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Double-T Nation Daily Diatribe :: 05.11.10

Congrats:  A special DTN shout-out to the Daily Toreador's Alex Ybarra and Adam Coleman who are graduating and will be leaving their posts at the DT.  I always thought that Ybarra's and Coleman's coverage was top-notch and appreciated all of their hard work.  Congrats on graduating and we wish you well.

Realignment Talk:  You've probably noticed (before yesterday's very poorly worded Five Questions) that I've been relatively silent about possible realignment.  This is probably because I choose to remain fairly ignorant on this topic of discussion.  Rather than try and be educated, I've pretty much avoided the topic entirely.  I think I'm going to have to start paying attention.

As it was posted yesterday, a Kansas City radio station stated that the Big 10 made an offer to Nebraska and Missouri.  I'd like to point you to the SB Nation story stream on this story as this link will be updated and it's a good place to check to find out if there's anything new hitting the wires.

I'm sure that today's edition of the DTN DD will be all over the place and I won't make any attempt to be organized. 

Both Nebraska and Missouri denied that an offer was made.  This of course didn't happen until websites, message boards and blogs were lit up with comments regarding the denial.  I guess the first thought that I have is whether or not the Big 10 was/is formally meeting.  It seems logical that an offer is really only going to be made in the event that the Big 10 is having a formal meeting which I think doesn't happen until June.  I'm thinking that if there's a formal offer made, it happens then. 

Dr. Saturday's Matt Hinton details the rumor-mongering and DMN's Chuck Carlton also runs down the rumors and concludes that there may be some smoke. 

I really enjoyed BON's Hopkins Horn's look at UT and in particular, Texas Tech chancellor Kent Hance's relationship with Texas governor Rick Perry (for the love of all that is good, please leave any and all comments regarding politics out of the conversation).  Hopkins had a conversation with a UT bigwig and had these impressions:

* A&M gets to come along for the ride.  We instinctively knew this, but it's good to get a confirmation.  There's a "strong feeling here that A&M and UT are joined at the hip," and it is "almost inconceivable" to consider that the two schools would be apart.  Our observer believes that the two schools hold a mutual veto over each other and would use this veto if it appeared as though one school had an escape plan and the other didn't.  The role of Gov. Perry would become prominent, and our observer cannot imagine that Perry would allow Texas to leave without A&M unless A&M had "an equally good alternative."

* Kent Hance is good buds with Rick Perry.  OK, now we're getting into the realm of understanding which specific individuals might play the roles Bullock and Sibley did in the 1990s.  And though Hance isn't in the Legislature, he's been around the Texas political scene long enough to have enough clout to potentially muck this whole thing up if he chose to do so.  Our observer notes that Hance and Perry are close friends, and our observer envisions Hance doing "everything in his power" to get Perry to look out for Tech's best interests.  And we've seen from the dirty laundry of the Mike Leach affair the extent to which Hance will involve himself with the football program.

* At the end of the day, Texas + A&M should nullify Tech.  Particularly if the situation evolves to the point at which the Big XII will lose several schools regardless of what the Texas schools do and the conference finds itself quickly on the path to becoming the SWC II.  But our observer threw in a "I could be wrong on this" caveat here which wasn't thrown in elsewhere in our conversation.

* Baylor is "doomed."  No Ann Richards and no David Sibley?  So long, Bears.  The legislative forces backing Baylor do not seem to pose a risk to the chances of Texas and A&M moving on.

And for the record, do not go over to BON and flame.  Keep in mind that this is Hopkins' conclusions from the conversation with a person from UT that might have something to offer.  I'm going to write a bit more on this tonight and tomorrow, but what Texas Tech fans hope will happen and what will happen may be two different realities. 

I've seen enough episodes of The Wire to know that the political game is very, very real.  If there was every a person who might be ideally suited, despite the stories and claims of micro-management of Texas Tech University, to be the guy that gets things done for Texas Tech . . . it's Kent Hance.  Again, it's not a pretty reality, but if you were to pick one person to play the political game with the politicians in Austin, is there a person better suited to do this other than Hance?  He may not be your favorite person, but he knows how to the play the game and in the world of "getting shit done" and having the opportunity to potentially save your university, Hance isn't a bad guy to have in your corner.

BOTC's TB has an interesting look at yesterday's events.  TB keeps up with these items much better than I do and TB is also writing from a perspective that I think Texas Tech fans can appreciate (i.e., Texas Tech is not necessarily in a position to make things happen).  The thing that caught my attention more than anything else was this:

Clearly, the Big 10 represents a financial windfall to either school.  But as we've asked with UT in the past: do they really need it?  Nebraska generates a ton of revenue -- thanks in part to the fact that it benefits from unequal revenue sharing -- and has facilities that rival those at Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma.  Missouri's facilities as a whole don't measure up, but their Cracker Barrel Mizzou Arena is as nice as any other basketball arena in the league, and their other facilities would easily compete favorably in the top half of the conference.

Using UT again as an exemplar, we've seen the power of keeping the alumni happy.  Texas makes less money from the Big 12 than Northwestern does from the Big 10, and yet its athletic department revenue is up 32 percent in the last two years, and is the top revenue-producing AD in the nation.  Selling tickets, selling merchandise, and raking in donations more than make up for the $10 million or so Texas spots schools in the Big 10 and SEC in TV money.  It's one reason some have questioned whether it makes sense for UT to consider jumping to the Big 10 or the SEC.  Would they still win at the rate they do, and would their alumni have the same passion for games against these new opponents?

No Delay for Leach:  KCBD's James Clark writes that Leach and his team of attorneys will not receive any sort of delay in the hearing set for Friday on the sovereign immunity issue.

Set Your DVR's:  The DMN College Blog has a note to set your DVR's for today at 2:30 p.m. for the Fox Sports Southwest for a football preview.

Oil Bowl Matchup:  Times Record News Nick Gholson writes that two future Red Raiders will face off in the 73rd edition of the Maskat Shrine Temple Oil Bowl in Wichita Falls where DT Coby Coleman (Texas) and RB Delans Griffin (Oklahoma) will face off in the battle of Texas vs. Oklahoma.  For those of you who might be located in Wichita Falls, give us a breakdown on Coleman and Griffin.

Former Red Raiders:  Blogging the Boys' Aaron Novinger has a round-up on what folks are saying about CB Jamar Wall and NewsOK's Jenni Carlson talks with WR Wes Welker about his recovery from off-season surgery.

Craig Sandra James Still on TV:  SB Nation's Brandon Larrabee notes that Sandra will be able to call Big 12 football games, but he won't be able to talk about Texas Tech. 

Braden at Texas Tech:  LAJ's George Watson writes about the impressions that current Oakland A's pitcher (and the most recent pitcher to pitch a perfect game) Dallas Braden made an impression at Texas Tech:

I remember Dallas as one of the hardest-nosed, intense competitors I've ever met, but he also knew the game was supposed to be, above all else, fun. He had a level of perspective on the game that few college players I've met could even come close to.

That's why you remember him flapping his arms like a bird running down the first-base line trying to distract the pitcher fielding a comebacker.

That's why he became, partly out of necessity, one of the best at executing the sacrifice bunt, and he was still a pitcher.

That's why, during the infamous nine-run, ninth-inning rally at Oklahoma State he was used as a pinch-hitter and delivered a double that kept the rally going, eventually leading to Cody Fuller's go-ahead grand slam that gave Tech the series win, and likely meant the difference between third and fourth place in the Big 12 that year.