The SEC is running wild in Big 12 country and Texas is basically hiding under its 10 gallon hat, pretending that is is business as usual … its not! The SEC intrusion into the State of Texas has placed the Longhorns, Hoss Cartwright’s Hat in close proximity to their behinds!
Texas has hurt the Big-12 in almost as many ways as they have helped the Conference. Let’s start by looking at the funny … to outright strange … idea Texas projects about how to divide conference revenue, it goes something like this…
$1 to TCU – $1 to Texas; $1 to Texas Tech – $1 to Texas; $1 to Baylor – $1 to Texas; $1 to Texas A&M … oops they left … well ok … but still … $1 Texas, $1 to Nebraska … oh yeah they left too … whatever … $1 to Texas; $1 to Colorado …. wait a minute … they went the way of the Buffalo? … big deal … we heard the Buffalo are making a comeback …$2 to Texas; $1 to Missouri … their gone too? … forget them … their the “so what state” .. not the … “show me state” … for that insight – $3 to Texas. and on and on & on …
In the Longhorn version of …. ‘Texas Hold em’ … they, like everybody else at the Big 12 table, had the community cards, the Flop, the Turn & the River in plain sight … however, under their interpretation of the rules, the ‘Horns’ were allowed to see everyone else’s ‘hole cards’ giving them a slight ‘Texas advantage’ in determining who gets the majority of $’s in the pot! Texas explaines this behavior by stating the obvious (at least to themselves) …Hey… were Texas! We do this … because we can! …. But not anymore!
Regarding Colorado & Missouri’s moving on, well they were missed, Nebraska’s sayonara hurt & while A&M’s “stick it’ departure has hurt the Big 12 … Big Time!
SEC recruiters have pounced on the Lone Star State; Alabama, Auburn, Ole Miss, & MSU are drooling over the possibilities that Texas A&M’s entry into the SEC have created for them. LSU & Arkansas, the other 2 teams in the West Division of the conferences, have always recruited pretty well in Texas, especially LSU (Arkansas … was in the old Southwest Conference with the Texas schools so they do have a history of recruiting the State). Even the East Division of the SEC, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia & Tennessee have turned their attention west and now see Texas as much more accessible since the annexation of Texas A&M! These are power programs from the best conference in the country … its not just “Houston we have a problem” its Texas and the whole BIg 12 that has a problem!
Last year, Texas produced 341 D-1 or FBS football players, Florida added 322 to that number & California was 3rd with 232 recruits. The average recruiting class is about 19 … so lets do the math: 128 teams X 19 = 2,432 players, who are needed to fill rosters each year. The Big three, Texas, Florida & California provided 895 players last year or 37% of all recruits came from these three states. While Texas & Oklahoma have a national presence, the rest of the league does not and is highly dependent on the talent pool from Texas High Schools! Further, other than the Longhorns & Sooners, the Big 12 schools have a minimal presence in Florida & California, re: top flight recruits! The SEC has landed in Texas, hear em’ … S E C; … S E C; … S E C. And by the way, do you think Nick Saban (Mr. Concrete / Sequential) is really a Lane Kiffin (Mr. Abstract / Random) disciple or do you think Saban has cast his gaze upon the talent pool in California? This will be fun to watch …. California Dreamers in Good Ole Boy Country … that may be a reach … even for Saint Nick!
So what is the Big 12 to do … as you may know, the B-12 & SEC have signed a deal for the league champions to meet annually in the Sugar Bowl (much like the Big Ten / PAC 12 Rose Bowl match-up) … when they are not in the 4 team playoff! Granted, the chances of both the SEC & B-12 champions (or even only one) not being in the Play offs borderers on non-existent to unlikely! This fact is more of an issue for the Big 12, with the SEC hammering away at the Texas talent pool, the quality of the the conference, once past OU & UT , is clearly, at risk! So what is the Big 12 to do? Sully’s College Football Page has the definitive answer & here it is!!!
First: Texas either go the way of Notre Dame and declare yourself an Independent (just like you did in March of 1836 … declared Independence from Mexico) or become a real member of a conference (just like you did in December of 1845 … joined the Union … we won’t mention what you did in March of 1861 … oops to late) Ohio State shares dollar for dollar with Indiana, that’s how conferences work … get on board … your league needs you to be on board!
Second: The Big -12 needs you to start playing Texas A&M again, preferable on the last weekend in November, rivalry weekend. Look at what the SEC East does, they play all those in-state, SEC vs ACC, slobber knockers (South Carolina/Clemson, Georgia/Georgia Tech, Florida/FSU & Kentucky/ Louisville). Meanwhile, the West Division plays two in-state, SEC games, Alabama/Auburn (Iron Bowl) & Ole Miss/MSU (Egg Bowl). The SEC could easily schedule LSU & Arkansas (A border battle) that week, leaving the Texas & Texas A&M game a real possibility … play it on Thanksgiving … what a national audience that would draw!! Yet, more importantly, it would give Texas the opportunity to reestablish themselves as the dominant program in the state (while it’s a trickle down effect … it’s still good for the Big 12). The Longhorns now need this game more than Aggies .. I can’t believe I just said that … yet … I believe it is true!
Third: The best defense is a good offense: Machiavelli wrote: that even the threat of a strong offensive attack will move your opponent into a defensive posture … creating a strategic advantage for the one who threatens. The Chinese leader, Mao Zedong agreed; the only real defense is an active defense … meaning a counterattack is the best defense against an attack and Wing Chun, the kung Fu Master said; the hand that strikes also blocks. Alright … were done with the military adages! Here is where this babble is applicable to the Big 12! The SEC has marched into the heart of B-12 country and set up a recruiting shop in Texas. The Big 12 needs to emulate this behavior, by moving from a 10 to a 12 team league. And please, forget BYU & Boise State, as they will do nothing for recruiting. The conference needs to target Central Florida, the 2nd largest University in the U.S. (undergraduates) and East Carolina (they did beat UNC, 55-31 & NC State, 42-28 in 2013), the best kept secret in all of the FBS. The immediate effect of this move is it gets the entire B-12 a presence in the southeastern part of the country. Those of us who follow college football know, the hot beds of recruiting are in the southeast, the southwest, and the far west! The addition of UCF would put the Big 12 smack in the middle of the SEC’s lifeline … Florida. The general thinking in the Southeast Conference, is that, while there is talents everywhere in the Southeast, the best high school players are in Florida, Georgia, & North Carolina! East Carolina is in Greenville, North Carolina; not to mention, ok let’s mention it, West Virginia would now have some relatively close neighbors in the B-12 East or whatever you would call the division!
This makes perfect sense to me, if the Big 12 wants to get back to even footing with the SEC in the recruiting wars. What do you think?