It’s All about the $$$$$

John Lemon

So, Texas and Oklahoma want to join the major leagues of college football conferences? Is that a good thing or a bad thing? It’s probably a great thing.

It expands the SEC fan base (footprint) deeper into the Southwest and Midwestern regions of the nation. That means more attention, more media coverage, and a lot more money. Yes, this is a financially driven move. Imagine just how much more revenue will be generated by adding the hundreds of thousands of Oklahoma and Texas fans into the SEC media/marketing conglomerate?

The view is similar from Oklahoma’s and Texas’ side of the fence as well. They will be getting a piece of the largest college sports media franchise in the world. Texas will lose its failed “Longhorn Network”, but gain access to every other SEC fan’s radio/television/phone/computer, every week, of every year, into infinity (provided they don’t get to “big for their britches”…again). As for Oklahoma, it is more of a necessity than it is for the Longhorns.

Every year Oklahoma thinks it’s going to play for a national championship, but how has that worked out for them since the break-up of the original Big 12? Gradually, they have become less and less relevant when talking about the football playoff. Sure, they claim to be the #6 ranked college athletic program concerning value of marketing, but I really don’t see it, and I don’t think they really see it either. If that’s true, then just go independent, sign your own media deal and control your own destiny. If you have such a strong independent program the competition will come to you. Oklahoma needs to avoid following in the footsteps of Nebraska and lose its national relevance. Membership in the SEC gives Oklahoma a shot in the arm, a booster for what ails them (exposure and money in the coming years), and is just what Dr. Fauci would order (at least for a few weeks).

A friend of mine wanted to tell me all about how joining the SEC will help Texas’ and Oklahoma’s recruiting. Texas won’t ever need the help, unless they have another decade of mediocrity, and Oklahoma doesn’t need it right now. To be sure, the additional exposure won’t hurt recruiting, but Texas and Oklahoma recruit well against the SEC right now, maybe with the exception of Alabama.

There are some road bumps though. It looks like Oklahoma will need to have its realignment approved by the Oklahoma legislature (tying them to Oklahoma State), and the Big 12 is making noise about forcing a massive financial settlement. Already claiming collusion, fraud and interference on the part of ESPN. Also, there is a push in the Texas legislature to tie Texas Tech to Texas, officially or unofficially, like what happened at the Big 12’s creation. Not to mention the wrangling going on by Baylor and TCU. I think Tech, Baylor and TCU, along with the “remaining” Big 12 schools could increase their national marketability by adding BYU and Central Florida, and replace the media money lost by going back to 12 schools with additions of Cincinnati and Memphis (or maybe SMU). Maybe Nebraska is tired of what the Big 10 is doing to them? Exciting times, right?

You would think Mizzou and A&M would never agree to adding Texas given their track record in the Big 12. But the income model presented to the SEC schools was just too much to pass up. They got behind the move even with scheduling and internal conference alignment completely up in the air. It helps that Alabama, Florida, Auburn, LSU and Georgia don’t need Texas to hold

the SEC together, so there won’t be anymore of Texas threatening to “take its toys and go home” if they don’t get their way.

As a college football fanatic I see this as a good thing. As a Missouri Tigers fanatic, I also see this as a good thing.

Oh yeah, one last thing. I was very sorry to read about LSU quarterback Miles Brennan being out for the year. With that happening their whole season is up in the air and my prediction is, now, they will have to be lucky to win 7 games (I think they will, going 7 and 5), and if they don’t Coach O is gone