Sitting around this a.m. procrastinating a bit, thought I'd toss out a few random insults, observations and questions.
If you have a sense of humor and long term perspective, this whole Longhorn Network Skynet Recruiting Death Machine discussion has certainly been enjoyable to follow.
The Fighting Texas A&M Aggies seem to be fighting with each other, some arguing with themselves, over the would-be power of TLN. Which is it - a recruiting nuclear bomb that renders every other college within 1,000 miles powerless to compete or is it an ill-fated network that is never going to get off the ground because (gasp) distribution hasn't been announced yet and the only programming we'll have is swimming and diving (I'd buy it, Eddie!)? I do feel like this dissonance is symptomatic of a growing schism in the College Station ranks, kind of a neo-Ag / Old Army split. Anybody else sense this?
On the Great Moments in Academia & Athletics Direction front, we've got David Boren, the President of OU suggesting the Big 12 should banning high school games on university networks.
“It's unfair recruiting, and it's trying to push all those people into purchasing network memberships and so on. It's just not the right thing to do.”
These are powerful quotes concerning ethical recruiting and the "right thing to do" from the leader of the University of Oklahoma. I hope he drove over in a Big Red Auto and delivered his remarks from the steps of The Switzer Center.
I guess it's too much to expect a solid grasp of irony from a university president. Then again, we shouldn't be surprised Boren was this publicly involved in Sooner football. Once I saw his thoughts on this, I had to go back and re-read his hilarious response to the Sooners getting screwed in Oregon a few years ago.
"To describe the lapses in accurate officiating at the Oklahoma-Oregon football game last Saturday as constituting an outrageous injustice is an understatement," Boren wrote in the letter dated Monday.
What would the overstatement look like? As an avowed disciple of George Lynn Cross, Boren is always working to create a university the football team can be proud of. I'm really glad Bill Powers mostly works in the background on these matters.
Also, curious to see if Boomer TV ever sees the light of day and if so, will his stance on H.S. programming change.
Whether we televise high school football or not, whether this thing is goldmine for ESPN or not, it is a goldmine for TEXAS, right? I think we get paid either way. Was discussing this with our old buddy NateHeupel of CC Machine and Allen Kenney from Blatant Homerism recently. They were wondering if from ESPN's point of view this might just be primarily a loss-leading chess move, a loss leader? I think they are comfortable with their investment financially and more importantly strategically. Going to get the Sooner lads stop by and give their thoughts on this.
Also, this idea of A&M and OU just hauling ass to the SEC with ease is problematic, isn't it? Aren't there now huge Big 12 exit penalties? Won't the respective state legislatures have some issues? Since they probably wouldn't be taking all of Iowa State, Kansas State, Mizzou, Baylor and Kansas with them, they couldn't pass the exit vote, could they? I would think those schools would be faced with less palatable conference choices and would vote to keep the Big 12 together.
Somebody with more information help me answer these questions.
Oh, and to all of our rivals, thanks for the marketing push. Pretty sure everybody in America with even a passing interest in collegiate sports has heard of TLN by now.
As Peter noted, we want this conference to live. For now. We're willing to eat a small piece of humble pie to realize our long term goals (we want to figure out how our new toy works). However, if the conference dissolution timetable doesn't suit us, I think we'll still be OK. I suspect the Big Ten, the SEC and the Pac 12 are more than willing to have us jump aboard and we have enough money to be an Indie for a while if needed.
We do have a new $300 million revenue stream with which to negotiate. Is there a better hole card?