Thursday, August 18, 2011

Ten things I think you think I think about OU leaving the Big 12

Much ado last week about Texas A&M's lusting after the SEC. Meanwhile the Sooners have sat idly by.

I think the Sooners need to leave the Big 12-11-10 for greener pastures. My reasoning:

  1. By biding our time in the We're Texas and Friends (WTF) conference, we lose control of our own destiny. We know Cash Machine U is already examining its options.
  2. We know Missouri has already expressed an interest in jumping into the lap of the Big 10-11-12.
  3. Let's pretend for a minute we lose those two members to the SEC or somewhere else. The replacement options are: TCU (thumbs up, but the WTF conference has already missed on that); BYU (seriously?, BYU already has their own network); the cream of the Conference USA (Houston-Tulsa-SMU); Boise State (geographically awful, but at least there's name recognition, and you'd secure the Idaho market)
  4. You are replacing an attractive state-wide Texas draw and a St. Louis / KC market team with Fort Worth, Highland Park, part of Houston, Provo or Boise. TV wise, that's not exactly a step up.
  5. You're overall conference strength takes a step back. Seriously, at that point the Big 12 is a Longhorn defection away from being Conference USA, but with a better TV deal. For now.
  6. When looking at alternatives, whether it's in love, career or conference alignment, it's important to make sure you are running to something, not away from something. If we wait until Cash Machine U and Methzou jump, we may be in total reaction mode and be left trying to negotiate our way into something from a position of weakness.
  7. I firmly believe that at some point you're going to have a 40 or so team Division 1-A, and the lower tier football schools in the automatic qualifier conferences, and Sun Belt, WAC, Conference USA schools will be a lower level. In the interim, you must continue to be proactive in maximizing your revenue stream. As I've said before, I think it would be fascinating to have a EPL type of format to college football.
  8. With the Longhorn network contract, Texas is almost incented to leave the Big 12, and them joining another conference will be problematic without modifying the existing longhorn network contract.
  9. To stand by and stick to tradition, or chant the "we just want to hang out with Texas and Boone State" will result in a loss of revenue and prestige for the program. It will be like having John Blake as your head coach, without the horrible press conferences.
Yes, that's only nine. But that's all that should be left in the Big 12.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Twelve/Ten/Nine/Eight Thoughts on Conference Chaos - 2011 Edition

  1. Will Texas A&M be successful in the SEC? You betcha. You've got a school from one of the three best hs football states (CA, FL, TX) that just entered the conference that has consistently been the best football conference. I think they'll be very competitive in the SEC. Remember also, this is a school that has one Big 12 conference fb championship in 15 years and a national championship in 1937. The fan base isn't screaming for the coaches head if they go 11-1 there.
  2. What's different now versus a year ago when everyone re-upped in the Big 12? I have no idea. The Longhorn Network was in play and everyone knew it was coming. Maybe reading the contract inspired everyone.
  3. What happens to the Big 12? If TAMU cashes out of the Big 12, I think the B12 crumbles.We already know Missouri was standing on the sidelines yelling, "Pick Me! Pick Me!" when the Big 10 was looking to expand last year. Someone will head with them to the SEC. or pack their bags to the Pac 12.
  4. Will OU head to the SEC? Berry Tramel says they won't. I would imagine he's better connected than me to the OU insider train. The comment in Tramel's column is that OU doesn't want part of the SEC recruiting circus. I find that curious. Would OU's recruiting change that much? I don't think OU's recruiting strategy would change at all. You're still going to a) raid Texas as much as you can; b) seek to maintain recruiting dominance in state; c) cherry pick from CA and across the nation when the opportunity presents itself.
  5. If not the SEC, and the We're Texas and Friends conference crumbles, where does OU go? To me, OU has two choices: Be part of the SEC West or Pac 12/14/16 East. If With an A&M departure, the big 12 becomes the old Big Eight, subbing Texas for Nebraska. There's just not enough glory for that (or TV dollars) in today's culture. OU is in a precarious position...they have great brand name recognition, so many want them. But they need to keep an eye toward Texas (the state, not the university). You have to somehow keep in front of the eyeballs in Texas to keep recruiting well there.
  6. Why do you not even consider the Big 10. I don't think it makes sense for either side. We're way south for the rest of the conference. Not enough eyeballs in Oklahoma for the Rust Belt network. They like to think they focus on academics there in the Big 10, but I think Ohio State is showing they can cheat just like any other school. From an OU perspective, it gives us a less of a presence in the State of Texas, and that could hurt recruiting.
  7. What do you think Texas does. I think they end up a) in the Pac 12 East or b) independent. It all depends upon how the media deal works out. BYU is an independent with their own network, and they were able to cobble out a schedule for 2010 that's not completely unfortunate looking.
  8. Don't you think it would be funny if Texas ended up in the SEC with their rivals from College Station? Yes.