I think we have all, in some way, been witness to the inherent "advantages" texass has become infamous for having in nearly every athletic endeavor. So when news of the deal between UT and the World Wide Leader broke, I like many an OU fan feared just how much worse said advantage might become. We're all painfully aware just how influential ESPiN has become in the sports landscape and now with a monetary interest in
helping forcing seeing UT succeed, it was a legitimately frightening thought as to just how badly we could get screwed over in future match-ups with the whorns.
So all that said, what I'm about to present to you is to that point, but also with full clarity as to it's actual importance in the grand scheme of things. However, all conspiracies have to start somewhere and as far as I'm concerned this one starts after the jump.
So all week on ESPiN's College Football Live, they have been discussing how they asked a 38-person panel of ESPiN analysts to produce a Top 25 preseason poll. They finally revealed what they came up with and as this story would imply, there was one glaring inclusion that drew my interest. Here is their Top 25:
5. Boise State
6. Florida State
8. South Carolina
9. Oklahoma State
10. Ohio State
11. Texas A&M
16. Michigan State
17. Notre Dame
19. Virginia Tech
21. Mississippi State
24. West Virginia
25. Arizona State
So for all those (and I suspect there will be plenty) who would criticize me for even bother to write this when OU appears at #1, you can just quit reading here.
Aaaaaaaand we're back. So as you'll see, if you've been paying any attention this offseason, it's the usual suspects pretty much throughout the top 19. I say 19 because as you can see, the brilliant "analysts" at ESPiN saw fit to include the texass freaking longhorns at #20! At this point, I'm not sure how any credibility regarding this poll or their "objectivity" with respect to texass can ever be considered legitimate. And that is my, and I assume most OU fans, fear with respect to ESPiN's influence and the fact that they are now in bed with our hated rival.
So let me just say up front, I get it. OU is #1 and even more importantly preseason polls mean absolutely nothing or at least that's what many would have you believe. However, I hear this argument all the time and yet what those making it apparently fail to acknowledge is that the higher you start (i.e. preseason polls) the better your chances should you suffer a loss (or two). So in my own humble opinion, that argument doesn't hold water and preseason polls to hold at least some significance.
But back to my point, how in the bleep is ESPiN trying to pass off texass as the #20 team in the country?!?!?!? These are all things you are probably aware of and they are in the seventh stage level of hell denial about, but kind of worth reminding those idiots behind this poll about, bullet style.
- This is a texass team coming off a 5-7 season and led by a coach who openly admitted to a massive sense of entitlement throughout his program.
- They are replacing nearly their entire coaching staff, while simultaneously trying to install entirely new schemes on both offense and defense. Not exactly an easy thing to do, but because it will involve the token occasional trick play on offense or a new blitz package on defense all that can be overlooked.
- Their leading candidate for QB1 is somehow coming off a season in which their delusional fan base used the words "Heisman caliber" to describe this time last year, only to witness him go 10 TD 17 INT and wither up before their very eyes. And worth mentioning again, this is their best option.
- A team that has failed miserably with respect to identifying and/or developing talent. Their self rewarding of the recruiting national championship will likely never end, but (despite all odds) it actually means even less when you don't do jack with all the talent you
bribeconvince to come to campus.
- A team with MAJOR issues at QB, RB, WR, TE, OL, and DB. I mean QB and OL individually, you're pretty much screwed, never mind both. But they have issues at literally every spot on offense and arguably the most important on defense, at least for a league known for its ability to throw the football.
So sure, despite all those flaws, somehow the totally objective analysts of ESPiN saw fit to include the texass longhorns at #20 in their preseason poll. And this my friends is where I fear it all starts. I could be wrong, I hope I am wrong. But if in around six months from now, our Sooners are in Dallas, in the Cotton Bowl, in another epic battle with our hated rivals, and Landry Joneshas just hit stud freshman WR Trey Metoyer (who somehow qualified academically despite not being "texass good" in the classroom thus causing them to not offer him) for the go ahead touchdown, and after he crosses the goal line, casually hands the ball to the official, only to see said official reach for his little yellow flag and call a celebration penalty thus negating the TD. Remember where you heard it first.
Wait, what's that you say? What the hell am I thinking?!? Why would we need a late TD to take the lead against this texass team? Why would we even be trailing in the first place? You know what you're right, I like the way you think. Maybe that TD they'll take away will just prevent us from hanging half a hundred on 'em. Either way, my argument still stands. This is just the first of likely countless signs that ESPiN will do any and everything they can to keep texass relevant, no matter how hard (cough, 5-7, cough) the whorns try and make themselves irrelevant.