Sunday, September 4, 2011

LongHorn Network and the Big 12 Meltdown

My Saturday evening was spent depressing over the fact that I was one of the millions of Texas Longhorn fans watching the Oregon vs LSU game instead of watching our team start their rebuilding period with the debut of freshmen Jaxon Shipley and Malcolm Brown. The LongHorn Network (LHN) is currently in a broadcasting dispute ESPN which prevented every major satellite television company from showing the game. But that's not the biggest of my problems... The biggest is the LongHorn Network is in the process dismantling the Big 12.

Our arch-rival Texas A&M is secretly jealous that the University of Texas has a TV network that is going to be making millions of dollars and be able to televise high school football games that star high school recruits. In retaliation Texas A&M is leaving the big 12 and looks to join the South Eastern Conference (SEC) in order to balance the recruiting field by playing in the most competitive conference and earn more money from television contracts. Meanwhile the University of Oklahoma views the departure of Texas A&M and former conference foes like Nebraska as a sign that the conference is heading in a direction that will decrease their own payouts from television contracts as they look to join the Pacific Athletic Conference (PAC-12).

After writing my last post Dirty Money at The U and in this post I realize that college football operates as a market economy that is motivated by Adam Smith's philosophy of worrying about your self. Only in this economy the consumer (the fans) get to miss college football action and lose their traditional rivalries and the the government (the NCAA) can't control its members from cheating. This economy is controlled by the corporations who know they can get away with cheating (most of time) and can force their consumers to do whatever it takes to support their university.


Smith said...

Could you make the argument that college football is a command economy, and we (the fans) are being shown what they want us to see?

mrkennedy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mrkennedy said...

Misspellings^ on my part

If you consider the athletic programs as the government oppose to the NCAA than yes it a command economy. In some of the most recent college football scandals the universities have actually had their own self regulated sanctions approved by the NCAA.

James P said...

I think its good to branch out especially if its going to get you and your university more money $$$. Texas getting its own network is good for the university because it gets they millions but bad for the fans because they dont get to see there longhorns play. Im not a Texas fan anyway, gig em aggggggiiiiieeessss.!

Travis S said...

I think that football would be considered a market economy because the decisions that are being made aren't being made by the government, they are being made by the individuals and groups that are in charge of the colleges and the NCAA. The schools are making the decisions that make there colleges the most income which is consider to be a market economy because they are making the decisions based on what can make the most money for they colleges.

mrkennedy said...

@Travis S and James P
First off thank you for commenting on my post.

@James P
As a supporter for the University of Texas and as a Libertarian I agree with you. But as a college football fan in general I hate to see the loss of tradition and rivalry because of money. Hookem!

@Travis S
I completely agree with you. One thing that is truly different about the college football economy opposed to other economies is that the corporations have more control than the consumers and the government. The consumers will no matter what support the same team and the NCAA doesn't have the man power to regulate NCAA infractions or the authority over a school decisions when it comes to expanding in order to make more money.

Luke H said...

I completely agree with what mrkennedy sad in his post. Usually our self interest is our first priority and I believe thats true with most college athletic corporations, regarding money. The fact that I did not get to watch my favorite team debut is very disappointing. I also agree that it is a business and lets face it, money is a part of it. I don't think Texas has many more options when they are dealing with the fact that Texas A&M left and OU and Tech are also looking to move. That ruins three great rivalry traditions in the conference. I also believe that the NCAA is at the hands of the major college athletic football teams, in the fact that they get their penalties approved by the NCAA, rather than the NCAA making the punishments for them.

Upper School Government and Economics said...

Although Texas could become an independent school in athletics, they would lose the competition of the Big-12 and rivalries that have lasted for generations. The Longhorn Network is, in a sense, taking over the conference and overshadowing schools that don't have the recruiting power or size of athletic programs that Texas provides. A&M left the conference because they are ready to make a name for themselves, and stop living in the Longhorns shadow. If Texas isn't careful, the Big-12 could be gone by 2013. Even though money isn't a problem, traditions that have lasted for decades could be gone because Texas got greedy. Whether or not you're willing to admit it, Longhorn fans will miss the rivalries every year, and it's something they should consider before they fall further in the hole.
Madison V

hunter said...

I disagree on what you say about Texas A&M being secretly jealous because u can say that the looked at the trade offs for both sides. By them staying in the Big 12 they would not have as good of competition as they would in the SEC and would not receive as much money. Also the SEC would get them a lot of better recruits. So when they look at the side of going to the SEC they can only see a lot of good. As a Florida Gator fan I have an outside view of this and I think you can say that Texas's self interest ruined the Big 12. In the SEC they share a network and all receive the same amount of money which is a lot more fair than what Texas is doing and being selfish.

mrkennedy said...

@Luke H Upper School Government and Hunter

Thank you for commenting on my post.

@Luke H
Yes it is very depressing to not being able to watch your favorite team on saturdays. But hopefully this will all be resolved and the LHN will be able to be viewed on many cable and satellite networks. The texas longhorn fan base will hopefully be a strong factor in demanding access to it. I've already called time warner cable asking for a few times.

@Upper School Government and Economics
If Texas were to go independent they would have the option to hang on to those traditions by scheduling games against those rivals every year. The thing I don't like about going independent is your rivalry games are not as meaningful as they once was when you were in a conference together. But Texas will be able to make the big bucks like Notre Dame does.


I firmly believe Texas A&M is secretly jealous... Here is why
1. Money can make anyone jealous.
2. Texas and Texas A&M are both public institutions that compete to be the best and Texas has been better as whole than A&M has (I would know that because I live in Texas)

Now let me ask you a question Hunter... Would you not want Will Muschamp and Florida to have their own network? How would you feel if one of your rivals bailed on your conference because of your university's earned opportunity to expand?

Blake Ransom said...

I think A&M has every right to leave the big twelve. One they aren’t making near as much money as those in the SEC. Especially now that the big 12 are the powerhouse it used to be. I think they should also be able to leave because of the longhorn network if they made it where they just played Texas sport teams that would resolve it. They should have just compromised for the better of the conference. This would have had everyone happy and made nothing change. I think by them not compromising was Texas just having the self-interest for them. The sec is smart about it by sharing the network if only Texas would do it and we would still have the big 12.

Upper School Government and Economics said...

Being a Texas fan myself, it was very depressing not being able to watch my team during their season opener. It is also depressing to think that the once, strong and powerful, Big 12 conference might soon be coming to a close. I cannot blame Texas A&M for leaving the Big 12 because they want more money. They are a large talented school that deserves to get more money. Although I do find it quite humorous, that because of the Longhorn Network and the money Texas is bringing in, that Texas A&M is not, they are jealous and they are moving to the SEC. I guess just having a dislike for the Aggies makes me laugh when I hear that scenario. On a serious note, another negative outcome of Texas A&M moving to the SEC is the rivalries they have had for many years will most likely end. I do feel since A&M is departing that this is going to be the end of the Big 12, especially from the talk lately about Texas and OU negotiating a deal to move to the Pac 12.


-Michael Murph

Upper School Government and Economics said...

In my opinion I believe that it is unfair to the fans to realign conferences just because teams want better recruits or more money for their school. I think that A&M leaving just to get better recruits is ridiculous and will ruin all the tradition of the Big 12. Because once they leave then schools like OU will leave looking for more pay, and schools like Baylor will be wondering where to play which will cause major realignments making the consumers which are the fans very unhappy. So at some point the Big 12 is going to have to agree on something that will keep all the teams together. So regarding the Big 12 they deffinatley need to keep that.
- Jeff D.

JackM said...

I completely agree with what Mr. Kennedy had to say in his article about the Longhorn Network. As a fellow Longhorn I find it sad that I cant even watch the games on Saturday. However, I think that the reason why Texas A&M is leaving is not because they want competition, but rather because they are scared of the collapse of the Big 12. If the Big 12 was to collapse then all the teams would be stuck in a pickle trying to find a new conference to get into. So instead they decided to get out why they can and get in to a more stable conference, the SEC. We can compare this to economics because of the term saftey nets, and that Texas A&M wants to have the SEC as a saftey net if there is a collapse of the Big 12.

Cole B said...

I agree with you when you say that Texas A&M is jealous. This new television network is definitely giving an edge to Texas in their recruiting and how much revenue they are bringing in. However, In my opinion I believe that the reason Texas A&M is leaving is because they need more incentives for the recruits to come to their school. Now with the network, Texas has a serious advantage on them and other big 12 schools. The incentives that Texas A&M can now use with their move to the SEC is the opportunity to play some of the best teams in college football. Because of playing these big games, they will receive national exposer. There are also many other things that Texas A&M can use to their advantage because of their move to the SEC.

DillonS said...

I disagree with the idea of Texas A&M being secretly jealous. I think the key issue is fairness. Texas having there own network is simply not fair and the idea is crazy. Texas clearly dominates the Big 12 and now Texas has crossed the line. I am a Texas fan, but I think the program is taking unfair advantage over the competition in the Big 12. Texas A&M is taking a stand and I think they have every right to. Now, it is sad to see all these teams leaving, but Texas put this on themselves.