Stirring up a Hornets Nest: Honestly, I didn't think that I'd get 150 comments on yesterday's Five Questions. I somewhat thought that we had just about argued out the whole Sheffield vs. Potts argument over the offseason and that this would be like rehashing the sports debate, "Pete Rose - should he be in the hall of fame?" or Emmit Smith vs. Barry Sanders? I think it's great that we're still passionate about this team and I also appreciate your ability to keep things civil. That makes me happy.
I do have one housekeeping request, which is if you create a FanPost or a FanShot, the more descriptive a title the better. This helps me and other readers know if something has been posted before. For example, this FanPost talks about the new recruit, LaDarrin Robertson, but then this FanShot does the same thing and I'm guessing that's the case because the FanPost's title wasn't as descriptive. And just so you know, it is constantly preached to us SB Nation writers to write good headlines.
Good Guys: LAJ's Matthew McGowan has a good story about how 14 Texas Tech athletes visited with children at Covenant Lakeside Hospital. The only athletes mentioned by name was LB Brian Duncan, QB Taylor Potts and DL Coach Sam McElroy. I wish they would have given the names of all of the Texas Tech athletes that were a part of this.
Combating Misinformation and Expecting a Payday: ESPN's Jeff Caplan said that Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe didn't like all of the misinformation out there . . . on the internets:
"I think there's such a leap to get to the airwaves or the Internet that it was, frankly, somewhat disappointing about how little attention was given to whether something was true or not," Beebe said. "We have not changed our revenue distribution formula whatsoever. Whatever institutions at any level in our conference were able to achieve before, they still have the same ability. There's no different -- nobody got more money."
Okay. Let's see you do something about it.
But now, Beebe also talks about the $20 million promised to UT, OU and TAMU:
"They all said 'Look, we think you're going to achieve $20 million a year in total revenue distribution.' Another big misnomer is all television. Total revenue distribution in 2012-13. 'So we're going to make a calculated judgment that we're not going to have to worry about it, but we will guarantee you that you won't be lower than that in '12-'13,'" Beebe said.
"You've heard a couple of institutions say that's a kind, generous, thoughtful offer, but it's not something we're going to take advantage of," Beebe said. "The board hasn't treated that offer, hasn't been finalized. It's something that's been a good-faith offer that was in the course of a very heated, difficult and scary time for some of the institutions about what was going to remain for them if we didn't continue."
But, according DMN's Chuck Carlton, to Texas A&M president R. Bowen Loftin, there was a commitment and a promise of $20 million:
"A key part of Texas A&M's decision to remain in the Big 12 earlier this summer was the commissioner's commitment that Texas A&M would receive a minimum of $20 million annually in future conference distributions," Loftin's statement read. "We remain committed to the conference, and fully anticipate that the Big 12 will honor its commitment to Texas A&M."
More on TAMU's demands, after the jump.
And there's more, in the Houston Chronicle, TAMU would take legal action if the $20 million is not delivered:
And what happens if the Big 12 doesn’t honor its $20 million pledge? A high-ranking A&M official said late Wednesday that every legal avenue would be explored first, with the potential of bolting for the Southeastern Conference coming after.
The A&M official said Wednesday it wasn’t the school’s "concern" how the Big 12 got its money together for the revenue distribution — just that it lived up to its promise of $20 million annually, starting in 2012-13. The league’s pledge is oral, and the A&M official said the school’s lawyers are working to get the commitment in writing.
I wonder if that offer to the SEC was a one-time deal or if the offer is always out there? And I'm sure that this will make some Ags angry, but this reeks of desperation to get their athletic department's head above water (and to answer anyone's question, yes, I understand complicated lending transactions as I have drawn up paperwork, overseen and closed many on my own in the $14 million range) on the part of the Aggies and if they really wanted the promise, then they should have got it in writing when the deal was finalized.
This should be fun.
Wrapping Up Big 12 Media Days: LAJ's Don Williams has a story on the Stoops and Brown saying that the Big 12-2 is still strong, as well as a notebook from yesterday's contingent of Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Colorado.
Omaha.com's Lee Barfknecht mused about the Big 12 Media Days:
3. The more I hear Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman talk, the more I hear the voice and plan of Bill Callahan, right down to the NFL lingo. To Aggies everywhere, that should sent a major shiver down your spines.
5. Both the new coaches -- Tommy Tuberville at Texas Tech and Turner Gill at Kansas -- made strong first impressions. After listening to Tuberville, I was ready to suit up. He is a normal man with a wonderfully sensible plan. With the talent and facilities in Lubbock, the Red Raiders might soon become a big winner regularly.
Whitlock's Quiet Day: I didn't know that the Daily Toreador is back at work and noticed DT's Jon Arnold talked with DT Colby Whitlock about this being about team:
"For some reason, everything was focused on offense," he said. "I'm a team player. I wanted the players to know pretty quick this is going to be about team.
"It's not going to be about special teams or defense or offense. It's going to be about team. Everybody is going to play their part, play their role and get the job done. If we do that, then we've got a much better chance of winning a championship than we do if we separate the team."
Red Raider Preview: Dave Campbell's Texas Football's Travis Stewart takes a look at the Red Raiders and this was actually a pretty good read. More editorial than story and I appreciated that. Here's a snippet:
So before we even get to the Xs and Os of it all, it's worth noting that Leach's absence is just as much about persona as it is performance. It's trendy for writers to say that a new coach is a "turning of a new leaf". But in this case, we're installing an entirely different ecosystem. Leach was all about inconsistency — yes, he had certain stable elements, like his fancy for the passing game, powerful defense of his quarterbacks' pro potential and low-tolerance policy for kids that were out of line. But, more or less, every day was an adventure — he always disciplined kids, but usually took a creative (if not NCAA-sanctioned) approach to it. And his grimy, crumpled little slip of paper that he masterminded his offense with from the sideline is a far cry from the massive play books some college coaches lean on. He was just ... wild. He's the kind of guy that would make you say ... "He's just ... man, he's unbelievable sometimes."
Tuberville is the exact opposite. He's incredibly composed. I've heard him called a "politician," which I really can't confirm or deny. Mack Brown would be a phenomenal political, and in some ways, Tuberville is like that. He can talk to anybody. When he enters a room, he's going to smile and shake 1,000 hands. When it comes to coaching, he's not only a professional Xs and Os man ... he's a professional face of the program. Leach, in his own way, was too. But he'd land himself in the fire just as often as he'd safely maintain it. Tuberville, aside from his understandable gaffe a few weeks back on the radio (he has been allowed to do the whole media thing for a year, now) will never have that problem.