and Missouri with a reminder from Frank “that I warned you.”

Royal was no longer AD but did have knowledge of Texas doings. Dodds and Frank had a lesser relationship, obviously.

So money splits between the two leagues were not discussed because if you are not going to be included, there is nothing to consider.

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Be sure to include aTm & Colorado to the list of teams that ut ran off. Expect that the list will continue to grow if & when opportunities arise in Big10, SEC, & PAC.

Surprised that Arkansas has not scheduled more non-SEC games against Texas schools, such as UofH, SMU, TCU, or ut in efforts to re-establish a foothold in talent rich Texas recruiting. aTm game exposure helps. As much as I dislike ut, the ou/ut game has been critical to ou recruiting Texas. Leaving SWC had a definite negative impact on UofA recruiting. Not sure that playing Co. St, or SD State benefits us (especially when we lose).

Any reason given for Arkansas not being included in a SWC/Big8 merger?

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Not anything other than there were some who did not want Arkansas. I don’t recall the specifics, or if Frank said them.

Years later Frank went on the record with the fact Arkansas would have been excluded. I’d known that.

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Surprising since at that time Arkansas had a strong history in football, basketball, baseball, & track.

Almost smells like sour grapes by ut & Dodds who always had to call the shots. Arkansas was often their obstacle in many sports so longhorns did not like us - similar issues ut had with UofH.

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I think it more than “smells” of that. No doubt, it was that. But there were no specifics mentioned. If you are the one who is breaking up the party, good chance you don’t get invited to the next party.

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I can remember talk during the Holtz era of leaving the SWC for the Big 8 (increased considerably after Horton Nesrsta picked up his screwdriver in Irving in November 1982). But if we had, we get joined a few years later by Texas. Could they have gotten us tossed out? I’m sure they would have tried.

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LSU was pretty heavily involved in the organizational meetings leading up to the SWC’s formation, but they never pulled the trigger on joining the conference (they were part of the unwieldy Southern Conference at the time). Fun to imagine a SWC that included LSU and was able to retain OU and OSU. That conference might still be around.

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That is an interesting thought. Thanks for that reminder.

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OSU was a weird situation. They joined what would become the Big Eight in 1925, then left for the Missouri Valley in 1928. In 1957 they came back, becoming the eighth Big Eight school.

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Yeah, weirdly, OSU was the only state school not to join the Big 6 (they would have made it the Big 7). I don’t much about why this was, but suspect political shenanigans.

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Had forgotten about OSU being a late comer to Big 8 in 1958. If not for OSU, OU would likely be in the SEC by now.

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I think you might be right about that. I don’t think OU can make a move without including OSU. I guess that’s due to Okla politics. Another reason we don’t need ASU becoming our “OSU” here in Arkansas.

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I really enjoyed the article and all the post here

Wish Clay, or anyone, had insight on why Arkansas was not to be invited to the new Big XII?

I intuit it was some pettiness but it may have more to do with other factors

It was a sentimental read going through all the post and comments

I know my experience as a Razorback fan in the old SWC has deeply influenced my perspective towards any league officials be they zebras on the field to coat and tie in the front office

Sadly the SEC has given enough evidence to reinforce my distrust of league authority

I’d like to know that myself. At the time we were one of the strongest programs in the country. Stronger than A&M. We would have been only below Texas, OU, & Nebraska in football strength. Ahead of TT, KU, KSU, MU, OSU, & Col. Only Kansas & maybe OSU would have been better or as good in basketball. And while Ark has a smaller population than any of those states expect Nebraska, we have the entire state as a TV audience.

I cannot imagine why we would not have been welcomed as an addition to an expanded Big 8 except it being some sort of pettiness by YEW-TEE. Maybe it’s something we can never find out since so many people who were running things then are now dead. I think it worked out best for us, but I’d still like to know why.

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As Clay alluded to above, ut & their AD Dodds would have likely closed the door on Arkansas joining the Big12. ut wants to dictate conference rules, be the perennial champion, & take most of the $. Too often Arkansas in the SWC was the obstacle that prevented ut entitlement of winning football, track, & basketball championships.

Not sure I agree with Clay’s comment of Arkansas being “one who is breaking up the party, good chance you don’t get invited to the next party”. Our departure to the SEC was a couple of years prior to the SWC/Big8 merger. Once Arkansas departure was a done deal, that started the wheels in motion for SWC to merge with Big8. Perhaps Broyles understood the need to move to SEC based on his private knowledge of ut animosity towards Arkansas thru his friendship with D Royal.

Curious to know if SEC or Arkansas initiated the talks but assume it was SEC since SC joined at the same time as AR. Also, SEC believed ut & aTm would follow Arkansas to SEC.

Based on how ut dictates to & treats Big12 teams, Arkansas was fortunate to make its move & not risk being left out of a Power5 conference (as ut did to UofH). Additionally, fortunate we are not under the thumb of ut which has made Big12 a dysfunctional conference, same as the SWC. Four teams have already departed Big 12 with more to follow.

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