Monday, October 17, 2016

College Football: An Open Letter to The University of Houston

Dear Cougars,

Rough day.  As you've been told by now all of the footsie that the Big X XII Conference has been playing with you was nothing more than an attempt to get FOX and ESPN to come to the bargaining table to pay more money for the least anticipated conference championship game in America.  And Yes, I'm including the Sun Belt, MAC and C-USA in my rankings.

But all is not lost.  For one, you still have a nice stadium and a newly renovated basketball center on the way, your football team is on the rise, coached by one of the best young coaches in the game (for now) and your basketball team seems to be on the verge of coming up from the Clyde Drexler depths under Kelvin Sampson.  Things are looking good.

So consider today a wake up call and come to the realization that joining the Big X XII Conference was never going to work out for you.  The first sign that something screwy was going on is that UT-Austin was (supposedly) on your side.  This never works out well for you and working with them should be avoided at all costs.  Same for OU, who are just milking the Big X XII Conference until they can find a way to get shed of it in a manner in which the Oklahoma legislature approves.

You were onto something when you went and talked to the PAC-12 a few months back, but I wouldn't stop there.  Were I king of UH (instead of Tillman Fertitta) I'd go speak with the ACC as well.  Hell, I'd fly all of the Presidents of the ACC to Houston during Super Bowl week. When you play Louisville, I'd take their powers that be to Tony's where I'd make sure they had anything on the menu they wanted. Then Vic & Anthony's.  In short, they'd eat nothing but peacock and Champagne while here. While you're at it, introduce them to a couple of scouting services in the area.  Don't worry, there are plenty of recruits to go around.

I say this because the Big X XII Conference has no long-term future. Even if they did expand you'd be in the same situation that you found yourself in the American, in at the tail end of a power conference looking to Tulsa, ECU and UCF to fill the ranks.  It'd be the 'new' Big X XII Conference except without most of the teams with any national cache.

Look, I know that a few years ago I was one of the loudest cheerleaders for you joining the (then Big East) over trying to get into the Big X XII Conference.  And while you still seem intent on letting your Big X XII Conference freak flag fly I still think you're making a huge mistake. I mean, look at what you HAVE done in the American.

You're the leading member of the best Group of 5 Conference in the country.

You beat Louisville and Florida State and Oklahoma.

You beat the Seminoles in a Big Six New Year's game.

Up until you ran into Navy, you had a very real shot at gaining entrance into the CFP.

Even with the loss you still have a shot at playing in the Cotton Bowl at Jerry's World. 

When I said back then "Go East, and prosper" I meant it.  And I still think it's something that you should consider again.  Because the ACC, SEC, PAC-12 and B1G are GOING to expand to 16 teams.  And when they do this the Big X XII Conference is going to be shredded, again.  Gone will be Oklahoma and OSU (probably to the SEC) and gone will be Texas and Texas Tech (Probably to the PAC-12). I see the B1G taking Kansas and Cincinnati and the ACC taking Notre Dame.

This means that you, Baylor (LOL) and TCU will be vying for that last slot in a power conference, a slot that you would have the holeshot in grabbing.  TCU is playing with the big boys, but they aren't a big time program long-term, and Baylor is causing itself to be about as attractive as radioactive sludge with the way they're handling this Title IX situation. In short, with your new facilities, thanks in part to fielding a winning football team and a commitment by the board, you're building the foundation that will allow you to not only compete in a newly expanded ACC, but WIN there as well.

Yes, even in basketball.

So, chin up Cougars and hold fast.  What has happened to you today is probably the best thing that could happen long term. The Big X XII Conference is a fading, paper tiger being held together by UT-Austin and OU for the sole purpose of allowing themselves to milk the most money out of the other schools until a better deal can be found. As long as the Longhorn Network is around, there won't be one.

But the time will come when there is, and then the dominoes will start falling again.

Don't get caught unawares this time.  That probably means telling the Big X XII Conference "thanks, but no thanks" the next time they try to use you, and others, in an effort to get more money from the networks.


The Public Money.

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