Neill Woelk
Neill Woelk
Readers, meet Buddy Jones.

Buddy is a former politician and a current lobbyist. That means Buddy has actually worked in two professions that fall below journalists and lawyers on the public esteem totem pole. As one of the former and a friend of the latter, I can assure you such a feat is not easy. You have to work to have that many people dislike you.

But Buddy isn`t just any old lobbyist. He`s a lobbyist in Texas, where big money flows like oil. Buddy is also a regent for Baylor University. That means that along with looking out for the interests of folks who have lots of green, he also looks out for the interests of things green and gold.

And that`s why you might have heard of Buddy recently.

Last week, when news leaked that the Pac-10 was considering issuing invitations to six Big 12 schools -- Baylor not among them -- Buddy got his undies all twisted up.

So Buddy started sending e-mails to everyone he could think of, a list that included Baylor president Ken Starr (if the name sounds familiar, think "Monica Lewinsky"). He called legislators. He sent out lists of prominent Texas folks for people to call to express their displeasure with Baylor not being asked to the dance.

Most of all, Buddy started dissing Colorado (and Nebraska, for good measure).

Here`s just some of what good ol` Buddy wrote in his e-mails:

"Baylor is superior to Colorado academically. Baylor has athletic facilities superior to Colorado.


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Colorado doesn`t participate in the number of sports that Baylor does. Baylor`s overall record in all collegiate sports dwarfs that of Colorado."

Did I mention Buddy is a lobbyist? I`m guessing that`s his license to stretch the truth here and there -- and Buddy is doing a lot of Gumby stuff with that statement.

Superior academically? Not to bring numbers and facts into play, but last time I checked, the University of Colorado has rung up four Nobel Prize winners.

Baylor? Couldn`t find any.

Or, you can keep score withRhodes Scholar winners: Colorado 19, Baylor 5.

"Baylor has athletic facilities superior to Colorado."

Floyd Casey Stadium vs. Folsom Field? No contest. Ask anyone who has been to both.

"Baylor`s overall record in collegiate sports dwarfs that of Colorado."

Hmm. Unless the record books are wrong, Baylor`s next national championship in football will be its first. Colorado was the consensus national champion in 1990. CU also has a Heisman Trophy winner and a couple of Butkus Award winners while Baylor takes a big stiff-arm in those categories.

Bowl games? Baylor has been to 16 -- and none since 1994, meaning the Bears have never played in a bowl game as a Big 12 team. The Buffs have been to 28 bowl games, including eight as a member of the Big 12.

Speaking of the Big 12 -- Colorado has one Big 12 football championship and four division titles. Baylor`s totals in those categories? Zip and zilch.

But the best part was Buddy`s math. Wrote Buddy in one of his e-mails: "The CU football team is 16-33 the past four years, and the hoops team has made the NCAA Tournament twice in the last 41 years. Baylor`s football isn`t much better at 15-33, but the Bears` hoops program is on the rise."

I hope Buddy didn`t learn his math skills at dear old Baylor. Every calculator I use says 16-33 is actually a few percentage points better than 15-33.

Buddy also pulls out the loyalty card:

"The four Texas schools in the Big XII conference have decades (if not a century) of history as being a family. The continuation of this almost sacred relationship is important to our State and to higher education in Texas."

I`d side with Buddy on this one -- if Buddy`s school hadn`t been part of the old Southwest Conference coalition that unceremoniously kicked TCU, SMU and Houston to the curb when the Big 12 was formed. Where were the "sacred" relationships then?

Sorry, Buddy. Have to call hypocrite on this one.

Buddy also touches on other subjects, including the fine reputation of Baylor`s student athletes, etc. While I hate to bring up the ugly past, I can`t help but wonder if Buddy has conveniently forgotten what is almost certainly the worst scandal in collegiate sports history. That would be the murder of a Baylor basketball player by a teammate -- and then a coach who tried to cover up the situation by coaxing his players to tell investigators that the dead player had been a drug dealer.

That led to a nice, long NCAA penalty, among other things.

Buddy also managed to take a shot at Nebraska in his e-mails, writing in one of them, "It`s hard enough get the home teams to stick tight. But harder still to influence a bunch of corn shuckers."

Ouch. I could have told Buddy to save himself a whole lot of grief and not pick on the Corn.

But best of all, Buddy even played the religion card.

"The Baptist church base extends across the country and certainly trumps the University of Colorado`s local base limited to a small town in Colorado."

News flash, Buddy: They don`t speak in tongues in the Pac-10.

On a more serious note, I will give Buddy credit for one thing. He`s trying to rally the troops. His heart is in the right place, if not his head.

Honestly, I`d like to see a little public support in Colorado.

I know our state legislators have plenty to worry about these days. They need to direct their attention to stuff that actually matters. Ditto for Gov. Bill Ritter.

But thing is, CU does matter. I`d like to see a few of the powers-that-be in Colorado stand up and say if the Pac-10 is going to invite six Big 12 teams, CU ought to be one of them.

Just once, I`d like to see someone stand up and say CU is important. I`d like them to acknowledge that the state`s flagship university is important to the well-being of the entire state, and membership in a prestigious conference is a nice piece of that puzzle.

That would be nice -- and it might be the only place Buddy got something right.