Texas Is Scared of the SEC
Guess which major conference is the best fit for the Texas Longhorns if the Big 12 crumbles? The SEC. Guess which major conference is the only one the Texas Longhorns aren't considering? The SEC. The reason is simple, the Texas Longhorn administration, would-be bullies, are scared to play in the nation's best football conference. As the Longhorns latest soap opera destination appears to be the ACC -- Chip Brown at Orangebloods.com had this story first -- this means that the Longhorns have four potential destinations right now: remain in the Big 12 with new teams added, leave with Oklahoma and Oklahoma State for the Pac 12, join the ACC, or go independent. I still think the first is the most likely option, but adding Texas would be a brilliant move for the ACC.
There's only one issue for Texas -- going to the ACC and flying over the SEC would demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt that Texas is scared of the SEC.
Why? Because it makes the most financial sense for Texas to join the SEC.
That is, Texas could make more money in the SEC than any other conference.
That's because the SEC allows all schools to retain their local media rights. That means the Longhorn Network is the most feasible of all the major conferences in the SEC. Texas is betrothed to its beloved Longhorn Network and the $20 million yearly payment from ESPN. Well, that's not a big issue in the SEC where every school has the right to retain its local media rights packages. Presently the Georgia Bulldogs and the Florida Gators have the largest local media rights package. The Bulldogs receive over $11 million a year and the Gators receive $10 million a year. Schools such as Tennessee, Alabama, and Kentucky all receive $8 million or more. You can see those local rights numbers here. As part of those local packages SEC teams presently retain one football game a year to air as they see fit. In its first year the Longhorn Network will probably carry two football games. Since ESPN is the primary television partner of the SEC, the Longhorn Network could be easily integrated into the existing SEC agreements.
Texas, who received an offer to join the SEC last year, hasn't explored the SEC at all even as the very foundation of the Big 12 is rocked.
Because unlike their Texas A&M brethren the Longhorns are steers, gelded pansies afraid of competing in a real conference. The Longhorns, plain and simple, are bullies, and bullies don't like to be challenged. Instead of joining the conference they border replete with ready national rivalries, Texas would rather fly over the SEC and join the ACC, conference of perennial football lightweights.
All hat, no cattle indeed.
I told y'all that Texas was afraid of the SEC last year and Longhorn fans inundated me with worthless reasons why their beloved Texas team didn't want to join the SEC. All of those reasons were crap, the yellow rose of Texas meets the yellow panties of Texas.
But I'll go ahead and shoot them down now so y'all don't have to email them to me again.
Fact: Texas would make the most money in the SEC, be allowed to keep their blessed Longhorn Network, and be distributed to the most households in the nation via the SEC's television deal with ESPN and CBS.
If you want the most money, the SEC is the choice.
The Pac 12 and the ACC require infinitely more travel than the SEC.
Let's do some quick math on the furthest distance to travel in the conference.
From Austin to the University of Washington is 2,044 miles and two timezones. The closest rival? 1,000 miles to the Arizona schools.
From Austin to Boston College is 1,958 miles. The closest rival? Nearly 900 miles to Florida State.
From Austin to South Carolina is 1,131 miles. Every other SEC school is less than 1k miles away and the majority of SEC schools are in the same time zone. The closest rival, excluding Texas A&M, is LSU, just 430 miles away.
So if travel truly matters, the SEC puts infinitely less stress on Texas student-athletes than any other major conference in the country.
With the addition of Texas A&M the SEC is a better academic conference than the Big 12.
If the Big 12 was good enough academically, why isn't the SEC? It's a step up from the present Longhorn conference.
The truth is simple: academics is a masking argument to help cover up Texas's cowardice.
4. Cultural fit.
My argument isn't really with Texas fans at all because I think the vast majority of y'all aren't yella. You'd rather be in the SEC than any other conference in the nation. But your administration is afraid of the SEC. There's no denying it anymore. Why aren't y'all holding your administration to task and asking a simple question: what's wrong with the SEC?
Be honest, Longhorns, you envy the SEC games and environments and would love to experience them. Deep down you're incredibly jealous that A&M's regents had the stones to ante up and join a true conference. Deep down you're jealous that Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are willing to join the Pac 12 while you're left chaising daisies with the ACC schools thousands of miles away. But even the Pac 12 is a pale approximation of the SEC.
Are you really going to travel to the east coast and immerse yourself in the tailgate experience of Wake Forest, Duke or Maryland? Are you really going to travel to Washington State, Oregon State, or Utah to experience the Pac 12? Even the weakest SEC environment is better than the vast majority of the other locations you could end up.
Culturally the top teams in Texas belong in the SEC, and true Longhorn fans know this.
5. The SEC could set up a four-team division to represent the SEC Far West, a reunion of sorts for the old rivals.
Texas, Texas A&M, Arkansas and Missouri could be in this four-team division. You'd keep your rivalry with A&M, reclaim your rivalry with Arkansas, and still get to travel around the SEC to play the top teams in the nation.
Doesn't all of this sound pretty great Longhorn fans?
My point is simple: The SEC is the best fit for Texas. The Aggies were brave and saw this, the Texas administration is filled with cowards.
Given that the money would be the most, the competition would be the best, the television exposure would be the greatest, and the travel would be the least, there's only one conclusion that can be drawn...
Texas is scared of the SEC.
If you're interested in FSU, Clemson, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Texas, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Duke, N.C. State, Maryland, Virginia, Virginia Tech, et al. basically we've talked about why those schools are likely or unlikely to join the SEC in the below articles. Just scroll through and you'll be entertained and informed. I promise.
Read all of OKTC's conference realignment stories here.