Monday, June 14, 2010

Worshipping Bevo: Longhorns Save The Big 12


In India, cows are so sacred that even their dung is considered “an efficacious disinfectant” ( Politicians strengthen their political campaigns by endorsing cow protection laws. Cattle are considered religiously divine because of their ability to provide milk that keeps infants alive. As of Monday, June 14, 2010, football and basketball fans of schools like Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri may also think cows are holy. Well, Longhorns anyway.

Facing the very real prospect of being left homeless from an athletic conference standpoint, The University of Texas Longhorns saved the day for the members of the teetering Big 12 Conference by turning down an offer from the Pac 10. And for that, this Iowa State Cyclone fan is eternally grateful. So what if our wagons are hitched to Texas? So what if the Longhorns are calling all the shots--they have been ever since the Big 12 started. They’re the “cash cow.” That’s how it works in business and that’s life. Besides, for schools like Iowa State, hitching the wagons to Texas just resulted in a financial windfall. According to the new proposed television contract, Iowa State will receive a guaranteed $17 million in TV revenue. In 2007, ISU made just over $7 million. Keeping the Big 12 in tact means keeping teams like Iowa State relevant nationally, which means easier recruiting, easier ticket sales, easier promotion. In fact, Texas may not have only saved the Big 12; they may have saved the entire infrastructure of college athletics. Had Texas joined the Pac-10, the formation of 4 “Super Conferences” would have been well under way, completely changing the landscape of college football and basketball as we know it.

The same article about Hinduism referenced earlier noted, “In India, the cow is believed to be a symbol of the earth - because it gives so much yet asks nothing in return.” It’s safe to say that Texas isn’t exactly “asking nothing in return.” In fact some might say they are as greedy an institution as there is in college athletics, that the Longhorns are the reason this whole mess started. The University of Texas can’t help it that its athletic programs are so dominant. Just like an elite athlete like LeBron James and Alex Rodriguez can demand a lot of money because they’ve earned the right to, the Longhorns have similarly played their hand. Many sports fans across the nation might consider Texas a closer rival to Satan than divinity, but to the smaller members of the Big 12, like it or not, we bow down.

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