27 September 2011

Tuesday Football: The buh-byes of Texas

Like most extended families in Texas, mine has divided its collegiate sporting loyalties between Texas and Texas A&M.  I grew up a Longhorn fan, but then became a student at A&M, so now I'm an Aggie.  I'm also what my fellow Ags like to call a "two-percenter," a liberal (or even a moderate) in a student body that's been historically conservative.  It probably won't be a surprise to learn that I've never had any real animus towards UT-Austin.

Then again, no one at UT had ever signed of on an idea as stupid and destructive as the Longhorn Network.  Many mid-tier cable and satellite packages include the wildly successful Big Ten Network, so it's not hard to see how Texas, or any other Big 12 school, might want to have its own network.  Other conferences have implemented their own solutions, but somehow, the Big 12 allowed UT to strike out on its own.

What an incredibly stupid, shortsighted idea.

If a member of a conference creates a network for its own sports teams, and keeps all the proceeds to itself, doesn't that defeat the entire point of belonging to a conference?  Answer:  apparently, the other members are now to be mere props to serve the Longhorns, the way the Washington Generals serve as props to the Harlem Globetrotters.  Small wonder that Nebraska, Colorado and now Texas A&M left.  They saw their Big 12 futures in their crystal balls, and they didn't like it any better than Missouri does.

Since A&M left for the SEC, we've seen the defection of two Big East universities to the ACC, talk of the same at a third, and an SEC run at Missouri.  Only the Pacific 12's refusal to take on new members is holding the Big 12 together.  As the price for staying, Oklahoma has extracted the dismissal of commissioner Dan Beebe, but the Big 12 is still UT's plaything.

Unless the State of Texas itself intends to annex Oklahoma, Kansas and parts of Missouri, it's hard to see how this new situation is any more stable than the one that Nebraska and Colorado escaped.  Maybe Kansas and Kansas State keep some independence as basketball powers, but which athletes are going to commit to schools like Iowa State and Texas Tech, whose dreams of nationwide status have just been reduced from slim to none?  The Big XII X IX may replace its departed members, but those replacements will probably be schools for which life as a vassal for UT Athletics would be an improvement.

Even that assumes that the Longhorn Network succeeds.  If it fails, well, it's going to really, really suck to be the University of Texas come 2020.

Victory Weighting administrivia:  Once again, I'm keeping Victory Weighted standings for the NFL.  Also, I've given my little system a logo, which appears on both the Victory Weighting main page and the standings page.  Click on the buttons on the purple bar at the top.

Let's get lolcatty:  Speaking of suck, life has turned nasty for the Ghost-Grey Cats, who have devolved into a fantasy veterinary ward.  Let's review the team's top picks.  [Thanks, Yahoo!]
  1. Arian Foster:  Bad hammy.  Might lose his starting spot when he heals.
  2. Michael Vick:  Bad hand.  Concussed two weeks ago.
  3. Matt Forte:  Healthy, but now he's the whole of the Bears' offense.
  4. Antonio Gates:  Bad foot.  Out for weeks now.
  5. Nate Kaeding:  Bum knee.  Gave out on the first play of the season.
  6. Receivers:  What receivers?
This team has turned into mush -- the kind of mush that turned in one of my worst fantasy performances ever this week.  They lost 79-57 to a team called Let's Smoke Crack.  It gets worse this week, as the Cats face the league-leading Gridiron Heroes.  Frequent, the begging and meowing for ball-carrying treats will be.

The Fluttering Horde, on the other hand, delivered lots of Africanized bee stings to the Purple Dragons, romping to a 117-56 win.  I just love, love, love me some Darren Sproles.  Next up:  one of my winless nephews, Svelte & Vexatious.

1 comment:

Matty Boy said...

Mt nephew Adam's fantasy football had a long list of names with the letter "Q" beside them. He was thinking of changing the team name from Dr. DeathBomb to Questionable.