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Coach Briles Cotton Bowl Announcement Quotes


Head Coach Art Briles

Opening Statement
"Welcome to the XTO room in Simpson Athletic Building that houses the two time Big 12 Champions, the Baylor Bears. So, welcome everybody. It's been an eventful day, safe to speak, couple of days. Once again congratulations to our football team for what they've done putting us, certainly, on the national prominence level and defending champions. It's an extremely tough duty to do, and my hat's off to Florida State for doing it; I know what it takes to do it. Jameis Winston for leading their team as Bryce Petty led ours. They're the only two quarterbacks who can repeat as champions. It's a big, big deal. That's why there's only two of them. They're the two best in America without any doubt. So, I am really proud of our football team, I'm proud of our fans, and I'm proud of Waco and Baylor because they got a lot of exposure over the last 48 hours that our football team brought to this university, brought to this city, and brought to the state of Texas. So for that we're very, very grateful. I guess the news now is the bowl game - the Cotton Bowl. For me, being a Texas guy, growing up in the state of Texas and playing in the Southwest Conference, that's the only bowl that existed. I mean, you're going to the Cotton Bowl. You're going to the best bowl around. I was fortunate enough to play in it in 1976. And when I was at the University of Houston, we beat Maryland in it. It's a great, great bowl. Over then it was really at the Cotton Bowl. Of course, now it's at Jerry's place, and it's even better. So I'm really, really excited about going to the Cotton Bowl. I think it's a great venue, without any question. It's a great opportunity for us to play a great Michigan State team on a national stage at a pretty convenient location for us. I haven't really had a chance to study Michigan State yet. I just know they've been very good the last couple of years. They were the defending Big Ten Champions this year."

On his reaction to being left out of the top four...
"I'm like everybody else. I certainly would have liked to be in it, but it didn't work out that way so what am I going to do? You know, moan and wine? You know, we're not in. We'll move on and take it from there. I don't think it makes a difference what I say now."

On how he shifts gears with the players...
"It's always been about winning the Big 12 and everything will take care of itself. So, we're moving on to the bowl game."

On what he tells the guys when he meets with them...
"Let's go play. Let's go play and represent the Big 12, represent the south part of the United States. Let's go win a bowl game. We didn't do it last year. We got plenty of motivation. You know, we can go back to Phoenix and pick up that egg if you want to go do that. So, that's not an issue at all. You know, our guys want to play. They want to win. They want to represent. We can win 12 games. We will finish a top-five team. So for our seniors, for our program, it's a huge, huge game. And the other deal to me is more about our seniors. We got a chance to send them out on a great note, because they got us to a great place. Like I've mentioned last night, we've won 40 games in four years. It ain't bad. It ain't as good as it needed to be, apparently, but it ain't bad."

On changes he wants to see the Big 12 make...
"That's nothing for me to even comment on, because I'm not a decision maker in the Big 12. So, why should I talk about something that I have no control over? It's the way it is. If we were sitting here 12-0, we're in the final four. That's the bottom line. I guess that's what we need to do to be able to be in there. I guess winning 11 games and winning our conference two times in a row, which is considered the second best conference in America by most people's standards and having the tie breaker in this conference apparently wasn't enough. Like I said, I guess it takes being undefeated. So, that will be our goal next year, to go undefeated, which is our goal every year. I think there's only one team that did it and it wasn't an easy task, of course it's never going to be."

On if it's difficult getting up for this game...
"No. No. No, come on now, have you played football? I'm just saying, if you played the sport. Every time you step on the field, you're putting your body in the line of fire. If you don't go out there with the full intention of being the best you can be, you could get hurt. You could get maimed. Our guys, they're competitors. If you play this sport you are a competitor, and you have pride, and you care. If you don't, you won't sustain, and you'll never get to this point. So, I mean, what are we going to do? We're not going to go out there and represent ourselves and represent Baylor University? That's never going to be an issue. Every time we're putting on our pads, we're fighting our tail off to win. That will never change. It doesn't matter who we're playing."

On the Big 12 being left out of the College Football Playoff...
"I hate it for the Big 12. I think the Big 12 is a great conference. I don't think there is any doubt that it is certainly one of the stronger leagues in America. I think the waters got muddied a couple of weeks ago -saying we would be presented as co-champions. I think that hurt the cause for both of us quite honestly."

On the decision to leave Baylor out of the College football playoff being a travesty, and how Coach Briles characterizes the decision...
"It's a decision that was made that we have no control over, so we will live with it, it's what we do. We are fighters, competitors, we will live to fight another day. It's what we are doing. We are in a room that feels like we just lost a football game. That to me is a travesty. That's what I hate. We won a big game last night. We are Big 12 Champions. We won a Big 12 Championship for two years in a row."

On the strength of Baylor's non-conference schedule and if Baylor will change their non-conference schedule in future years...
"My opinion since people are asking - I think the committee needs to be a little more regionalized with people that are associated with the south part of the United States. I'm not sure there is a connection on there that is that familiar with the Big 12 Conference. To me that's an issue. We are all humans. When I die they are not going to bury me in Maryland. They are going bury me in Texas. When those people die they are not going to bring them down here and lay their body to rest. They are going to lay them to rest where they have lived all their life, and teams they've followed and teams they know. You want to ask me about a team in this part of the United States, I can tell you about them. I can tell you their weakness and their strengths. They need to have somebody on there that knows the teams in this part of the nation. The only person born in the south on that committee is Condoleezza Rice. She was born in Alabama. When Archie Manning went off, I said, `we're in trouble.' I know Archie. He is a friend. He understands football down here. When he went off that committee, we were in trouble. We need a voice. We need a voice. Big 12 champions, Michigan State, Cotton Bowl, Baylor Bears."



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