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Baylor's Briles a man of his word

IRVING, Texas -- Baylor coach Art Briles refused to spend time worrying about issues outside his control. Influencing conference realignment clearly fell outside his job description, even as his school faced possible exile from automatic-qualifier conference affiliation.

"The thing I learned here over the last couple months is that it really doesn't matter what Art Briles thinks," he said, also referencing the decisions on keeping the Big 12 as a 10-team league moving forward and the existence of Big 12 championship game.

Monday afternoon, Briles learned that the Big 12 was not held together contractually, but like everything else off the field in the hands of the higher-ups, it hasn't attracted his focus. Briles, a former high school coach in Texas, takes a simple approach that he learned early when moving forward in the still-kicking Big 12.

"Where I'm from, verbally works for me," he said. "If I tell you I'm going to do something, I'm going to do it. You may not even have to shake my hand. If you look me in the eye and say, 'Coach, I'm going to be there at practice,' I'm going to expect you to be there. If I tell you, 'I'm going to go out and buy you lunch today, it's my day to buy lunch,' forget your billfold."