That was about the most civil way I could come up with to describe my feelings toward our rival this morning and still respect CC's no cursing policy. Believe me, I could think of a number of different ways to more appropriately describe my feelings but rules are rules and I will respect them.
I can assure you this will not be as thorough or eloquent as Redhawk's story from earlier in the week, so fair warning. This is 100% from a die hard OU fan who is flat out sick and tired of watching Texas run roughshod over my Sooners (and the rest of the conference for that matter). I'm tired of watching UT do this (see video) to every team in the conference.
And more than anything, I'm beyond disgusted that Joe C., President Boren, Bob Stoops, and whoever else is in a position to do something about it, just continues to let it happen. I mean when Castiglione came out this summer and basically said "We'll do whatever Texas does" I wanted to puke. You could argue, and he has, that was not what he was saying but in the immortal words of George Costanza "It's not a lie if you believe it" and sorry Joe but I have a hard time buying that you actually believe it. The fact of the matter is you gave up any and all leverage we might have had when you admitted publicly that you were hitching OU to the UT wagon no matter what. Now they have done what you and we all knew they would do and yet here we sit having done nothing about it?!?
I came across an excellent article this morning from Sean Pendergast of the Houston Press addressing this UT/ESPiN love affair and he made several points I'd like to address here and open up for discussion with Sooner Nation. This first question is a no-brainer and not really the point of this story, so we'll address it but there is more to the point than may just be on the surface.
1. Does this partnership further erode ESPN's journalistic credibility?
Seriously? Does ESPiN have any credibility left to erode? The easy answer is no, but the more important answer and a point we'll get much more in depth with in a minute is how does this new deal affect their coverage of all things Texas? Anyone with a brain is aware that ESPiN has their "favorites" (can you say S-E-C) and those select teams/programs get
biased preferential treatment with respect to their air time. Perhaps even more obvious than their "perceived" bias in coverage is their insistence to make news rather than simply report news. ESPiN, shamelessly, tries to create the story and wields their power like an incredibly insecure celebrity who throws a temper tantrum reminiscent of a three year old child.
That's all well known, but the aspect of this that is much more disturbing is that now ESPiN has a direct $300 million financial incentive to favor the success of Texas
football athletics. If anyone tries to convince you otherwise, they are either a blatant UT homer or lying to themselves. Does this mean Herbie spends an extra thirty seconds talking about UT as opposed to some other team? Probably. Does this mean more Mack Brown interviews during the middle of games (likely OU games)? Um, yeah I'm sure it does. Does all this make a difference in the grand scheme of things? I'm not sure how you could think it wouldn't.
3. There's high school sports coverage as part of this also? Uh oh.
Originally I didn't think this was nearly as big a deal as others were making it out to be, but having had some more time to think about it I've flip flopped. I hate pretty much everything about the NCAA, but I'd be 100% behind them doing something to instantly making this "against the rules." Mack Brown is a slimy and dirty as they get, especially when it comes to recruiting, so to think he won't take advantage of this is a massive underestimation on my part. Not sure what I was thinking on that one.
There is no doubt he'll sell potential recruits on having their high school games in the spotlight on the UT network. You really think that won't impress a high school kid? Let's say there is a kid who wasn't
forced pressured convinced into committing on the spot during his official UT visit. He's trying to decide between UT and another school or two, so Mack Brown comes waltzing in and says "Son, how would you like UT to feature your next five games on UTTV? Does that sound like something you might be interested in?" Now you ask yourself, is this something you can see Mack Brown doing? Um, hell yes.
Where I still maintain a portion of my original dismissal is that it's not like Texas has ever had trouble recruiting. As a rabid OU fan, I hate to admit it but it's just a fact that UT gets a majority, if not all, of the recruits they want (at least in-state anyway). So it's not like that won't continue to still happen, where I see this making a bigger impact is recruiting in secondary sports. The ability of a family who does not live anywhere near Austin to have the benefit of being able to watch their son or daughter on UTTV will be a significant advantage in recruiting for Texas.
So where is all of this leading you might be asking yourself? The main point of this rant is one that appears to be lost on the powers that be at OU. WE DON'T NEED TEXAS!!!!
I'm not entirely sure why Joe C, President Boren, and anyone else with the power/clout at OU fail miserably to realize this?!? Look, I'm as big a fan of the tradition between OU and TX as anyone out there. But I'm not willing, nor to I think those in charge should be, to put that above all else. This deal was no surprise, but that does not change the fact that UT basically spit in the faces of OU and everyone in Crimson and Cream (I get that they did the same to every other team in this conference, but right now I don't really care about those other teams). UT cares about one thing and one thing only, $$$$$. They don't care about the tradition of the RRSO. They don't care that every other team in this conference hates their guts. So why in the hell do we care so much about staying attached to them?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
The perception was/is that every other team, OU included to my disgust, was Texas' bitch and by allowing them to do this we've essentially just confirmed it. You couple this with Joe C's comments last summer and honestly, I'm more than a little disappointed in our university leadership. I say screw Texas! Why the hell do we need to sit around here and wait from some scraps to fall from their table? OU is at worse a top five football school and would be a monumental addition to any other conference. Why is OU apparently happy to play second fiddle to UT? It just baffles me. This tv deal convinced me that OU needs to tell Texas to piss off and take whoever needs to come along (if anyone) to our conference of choice. If it's the SEC then fine, if it's the PAC whatever then fine, just do something rather than just waiting to be forced into making a decision.
It would suck to lose the RRSO and all that comes with the game in Dallas every year, but at some point you've just got to ask if it's worth losing your dignity over. Again, I don't understand the respect we continue to show Texas when it is never and has never been reciprocated. Let them go play in their piles of money, we'll go win games somewhere else. The University of Texas should not be making decisions for the University of Oklahoma.
So let it be known to the powers that be, Sooner Nation doesn't give a bleep about staying connected with Texas! We are willing to sacrifice the tradition if need be because we don't appreciate being pissed on and told that it's raining. Whoever can help get this message through to Castiglione and Boren, the sooner the better! Take A&M to the SEC. If we have to buy Okie State's way in to, that's fine just hit up T.Boone. The point is do whatever you have to do, but don't sit back and take this crap from Texas any longer. We'll trust you to make the right decision, but know that being subservient to Texas is always, always, always, the wrong choice. Now go get this done!