College Football’s First Nuke: Burnt-Orange Glow

August 26 ESPN and the University of Texas will unleash an inconceivable college football recruiting beast on, at the very least, the Big 12 opponents of the Longhorns.

Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe: Father Of College Football Recruiting's Nuclear Age

(Big 12 Boss Dan Beebe: Father Of ESPN-Led Nuclear Recruiting Age)

Last month ESPN Programming VP Dave Brown, who oversees the Longhorn Network, said during an interview with ESPN Austin affiliate KZNX-FM that ESPN will broadcast high school football games inside and outside the state.

On July 14, the HOUSTON CHRONICLE reported that Longhorn Network partner ESPN will, according to Texas Athletic Director DeLoss Dodds, “select the games based on what they [Longhorn Network management] feel is best.”

ESPN Longhorn Network VP Brown to KZNX on what those “best” high school football games - to be aired nationally on the Longhorn Network - will be:

“We’re going to follow the great [high school] players in the state. Obviously a kid like [unsigned Texas verbal commit] Johnathan Gray. I know people [Longhorn Network subscribers] are going to want to see Johnathan Gray, I can’t wait to see Johnathan Gray.

“Feedback from our audience is they just want to see Johnathan Gray run whether it’s 45-0 or not, they want to see more Johnathan Gray. So we’re going to do our best to accomodate them [Longhorn Network subscribers] and follow the kids who are being recruited by a lot of the Division I schools. Certainly some of the kids Texas has recruited and is recruiting and everyone else the Big 12 is recruiting.

“One other thing, you may see us, I know there’s a kid [unsigned Texas verbal commit] Connor Brewer from Chapparal high school in Arizona. We may try to get on one or two of their games as well so people [Longhorn Network subscribers] can see an incoming quarterback that’ll be part of the scene in Austin.

ESPN’s move to nationally televise high school football games of unsigned, prospective University of Texas student-athletes - and prospects who are still up for grabs - gives the Longhorns the equivalent of college football recruiting’s nuclear bomb, with UT free to use it while vying for recruits against Big 12 opponents and beyond.

Indeed, Texas AD Dodds sounded downright Oppenheimer-ish to the HOUSTON CHRONICLE as he awaited delivery of UT’s first ESPN-made recruiting game changer:

“We understand that this is a new world and that we’re leading the way in an area that is new to us and new to the NCAA and new to ESPN. Like everything else, we will do it in a first-class way, in the light of day.” 

Welcome to the NCAA’s brave new world! (Pay no mind to that unnatural burnt-orange glow Baylor fans, it’s perfectly safe to touch and taste.)

Brooks is on Twitter and Facebook

June 1: Big 12 Commish Trashed Big 10, Pac-10

A confidential white paper obtained by Andy Staples of the SPORTS ILLUSTRATED via the Freedom of Information Act shows that Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe foresaw - as early as June 1 - that the Big Ten and Pac-10 could attempt to raid his conference.

Dan Beebe trashed Big 10, Pac-10 In Defense Of Big 12 conference

In a document dated June 1 and sent by the commissioner to top officials at each Big 12 school, Beebe outlined why it was in the best interest of those schools to remain in Beebe’s conference.

The paper reveals that part of Beebe’s plea to Big 12 membership involved disparaging the Big Ten and Pac-10.

Read more…

Commissioner: Big Ten Now Done Raiding Big 12

Matt Tait of the LAWRENCE JOURNAL-WORLD has details from Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe’s teleconference today. Beebe talked about the departures of Nebraska and Colorado and the current state of the league. Highlights.

On the possibilities of losing more teams to the Big Ten:

“At this point I think as far as we’re concerned my understanding is that there aren’t any other Big 12 members being considered by the Big Ten.”

On Nebraska leaving for the Big Ten:

I would’ve thought formal discussions in advance would’ve happened before we got to the point we’ve come to.

On if the Big 12 could remain intact by adding schools:

We could look at adding teams if the 10 remain together and that’s something we need to consider. However, in terms of value and conducting high-level conference, we don’t have to do that. The info we have is pretty strong that the 10 members we have would continue to provide tremendous amount of revenue in the future.

If he felt deceived by Colorado and Nebraska: Read more…

Permanent Home Field Advantage: Big 12 South?

One of the most unseemly aspects of conference championship playoff games in football is the appearance of unfairness in the location of the game. Why, if a team is more highly rated and in line for a giant BCS bowl payday, should they travel to a conference opponent’s backyard at the end of the season and put their whole year on the line one last time?

New Cowboys Stadium

It’s a legitimate question, especially in the Big 12, which has seen no fewer than five teams enter the conference championship ranked in the top three, only to walk out with a loss. So naturally, they’re thinking about permanently relocating to Dallas. Of course.

Read more…