When Texas A&M left Texas and the Big 12 for the SEC, few expected the Aggies to get the upper hand in the terminated relationship so soon. But Texas A&M made an instant impact in the powerful SEC and saw Johnny Manziel spring to a Heisman Trophy as the Aggies elevated up the ranks of college football powers. At the same time Texas has failed to be a top contender in the Big 12 and braces for what could be another ugly Red River Rivalry if they are not careful against Oklahoma. On Texas A&M’s way up that ladder of college football superiority, they may have passed the Longhorns. At least, that is the concern of some officials representing the University of Texas.
According to a report by Dallas Morning News, the recent success enjoyed by Texas A&M since moving to the SEC has high-ranking members paranoid.
“What they are concerned about is not just a football season or a football team,” the source said to Dallas Morning News. “What they’re concerned about is that we’re going to lose this kind-of war to A&M. They are really paranoid about A&M.”
As the report suggests, this goes beyond the football field. Texas A&M has reported a record enrollment that has certainly caught the eyes in Austin. The Aggies are also planning on renovations to Kyle Field that will increase the total capacity, and thus add to the Texas A&M coffers through ticket sales, concessions, advertising revenue and more. things are going well at Texas A&M and it has Texas genuinely concerned about the future and direction of their own program.
Of course, Texas is still well off when it comes to finances. That is not likely to change any time soon, but as Texas A&M continues to grow and thrive, it could start cutting in to the funds usually expected to be addressed for the Longhorns. Having the right leadership in place at Texas will be the focus, but any candidate for the job of athletics director will likely have to be counted on to unveil any plans to get Texas football back on top of the Big 12 and contending on a national stage moving in to the College Football Playoff.
Texas A&M has caught the eyes of Texas, and they captured it through success in football first. If Texas is going to ease the paranoia among university leaders, and donors, then it must strike back through football.
Illinois head coach Lovie Smith has dismissed three players charged with home invasion and robbery. Offensive linemen Darta Lee and Howard Watkins and tight end Zarrian Holcombe have all been dismissed from the program, according to a statement.
Lee and Holcombe were previously suspended by Smith for violations of team rules. Watkins had also been indefinitely suspended following the initial allegations. All three players claimed the incident that led to the charges was nothing more than an innocent prank, but the authorities and Smith didn’t seem willing to buy that claim.
Each player faces a mandatory prison sentence of 4-15 years on each count against them if found guilty.
Conference USA is in a position where it needs to think outside the box and look to stay ahead of the curve in a changing TV landscape. It appears to be ready to air games on Twitter in 2017.
A report from The Virginian-Pilot says broadcast company STADIUM will air at least 15 football games involving Conference USA teams this fall. STADIUM is the result of a recent merger between the American Sports Network, 120 Sports and Silver Chalice (which also owns Campus Insiders and the online ACC Digital Network). The ASN had owned the broadcast rights to Conference USA games through the end of the 2017-2018 sports season that will carry over to the STADIUM deal (allowing for Conference USA basketball games to be aired on Twitter as well). It was announced earlier this month STADIUM intended to broadcast Conference USA games on Twitter, but it was unknown how many games might make it to the networking service. STADIUM reportedly has an interest in continuing to air Conference USA contests beyond the next athletic season.
Conference USA still has broadcast deals with ESPN and CBS Sports in effect as well, so don’t expect the premiere matchups in the conference to be aired on Twitter. However, by sharing the games online, Conference USA is hoping to reach a wide-spread audience and have the opportunity to be a trending topic. It could work, as Twitter would make sure the game is given a steady feed to allow for a pleasant viewing experience and fan interaction in real time.
Conference USA saw TV revenue take a big hit over the last year. Last summer, Conference USA’s television revenue reportedly dropped to just $2.8 million for the entire conference following realignment changes. Finding a home on a streaming platform now would be key for the conference’s future stability.
It is not at all uncommon for children born in the state of Alabama to be named after Alabama football legends, but it is not every day you see a child of an Alabama coach receives a name inspired by former Alabama football players.
Defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt announced the birth of his new son, Flynt Anderson-Foster Pruitt, on Twitter. Alabama fans will likely already know the connection to the new child’s name, as used the last names of two former Alabama football players to create the middle name of Anderson-Foster; Ryan Anderson and Reuben Foster.
Maybe this is more common than I’m aware of, but regardless of how often a coach names a child after former players, this is a testament to the relationship the Pruitt family established with both former Alabama linebackers. And now there will be a bond for years to come between the coach and his family and Anderson and Foster.
Helmet sticker to Al.com.
The Wisconsin Badgers are gearing up for their 100th season playing home football game sin Camp Randall Stadium. As part of the season-long celebration, Wisconsin put some brilliant artistic detail into their season tickets for the 2017 season.
Each ticket to a home Wisconsin game is designed like a retro-style program. These are beautifully done and mimic the style of a program cover from decades past. I’m particularly fond of the program cover for the Purdue game, which features Wisconsin’s Bucky floating in space with a ship with the Purdue logo nearby. Is that a space train? The Band Day program for the game against Florida Atlantic also looks fantastic.
These tickets will surely be must-have collectibles for Wisconsin fans. If Wisconsin wants to make a few extra bucks, then blowing up these images and selling them as posters may be a good decision as well. And I wouldn’t put it past Wisconsin to suit up in a retro-style uniform for at least home game this season in Madison.