This week’s “What If Wednesday” provides a difficult choice that we’re going to delve into. I’ve seen this question spring up a few times on Twitter in different forms and thought we should explore it. Let’s assume we could guarantee one win for the Bears: either Texas or TCU. Picking one guarantees the other is a loss. Which would you go with?
A Win Against Texas
Picking up a win against Tom Herman’s Longhorns would be a huge win for a number of reasons. First, at this point, any win would be great. But a win over Texas would also go a long way for instate recruiting and perception. Texas is seen by many as “the” team in the state of Texas. Smaller Texas schools like Baylor, TCU, etc. often have to put their best foot forward to beat out UT for prized recruits. A home win over Texas, where surely a number of recruits will be in attendance, would show that Baylor is still ready to fight after a disappointing season thus far. Beyond that, however, the Baylor/UT rivalry has honestly felt more visceral than the TCU one, at least by my observation. Fights have broken out between the football and basketball teams. Hits seem harder. Fans seem more at odds. I think getting a win over Texas would be so very satisfying to the Baylor fan base as a whole. Finally, a win by Matt Rhule over Tom Herman would show that, even though they both left the American Athletic Conference, Rhule is ready to take some wins, and possible conference championships, from Herman.
A Win Against TCU
TCU is considered by many as the favorite for the Big 12 championship this year, something I was calling even before OU’s devastating home loss to Iowa State. They still have challenges ahead, namely a game against Baker Mayfield and the Sooners. But there is a very real possibility that they enter their game against Baylor undefeated. And it just so happens that Baylor is TCU’s last regular season game. How sweet would an upset victory, at TCU, be? Especially if TCU was undefeated and likely #1 or #2 at that point. Since the game not picked here would be a guaranteed loss, Baylor would not be bowl eligible no matter which of these options is chosen, since they would have to win out. Sending this Bears squad out on a high note, with the seniors who stuck around and fought for the Green and Gold, would be electric. Not to mention getting a win against a bitter rival, and very possibly eliminating them from playoff contention, is always nice. Plus, ending on such a high note against an instate foe would certainly help motivate off season workouts and spring board recruiting, which are both of critical importance in this rebuilding phase.
So, which game would you choose for Baylor to win? I might have a little personal bias, since my significant other is a TCU alumni, but I think the TCU win, especially this year, would be more impactful for this team and fan base moving forward. Let me know what you think would be the better outcome in the comments!