I'm a Penn State graduate that has been living in the Houston, Texas area for the past 8 years or so. Living in the heart of Longhorn country, I've had to bear with being force-fed University of Texas football these years. I'll be blunt-- in my opinion their fans have a sense of entitlement and are arrogant when it comes to football and their academics. In many ways, I compare UT to the University of Michigan. In fact, I'd go out on a limb and say that UT = Michigan; Oklahoma = Ohio State. Both in terms of size of rivalry and my perception of their fan-bases and expectations.
When I heard the news that ESPN is partnering with UT to create "The Longhorn Network", paying the University over 200 million dollars over 10 years I almost fell over. Then I heard that the network will only carry 1 football game per year-- I was bewildered. Who in their right mind wants to watch women's track and swimming (no offense ladies)? I don't buy that a network carrying non-spectator sports like track, swimming, etc can sustain itself.
It got me thinking.. what are the Longhorns' intentions as far as their football conference allegiance? In light of the Big 12 debacle with Nebraska and Colorado getting themselves into better situations with new conferences, it is possible that UT's eventual plan is to become an independent. I say this because in today's college football landscape, money is everything. Money comes from TV contracts, and UT has secured their own TV network with ESPN, which could be used to broadcast *all* of their football games to the whole country whether we like it or not.
Obviously, this is pure speculation on my part. But for the sake of argument, let's just say this does play out.. does Texas have a following that is strong enough to become an independent? Being from Texas, it is hard to get my finger on the pulse of the rest of the country. Notre Dame has all the Catholics; BYU has all the Mormons; what does Texas have that would make them think they can be America's team? Would it UT's arrogance shining through? Or do they really have that national following?
I'm curious to hear what folks in other parts of the country have to say about this? Or do you even care?