That's nice. Literally no one outside of your fanbase gives the slightest **** about your school.
Let me explain this to you in idiots' language, son.
If a recruit from Texas had SEC offers and was hell bent on going to the SEC from the get go then he's going to the SEC regardless of whether TAMU is there or not. There is no Big 12 gain there.
If a recruit from Texas has SEC offers and wants to play close to home he now has the option of staying in Texas AND playing in the SEC. He can have his cake and eat it, too. In the past this recruit may have decided that staying close to home was more important than playing in the SEC. These types of recruits are recruits the B12 will miss out on in the future. Whether this recruit would have signed with UT or anyone else in the B12 is of little consequence. If he passes on UT to play in the SEC (TAMU) that means Texas is signing someone else in their cl**** to replace him (usually a less heralded recruit). This hurts Texas. When Texas starts creeping down the recruiting pecking order it means they start picking off recruits from OU and the rest of the B12. This hurts the ENTIRE conference. If OU loses someone to Texas that they would have signed otherwise then they start moving down the recruiting latter and hurt schools like OSU, etc. The entire league gets hurt when its recruiting base gets raided. It's not just one school. The Big 12 is the overall loser in this game.
As for TCU, if a recruit from the metroplex wants to go the B12 he now has the option of staying home and playing for TCU. In the past this kid may have gone to OU, Texas Tech, Baylor, or whoever. TCU signing better recruits also weakens the B12 overall in recruiting.
The net effect of these two factors (plus small population footprint) means the Big 12 is no longer getting recruiting classes that are 2nd only to the SEC (as in 2011) but are getting classes that are ranked the lowest of the big 5 conferences (as in 2012 and 2013). The effects of this are plain as day. In the past 70-80% of the top 50 recruits in the state of Texas ended up in the Big 12. This past year only 14 of the top 50 signed with Big 12 schools not named TCU.
All that being said, I'm not saying OU is doomed. I am saying, though, that the Big 12 is doomed to be the least significant of the major conferences and there really isn't anything that can be done to stop it at this point.
I love the spin on these things. Delany clearly said that "binding the conference together" and that league schools "like to play each other" is important. So, how do you guys spin it? He saying the league is actually going to 20! LOL. Chumps.
Look, if a conference goes to 18 or 20 it doesn't matter how many league games they schedule. That league is not "binding the conference together" and schools are not playing each other. The whole point of his comment was that schools want to have as many cross-over games as possible and "bind the league together". Even if you have a 10 game conference schedule with 18 schools that means you play just 2 cross over games annually. That means a school like Maryland may get to host Nebraska just once a decade. That is not "binding a league". That's 2 separate conferences. If you go to 20 it gets even worse. Even at 16, a 10 game schedule isn't great. You still don't play most of the teams in the opposing division each year.
Anyone who interprets Delany's comment right there as an indicator of expansion.....especially to 18 to 20 is a tool. Plain and simple.
Furthermore, it remains to be seen how Colorado, Nebraska, and Mizzou's exit from the Big 12 will affect their recruiting in Texas. Again, if kids that might have otherwise signed with those schools decide to go to KU, K-State, Iowa State, West Virginia, or TCU instead - the Big 12 is still fine on the recruiting trail. And to throw even another variable into the mix, maybe some Big 12 schools will be able to land a kid or two in PA or the Mid-Atlantic every year b/c our league is getting new exposure via West Virginia.
OU has been recruiting nationally for the last couple years. OU is capable of making a coaching commitment to California for the long haul. If Oklahoma starts signing multiple California kids per year, instead of filling those recruiting holes with Texas born kids, that might help Oklahoma State land a TX HS prospect or two that might have otherwise gone to OU.
It will take a decade before we're able to draw any reliable conclusions on this stuff.
Texas A&M - 1997, 1998, 2010, 2012 Big 12 Champs*
http://www.mrsec.com/2013/02/big-ten...-unc-and-duke/The Big Ten will move to at least nine conference football games per season and possibly 10 according to league commissioner Jim Delany. The move has been rumored for several weeks, but Delany confirmed the decision yesterday:
“There’s real recognition that we now live in two regions of the country, and we want to make sure those are bound together as best we can, so more games (makes sense). Eight games is not on the table. It’s nine or 10.”
Ohio State AD Gene Smith also said: “There’s television considerations there when you have intriguing conference matchups that are better than some of our non-conference matchups, that’s an important piece.”
That could also be an important piece for the SEC moving forward. Under current plans, the Big Ten, ACC, Pac-12, and Big XII will all be playing at least nine conference games per year. The SEC currently plays eight league games. The SEC’s format results in one more cupcake game per year for each school and fewer visits to and from conference rivals.
Eventually — as we’ve stated for more than a year — the Southeastern Conference will move to a nine-game schedule. It will have to (barring a scheduling alliance with another conference). Its television partners and the league’s own SEC Network will require such a move for content purposes. And with a selection committee deciding each year’s four playoff participants, the SEC won’t be able to allow other leagues to claim their teams are playing tougher schedules. There is already a move to “spread the wealth” of football championships or else there would be no new playoff in the first place. If members of the selection committee can point to something as simple as “SEC teams play more creampuff non-conference games,” you better believe they’ll do so in order to get teams from as many leagues as possible into the playoffs each year.
But look again at Delany’s statement. “We now live in two regions of the country,” meaning the Midwest and the East. There are hardly as many Big Ten schools in the East as there are in the Midwest. But more are probably on the way.
In recent weeks we’ve reported that our sources have said Virginia and Georgia Tech have both had contact with the Big Ten. We’ve been told those schools are waiting to see the final bill Maryland will have to pay to get out of the ACC before they decide whether or not to follow the Terrapins’ lead. Everyone and their brother is now reporting the same thing (or at least reporting on the reports that are already out there).
There have also been rumors that the Big Ten is wooing North Carolina, Duke, Boston College, and Florida State. At MrSEC.com, we don’t see BC or FSU as being realistic partners with the Big Ten as they lack AAU status, but we’ll mention the rumors just the same.
By adding Maryland and Rutgers late last year, Delany’s league made it clear that it is a) looking to add large numbers of cable households for its Big Ten Network and b) trying to expand southward. As Delany himself has mentioned time and again, part of the decision to look south is driven by population shifts and demographics. Several Big Ten states have the slowest growth rates in the country. Some of the fastest growing states are in the South. So if you want more television revenue and you need robust populations to create new students and donors, clearly you try to grab a number of top schools farther south.
So what’s this have to do with adding conference games?
A move to nine or 10 conference games could be a lure to a number of ACC schools. “Come with us and you can continue to pal around with a number of your old buddies.” If the Big Ten — and this is simply speculation — were to add Virginia, North Carolina, Duke, and Georgia Tech to the recently nabbed Maryland and Rutgers, well, that would be an East Division.
And Delany seems to be considering several moves that would please the ACC schools on his wish list.
There have been recent rumblings that the Big Ten might add lacrosse power Johns Hopkins to its roster of teams in some partial capacity. That league’s academic consortium — the Committee on Institutional Cooperation — already includes the University of Chicago, once a full-fledged Big Ten member before it downshifted out of the world of big-time athletics. Opening a door to Johns Hopkins for lacrosse and the CIC would not require a paradigm shift as the Big Ten already has a partial member.
Now consider the fact that the Big Ten has three lacrosse-playing schools who have to play that sport in other conferences. And also keep in mind that the four current, lacrosse-playing ACC schools are Maryland (moving to the Big Ten), Virginia, North Carolina, and Duke. Hmmm.
Let’s take a step back and look at the big picture here. Delany has said that his league has to pay attention to population shifts into the Sun Belt region. He’s just grabbed Rutgers and Maryland. One of those schools brings the nation’s largest television market into the Big Ten fold. The other provides the Washington, DC and Baltimore markets as well as a gateway into the South. Adding Johns Hopkins would give the Big Ten the opportunity to create a lacrosse league for new ACC targets and it would further strengthen the Big Ten’s academic reputation. Finally, Delany’s league will be adding conference games which will allow any new ACC targets to play each other more often and soften the blow of realignment/expansion.
That’s a lot to sell to the administrations of Virginia, Georgia Tech, North Carolina and Duke.
They could join the richest college conference (which also makes the Big Ten a stable college conference). They could enter a peer group of some of the top academic universities in the country (including the University of Chicago and Johns Hopkins). Lacrosse schools like Virginia, Duke and North Carolina could partner with Johns Hopkins, Maryland, Penn State, Ohio State and Michigan to form a strong league. And those Eastern/Southern teams could play each other more often in football and basketball.
Imagine a Big Ten consisting of three six-school divisions:
West Central East
Illinois Indiana Duke
Iowa Michigan Georgia Tech
Minnesota Michigan State Maryland
Nebraska Ohio State North Carolina
Northwestern Penn State Virginia
Wisconsin Purdue Rutgers
It would be hard for the SEC or any other conference to match such a league in terms of cable households, nationally-known sports brands, and academic reputation. If the Big Ten could pull all of that off it would — in theory — set itself up for years of success to come.
And from lacrosse rumors to changes in the league’s scheduling format, we believe that’s exactly what the Big Ten is indeed hoping to pull off.
That Delaney fellow is pretty darn sharp.....
The Big 10 or SEC don't appear to have any interest in Clemson or Miami, those schools alone would add value to the Big 12 and would increase the likely-hood of landing FSU and if not taken by the Big 10, GT.
I post on UT boards regarding realignment and found a link to this thread...hope you don't mind if I put my two cents in because I think OU holds the cards to fixing things. I am a UT fan who has always thought the SEC is where UT and OU should go...I have always been in the minority amongst my orange bretheren, but now that aTm is surging, I think the UT fanbase can be swayed and the UT administration will have to go SEC. I'm amazed that OU didn't jump on an invite when they had one; however, I think OU is still in charge of Big 12 realignment (not UT) and can play a few cards to make us both move to the SEC. I'll give you my theory and see what you think:
1. The Big 12 cannot exist in its current form long term, and it certainly can't without OU.
2. Expanding the Big 12 or jumping to the Pac 12 or Big 10 are better options than the crap we have now, but joining the SEC would be the killer move for OU and UT...for money, recruiting, great games every week and to poke the Ags in the eye. OU must decide that is the best option and start to make its moves now.
3. OU will have to ditch OSU...do you have the political power to do that? I hope so.
4. OU has to tell UT that OU is not happy and is seeking to join the SEC. OU joining the SEC without UT would be a nuclear option for UT...the Ags are already reaping a harvest by moving...UT CANNOT let OU go to the SEC as well without joining them. The fans would scream bloody murder about losing the OU game, and cooler heads would realize UT has no other option but to join with OU in petitioning to join the SEC. OU would probably not get an invite alone at this point, but OU and UT would be a blockbuster for the SEC.
5. UT/OU joining would require the LHN to be absorbed by the SEC Network or some other adjustment be made...since it is a failed network that may get killed anyway, I don't see ESPN having a problem with getting rid of this money loser...they own the SEC Network anyway...don't think ESPN hasn't already thought of this.
6. Without UT/OU, the Big 12 collapses and the Grant of Rights becomes moot...there will be no tv money to worry about. ESPN will send the Big 12 money to the SEC to help get this done, and all SEC teams will make more money with UT/OU than without.
7. Both teams will need to get 11 of 14 votes. We know the Ags and Mizzou and probably Arky would vote against this, but they can't block on their own. Slive has a fiduciary duty to present the options to its members, and if he sees more money getting UT and OU over any other two options (like NC/VA teams), then he will back it and cram it down the Ags/Tigers/Hogs throats.
8. UT President Powers is the #2 guy at the AAU...he could throw an additional carrott to the SEC schools that he will help them transition to AAU status...don't think the Presidents and BOR's at the SEC schools wouldn't like to hear that!
There you go...it is in your power to make this happen. I posted this on Texags and they went ballistic...they couldn't believe that there is a way for UT and OU to get into the SEC.
What are you waiting for...make it happen!
I don't want to board the death star... I want to blow it up. **** the SEC.
Something that UT fans may not understand is that most of the OU administration and significant numbers of OU’s big donor base views the SEC as the place of last resort... OU has worked very hard to clean up its image.
They think a move to the SCE would not help OU's image.
Probably the only way OU could ever leave OSU behind is if a deal could be worked were OU would gain AAU, B1G membership with CIC rights and move to the B1G with both UT and KU. Would that interest UT fans?
The reason we didn't jump at the chance last time around was because Boren cares more about improving academics and steering clear of a culture of cheating. So that's the way we get into the SEC. If it helps OU's academics. Boren wants AAU pretty bad. That was part of the thought about the PAC plan.
Boren may not be happy to join a conference with a reputation for cheating (trying to keep our noses clean and far away from that), but if AAU-certification was the 'ticket' in the door, I'd bet he'd take it.
Speaking of, I imagine that conversation has happened between Boren and Powers more than a few times. Not to do with conference realignment or even athletics at all but just...ya know...'help a brutha out?' I suspect if Powers wielded that much influence, he'd have hooked Boren up already. Supposedly, they have a good relationship. Anyhow, I'd rather see OU get AAU certified and tag up with UT and KU and go to the B1G. Then you're talking CiC money.
I'm envious of the B1G and wish OU was in that conference. The B1G and SEC are positioning themselves to be the top 2 conferences forever. They have the leadership, commitment, and resources to blow everyone else away. The SEC is the top conference but they are corrupt and dirty and I would prefer to NOT sell our souls to the devil. B1G membership would ensure OUs place among elite universities long term as well as reaping benefits in academic partnerships, CIC, financial resources, TV dollars, and on and on. OU and tx could join the PAC and form a strong conference with academic and research opportunities, but we can't seem to agree what to do, so we do nothing. Strong leadership and vision are the difference between the top 2 and everyone else. I would prefer OU to be in a top conference, not the **** conference we're in today.
Current Big 12 + Miami, FSU, Clemson, Louisville. Conference would be re-stocked. Last two in could be academics adds / Notre Dame. I want to beat the Confederates, not join them.
Thanks for the good replies...let me respond and give you some food for thought:
First, I am not an OU fan or a troller...I am a UT alum that lives in Houston who thinks Dodds is an arrogant jerk who royally screwed up conference realignment over ego (his ego) and money (the LHN). He has put us in an untenable conference long term, pissed off all of our conference mates (four of whom left), and pissed off the other conferences...I'm furious at what he's done. You can read my posts on Hornfans or Texags (under Universal or Universal Horn) if you want to read more about my thoughts (I only gave you the highlights). Anybody in Houston that wants to meet me and talk about this can get my email address from the moderators.
Second, the Big 10 option for OU (and UT) is DEAD. When UT got the LHN and stayed put, the Big 10 moved on to the east coast and southeast as their expansion targets. They took Maryland and Rutgers, and now they are planning to expand further by poaching other ACC teams. The SEC isn't expanding until the Big 10 makes its move. The Big 10 has already said they are in favor of expanding to 18 or 20 teams. That tells me that they are prepared to gobble up a big part of the ACC in order to reach their objectives. The ACC isn't going down without a fight, but they know they are in the crosshairs. The power schools (UNC, UVA) really don't want to leave all of their conference mates, so the best way to get them is to take 6 ACC teams and turn the old ACC into the Big 10 East. I think the Big 10 is prepared to do that, and it would be a compelling move for those six teams. Who are the six teams? Most likely UNC, UVA, NCState, VTech, GTech, and Notre Dame. Guys, OU (and UT) aren't getting into the Big 10...that ship has sailed. You need to realize that and acknowledge that the only remaining options are an expanded Big 12, Pac 12 or SEC.
Third, if the Big 10 makes that move, the SEC has lost its favored targets in a North Carolina team and a Virginia team. They would most likely stand pat. Obviously the Big 12 could add FSU, Clemson, and perhaps Miami and Louisville. That is very likely in my opinion and would be better than what he have now. If you are OK with that scenario, then by all means, stay a wallflower and wait for the dominos to fall. Alternatively, we could do the Pac 16 option. If you are like me, you still see those as less desirable options than joining the SEC. The Ags have taken over Houston already (trust me, I live here), and they aren't going to slow down...they will make progress in Dallas and the rest of Texas by being in the SEC. They will have more money and a better product to sell (great gamedays with powerhouse teams) than UT and OU (playing teams we don't care about in dead stadiums). Expanding the Big 12 or joining the Pac will help, but it won't be the SEC...it will be like bringing a knife to a gunfight. For my theory to work, OU has to realize that the SEC option is the best option for money, recruiting, and exposure. I think it is the best option, but I'm not a Sooner...you all will have to decide that. The academic argument is moot...the SEC has more AAU schools than the Big 12 now, so I won't even address that issue. If you come to this realization, then you do in fact have the power to make it happen, but you're going to have to start playing your cards now with conviction.
UT will NEVER let the TX/OU game go away...it is the only true rivalry game we have left (after the Ags and Hogs left)...it is the best event in college football, and even our idiot AD and President wouldn't dare let that game go away. You need to use that to your advantage. Dodds/Powers want to keep the status quo, and they think they can expand the Big 12 or go to the Pac if things fall apart. They aren't in a hurry to do anything. But, if the OU AD and President told Dodds/Powers that OU isn't happy with the Big 12, now or expanded, and intends to apply to the SEC and stop playing UT, then you'll see Dodds/Powers cave...like I said, it is a nuclear option. They will never let OU go to the SEC and eliminate the TX/OU game...you need to play hardball (God knows we do). UT will realize that it has to join OU in going to the SEC. Of course, there will be collateral damage (OSU, TT, etc.), but that's the breaks...the big boys rule college football. How can OSU stop OU from going to another conference? Wouldn't the OU alums offset the OSU alums in the legislature? Are you really telling me that if OU wanted to blow out, that OSU would really stop it? I can't believe that.
The pitch from OU would also be that UT needs to sponsor OU in getting into the AAU along with helping other SEC teams get in...there are several schools that are candidates for the AAU (Georgia, LSU, Arky)...that is part of the pitch from UT/OU...we'll help you get into the AAU. That is compelling to the SEC along with the money that UT and OU would bring to the conference. It would be hard for Slive to resist, and it gets LSU and Arky to vote for us, further subjecting aTm and Mizzou to outsiders in the vote.
This could work, but it's going to require OU to be prepared to go head to head with UT in a high stakes game of hardball, and you'll need to be prepared to lose the TX/OU game. I think UT will cave, and you'll get everything you want (and everything I want too). If you really believe this is best for OU, then get the fans and big cigars on board with doing it...the aTm fans were not happy with a Pac 16 scenario and they screamed bloody murder about going to the SEC and got it done...the OU administration can't ignore its supporters. If your fans don't care about going to the SEC, then be prepared to be a wallflower and get whatever Dodds tell you to get (and like it). If I were you, I'd take my option...the alternatives just aren't better.
I'm on board! Love the idea of forcing Texas' hand and I couldn't think of better matchups.
For now at least, OU is not in a desperate situation and do not feel threatened by A&M's move to the SEC. OU has been breaking revenue records in recent years and the new TV revenue from Sooner Sports TV hasn’t really kicked in yet ….
So there is no great pressure to make tons of more money. OU was in 9th place in the second cheapest cost of living place in the USA. If OU is ever in dire need of money or UT for that matter, the donor base of billionaires will be there for each.
With A&M now out of the Big 12 replacing UT with A&M in Fair Park will be OU’s trump card over UT if UT behavior becomes too unacceptable for OU..... and the powers of UT know this!
I don’t pretend to fully understand why OU and OSU are so tied to the hip….but they are.
OSU seems to hold a political advantage over OU?
The university’s mission should be to become the best university possible so that it can help advance the states
Since AAU memberships is almost certain to eventually happen for OU regardless of conference affiliation nobody at OU that I know of thinks the SEC helps the university over the long run.
From where I sit, if the Big 12 added Miami, Florida State, Clemson, and Louisville, we'd be in a position to compete with the SEC in football, basketball, and baseball. We can debate about the last two teams in if both leagues went to 16.
Oklahoma / Alabama
Texas / Florida
Miami / LSU
Florida State / Georgia
Clemson / South Carolina
West Virginia / Tennessee
TCU / aggy
Oklahoma State / Arkansas
Texas Tech / Auburn
K-State / Mississippi St.
Kansas / Missouri
Louisville / Kentucky
Baylor / Vanderbilt
Iowa St. / Ole Miss
Texas A&M - 1997, 1998, 2010, 2012 Big 12 Champs*
Now, if he wants to share research money, that might help, but we're talking about money that dwarfs anything athletics can ever hope to bring in, even at Texas.
So A&M has had a flash in the pan season or 2. That hardly makes A&M a national football power over the longer run…..In spite of many built in natural advantages A&M has been one of the very top underachieversin modern college football history and that’s not likely to be changing very much in the coming decades.
Let’s not forget that when A&M left the Big 12 the A&M athletic department was flat busted broke and owed big money.
OU standards are different than A&M’s. While in the BIG 12 many A&M fans would have been thrilled with a 10-3 record and a tie for a conference title… And I am sure TeLeFaWx would have been here post after post sounding just an Oklahoma aggie telling us how great they were going to be.
2. You say "we'll help you get into the AAU"...I'll believe it when I see it. I understand we still have strides to make but we've been working on that for a long time. I won't pretend to know all the ins and outs. All I know is, there's nothing stopping Powers from pushing OU to the AAU regardless of the rest. This all seems like it is much easier said than done. As Mephistopheles just said, Nebraska would never have lost their certification if the 'buddy system' worked.
3. UT is an island unto itself, and thus strangely, I do think this renders most of true power in the conference to OU, in terms of being the 'glue' that holds the other 9 together. But please do not gloss over the LHN issue. If that albatross weren't hanging around our neck, we'd be in the Pac-16 already. UT could back out of that deal (impossible, I know) and things change in an instant. Still you're right, because of its existence, the ball probably is in OU's court.
4. Many of us believe that OU made a critical mistake when hitching our wagon to OSU to attempt the PAC entry. Had it been Kansas that we attached ourselves to, I think we'd be in and I think UT, the LHN and the PAC would have worked something out by 2014. OU, KU, UT and....anyone - PAC-16.
5. On this LHN note, none of us forget - that ultimately this is boiling down to a war between FOX and ESPN. We have a foot in both camps, but the LHN really tilts the whole conference towards the ESPN side of things. They have entirely too much sway over our conference and FOX is kicking their **** on this realignment front (with the BTN).
6. The GOR doesn't magically go away either, if it's only OU and UT moving. Hell, even if Kansas went - B1G and WVU - ACC. 5 original members (TCU excluded, and maybe they wouldn't be), should still constitute a 'conference'. I've read that 4 is all that it would take. 4 among: Tech, OSU, KSU, ISU, Baylor.
Just throwing some **** out there.
Texas A&M - 1997, 1998, 2010, 2012 Big 12 Champs*
The big point is that over the long run A&M isn’t likely to improve its stature any by moving to the SEC… Which will lead to lower winning rates and more empty seats at an over expanded stadium and even more money problems for A&M.
OU officials know the biggest value comes from winning, no matter what conference you’re playing in.
How old are you?
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
The holiday weekend was a bad time around Texas A&M, where unprecedented economic struggles are leading to major financial changes in the school's athletic department.
Long-time employees Billy Pickard, Chris Harrell and Jim Kotch were among 17 support personnel who were told their jobs would be phased out last week in a series of meetings that have been named "Black Thursday" by Texas newspapers.
Even veteran A&M radio broadcaster Dave South will be taking early retirement, keeping his play-by-play job while his job as ****ociate athletic director in charge of sponsorships and broadcasting is being phased out.
"The Texas A&M University Athletic Department is facing difficult economic decisions like many companies and universities across the United States. Charged by the University to reduce the budget by $4.5 million for the 2009-2010 fiscal year, our goal was to make spending cuts that would not impact the competitiveness of our teams and to ensure that our student athletes have a good experience here at Texas A&M," Texas A&M athletic director Bill Byrne said in a prepared statement.
"We were able to identify $3.5 million in cuts without reducing personnel. Unfortunately, the Athletic Department had to eliminate 17 positions to balance the budget. The cuts came across the entire spectrum of the department. This difficult decision came after an exhaustive review of the entire program and with great reluctance."
The cuts run deep. Take Pickard, who began his ****ociation with A&M when he worked as a student trainer under Paul "Bear" Bryant and remained working with the athletic department for 45 consecutive years. Or Harrell, a longtime employee of the Aggies' sports information department who grew up nearby and attended high school at nearby A&M Consolidated. Or Kotch, a former A&M ticket manager who has worked at the school for 28 years.
These job cuts are coming on the heels of the revelation of a $16 million, no-interest loan the athletic department received from the university four years ago from former A&M president Robert Gates. The athletic department has to start repaying that debt back to the university in November.
The job cuts are part of a university directive designed to reduce the budget by $4.5 million for the 2009-10 fiscal year.
And that comes after the resignation of A&M president Elsa Murano. The Aggies are still paying for Dennis Franchione and his $4.4 million settlement. The Bryan Eagle reports that sales of football season tickets are down for the upcoming season.
These struggles are prompting a lot of grumbling among A&M former students considering the recent economic success at two of the Aggies' biggest rivals.
As the Aggies are cutting, the Oklahoma athletic department recently announced it would be giving $3 million back to the school's general academic fund to keep the school from having to raise tuition. And Texas is having unprecedented recent success after leading the nation in football revenue at $72.95 million last season and in total athletic department revenue at $120.8 million.
The Longhorns recently gave most of their football staff raises totaling $44,000 after the Longhorns earned a share of a three-way tie for the South Division championship last year.
Another item of contention has been Byrne himself. The A&M athletic director received a $204,000 raise less than a year ago from the A&M Board of Regents, boosting his yearly salary to $690,000. His salary total ranks third among Big 12 athletic directors behind only Lew Perkins of Kansas and Joe Castiglione of Oklahoma.
When Byrne arrived, he saw a crumbling infrastructure which needed immediate fixing. He invested heavily in facilities and coaches for sports other than football, men's and women's basketball and baseball -- traditionally the backbone of A&M's athletic support.
That attention clearly has paid off. The Aggies claimed the national men's golf championship and the men's and women's track and field championships in the last several months. Those victories helped the school finish 13th in the national Learfield Sports Directors' Cup and a record 12th nationally in the Sports Director's Cup standings last season.
But as strong as that success has been, it's been somewhat of a pyrrhic victory for many Aggie fans. A&M's football program has struggled with a combined record of 25-24 in the last four seasons.
A&M comes into the season with lessened expectations than in any recent season as most preseason polls predict that Mike Sherman's team will struggle to stay out of the South Division cellar. The Aggies haven't sniffed of a South Division championship since R.C. Slo**** led them to the 1998 title.
Since then, Mack Brown and Bob Stoops have helped boost Texas and Oklahoma into consistent national championship contenders with record attendance figures to boot.
And across the South Division, other schools and their football programs clearly are on an upswing. Mike Leach has transformed Texas Tech into a program with wide national appeal. Oklahoma State is poised to do that this season with more preseason publicity entering the season than any in recent memory. And even Baylor is nipping at A&M's heels as most preseason predictions expect them to p**** the Aggies and contend for their first bowl berth since 1994.
One other item that made me realize how real the economic problems really are at Texas A&M.
The school has agreed to allow the Texas Hurricanes of the Southern Indoor Football League to use the school's McFerrin Multi-Purpose Facility as it relocates to the Bryan-College Station area. While there, the school will battle the team for sponsorships and the hearts and minds of Aggie fans during the spring sports season.
It's never wise to allow any kind of competition to gain a foothold in your own backyard. But the Aggies' sports administration must believe that rent payments from the arena team will help offset any losses that might be caused with their other sports.
The economy has made for some bleak times for athletic departments across the country. A&M hasn't decided to cut any athletic programs -- yet.
Still, Byrne will be facing a difficult task of trimming budgets in an uncertain time as he tries to ramp up the overall athletic success of his school.
Throw in the fact that his football program is rebuilding and it makes a challenging economic task that much tougher.
We lose 3 games and it's cause to re-evaluate our staff and program. You lose 2 games and give your coach a contract extension and jerk each other off.
Everything is relative.
We are as relatively threatened by A&M as we are of TCU or Baylor.
The bigger difference being that we actually play TCU and Baylor.
History proves itself out. Look at the polls from 20, 30, 40 years ago.
It's basically the same teams that are winning today. A&M is not in that group and they are attempting to rise to the top in the toughest conference (and division) in all of CFB. This is not just 'smack'. You'd have to be insane not to understand how we see that challenge, for a program that couldn't best Missouri, Kansas State, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State in most years.
So forgive the people at Oklahoma or Texas or even Alabama or anywhere else where bigtime winning is not a 'one-season' cause of celebration for not having the proper fear about A&M. We all understand how relative it is.
I remember some pretty damn vicious Wrecking Crew defenses in the early/mid 90's under RC. But you guys last won a conference title in 1998, despite your facetious signature. I wonder what coincided with your downturn around that time? The hirings of Mack Brown in 1998 and Bob Stoops in 1999.
Big boys can always keep a thumb on the likes of A&M.
Wait until Tennessee gets better. One less spot at the big boy table.
And FTR - the last time we won the Big 12 (2010) we also won the bowl game.
I'm sorry but we don't regard you in that way. We have to beat A&M and UT and Baylor and TCU (and so on...) on recruits. Not just A&M. We're not in the same conference anymore. What ultimate difference does it make how we "treat" you? As if we didn't want to beat you (on the field or on the recruiting trail) when you were in the Big 12? We did...and we did.
We are on the cusp of a 4 team playoff. Why would we move to the bloodbath that is the SEC while the Big 12 will present a much easier path to the playoff year in year out? We need Bowlsby to stabilize the conference by proactively getting to 12 members, reinstitute the conf championship game, and pretty much gaurantee a Big 12 rep will be in that final 4 each year.
Texas A&M - 1997, 1998, 2010, 2012 Big 12 Champs*
OU wasn't in over their heads against LSU or Florida.
the running backs didn't manage a 100 yards combined. 154 yards of total offense for Oklahoma. LSU passed for 153 and rushed for 159. The score was much closer than the actual game. It was quite obvious in both games who the better team was. OU was outmatched in all three phases in both games. In my humble opinion.
Texas A&M - 1997, 1998, 2010, 2012 Big 12 Champs*