Oklahoma State Cowboys

Oklahoma State football team take the field for a spring NCAA college football game in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, April 16, 2016. Black team defeated orange 20-7. (AP Photo/Brody Schmidt)
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Big 12 spring attendance by the numbers

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By now we know the spring attendance numbers in the SEC and Big Ten will always be higher than the other power conferences (having 14 teams helps, of course). The Big 12 will never compete in this pretty useless stat, especially when so many schools fail to record any figure at all. Five Big 12 programs reported no spring attendance number this spring, which left us with just five schools to count when putting together the Big 12’s attendance figure. As things stand right now, the Big 12 looks to be locked into a fourth-place finish this spring, with the Pac-12 the only power conference lagging behind the Big 12 in the spring attendance standings.

Big 12 Spring Attendance By School

Here is how the Big 12 schools compared to each other in spring game attendance.

  1. Oklahoma – 42,436
  2. Oklahoma State – 17,500
  3. Iowa State – 15,089
  4. Kansas State – 14,643
  5. West Virginia – 6,000

Note: Baylor, Kansas, TCU, Texas and Texas Tech did not report any spring attendance figures.

Biggest Increase, Biggest Drop

Some of the Big 12 practices were washed away by bad weather, so we saw more schools not report any official or estimated attendance this year as a result. Baylor, for example, reported a crowd of 5,610 for its spring game in 2015 (which was also hampered by weather), but they opted not to take a crack at a number at all this time. Texas Tech also got washed out this spring. A couple of others either did not report an attendance figure or did not respond when asked for any input. Texas is one of the schools that does not record an attendance figure. So, given the schools that did have data on record for 2015 and 2016, who had the biggest increase and biggest drop?

The biggest jump in spring attendance this year was seen at Iowa State, where the Cyclones doubled their attendance from 7,500 fans in 2015 to 15,089 this spring. Is there a Matt Campbell effect going on here? There was not much difference in attendance figures for Oklahoma, Oklahoma State or Kansas State, but Kansas State had the biggest drop in attendance with 17,080 fans in 2015 and 14,642 fans this spring. It is worth noting Kansas State played their spring game at Sporting Park last year, making the spring game more of a unique event in an MLS stadium. West Virginia also had a drop in attendance by 2,115 fans. It is important to also remember the West Virginia game was not played in their home stadium but an alternate venue with limited capacity, which some schools do.

Quick Hits

  • With five schools not on record for spring attendance this year, the Big 12’s final count stands at 95,668. Ohio State eclipsed that mark by themselves each of the past two seasons, and Georgia had 93,000 fans this spring.

You can view my database of spring game attendance in this Google doc. It is updated periodically as information becomes available or confirmed.

Third-leading rusher among three no longer on Okla. St.’s roster

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When Oklahoma State takes the field later today for its spring finale, three players who were with the Cowboys at the beginning of spring won’t be partaking.

A team spokesperson confirmed to Tulsa World that offensive lineman Paul Lewis, safety Tre Roberts and running back Raymond Taylor are no longer a part of Mike Gundy‘s football program.  None of the three were listed on the roster released ahead of OSU’s spring game this afternoon.

No reason was given for any of the departures, the most notable of which is Taylor.

Last season as a walk-on, Taylor was third on the Cowboys with 297 yards rushing.  His 6.3 yards per carry were tops on the team, while his four rushing touchdowns were tied for second.

While not specifically, it would appear that the crowded backfield situation in Stillwater, which includes the son of an OSU legend who transferred in this offseason, played a role in Taylor’s decision to divorce himself from the program.

Lewis started 19 games the past three seasons for the Cowboys, while Roberts played in two games as a redshirt freshman last season.

Miss. St., Oregon among options for transferring Indiana WR Dominique Booth

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Indiana has put an end to Dominique Booth‘s playing career with the Hoosiers, but the wide receiver is determined to continue it elsewhere.

On Twitter Tuesday, Booth confirmed that the medical staff at IU has not cleared him to continue participating in football for the Hoosiers. However, Booth claimed in his statement that his career is not over as “every other doctor I have seen has cleared me to continue my career.”

Booth will wait to transfer to another university until he graduates in the spring of 2017. In the interim, he will remain in classes at IU and work as a student coach for Kevin Wilson‘s football program, specifically with the receiving group.

In a report from 247Sports.com, Booth stated that he will be visiting Mississippi State this weekend. He added that he’s also considering, among others, Ball State, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma State and Oregon. As noted in his tweeted statement, Booth says he has “talked to schools from every Power 5 conference and some MAC and some AAC schools.”

If he follows through with his plan to wait until he graduates to transfer, Booth would have at least two seasons of eligibility remaining beginning with the 2017 season. There’s also the possibility that he could receive a medical hardship waiver from the NCAA, which would give him yet another season of eligibility.

Booth was the highest-rated member of the Hoosiers’ 2014 recruiting class, with the four-star prospect ranked as the No. 48 receiver by Rivals.com. As a true freshman, he started six games. Thanks to injury and attrition, his eight receptions made him IU’s leading returning receiver entering 2015.

That season was cut short because of hand surgery in October, while another, undisclosed injury sidelined him this spring.

Mike Gundy calls for Big 12 to eliminate “failure” Longhorn Network

STILLWATER, OK - NOVEMBER 7:  Head coach Mike Gundy of the Oklahoma State Cowboys takes the field before the game against the TCU Horned Frogs November 7, 2015 at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The Cowboys defeated the Horned Frogs 49-29. (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)
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Mike Gundy put on his media analyst hat on Monday, when speaking to Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports and saying that the Big 12 must kill the Longhorn Network to ensure the survival of the conference.

“If we don’t eliminate the Longhorn Network and create our own network, they’re going to continue to have issues with this league,” Gundy told CBSSports.com“You don’t have a Big 12 Network; you have a network within the league that people consider a failure.”

Texas is not the only school in the Big 12 with its own stand-alone media contract. Every Big 12 school does; Texas’ is just the most lucrative. And thus, the biggest target.

“Everything is based on marketing,” Gundy said. “Right now the Big 12 is not getting the marketing we need because of the Longhorn Network.”

Taking a turn as a comic book writer, Gundy said the very thing that kept Texas in the Big 12 will be what leads the Longhorns away from the Big 12.

“If Texas doesn’t [fold LHN] in X number of years, they’re going to be in the Pac-12 or SEC,” Gundy said. “If that’s what they want, keep riding this horse. If you don’t want that, you better make some changes or it’s going to happen whether you like it or not.”

Big 12 rakes in record $268 million, lags behind SEC

during the second half of the game on December 6, 2014  at McLane Stadium in Waco, Texas.
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It’s got to be tough being Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby these days.

The Big 12’s CEO oversaw a jump of $40 million from 2014 to 2015 — a boost of nearly 20 percent — and still his league languishes behind the SEC. One can assume Oklahoma president David Boren has made his colleagues aware of those figures.

The Big 12 reported a record $268 million incoming during the 2014-15 fiscal year, according to tax filings obtained by USA Today. That $40 million jump came in large part due to a large spike in bowl revenue created by the College Football Playoff — $32 million, to be exact — and an $8 million jump in television revenue.

Those figures, $26.8 million per school (before expenses and the league office’s cut), do not include third-tier television rights such as the Texas’ deal for the Longhorn Network.

The SEC, meanwhile, reported $527 million in total revenue — an average of more than $37 million per school.

For his efforts, Bowlsby’s take home portion of that pie totaled $2.6 million, a 100 grand increase from 2013-14.