By Rafael Garcia Sr. Contributing Writer Big 12 Region-Football Reporters Online
February 3, 2011
As the saying goes, the rich just got richer. Last season the Big 12 was worried about mass defections. This team was going to this conference and that one to another. Texas even considered being an independent and still does. Now they get their own television network in a monster deal with ESPN that should have effects, both good and bad within the conference and college football. They already have one of the richest programs in the country and now will get much more than their conference counterparts.
A closer look at this deal shows that the Longhorns will have a 24-hour network that will cover all sports at the school. The network is set to launch in September and show about 200 sporting events. They will show one live Texas football game and replays from other networks. It will include pre-game and post game coverage as well. Eight basketball games and women’s sports will fill more time slots. They will have informative programs like some coach’s shows and bios with highlights. They get all of this, plus $25M for academics and a new studio at Royal Memorial Stadium. Not too bad for a school that already has money and is one of the top recruiting classes every year.
Now let’s take a look at the possible good and bad from this deal. Of course the big winner is Texas, as they will reap the rewards, but what about Oklahoma. What about the other schools that already fight to get exposure and make more money? Will the Sooners go out and try to get their own network deal? You know how it goes. When a Texas has something an Oklahoma does not have, well figure it out. Does Texas make the decision to go independent? Why would they now that they have this colossal deal? Lastly, how does this affect recruiting in places like Florida, Alabama, USC, Ohio St. and the rest of the powerhouses that already compete against the Longhorns? A kid that was considering, say, Ohio St. looks at this package and feels he can get more exposure in Texas. How many will consider leaving their top choice for Texas.
This deal will affect college football in many ways, but the worst for me is the greed. No matter how much money a school makes it wants more. We as football fans want to see our schools get bigger and better if we are not from one of the big schools. We want the Baylor’s and Texas Tech’s to be able to compete but it will never happen. There will not be parity in college football so long as the system stays the same and we have no playoff. Why does Texas need or want a playoff? They are already money champs of the college world and that’s what matters most. Now, the other teams in the Big 12 will get more exposure by playing Texas but they won’t make the big bucks. Let’s see who makes the next move in this game and how it will make more waves on the college football landscape. One thing for sure is Texas is set. They can look forward to staying in their conference and continue to be the top dog. Other schools will have to work on a plan B or find themselves on the outside forever looking in.