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What the Longhorn Network means for OSU



This is not going to be a popular stance among OSU fans, many of whom are all ablaze over the handshaking and back patting going on between DeLoss Dodds and John Skipper over the newest Texas shrine: the Longhorn Network.

You know how when people complain about schools that aren’t “their school” they say things like “gosh, they’re on TV all the time” or “all we get is 24-7 coverage of [school x]”? Well now those are both very literally the truth.

ESPN will carry various Texas auxiliary sporting events such as track, tennis, and soccer. Eight basketball games will be aired and so will two football games, including this pervasive “I cannot believe this is happening to us!” (even though we don’t know who “us” is yet) Big 12 game.

They will also carry local Texas high school football games. That’s the one that has A&M’s conservative contingent telling Rick Perry “I don’t care if you want to be president of the United States and need our time and support, we HAVE to figure out this high school football conundrum and we’re going to have 12-hour meetings every day until we do!!”

To all this I say, who cares?

On February 2 of this year, Texas signed twenty-two football players: fifteen 4-stars, one 5-star, and six 3-stars (can you imagine what they say to 2-stars who want to go there? “wait, you play what sport again?”). Twenty-one of those twenty-two players were from the state of Texas.

They bagged eight of the top eighteen players in the state (OSU got two!) and one of three 5-stars (OU got the other two). They got a franchise running back, a top five corner, top five linebacker, and this brother of Jordan Shipley ESPN/ABC has been jamming down our throats for the last five years.

So they could improve their recruiting, I guess, but they also own a finite number of scholarships. They have 85 scholarships, the same number as Central Florida, Rugters, Clemson, and Ohio State (for now…too soon?).

My question is, how much will this improve their football recruiting? Sports media has become ubiquitous and will only continue in that direction in the future. At some point, with a limited amount of resources (scholarships), you max out your ability to improve your return on investment (recruits). If Texas’ recruiting is a 9 right now and they move up to a 10 because of this…does it really matter? Garrett Gilbert’s parents are nodding violently right now.

You can only recruit so many 5-star quarterbacks and you can only play so many 4-star running backs. Yes, they might have gotten another of those three 5-stars (but really, as an OSU fan, do you want 5-stars in the hands of Mack Brown or Bob Stoops?) and yes maybe they would have snagged something higher than a 3-star quarterback, but are either of those issues worth changing conferences over?

It’d be like Amy Adams getting pissed that Megan Fox got plastic surgery and became even prettier. You’re still Amy Adams, she’s still Megan Fox.

OSU is the last school in the world that needs to be complaining about an unfair advantage due to monetary influxes, I think we know that. But we should also know that Mike Gundy and his well-compensated group of assistants are competent enough to mine Texas high schools with enough savvy that these nine and ten win seasons aren’t going anywhere.

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