The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake | 2022.07.13

Hall of Honor 2022 class.

I’m having to tap out a bit because Yossouf had a long soccer practice last night.

Texas Tech Hall of Honor

Texas Tech announced their 2022 Hall of Honor class:

Texas Tech will formally induct seven former letterwinners into its Hall of Fame as well as the late Tommy McVay into the Hall of Honor on Oct. 28, the athletics department announced Tuesday as part of the official unveiling of the 2022 class.

The Texas Tech Hall of Fame, reserved strictly for former athletes, will welcome the likes of former All-Big 12 defensive back Kevin Curtis, men’s basketball standouts Gene Knolle and Norman Reuther, baseball All-American pitcher Matt Miller and former track and field All-American thrower Patience Knight as part of the 2022 class. Chris Martin, who was previously announced as part of the 2020 class, will be enshrined in October alongside the rest of the 2022 inductees as she was unable to attend the 2021 events due to a family conflict.

McVay, meanwhile, will be recognized posthumously in the Hall of Honor for his longtime contributions as Texas Tech’s Director of Football Operations. McVay, who passed away in August 2020, dedicated 20-plus years as part of the Red Raider football program where he oversaw many of the administrative duties under five different head coaches up until his passing.

Conference Realignment

ESPN’s Andrea Adelson, Kyle Bonagura and Adam Rittenberg go inside the move of USC and UCLA to the Big Ten, but there’s a portion at the end about how the Big 12 could be more aggressive. I would still tell you that this is up to ESPN, FOX, and any other television network or streaming entity that wants the other four-corner football program:

There is also a belief that the Big 12 is working from a position of strength and should be aggressive in securing its future. One league source pointed to new media markets with the additions of Cincinnati and UCF, its reach across three time zones and the addition of an independent in BYU that makes the league more appealing as a landing spot for some of the Pac-12 schools as compared to the ACC.

“Don’t sleep on the new Big 12,” the source said. “I can tell you that right now.”

The mood around the league is dramatically different from July 2021, when it felt much like the Pac-12 did last week, blindsided by the departures of key members.

“You felt more like the hunted than being the entity doing the hunting,” a Big 12 source said. “It’s just ironic how one year later, the Big 12, our solidarity is at an all-time high. We’re just in a different position.”

The Big 12 can also sell prospective Pac-12 schools on its own experience of hoping to hold a conference together based on the whims of its two biggest properties. After Texas flirted with leaving in 2011, the Longhorns came back with a sweetheart deal that included their own television network. Yet, when they had a shot to jump to the SEC, they took it. That’s a big warning to Pac-12 schools that Oregon and Washington, the biggest prizes left on the West Coast, might want to save the conference now but could jump if a better deal comes along. And schools like Utah, Arizona and Arizona State already recruit Texas heavily.

The Mercury News’ Jon Wilner writes about the possible strategic merits of an alliance between the Pac-12 and the Big 12:

Instead of the Big 12 grabbing six or eight Pac-12 schools or the Pac-12 churning forward alone, why not work together to create a super-conference that would include 10 of the top 30 markets and eight teams ranked in the final AP top-25 poll of the 2021 season.

“There are lots of non-strategic football brands in the Big Ten and SEC,” Crakes said.

“If you can get enough strategic brands together in the new combined conference, you’ve got something to offer media companies, distributors and advertisers. You get enough top-25 matchups in a given year, and you’d be OK.

“Also, if you can assemble the right parts, you can offer real value to the major media companies — CBS, NBC, Turner and the new digital-only distributors (e.g., Amazon and Apple) — that are, as of this moment, boxed out by Fox and ESPN’s de facto duopoly.”

The specifics of governance and structure (full-on merger or formal scheduling alliance) would take not only a commitment by each league but also ESPN, which could operate the combined linear network and own the digital rights, as well.

But a partnership of 20 schools (or more) — not separate paths or a predatory move — would create the best strategic position for 2026 and beyond, when strength and stability will be defined by both media dollars and CFP slots.

This is 100% what I would do. Own everything West of I-35 (basically and know that West Virginia, Cincinnati, and UCF would like a word).


CBS Sports’ Shehan Jeyarajah writes about what to expect at the Big 12 Media Days.

As an aside, the schedule for the Big 12 Media Days can be found at that link. Texas Tech, Joey McGuire, Caleb Rogers, Myles Price, Tyree Wilson, and Dadrion Taylor-Demerson will be in Dallas on Thursday. McGuire is set to speak at 11:05 a.m. on Thursday.


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