Spies Didn't Help

All the spies in the world nor film of a spring game could help Gary Patterson's defense. Baylor hangs 50 on the rival Horned Frogs as they move to 1-0 on the 2011 season.

**The following is a work by the author and in no way officially represents Scout.com, the rest of BearsIllustrated.com or Baylor University**

What a long nine months it had been for Baylor football. Following a 38-14 loss to Illinois in the 2010 Texas Bowl and the hiring of new defensive coordinator Phil Bennett, all the Bears could do was reflect and prepare for the 2011 season.

In the back of their minds was the four game losing streak to end the 2010 season. Not to be forgotten was the 45-10 loss to TCU in Fort Worth in week three. Determined not to let history repeat itself, Baylor set out with a renewed determination.

But as fans waited patiently for September 2 to come, it became obvious that the dog days of summer would not pass quietly. With fall camps in full swing, more and more press came out in anticipation for this game. Among that press was very choice words by TCU head coach Gary Patterson.

For example, when asked about former Oregon running back Lache Seastrunk's transfer to Baylor, Gary Patterson said this on August 24:

"We didn't recruit him," Patterson said, adding, "We got a release asking if we were interested [when he decided to leave Oregon]."

First of all, it was obvious that the reporter was not asking whether or not TCU recruited Seastrunk to transfer there. Because it was possible that Seastrunk could play in the Baylor-TCU game (although the NCAA still has not ruled on Seastrunk's waver for immediate eligibility), the reporter was asking if Baylor's addition of Seastrunk would make any impact on the game. Rather than answer the question in such a fashion, Patterson gave a condescending answer on Seastrunk - insinuating that he wasn't good enough to be Horned Frog and they denied his request to go there. It's worth noting that BearsIllustrated.com as well as several other media sources had information strongly suggesting that Lache Seastrunk would be transferring to Baylor several hours before Oregon ever released him. In other words, Seastrunk's choice to transfer to Baylor was already decided and any release statement sent to other schools (such as Texas Christian) was just a formality. Acting as though TCU rejected him and he thus picked Baylor is a falsehood.

Coach Patterson also showed his Bill Belichick-like ability to manipulate his team's motivation on August 15 when he called a TCU practice a "waste." In addition, Patterson would mention the lack of information (according to him) coming from Baylor practices. To quote the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

"Besides declaring them subpar practices, Patterson didn't offer any details, citing the lack of information coming out of Baylor's practices.

'I'm not telling Baylor anything,' he said when asked what the offensive line needed to do to improve. 'They don't say anything in their [reports]. I'm not saying anything in mine.'"

Well given the fact that I write for a site that does Baylor practices reports, I can say with certainty that there were practice reports for Baylor's nearly first two weeks of practice. Claiming that Baylor wasn't saying anything isn't exactly true. In fact, Baylor's official website (BaylorBears.com) even gave a full detailed report on a closed scrimmage at Floyd Casey Stadium during that timeframe. While coach Patterson may have been paranoid about too much information leaking from his team, the same cannot be said of Art Briles. Although Baylor did eventually make practices private, which is standard procedure, they never put on tin foil hats from worrying about TCU spying. Speaking of spying...

My unquestioned favorite Patterson commentary this past month came on August 23. In an article by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Patterson was quoted commenting on Baylor's decision to locally televise their annual spring game this year.

"Their spring game was on TV," he said. "They let their own media people take pictures of practice and put it on online. We have TCU people in Waco."

Patterson would go on to say, and I'm quoting the Star-Telegram:

"'Asks Bobby Stoops,' said Patterson, who scouted a copy of Oklahoma's spring game in 2005 before the Frogs beat the Sooners 17-10 in the season opener later that year in Norman, Okla. 'If you're going to put your game on TV... ' Patterson said, letting the rest speak for itself."

Well Gary, I think 50 points speaks for itself, don't you?

And don't forget that such a comment is comedic gold coming from a man who claimed (without evidence) that Baylor head coach Art Briles spied on TCU one year ago following a 45-10 victory over the Bears. Patterson essentially berated Briles in his following Monday press conference for allegedly spying, but has obviously put himself above such a standard when he says things like, "We have TCU people in Waco."

And while the comments about "spies" is my favorite, the most interesting one may have come just minutes before the game - as reported and shown by ESPN.

"The Baylor game, there is true hatred, the way the game went last year. We're going into a place that's trying to improve their program. They truly hate us..."

That's mighty hyperbolic if I so say so myself. Baylor hates TCU? Certainly the fans view it as a rivalry and the players obviously wanted to win. But to go so far as to call it hate? I don't think that's fair.

Gary, if we're going to be hyperbolic in the media here, then allow me give this a shot. If there's any hate in this Baylor-Texas Christian series, it comes from you toward the Baylor program. From your criticism of Baylor's choice to locally televise their spring game, to the transfer of Lache Seastrunk and even what you chose to say about Art Briles after last season's game; you have shown a lot of disrespect toward Baylor University. Are you within your right to do so? Absolutely. Is it professional? Not in my opinion.

What is the underlying motive for that disrespect? Is it just the desire to be better than your competition? Is it a way to gain a psychological advantage over your opponent? Or is it simply... Hate? I do not know the answer, but it certainly could be the latter. Remember, I'm being hyperbolic too.

What ever the reason may be, it won't change the facts. Baylor defeated TCU 50-48. All the spies in the world couldn't help you stop Briles' offense.


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