First off, let me start by saying that I am a Longhorn fan, so if you want to take my thoughts and discount them for being biased, then go ahead. But As we are nearing the launch of the new network, I am growing more and more tired of all the whining and complaining about the fact Texas created it’s own television network(looking at you Aggie’s). Every time there is a little more news about programing released, you can hear the wails out of College Station. But it isn’t only the Aggie fan base that has had a lot of say about it, there are shots being fired from the Oklahoma fan base as well, but those tend to be more about moving out of the Big XII and not so much firing shots at the network itself.
While it is a rare move to see a team within a conference start their own network, it is a move that will probably lead to Texas going independent. The reason I think this is because the Big XII is relatively weak once you get past Texas, A&M and Oklahoma. There was a time when there was a push to create a Big XII network, but the conference didn’t make the push and Texas decided to find another good revenue stream by bringing out the Longhorn Network. Everyone wants to claim that this will be a recruiting tool and it will give Texas an unfair advantage over talent. While there may be some thought to this and it could help, it won’t be anymore of an advantage than having your games televised in prime time on a national broadcast multiple times in a year.
All the people who want to make excuses as to how this will give Texas an advantage here or there are just worried about the fact that they can’t compete with the Longhorns on the field of play. The Longhorns are setting themselves up to succeed when the Big XII finally falls by the way side. I firmly believe this will be a when, not IF scenario. Yes, the Longhorn Network will show some high school games(as long as the NCAA allows), and some of the kids in the game may be Longhorn commits. But it isn’t like they are going to show only Longhorn commitments, there will be players who are committed to Oklahoma, A&M and even schools outside of the Big XII. But the Aggies want to complain that a High school game shown on the Longhorn network will equate into more recruits for Texas. I don’t see the correlation, especially since you can see some High School games on the local Fox Sports channel, but because it isn’t tied in with Texas, nobody has issue with it.
In the end, the network was a smart move for Texas, and if it succeeds over the next few years, then the Longhorns have enough in their aresenal to move to independent status. That is the main reason the school created the TV network, Texas is moving towards going independent, because they understand the Big XII is on borrowed time and there isn’t another quality conference fit for the Longhorns right now. But the High School games look to be a moot point now, because it has just started to be reported that the Longhorn network for now will not be allowed to show High School games.