For Sooners, spinning is winning


On Sept. 3, and citing a university source, the Daily Oklahoman reported that Oklahoma’s sole focus was on a move from the Big 12 to the Pac-12.

Nearly three weeks later?  Psyche!  Gotcha!  Buuurrrn!!!

Less than 24 hours after the Pac-12 announced  it would not expand beyond its current membership, thus blocking OU’s expected conference move westward, what’s being a called a high-ranking OU source told the same paper that the OU/Oklahoma State coalition wanted people to think they were seriously eyeing the Pac-12 when all along they were working in tandem to keep the conference together.  No, seriously, that’s how they’re framing this situation.

“But frankly, we [OU/OSU] wanted the impression out there that we might go to the Pac-12 because that gave us some leverage,” the source told the paper, apparently with a straight face and everything. “We were using that as leverage to say, ‘Hey, you want us to stay? Let’s have some of these reforms.'”

My head… all this spinning… when will the room… stop…

For the record, the word leverage was used six times in that piece.  As someone on Twitter opined, if you have to tell someone you have leverage, you don’t.  Or, as one Pac-12 official said in an email, “that’s was the best laugh I’ve had all day.”

Regardless of how the story is being “framed” in Norman and Stillwater, and regardless of how laughable this double-agent, James Bond spin is, there does appear to be one consistent theme in the here and now: there will need to be some significant concessions made in order to keep OU satisfied, although most of the leverage they were attempting to gain was likely lost when the Pac-12 made its announcement last night.  As has previously been reported, there are a handful of concessions the Sooners, and presumably OSU as Mini-Me to OU’s Austin Powers, are seeking in order to add some stability to the conference.

Among the changes: removing of Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe; adopting common rules for individual networks like the Longhorn Network; phasing in revenue sharing from primary television rights; and requiring a commitment of rights of more than five years from conference schools, which would commit all of their game revenues to the Big 12 during that time and make moving to another league difficult to impossible.

On the issue of revenue sharing, UT athletic director DeLoss Dodds stated today that athletic directors had already approved last spring the equal sharing of Tier 1 and Tier 2 revenues among all conference members; the presidents of the universities have yet to sign off on that item.  One thing Dodds made clear, however, was that sharing revenues earned from The Longhorn Network, which falls under Tier 3 rights, is nonnegotiable.  It’s believed that’s not a major concern of OU as the school has already been working on creating its own network.

The issues surrounding the LHN mainly revolve around the televising of high school football games or highlights, as well as UT’s desire to broadcast an additional football game — a conference game — per season.

Nine of the conferences members, with the obvious exception of Texas A&M, will hold what’s being called a stability teleconference Thursday to begin the process of hashing out the issues that need to be resolved before the Big 12 can begin to move forward.

Randy Edsall not leaving Maryland without giving Buckeyes a fight

Cardale Jones
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If this is the last game Randy Edsall coaches at Maryland, at least he is making it count. Maryland may be down at the half, but the overmatched Terrapins are giving No. 1 Ohio State all it can handle it would seem. Ohio State holds a 21-14 lead on Maryland at the half, with big plays being the key.

Maryland struck first when Perry Hills connected to an open D.J. Moore down the middle of the field for a 52-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead. Ohio State would battle back, switching up the quarterbacks between Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett along the way. The Buckeyes ripped off three touchdowns, with Barrett and Ezekiel Elliott each running for one and Jones throwing for the third, to Braxton Miller. Up 21-7, all seemed to return to normal for the Buckeyes, but Maryland cut the lead to seven late in the first half.

Hills broke free for a 75-yard run from the Maryland 22-yard line all the way down to the Ohio State three, and he finsihed off the quick touchdown on the next play with a short touchdown run. So Maryland continues to linger, which appears to be a theme with Ohio State’s opponents this season.

Jones has completed 15 of 20 pass attempts for 195 yards and a touchdown for Ohio State. Barrett attempted just one pass, which was good for a 20-yard gain. Elliott has just 25 rushing yards on 11 attempts at the half.

Texas-sized upset? Longhorns stunning No. 10 Oklahoma in Red River Rivalry

Jerrod Heard
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Nobody could have seen this coming, even after throwing out the records. A week after being ambushed by TCU, Charlie Strong and his Texas Longhorns looked like a completely different team in the first quarter against No. 10 Oklahoma in the old Cotton Bowl. Texas holds a surprising 14-3 lead at the half.

Jerrod Heard completed a 24-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Johnson midway through the first quarter. The Longhorns made it 14-0 when a break went their way. Lorenzo Joe recovered a fumble in the end zone for a score to make it 14-0 after Oklahoma had fumbled away the ensuing kickoff after the first score.

Texas outgained Oklahoma in the first quarter, 133 yards to just 15, and at the half (169 yards to just 85). Oklahoma went three-and-out on each of its two drives, and the Sooners had to punt four times before being able to put a dent on the scoreboard with a short 21-yard field goal by Austin Seibert after a 12-play drive stalled at the Texas four-yard line. Meanwhile, Texas was building a double-digit lead.

Without a doubt, the first half of this game was the best half we have seen from Texas in a while. Can they keep it going and score what would be a significant upset to get our day started?