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Passive-Aggressive Texas Pushing A&M’s Buttons With Network

Things have gone quiet on the SEC expansion front in recent days.  While the league has worked behind the scenes to find a 14th member to possibly pair with Texas A&M, all chatter has been coming from the Big 12 side of things.

Commissioner Dan Beebe said he wants A&M to stay (while also suggesting that he might force the school’s hand with a deadline).  Big 12 mega-boosters like T. Boone Pickens have asked A&M to stay.  Panicked economists attached to Baylor University have cranked out numbers showing that if A&M leaves for the SEC, the entire state of Texas will go the way of the Roman Empire.  And even folks attached to the University of Texas have publicly stated that they desperately want the Aggies to stay put.

While all these statement have been bubbling up on the surface, Texas and ESPN have actually been back in the kitchen cooking up new plans for the Longhorn Network — the cable channel that started kickstarted A&M’s escape plans.

The NCAA ruled last week that high school games could not air on college or conference networks for fear that such broadcasts would give said school or league a recruiting advantage.  On Monday, the NCAA will discuss the matter further with representatives from multiple networks and multiple schools, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

But Texas and ESPN are already planning to get high schoolers onto the Longhorn Network in another way — highlights.  During a news conference yesterday, a representative for the network said that UT and ESPN plan to show high school football highlights on their co-owned channel.

In other words, “We really want you to stay, A&M… now how ya like these apples?”  In addition, it was announced that the network would carry two Big 12 games this season, another of the original sticking points for A&M.

Consider this to be passive-aggressive behavior on a collegiate level.  And the Longhorns’ actions are speaking a lot more loudly than their words.

In response to all of this, an Aggie official said only, “Our recent conversations are reflective of our ongoing concerns.”  Indeed.

If Beebe holds his league together this time around, he should know that it will be even more flawed and fractious than it has been for the past year.  Of course, if he can deadline A&M into staying, he also knows he can up the exit penalty by tens of millions of dollars before the Aggies actually do depart.

And they will depart.  It’s just a matter of when.

(Click the headline of the story to see the icon at left at full size.)

 


11 comments
Ed Wayner
Ed Wayner

If 16 team superconferences are created, don't be surprised if the conferences petitition the NCAA to go to 13 games with 10 conference games. This would allow the creation of 4 team pods where a team plays 3 games with teams in their pods and then 2 games with teams in other pods and 1 rival from any of the 3 other pods. A 13th game and 10th conference game would allow conference to generate even more money (a la NFL hoping to go to an 18 game schedule).The NCAA will allow it because with 9 game schedules a lot of the sisters of the poor schools are losing out on big paychecks that keep them afloat because less games available. 13 games would allow 3 OOC games with 1 or 2 competitive games and 1 woodshed game. With a 13 games schedule the season would start a week earlier and most of those games would be woodshed games. It could be called preview weekend, see your team have an almost preseason game against a sister of the poor team. Then Labor Day weekend you would have a lot of great games.

Ed Wayner
Ed Wayner

Texas A&M to SEC will be a winner for both parties. A&M will have more recruiting clout with recruits telling them they will be in the best football conference. The SEC will expand its footprint and probably be able to add the A&M vs Texas game every other year to their CBS lineup. There's too much TV money on the line for A&M and Texas to give up the year end rivalry. Virginia Tech to me would be the best 14th team option for the SEC. Virginia fits in with being a confederate state, VT us about 250 miles from Lexington, Knoxville, Nashville, Columbia S.C. and Athens, GA. The SEC would pick up the DC and south market along with Texas. VT being excellent in football adds to the value. As we saw in the Big 10 expansion, Nebraska is a small state, but for TV purposes other than Notre Dame it was the Big 10's best choice. So competitive schools in large markets is where the SEC needs to go. Only other team that could be of value is NC and their football program is just not good enough. As far as Texas is concerned if the Big 10 expands and goes for Missouri (after A&M leaves) then UT will probably go to the Pac-12 with TT,OU & OSU.

HelRazor
HelRazor

Both Arkansas and SC joined the SEC several tears ago, and, in my opinion, it was the best move they ever made. I'm from Texarkana, Arkansas, where the annual game with Texas was once bigger that Christmas Day, but I wouldn't want us to move back into the old SWC ( Texas 7 plus the Hogs) or the present Big 12 ( which is neither big nor twelve ) for anything. The Aggies will take their lumps, as we did, but will eventually get more competitive and will no longer have to be the 'horns kid brother. Some Texas fans are saying they don't need A&M or OU, but no one's gonna watch Bevovision if the horns aren't playing their biggest rivals.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

The Raj...

I appreciate the kind comments -- and hated to delete them, they're rare -- but we ask folks not to link off to other sites. We have a lot of people come here and promote their own sites. We don't go mooch free advertising off of them, and we ask that they return the favor.

Again, many thanks, but please... no links.

John

james snowden
james snowden

I'm sure A&M would love for the SEC to rush that up. I'm sure things are going to get worse for the Aggies in the Big 12. See the Nebraska game last year. lol

B. Roberts
B. Roberts

the big question still remains, who is #14?

Story41
Story41

Ed, you have some good ideas, but Im not real fond of you only looking for a qoute "Confederate State" that seems a bit pardon me for saying racist but there is not a more polite word. I hope I am just misunderstanding the way you meant that. The last thing the SEC needs to be representing is any racist ideals. I am sorry if I am jumping the gun but I am not for anything having to do with that kind of talk. I am from the south but I do not agree with my ancestors and believe it is a permanent stain on our region. With that said I really do like some of your points. They are well crafted and thought out well. I just don't think you thought about how Confederate would be misunderstood. Again sorry but I cannot sit back and not get a clarification on that. Also I don't believe you meant it that way. Thanks

Mike
Mike

Good point about not as many people wanting to watch Texas football if they aren't playing A&M. Maybe that's one reason Texas wants A&M to stay?
- TSIP

The Raj
The Raj

I'm embarassed, I apologize sincerely....Thanks John...keep the good stuff coming.

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

I think Texas may be starting realize, maybe too little too late, that if A&M goes then the breakup of the Big 12 is not too far behind. If that happens then no conference is going to take Texas because UT won't let go of the LHN. Or maybe by this time Texas has no choice, but to go with the LHN for contractual purposes.

Anyway, Texas will probably have to go independent at that point and they aren't going to be able to find many decent teams that will face them any later than the 3rd or 4th week of the season. They aren't Notre Dame and I don't think many teams will be willing to work Texas into their schedule especially considering there may be more conference games coming in the future with expanded conferences. That probably means a whole lot of CUSA, WAC, MWC, and MAC teams playing Texas. Those are probably the only teams at that point that would even consider letting their games be broadcast on the LHN. Even if other teams might be willing to do that, their individual conference TV contracts would probably forbid them from doing that.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

No apology necessary. It's sort of like this: A guy from Burger King can't walk into a McDonald's and a post a sign for Burger King in the window.

Thanks for reading the site,
John

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  1. [...] line is everybody is waiting for the first controversial move. In other words, if and when the Texas A&M deal goes through, the expansion games will begin (again).  The Big Ten and Pac 12 are not really in a [...]



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