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June 30, 2010

FUTURE OF THE BIG 12??

New Texas Tech head coach Tommy Tuberville doesn't seem to think there's much of one...at least the way things are set up now.

His thoughts were made public during a recent radio interview in which he said that the fact that not every school is treated equal is a recipe for a break-up...paraphrased of course.

We all know that Tuberville has some pretty deep SEC roots and the way it works down there is that Vandy gets the same amount from TV and revenues as Florida, Georgia and Alabama.

The new Big 12 (or Big 10) set up has Texas, A&M and Oklahoma having wads of cash thrown at them by Kansas, K State, Iowa State and Baylor so those "smaller" schools don't have to go begging the WAC to let them sign up and play ball.

It sure doesn't seem fair, but you have to remember that what those "smaller" schools will earn under this system will be FAR MORE than they'd earn in the WAC or Conference USA.

It is an interesting thought, but not one that Texas or Oklahoma have to worry about. Why?

Because if the Big 12 does eventually dissolve, the Pac-10 (or however many they have), Big 10 and SEC will fall all over themselves to try and get UT and OU to sign up with them. And Texas Tech, Baylor, Iowa State and Oklahoma State will be left to snatch what's left of the wreckage.

It's nice to be loved.
  • mark rogers
  • June 30, 2010 9:05 PM

June 20, 2010

THE STORM HAS PASSED...FOR NOW

What a crazy couple of weeks in the world of college football.

First it was rumors that the Big 10 was going after Missouri and Nebraska. Then it was the Pac-10 wanting to expand. Then it looked like the entire Big 12 was about to collapse into a heaping rubble of ineptitude and poor management.

Then it was essentially a done deal that the Pac-10 would become the Pac-16. Divisions were already aligned. Baylor was already relegated to the Lone Star Conference. The ACC and Big East had no choice but to merge.

The Kansas basketball program was going to play in the ACC while every other sport would have to transition to NAIA.

Four mega-conferences. Four conference champs. A final four for college football? The world is changing...RUN FOR THE HILLS!!!!! WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!!!

But wait...

Everyone let out a deep, relaxing exhalation and take a look at what really happened...

The Pac-10 now has 12 teams.

The Big 10 now has 12 teams.

The Big 12 now has 10 teams.

What next?

Mr. T's real name is B? The Four-Horseman really have seven members? There's really only NINE commandments?!?

Here's how I think of it. Nebraska is looking around thinking, "Hey. We're Nebraska. We used to run this show in the Big 8. This conference is shaking, unstable and about to fall apart. We're going to look really smart by getting out of here before the implosion and accept the Big 10's invite."

Then Colorado's like "Hey. We're not really relevant in the Big 12, which is about to collapse anyway. We're going to look like geniuses for being forward-thinkers and fleeing the scene before the destruction. Let's accept that Pac-10 invite."

Now both teams are looking back at a very stable (and extremely rich) Big 12 and will have to pay millions upon millions of dollars in penalty fees for "fleeing the scene" without the appropriate approval...oops. Good one guys.

I said in my previous post that Texas was the key to this whole mayhem and all they were doing was propping their feet up and letting everyone else trip all over themselves below them while 100 dollar bills were being showered upon the Longhorns.

What stopped the Pac-16 from happening wasn't political influence, a concern for long travel times and inconveniences for student athletes, or any specific deal-breaker. It was simple.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ CHA CHING $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

That's it. Money. Cold hard cash.

Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State and Baylor called Texas, Oklahoma and Texas A&M to the table and said this, "Don't leave us. If you leave us, we'll become even more irrelevant than we already are. How about this? We'll give you all of Nebraska and Colorado's penalty money AND let you keep a larger portion of conference revenue...just stay!!!"

And it worked. It may look like UT, A&M and OU are bullying the little guys, but it's more complicated than that. Those smaller Big 12 schools will get more money by this arrangement than if they had to go to some non-BCS conference that you can't even remember. Trust me. This is a great deal for them.

And what's even better for Texas is that now they don't have to compete with USC, UCLA, California and the west coast schools for recruits. That's HUGE. Why wouldn't a kid from Texas or Oklahoma want to go live in a place on the beach, with pretty girls, where the weather is always perfect, surrounded by celebrities and movie stars? Oh wait, you'd rather play in Norman? Oh, right...good choice.

AND Texas is going to get even richer with a new television station that is about to happen. Something that would not have happened had they joined the Pac-16.

Money is what is driving this whole thing. And that's fine with me. That's capitalism.

Another thing that I think the powers that be saw coming was the end of the BCS if there ended up being four mega-conferences. The BCS is huge dollars for the big schools and it's something they're not ready to give up.

Plus I'm a fan of the bowl system and don't want a playoff anyway.

We can only hope the actual season will be this exciting...it'll be tough to match.
  • mark rogers
  • June 20, 2010 9:11 PM

June 11, 2010

Now THIS is Drama...

I'm absolutely giddy.

Colorado to the Pac-10.

Nebraska to the Big 10.

Rumors of Texas, A&M, Tech, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma joining the Pac-10.

The SEC has invited Texas and Texas A&M to come east.

Gene Stallings wants the Aggies to accept the invitation.

What's going to happen to the Kansas basketball program?

Baylor being railroaded right as the ship was being turned in the right direction.

Notre Dame won't budge.

The Big 12 is history.

And Texas is in the captain's chair of the College Football mother ship...controlling everything.

Right now...the world revolves around the University of Texas.

Why? Because the Longhorns have emerged the last two years as the leading cash cow of all football programs in the land. And it's not close.

Forbes magazine ranked Notre Dame a distant second based on the 2008 numbers...a whopping 11 million behind.

Every conference wants UT to join their party just like every kid in school wants to go to the prom with the prettiest gal in class. The SEC, Pac-10, Big 10 and Big 12 are all tripping over themselves to get or keep Texas.

And all the Longhorns have to do is prop their feet up, clasp their hands behind their heads and wait for even more cash to start rolling in while keeping a satisfied and arrogant grin on their faces.

Nebraska left the conference because they were sick and tired of UT calling the shots. The Longhorns didn't want to agree to a Big 12 network. Why? Because they were negotiating for a UT network, which would be successful and make tons of money. Forget sharing TV revenue with 11 other schools. They want it all for themselves. And why shouldn't they?

The Huskers used to be kings of the cornfields when the Big 8 ruled the land. Heisman Trophy winners, National championships...they were the big dogs.

When the Southwest Conference folded, the Big 8 and Nebraska thought they were doing UT, A&M, Tech and Baylor a favor by helping out the poor teams left all alone out in the cold.

Nearly 15 years later, Nebraska is an afterthought in the grand scheme of things and Frank Solich is tired of taking a back seat to the Burnt Orange about every little thing when UT was supposed to be a charity case. It all started with the 1996 Big 12 Championship game. Google it if you don't know what happened.

So they left. I think they're a great fit for the Big 10 (which now has 12 teams by the way). I'll love watching Nebraska play Wisconsin, Ohio State, Penn State and Iowa. I'll also love watching them slip into the Great Mediocrity that is the Big 10.

And look what kind of influence Texas has: The Pac-10 would take A&M, Tech, Colorado, OU and OSU just to get a piece of the revenue monster that lives in Austin. And make no mistake about it...this is all about money. In a traditional world ruled by non-greedy people, the Pac 10 would never lower itself to the academic standards of Tech, A&M, OU and OSU. The West Coast is much too civilized and uppity for that kind of nonsense.

Throw in a buh-jillion-ga-zillion dollars?

Oh we'd LOVE to have you in our conference. You will be great assets to our tradition and history.

If it were about sport and academia, more would be said for the A&M volleyball team that had to play a mid-week conference game in Tacoma, Washington more than 2,000 miles away. But that doesn't matter. Only one thing does - $$$.

I would love to see the Big 12 South plus Arizona and ASU in a Pac-16 division. How about a Texas/Oregon cross-over game!! Or Tech/Cal? OU/USC?? These are BOWL games that we'll get to watch in September and October.

I'm giddy.

And everybody who is enthralled by these stories and the incredible goings on in college football right now can thank one institution for making it all possible...
.
...the University of Texas.
  • mark rogers
  • June 11, 2010 10:21 PM

June 4, 2010

SMASH, DASH AND TASH

That's the nickname Tashard Choice has given the three-headed running back monster that sits in the Cowboys stable.

Marion Barber is Smash because of his "three yards and a cloud of dust" mentality. Actually, despite being injured quite a bit last year, he averaged 4.4 yds/carry which was the same average held by Adrian Peterson of the Vikings. Barber would rather run you over than smile at you or even give you a polite, "sup" head nod. He weighed in 10 pounds lighter this off-season. Apparently wanting to get some of his speed back.

Felix Jones is Dash because he can outrun just about anybody in the league in full pads. He averaged 5.9 yards/carry last year and got half as many carries as Barber. He can break a game wide open and has left many a defensive back without a jock strap.

Tashard Choice is Tash because those are the first four letters of his name. Simple enough. He can't run you over like Barber can or run away from you like Jones can, but Choice is a lot like Emmitt Smith in that he's just a very consistent, solid back who seems like he's being stuffed but always ends up with 4 or 5 yards when the play is over.

All three are NFL grade A, starting running back meat.

It's unbelievably rare to find a running back corps of three guys who are all willing to share the load and care more about winning than personal statistics. TWO running backs willing to do that is a rarity. In fact, I can't think of ANY situation like that ANYWHERE with three guys. I'm sure it's happened, but not in my lifetime - with this same level of success.

Smash, Dash and Tash totalled nearly 2,000 yards on the ground last year. Dallas was in the top 10 in the NFL in rushing and passing. The only other team that can say that is the New Orleans Saints - the Super Bowl champs.

The fact that all three of these guys can work in a situation like this is actually kind of a perfect storm. I don't think any other group of guys could work like this. It's all about the players.

Barber starred at Minnesota and shared the backfield with another super-star collegiate back, Lawrence Maroney. He's used to sharing the load. Plus he's an amazingly shy person...rarely talks to the media. He's not a Ricky Waters type if you know what I mean...whan an idiot.

Jones starred at Arkansas and was actually an afterthought in a backfield with Darren McFadden, the two-time Heisman Trophy runner up. He's used to sharing the load.

Choice went to OU the same time another highly touted freshman showed up in Norman...Adrian Peterson. Choice transferred to Georgia Tech and had a fabulous college career. OK, that one goes against the other two, but it does show that Choice would sacrifice the glitz and glamour of playing at an elite program to play for an average program and actually get on the field.

He's not all about the show or the stats. He just wants to win.

Barber was the "starter" last year with Jones coming in to change the pace, then Choice got whatever was left. There has been talk of letting Jones start the games, run us out to a lead, then let Barber grind out the clock to preserve the win. That was Barber's role with Julius Jones, and it seemed to suit him nicely. The great part is, he could probably care less who starts the games.

The Cowboys have a great chance to make another deep playoff run this year. The passing game is elite. The defense will only get better. But it all starts with that three-headed monster.

Smash, Dash and Tash.

All three guys are healthy and looking forward to the 2010 season...come to think of it, so am I.

  • mark rogers
  • June 4, 2010 9:56 AM

IS TOMY ROMO TOO GOOD AT TOO MUCH?

It's an intersting question but one that needs to be asked.

We've all known people that just seem to be good at everything. They beat you at ping pong, they're good at golf, they can play basketball, they win the "see who can get the ball closer to that object over there" putting game, they can throw a baseball 100 yards, they have a six-pack, they stole your girlfriend...you get the idea.

The world is full of people who are really, really good at many things. So does that mean they can't be great at ONE thing?

Tony Romo was an all-state basketball player in high school, he's a great golfer (he'll try to qualify - again - for the US Open this coming Monday), he's obviously a good football player, and on and on and on.

He's good at a lot of things. So can he be a great NFL quarterback?

Cowboys LB Keith Brooking thinks he can be one of the best of all time. Others think he's the most overrated player in the history of the universe. I think right now I fall somewhere in between.

It's just hard for me to look at the "Greats" (i.e. Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Joe Montana, John Elway) and not see them dominating other things in the off-season or off the field.

All those guys were great at one thing...football.

Now I'm not saying Peyton Manning couldn't beat me in a game of horse or couldn't hit a baseball...but it's different when you're extra-curricular activities have you on the verge of qualifying for an elite American golf tournament.

Can Romo be a great NFL quarterback? I think the only way he can solidfy being "great" is by winning a Super Bowl. Dallas was two games away from the big game last year and all signs are showing nothing but improvement from 2009.

But if Romo ends up in the Dan Marino, Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing conversation of guys who were really good but never won it all, I think it'll be because he was cursed by being really, really good at way too many things.

That would seem to be a nice problem to have.

One thing we do know is that whatever happens in Romo's NFL career, his retirement could possibly be filled with earning additional millions of dollars on the PGA tour.

  • mark rogers
  • June 4, 2010 9:43 AM