Big 12 Expansion
Let’s Go (Or Not). Everyone’s favorite conference realignment writer Frank The Tank’s Slant catches up on the recent expansion talk, focusing on Oklahoma and stating that Oklahoma isn’t happy in the Big 12 and wants out. Frank usually isn’t a guy that breaks news, but there you go. Frank opines that adding Oklahoma and Kansas is a pretty rare opportunity to add blue blood programs (Oklahoma for football and Kansas for basketball):
If I were running the Big Ten, it’s time to take advantage of one of those rare moments where a national football brand name is essentially begging for offers. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: if we assume that Texas, Notre Dame and ACC schools are off the table, then the single most valuable expansion that the Big Ten can have at this point is adding Oklahoma and Kansas. These are two of the most elite blue blood brand names in college football and college basketball, respectively, and their small markets on-paper compared to Eastern options are irrelevant when they can effectively turn the Big Ten Network into a legit national network instead of a mostly regional one (which may become more important as cable cord cutting continues and the TV industry starts moving toward an a la carte or at least less-than-basic cable model). Also note that Kansas actually had the highest third tier TV rights revenue of any Big 12 school prior to the formation of the Longhorn Network, so it has been shown that the BTN can basically charge any price within KU’s market (and presumably OU’s market) and garner a ton of more revenue even with fewer households on paper.
The always well-reasoned Allen Kenney at Blatant Homerism isn’t feeling it and thinks that moving isn’t going to satiate what Oklahoma is looking for:
For the record, I lean toward the argument that leaving the Big 12 is likely a bad long-term move for OU’s football program. There are very good reasons for the Sooners to find a new home, but if you think a new conference is some kind of magic bullet to give the football program some juice, I’m betting you won’t like how that turns out.
Top 100. Sports on Earth’s Matt Brown ranks the top 100 players in college football and Texas Tech’s Le’Raven Clark is #71:
71. Le’Raven Clark, OT, Texas Tech. A mainstay on the Red Raiders offensive line, Clark has 38 career starts under his belt, beginning his career at right guard before becoming an All-Big 12 left tackle the last two years. He could play either position in the pros, but at Texas Tech he boasts the quickness to seal the edge in an offense in which the quarterbacks don’t get sacked often, despite the high number of pass attempts.
Top Freshman. Campus Insiders’ Pete Fiutak ranked the top freshmen in the country and said that Breiden Fehoko is #9:
Somehow, the Hawai’i native slipped out of Alabama’s hands, and Texas Tech got him. While he’s not massive at 6-3 and 293 pounds, he’s a rock on the inside with the strength to hold down the defensive interior. However, he’s a pass rusher who cranks up the fire on every play. 121st in the nation against the run last year and 123rd in scoring D, the Red Raiders could use Fehoko right away. It’s not a stretch to call him one of the biggest keys to any defensive improvement.
So anytime an analysis starts off with something inaccurate, like Alabama lost out on Fehoko, which I don’t think was ever even an option or close, I’m suspicious, but there you go.
New Ticket Office.
Miscellaneous. The Student Section takes a look at Oklahoma State . . . Land Grant Gauntlet previews week one in the Big 12 . . . DMN’s Michael DuPont with the five things that could Texas Tech’s season to be worse . . . Syracuse.com’s Patrick Stevens previews the Red Raiders and has him ranked #55 in the preseason . . . LAJ’s Don Williams has the other wide receiver spot (yesterday, Williams had Michael Crabtree, Wes Welker and Joel Filani at the other wide receiver spot) and today Williams has Dave Parks, Lloyd Hill and Larry Gilbert . . . Land Grant Gauntlet with a roundtable on the best coach in the Big 12 . . .