Blog Entry

What The Longhorn Network means to the BCS

Posted on: January 19, 2011 7:37 pm

It wasn't a surprise, this ESPN/Texas deal. Not the money, not the partner, not the length. The Longhorn Network -- or whatever you want to call it -- was announced Wednesday, a deal worth $300 million over the next 20 years.

Somewhere in there they managed to remind us that "campus musical performances" would also be televised and you had to chuckle. Sure, TLN will fund some other areas -- half the money in the first five years will go to the university -- but at its core this about Texas controlling the market, the Big 12, the universe.

It's about power -- just like the BCS, which got me to thinking. We all know that our beloved postseason system is leaving hundreds of millions of dollars on the table by ignoring a playoff. The commissioners would rather control the system than profiti more by it.

The Texas deal, though, should be a sign. A modest Plus-One playoff (four teams) can, and should, be in college football's future. I wrote about it on the day of the BCS championship game.

I asked BCS executive director Bill Hancock directly why the BCS couldn't enter into its own long-term agreement with a rights holder. Hancock said" "Don't kid yourself. The bowls would suffer." To loosely quote the conclusion in the book, "Death To The BCS", that's B.S. A Plus-One could be locked in for 15, 20, 25 years. The BCS fathers could expand it, shrink it, dump it. The point being that the BCS commissioners, like Texas, control the system so it's theirs to manipulate.

"Everybody we do business with, we do long-term stuff with them," Texas AD DeLoss Dodds told me Wednesday. "We find somebody we like and put some length on it."

As for the BCS doing a long-term Plus-One agreement, I asked Dodds about that too.

"Yeah, absolutely," he said. "You have to get the Rose Bowl past where they are."

The Big Ten-Pac-12-Rose Bowl blockade of an expanded postseason is not insignificant. But, remember, we once thought something like the BCS was impossible because the Big Ten and Pac-10 did not want to give up their exclusivity to the Rose Bowl. On Jan. 1, TCU of the Mountain West won in Pasadena. There goes some of that exclusivity.

TLN is such a game-changer that Texas is now essentially competing as an independent. It has a contract with ESPN. It has scheduling agreement with the nine other teams in the Big 12. The conference could go away but Texas/ESPN won't. Dodds swears his will stay loyal to the reconstituted 10-team Big 12, but for how long? It was within a heartbeat of jumping to the Pac-10 last summer.

"If something happened and the Big 12 would dissolve in some way -- which would not be caused by us because we're not going to do that -- who would take us with our network?" Dodds asked. "That's a question in my mind and I assume someone would."

Yeah, somehow poor, old Texas would scrape by.

Control. Security. It's something the BCS should think about. A four-team Plus-One solves a lot of problems. It would produce a more legitimate champion. It would take care of, in most years, all the undefeated teams at the top. For example, this year we're still wondering about how TCU would match up against Auburn.

It would move the access argument from between the No. 2- and No. 3-ranked teams to No. 4 and No. 5. That actually would mean less of an argument. That also would equal a better football postseason

We'd have Texas to thank for the template. The Horns rule. Literally.

Category: NCAAF

Since: Dec 3, 2007
Posted on: January 28, 2011 11:55 am

What The Longhorn Network means to the BCS

The other schools only stay in the conference if the benefits outweight the costs, and I'm not just talking about money.  In the case of Missouri, they've spent ten years fighting their way up the Big XII money gradient.  Making the transition from bad to good was fairly easy, good to great more difficult, and now they're discovering that the jump from great to elite is really tough.  With Texas now pulling away even more, Mizzou very likely finds itself hitting a wall where staying in the Big XII means never being competitive on the national scene.  Given that Missouri is one of only two profitable athletic departments in the Big XII, Missouri might decide that it's better to jump ship and take a short term monetary loss in exchange for the chance to be nationally competitive.  Same for Oklahoma.  Sure, OU publically wed themselves to Texas during Expansion and bristle at the notion that they are little brothers to Texas, but if Texas starts pulling away and threatening Oklahoma's national profile, the Sooners may have a change of heart.  After all, any network Oklahoma sets up will be dwarfed by the Longhorn Network and likely won't extend outside of the million citizens of Oklahoma (which they share with oSu).

The fact is that Texas has been and continues to be a destabilizing influence on the Big XII.  Other conferences have figured out that to succeed on a national level, you need a strong conference with a national brand with committed conference members bound together by ties of loyalty.  In contrast, Texas has weakened the Big XII by demanding that the conference cater to their every whim.  They have never been good faith members of the conference and they try to mask their greed and powerlust with moronic cries about the Free Market and the dangers of Socialism.  They destroyed the Southwest Conference, they destroyed the Big Eight and they've effectively destroyed the Big XII.  If the others schools get the opportunity to jump, they should.

Since: Jun 10, 2010
Posted on: January 20, 2011 8:56 pm

What The Longhorn Network means to the BCS

Remarkable grasp of the obvious, Bugeater.

You know, I asked myself the very same question when the Big Ten Network debuted.  I honestly haven't watched 5 minutes of that channel's programming.  But, here's two immediate answers to your query:
  1. ESPN
  2. The millions of UT alumni, fans and cable/satellite subscribers in Texas!
Good luck in the Big 10+2.  We're really gonna miss you guys (crybabies, whiners, spares, etc.)....NOT!

UT and the Longhorn Network = WHO CARES OUTSIDE OF TEXAS?

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: January 20, 2011 7:23 pm

What The Longhorn Network means to the BCS

UT and the Longhorn Network = WHO CARES OUTSIDE OF TEXAS? 

Since: Jun 10, 2010
Posted on: January 20, 2011 3:00 pm

What The Longhorn Network means to the BCS

It's nonsense b/c NU was all for "unequal revenue distribution" when the Huskers signed on with the Big XII in 1996.  Of course, back then the Huskers were annually in the Top 10.  Getting a bigger share of the pie based on TV appearances, national rankings, etc. was in their best interests at the time.  That all changed in the 2000's (Bill Callahan era), so NU decided this was no longer acceptable and shopped for a better deal.

Congratulations on your new socialist contract with the Big 10+2.  You'll fit right in with the rest of the Rust Belt's old guard longing for "the good ol' days".  We'll see how long it lasts once Ohio State finally realizes that they can strong-arm the also rans for more money. 

Incidentally, NU's fan base and TV market isn't very impressive when compared to Texas.  You rank behind UT, OU and KU in collegiate merchandising.  Check your facts before accuse anyone of "not understanding".  Or take a few more business courses and look up the word "LEVERAGE".

Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: January 20, 2011 2:56 pm

What The Longhorn Network means to the BCS

The failure of Texas football this season certainly did not help the Big 12-2.  Texas football took a major hit.  With that hit, the loss of Nebraska, and the loss of their conference championship game, the future of the Big 12-2 is certainly in doubt.  Oklahoma is the only big name school in the Big 12-2 given a decent shot at winning a National Championship.  The Big 12-2 is going to lose at least two of their bowl tie-ins.  The rest of the Big 12-2 is basically unimportant to most of the nation, now that Texas football has hit the skids.  If Texas cannot reverse their football fortunes, and in a major hurry, the Big 12-2 will dissolve.

As far as a "Plus One" playoff system is concerned, there are two things that MUST occur before you see such a playoff.  First, the MWC must become an AQ Conference.  Next, the BCS must add the Cotton Bowl on as one of their BCS games.  This gives the Big 12-2 a new home, in the Cotton Bowl, and the MWC a home in the Fiesta Bowl.  By doing that, the Big 10+2, Pac 12, and Rose Bowl face too large of a majority to try and veto a "Plus One" playoff.  That is the only way a "Plus One" playoff can come about.

Since: Oct 6, 2009
Posted on: January 20, 2011 12:25 pm

What The Longhorn Network means to the BCS

I'm not slamming Texas for this, I give them props for being able to get a deal like this. My main point is all the other schools in the big 12-2 cannot be pleased with Texas having this advantage, why would they? Yes, Ohio St. is the top dog, for now, but the money is spread equally so all schools have an equal amount to play with, what they do with it is up to them. Last I checked NU has a pretty big fan base themselves.

How is this nonsense?? Seems pretty accurate to me, but I wouldn't bet on a UT fan understanding since they are the ones holding the good cards.

Since: Jun 10, 2010
Posted on: January 20, 2011 11:58 am

What The Longhorn Network means to the BCS

I may be wrong, but I believe the Big X-2 charter prohibits adding any new schools from existing states.

I would love to see the Big X-2 add TCU and Houston, but it ain't gonna happen.  UT, A&M, Tech and Baylor have a recruiting and monetary edge that they're unwilling to share with additional Texas schools.  Plus, we've already got the DFW and Houston TV markets.  You won't see Tulsa or Wichita State get invitations either for the same reasons.

The only way that I see us getting back to 12 is if we somehow convince (ie money-whip) BYU and Notre Dame to sign on.

Since: Jun 10, 2010
Posted on: January 20, 2011 11:51 am

What The Longhorn Network means to the BCS

I seriously doubt OU, A&M, OSU and Mizzou are "wondering how they can get out" or "hoping UT becomes an independent".  The reality is Texas makes the Big X-2 worth a heckuva lot more money b/c of its huge fan base and superlative TV ratings.  Texas gets the majority of the wannabes that never went to college or attended smaller schools.

Yes, A&M and OU could have joined the SEC last year and made more money short-term.  But, long-term their football programs would suffer b/c of the hyper-competitiveness of the SEC. 

I love reading this nonsense from you Huskers.  You left to join the Big Ten b/c it was worth more money to your athletic teams (and perceived added prestige academically).  It was a better deal for NU - no hard feelings. 

But, I doubt you'll have any more stroke at the Big Ten's table.  Last I checked, OSU is the top dog and will continue to be for the same reasons UT rules; huge fan base, TV ratings, population, money, etc.

Since: Dec 10, 2008
Posted on: January 20, 2011 11:48 am

What The Longhorn Network means to the BCS

so texas gets to make an extra 15-17million dollars more than any other big12 teams on top of what their getting money wise in the big12. texas is slowly trying to become the notre dame of the south the fellow other conference teams better pray they stay, while ou and tamu is safe to go to sec as a back up plan i doubt any other conferences will want the remaing schools....well the mwc will but i doubt they wanna go there.

Since: Oct 6, 2009
Posted on: January 20, 2011 11:01 am

What The Longhorn Network means to the BCS

Why would NU or any other team want to still be in the Big 12 now that Texas has more money and more power??? You do realize it does not equate to wins, case in point Notre Dame. They have had a pretty sweet deal with NBC and as long as they have been there have they capitalized on the extra income and had a power house team? NO

So I for one am even happier to get away from the big 12 and the Texas monopoly, I bet teams like OU, A&M, OSU, Mizzou are scratching their collective heads wondering how they can get out, or hoping Texas becaomes an independant.

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