You know those summer Sunday afternoons when it’s like 97 degrees outside and all you want to do is park yourself in the air conditioning and watch TV, but there’s just nothing on?
ESPN is showing college softball. TNT is having a marathon of “The Closer.” ABC, CBS, NBC all have the same infomercial for a doo-wop CD from Time Life on an endless loop.
Your only option: Pulp Fiction is on AMC. You passed your 100th viewing years ago. It’s the edited version, so you know you’re going to spend the whole time getting annoyed by the parts that are being cut out. And then there are the commercial breaks.
Still, flipping through the guide, it looks like the best bet of a very, very bad lot.
That about sums up what it feels like to be a fan of the Oklahoma Sooners today.
Sitting around watching Texas hold the college football world hostage was tough. Even though UT’s Pac-16 dreams went up in smoke, few would deny the Longhorns made out pretty well when all was said and done. In big-time college sports, might usually makes right, and Texas used every bit of its power today.
Equally irritating is the inevitable meme of “Texas’ lapdogs” that will hound the rest of the remaining Big 12 schools now. (I can just see the Real Sports interview now with Bryant Gumbel telling DeLoss Dodds not to forget Dan Beebe’s leash.)
But if the peanut gallery has any better suggestions for how things played out for the Big 12 peons, I’m all ears.
The Oklahoma football program doesn’t want for money, facilities, a national brand or a great coaching staff. And so long as it’s tethered to the Texas schools, it has access to one of the most fertile talent bases in the country. Looking back at the last decade or so, it’s a strategy that has worked pretty well for the Sooners.
But let’s say OU didn’t want to play along with the ‘Horns. What exactly would have been the options?
Assuming the West Coasters would have taken OU without the rest of the Big 12 contingent, that would put the Sooners out on an island — a landlocked island at that. You want to hang your hat on luring Southern California kids all that way year after year?
Um, where’s the invitation? Not even an option.
(Also, as I’ve mentioned, betting on the Big Ten in the long term looks like a losing proposition from a competitive standpoint. Nebraska certainly seems happy with its deal, and I don’t blame Big Red, but let’s see how the Cornhuskers feel 10 years down the road. I fear NU may have cut off its nose to spite its face.)
Why do you think Texas was so dead set against the Aggies heading eastward? Take a look at the annual recruiting rankings — the SEC does this whole recruiting thing pretty well. OU isn’t going to waltz into the powerhouses in Georgia and Louisiana and Alabama and Florida and just start snatching up studs after Nick Saban and Urban Meyer and Mark Richt have been working that region for years now.
*Big East, ACC
Think any of those will fly with Sooner Nation? Me neither.
*Mountain West, WAC, MAC, C-USA, etc.
If Big 12 Lite is Diet Pulp Fiction, then this option is a Lifetime movie.
Look, I get it. OU was complicit to some nasty, Machiavellian machinations today. It sucks.
Feel free to throw rocks at the Longhorns’ lackeys. From my vantage point, though, I don’t think they had much of a choice.