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Red Raider Gridiron | Texas Tech Past Initial Stages for Network

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PAST INITIAL STAGES WITH TEXAS TECH SPORTS NETWORK | AAS.com's Kirk Bohls talked with Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt and apparently things are past the initial stages to follow something similar to what Oklahoma is doing in terms of a network:

Texas Tech is researching the feasibility of its own network, and learned through Bortz Media and Sports Group that its football games between 2008 and 2010 ranked second in ratings — behind only Texas — in six market areas within the league footprint, including Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin and St. Louis.

"I would say we're past the initial stages," Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt told me last week. "I'd say we'll decide something in the next 12 to 18 months. The opportunities are there. Oklahoma's is the format we would follow."

So rather than the other conference partners working together, it appears that the plan is for each school to sell their own third tier rights. I think I would have preferred the former, but that's a lot of moving parts for a conference that traditionally hasn't gotten along. In any event, if you want to know what the Oklahoma format is, this Sports Business Journal had this back in January:

But starting next fall, those Texas subscribers will be able to see plenty of the Longhorns’ bitter rival through hours of University of Oklahoma-branded programming, thanks to a deal that’s close to being signed with Fox Sports.

Fox has agreed to carry at least 1,000 hours a year of Oklahoma programming on its FS Southwest and FS Oklahoma regional sports networks, which go to 8.6 million homes in Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas and, yes, Texas.

The programming will be branded in the name of the school — something like the Sooner Network or Oklahoma Network — and will feature third-tier TV rights, including at least one live football game, several men’s and women’s basketball games and Olympic sports. Third-tier TV rights include live games that are not picked up by the Big 12’s primary network partners, ESPN and Fox

I'd be fine with this set-up as well as the most important thing is to be on television sets, not necessarily be on your own network.

HARRELL IN ABILENE | Per the Reporter News, former Red Raider Graham Harrell was in Abilene to speak during the FCA banquet. This was the last quote and I totally believe it:

"No matter how long I play in the NFL, I want to be a coach when I finish," he said. "My dad and older brother is a coach. My grandfather was a coach. Everyone in my family was a coach. And like my father, I want to come back and coach in high school. That's football at its purest."

MISCELLANEOUS LINKS | I thought this was just a fantastic piece of writing from Barking Carinval where I got to re-live one of the best games that I saw last year, Baylor vs. Kansas St. Definitely worth your time, even if you didn't see the game . . . Football Study Hall's Bill Connelly looks at the best receiver of the last seven years and a certain Michael Crabtree makes an appearance, but just barely . . .