Category Archives: Texas Is Just Better Than You Are.

Nobody said it was going to be easy.

Andy Staples has a good piece up about the upcoming media rights battles facing three of the P5 conferences, the Big Ten, the Big 12 and the ACC.  Two of those fights (Big Ten and ACC) are likely to be of interest simply as gauges of where the broadcast market is heading from a value and delivery of content standpoint (“ESPN has reportedly lost seven million subscribers over the past two years. Assuming those people only had ESPN and none of the network’s other channels—most likely did, but let’s estimate conservatively—that’s seven million people who are no longer paying $6 a month for ESPN. That’s a loss of $42 million a month, or $504 million a year.”), but the Big 12’s contest is more existential than that.

That’s because of that conference’s 800-pound gorilla, the University of Texas.  There is a growing number of Big 12 voices who call for the end of the Longhorn Network, Texas’ sweet $15-million/year deal, so that all the schools can join together and create a conference network.  Never mind that the other Big 12 schools sold their third-tier rights just as the ‘Horns did.  The real irony is that the Longhorn Network is what saved the Big 12 a few years ago in the first place.

For those who don’t remember, the Longhorn Network is one of the main reasons the Big 12 still exists. Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Colorado were headed to the former Pac-10, but then the Longhorns pulled an 11th-hour okey-doke on commissioner Larry Scott when the schools out west wouldn’t agree to let Texas form its own television network. So, the Longhorns made nice with the rest of the Big 12 and got their network.

So now, to make this work you have to (1) convince Texas that it won’t lose a penny by terminating the LHN in exchange for a conference broadcast arrangement; (2) require every other conference member to terminate their third-tier media rights deals while making sure that Texas is at the front of the line being made whole from however the new revenue stream is recast; (3) probably add two schools into the mix, which means making sure the pie is enlarged enough that the existing members don’t miss a beat on the money flow; and (4) convincing Texas that ensuring the Big 12’s stability is in its best interests.

Does that sound to you like something Bob Bowlsby can pull off?

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

“Success isn’t all tied to the money, but it certainly isn’t unrelated.”

Dennis Dodd sounds the alarm for the Big 12.

The evidence is mounting. The signs are there for the Big 12. The conference has to do something to address its future.

While there remains a slow, deliberate pace among Big 12 members considering expansion and/or a conference championship game, the league’s clock is ticking.

It’s the economy, stupid.

Bowlsby summed it up this way when asked the financial gap between his league and the SEC, a number that currently stands at about $9 million per year in rights fee revenue.

“If we do nothing, 12 years from now, we’ll be $20 million per school behind the SEC and the Big Ten,” he said.

Sure, that sounds crass, but the bottom line is the bottom line.

Here’s the problem.  Even if the conference could find a couple of attractive expansion partners – and as Donald Trump might put it, that assumption is huuuuge – it’s still saddled with Texas and The Longhorn Network.

If eventually there is a Big 12 Network, it’s clear Texas’ collective ego will have to be soothed. It sort of has look like was their idea to fold the struggling Longhorn Network into a conference-wide network.

LHN, to this point, has been a financial failure, losing a total of $48 million, according to the San Antonio Express-News. A source told CBS Sports that the network continues to lose single-digit millions.

But more to the point, Texas isn’t.  It’s raking in $15 million a year for twenty years.  What does Bob Bowlsby have to offer to make up for that, especially in the context of conference expansion, which means ultimately having to split the pie into more slices?

This is the best Dodd can come up with:

… A reasonable solution could be Texas being the centerpiece of a Big 12 Network.

“Texas is always going to dominate the content on the network,” an industry source said. “They’re good in baseball. They’re good in softball. They’re good in volleyball. They’re good in swimming. They’re going to have a lot more presence than other schools just because they’re better than other schools most of the time.”

See how the Texas ego begins to be soothed? We’re essentially talking LHN branded as the Big 12 Network.

A rebranding?  Seriously, that does sound like something Bowlsby would come up with… and that Texas would pass on, after it caught its breath from laughing so hard at his proposal.

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

Don’t hate a hata.

It’s not every day you see a university chancellor’s office get involved in a pissing match with a college football blogger.  In fact, I’m hardpressed to think of a time when any school released a statement tagging someone with a cow dung reference as a nickname.  (Not that Chip Brown is any paragon of accuracy.)

I’d end this with a bit of “stay classy, dudes” snark, but I think they’re way past that stage already.

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Filed under General Idiocy, Texas Is Just Better Than You Are., The Blogosphere

Texas, you’re no fun.

You fell right over.

We won’t get to see Texas coach Charlie Strong and Texas quarterback Tyrone Swoopes testify in a trial involving former assistant coach Joe Wickline.

Oklahoma State has settled its lawsuit involving Wickline, a former assistant at the school. OSU filed a breach of contract suit against Wickline, citing a provision in his contract that said he had to be the primary playcaller at his next stop to avoid paying damages to the school.

Damn it.  This never would have happened if Steve Patterson was still on the job.

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Filed under See You In Court, Texas Is Just Better Than You Are.

Mistakes were made.

This is everything I love about college athletics administration in a nutshell:

University of Texas athletics employees systematically abused their access to Longhorns football tickets for years, resulting in preferential treatment for favored donors, secret arrangements with ticket brokers and untold financial losses for the university, an audit obtained by the American-Statesman reveals.

Some allegations resulting from a 16-month university investigation point to possible illegal conduct, including employees who accepted gifts and exploited loopholes to pocket immeasurable profits by selling complimentary tickets. The audit says those allegations were referred to police and to the Travis County district attorney, but no charges were pursued.

Many practices uncovered by the investigation violate university policy or represent fireable offenses, UT officials said. However, no employees are named and no one is held responsible in the audit…

Corruption, entitlement and a complete lack of accountability?  Color me shocked, shocked.

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Filed under Texas Is Just Better Than You Are.

Maybe we’re not done with the rebranding yet.

Damn, bring this on.

Especially this.

Wickline’s attorney has asked the court to bar or restrict witness testimony about the meaning of the term “play-calling duties” in Wickline’s Oklahoma State contract.

I bet there are plenty of Texas fans who would like to know if anyone on Strong’s staff has a clue about the meaning of the term.

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Filed under See You In Court, Texas Is Just Better Than You Are.

Rebrandings ain’t cheap.

Who says being a dick doesn’t pay?  Steve Patterson gets nearly $3 million in his severance package from Texas.

The money’s probably coming out of the athletic department’s travel budget, since UT won’t be needing it for Dubai now.

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Filed under Texas Is Just Better Than You Are.