Category Archives: Big 12 Football

United we stand, divided we play Texas A&M.

Coming from the school that’s set its own course with the Longhorn Network and reportedly tested the waters of leaving the Big 12 before, this seems a trifle cheeky.

Then again, I suppose it never hurts to ask.

Advertisements

4 Comments

Filed under Big 12 Football, Texas Is Just Better Than You Are.

“So ’23, ’24, that’s what everybody thinks about.”

Death, taxes and conference realignment.

Realignment appears to be in sleep mode. For now. But the potential for realignment — and the strategy for when it surfaces again — never completely leaves the radar of college sports’ power brokers. That’s why they’re thinking about 2023.

Why 2023?

I presume that’s a rhetorical question.  Why does anything that’s crappy for fans happen in college football?  No, you don’t get any guesses.

… It starts with expiring TV contracts. The ACC and SEC both have long-term media grant-of-rights agreements, running through 2035-36 and 2033-34, respectively. But the other three Power 5 conferences have agreements ending roughly around the same time (the SEC’s Tier 1 deal with CBS runs through 2023-24). The Big Ten last summer opted for a shorter agreement with Fox and ESPN, which runs through 2022-23. The Pac-12 deal expires after the 2023-24 sports year, and the Big 12’s ends the following year.

“Conferences have expanded primarily to take really good football schools to enhance their football footprint and strength, and also to help their [television] networks,” Aresco said. “The question down the road will be whether any conferences want to add schools that they feel will strengthen them in football, whether it’s because of an upcoming rights fee deal, or they feel it would strengthen their conference network….

Traditional rights deals aren’t the only reason 2023 matters. By then the traditional rights deal itself might be obsolete. Conferences recognize that fans are consuming content, including live events, in different ways. This shift will continue to impact current distributors like ESPN, Fox and CBS, and could bring different companies into the distribution market, like Amazon, Google, Facebook or Twitter.

Leagues like the Pac-12 are counting on it, especially because its own network has yet to produce significant revenue for members.

“I don’t think anyone knows exactly what the landscape will look like, or what health ESPN or Fox will have in 2023 when we’re negotiating, or how significant a player Twitter or Facebook will be,” Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said last month at the league’s spring meetings. “My sense is that there will be more competition. There will be more and different types of players.”

Oh, goody.  Another chance for the Jed Clampetts of the P5 conferences to be acclaimed geniuses.

Assuming there’s still a P5 in a decade, that is.

… Kansas athletic director Sheahon Zenger shocked boosters with a surprise announcement at a happy hour Kansas City gathering.

Zenger boldly presented a $300 million stadium renovation project that will include an indoor practice facility. That rocked the fundraising arm in athletic departments from coast to coast.

In a vacuum, this would be surprising news. Per USA Today, $300 million is more than three times Kansas’ current athletic revenue. Per that same database, $300 million for this one project is also $108 million more than Texas A&M’s total athletic revenue, the largest in the country.

This is Kansas, a basketball school, winner of exactly one FBS game in coach David Beaty’s two seasons. The program as a whole hasn’t won more than three games since 2008.

There’s something else going on here.

“It brings us into the level of playing field that you must be at to be a Power Five university,” Beaty said.

Read that quote carefully: This is as much an all-in financial commitment as it is as a buy-in for KU to have a seat at the table in the next round of conference realignment.

At least you’d better believe that’s how Zenger is selling it to boosters.

A $300 million bet on surviving a conference blowup?  When they say follow the money, this is what they’re talking about.

Oh, yeah, it’s coming.

28 Comments

Filed under Big 12 Football, College Football, It's Just Bidness

Adios, Big Game Bob.

This comes from out of nowhere.

Bob Stoops, one of the three coaching giants of Oklahoma’s century-long football excellence, plans to tell his team Wednesday that he will retire after 18 seasons as the Sooner head coach.

An OU source said offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley will take over as head coach.

It is expected that Stoops will remain with the university in some capacity.

I know Riley is well thought of as an OC, but that’s quite a leap for a major program like Oklahoma.  Interesting transition coming, to say the least…

32 Comments

Filed under Big 12 Football

Thursday morning buffet

Buffetwise, I’m on a roll.

  • Regarding the early signing period, I think Kirby Smart is on to something here:  “I think there’s going to be a lot of pressure on whatever you call them, middle-range, not the elite, elite guys that’s waiting till signing day. But all those other guys are going to get hammered.”
  • If you pay the players, think what will happen to all those poor associate athletic directors for new and creative media.
  • Here’s a look at ESPN’s early college football broadcast schedule.
  • Andy Staples mentions something I wonder about if the NCAA goes ahead and puts a cap on the size of coaching support staffs, namely, how would that survive an antitrust challenge?
  • Arrogance or ignorance?  SEC coaches claim to be stunned by the new NCAA recruiting rules.  It’s only your livelihood, control freaks, and you’re not paying attention?
  • Kirby Smart’s gonna take his sweet time adding a tenth assistant coach.
  • If playing a conference championship game after a round robin schedule sounds like a stupid belt-and-suspenders approach to the problem of having a team make the CFP, the Big 12 isn’t listening“Nobody else in college football can say that they can guarantee their two best teams will play each other at the end of the year.”  That nobody else thinks it’s necessary should be a clue, Bob.
  • Seth Emerson counts roster numbers and finds Georgia just under the 85-man limit.

3 Comments

Filed under Big 12 Football, ESPN Is The Devil, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Recruiting, The NCAA

Does the Big 12 have an Oklahoma problem?

Boy, David Boren sure loves to hear himself talk about leaving the conference.

3 Comments

Filed under Big 12 Football

When it comes to recruiting numbers, resistance is futile.

When you put it like this

“If you look at a map of where the Big 12 is, there’s not a lot of high school football in some of these states,” Casazza said. “In fact, I just did some research… Texas, for example, had about 1,100 schools that played (11 on 11) high school football. The Big 12’s other four states — Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa and West Virginia — had fewer than 900 combined. There’s four Big 12 schools in Texas. You really can’t change the fact that 40 percent of your league plays in the bottom 20 in the country of high school football teams.”

On where the talent is spread and why the SEC has an advantage:

“The top four states in the past five years for four and five-star recruits are Georgia, Florida, California and Texas. Georgia, Florida and Texas… the SEC has nine schools in those states.”

… that paints a pretty bleak demographic picture.  There ain’t enough spread offense imaginable to bridge that gap.

Bottom line:  if the recruiting glass is big enough, it doesn’t matter if it’s half empty.  But it’s hard to quench your thirst drinking out of a thimble.

11 Comments

Filed under Big 12 Football, Recruiting, SEC Football

A different kind of “going pro” story

Former Oklahoma cheerleader gets busted on prostitution charges.  I don’t know which part of the story is better, that her mom is the Sooners cheerleading coach, or that her pimp — okay, alleged pimp — played football for Oklahoma for a season.

Should make the family’s next Thanksgiving dinner a fun get-together.

21 Comments

Filed under Big 12 Football, Crime and Punishment