In the second paragraph of the About page on Kevin Sullivan Communications’ website, the page reads, “founded in February 2009, we provide message development and strategic communications counsel; media and presentation coaching; and crisis planning and response services that deliver results.”
Where getting Baylor into the College Football Playoff falls, we’ll never know, but according to Jake Trotter of ESPN, Baylor hired the firm last week to advocate its case for a playoff spot.
As it stands, the one-loss Bears have a fairly convincing case to finish as one of the top four teams in the rankings even before the penultimate unveiling this evening.
The current No. 4, Mississippi State, just lost by two touchdowns to rival Ole Miss while No. 5 TCU lost to Baylor, 61-58, earlier in conference play.
No. 6 Ohio State remains ahead of the Bears after a two-touchdown win against Michigan but heads into the Big 10 championship without starting quarterback J.T. Barrett after losing him for the season to an ankle injury Saturday.
Even if the Buckeyes win, it will be hard to advocate them as a playoff team without the quarterback who engineered 11 of 12 victories.
Then why does Baylor feel the need to have anyone, let alone professional help, advocate its case for a playoff spot?
It really is simple.
Baylor, for starters, began the season with a nonconference schedule of SMU, Northwestern State and Buffalo that was roundly and rightfully criticized for its Charmin-like nature.
Before the season, Bear head coach Art Briles quipped at Big 12 Media Days that, “you go 9-0 in the Big 12, you’re going to be in the Final Four because you’re going to beat probably two top-10 teams, probably two others in the top 20, and maybe another top 25, which is what we faced last year.
“That’s a résumé that’s good enough to match any other conference.”
That statement held true when Baylor came away with a less than impressive win against a sub-.500 Texas team in its second conference game, scoring its only first-half points on a field goal block that was returned for a touchdown.
It even held true a week later when the Bears rallied from 21 down in the fourth quarter to defeat then-No. 9 TCU in a game that they trailed for all but 10 minutes, 21 seconds — nearly four quarters.
But that statement was no longer true the following week, when West Virginia dropped the Bears, 41-27, in the third straight game that Baylor looked more contender than pretender.
The fact of the matter is that, even with a 48-14 demolition of then-No. 15 Oklahoma since, the Bears have failed to changed the minds of the committee since that loss, and it shows in them remaining behind TCU — a team they defeated — since the rankings were unveiled.
The Playoff committee was created to put the four best teams, not the four most deserving, in the Playoff, and right now it doesn’t appear to view Baylor that way — in fact, it doesn’t even appear to be close.
So, despite a resume that speaks for itself, Baylor now has to advocate its own candidacy for a playoff spot.
Whether or not it will work, we will find out in a week.
But hey, at least the Bears have hired professional help.