For some reason, we just can’t quit the Texas Longhorns.
I personally have no stake for or against the Longhorns. They are just another team, long on tradition and fan bases and short on performance. There is a long line.
Yet, on a weekly basis now, I seem to be writing about them. This must be what an US Weekly staffer feels about the Kardashians.
When The Longhorn Network was launched, it sparked a thousand debates about how much control a single school should have over its media coverage. It helped destroy a conference and end a rivalry. It was seen as an unfair advantage both for the level of exposure and money it would bring to UT. Like the YES Network a decade ago, there was worry we were allowing one team to because its own super power.
Not to mention the inherent conflict of interests when a ‘journalistic’ organization strikes a partnership with one of the subjects being covered. You don’t suppose ESPN would be ‘encouraged’ to discuss Texas more and overhype how good the team is for the financial benefit of ESPN, would you? No. Definitely wouldn’t happen. It isn’t like ESPN would ever talk about something more than it should be just for the sake of ratings, right Tebow?
But now it appears to all be crumbling. In the face of disappointing performance on the field, an increasingly desperate coach and school are looking for a scapegoat, and they have found one. Suddenly the access that was to be an overwhelming recruiting advantage is intrusive and possibly helping opponents scout the Longhorns.
The lucrative new revenue stream is held up by the lack of interest by cable companies in offering LHN to its subscribers.
Texas A&M whined their way out of the Big 12 based on LHN and into the SEC. Now wearing that patch on their shoulders mean that a 59-57 win at Louisiana Tech isn’t demonstration of the sad state of defense in the Big 12, it is further proof of the strength of the SEC. Where an Oklahoma or K-State win at Texas A&M would be just offense out-scoring offense, it is now held up as a marquee win for a national title contender. The SEC patch has turned Texas A&M from a middling Big 12 team to a national power only losing because they are playing in THE GREATEST CONFERENCE IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL HISTORY.
Rarely has an idea ever worked out so completely opposite of its stated goals. At least, in that sense The Longhorn Network truly is groundbreaking.