1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The rise of Texas A&M and fall of UT after realignment

Discussion in 'Colorado Football Message Board' started by Buffnik, Jun 29, 2014.

  1. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Messages:
    80,608
    Likes Received:
    16,229
    (Sacky's gonna love this... unless it results in the UT brass to decide they need to be in the PAC-12.)

    Hat tip to rward on Rivals for finding/posting.

    After just three years, realignment has already fundamentally altered the trajectory of Texas football. The Texas A&M Aggiesare surging like never before and they've done what many long considered to be impossible -- they've passed Texas to become the preeminent program in the state. That's not my opinion, that's a fact buttressed by the most important data out there -- recruiting rankings. Take a look at Rivals recruiting rankings in the state since A&M joined the SEC. Right now Kevin Sumlin has the nation's third best recruiting class. Right now the Texas Longhorns under
    Charlie Strong are tied for the 29th best class in the nation. They'd be ranked higher, of course, if A&M didn't keep taking all the recruits the Longhorns wanted. One top recruit after another is considering the Longhorns and Aggies, and time after time these top players are picking the Aggies.


    In fact, since the Aggies joined the SEC the recruiting rankings have flipped. In the 11 years before A&M joined the SEC, the average Aggie recruiting ranking on Rivals was 20.5. The average Texas recruiting class ranking, on the other hand, was 8.7. In the three years that A&M has been recruiting in the SEC, the average Aggie recruiting ranking is 6.6, while the average Texas recruiting ranking is 24.3. (The third season is incomplete, but reflective of the past two season's patterns.) Now Longhorn fans may say that's a function of a coaching change, but the numbers don't bear that out. Even with Mack Brown tossed to the wayside the Longhorn class in 2014 was ranked higher than the 2013 and 2015 classes. Plus, let's be honest here, the reason Mack Brown got fired was because Texas was falling further and further behind the Aggies.


    As if that wasn't enough, most coaches arrive on campus and immediately put together their best class in the first year they spend on campus. New coaches can sell energy and excitement and playing time. It's a whole new world. So why isn't that happening with Texas? Why are recruits still lining up to play for Texas A&M while spurning Texas even with its new coach? It's simple: When the Aggies joined the SEC, everything changed in the state of Texas.


    How did this happen so quickly? How did a perennial little brother in the lone star state suddenly reverse decades of history and steal a march on the big brother? Because right now the top college football program in the state isn't in Austin, it's in a small sliver of east Texas, College Station. Part of A&M's rise was undoubtedly the holy trinity of Texas A&M athletics -- the combination of Kevin Sumlin, Johnny Manziel and the SEC coming together in 2012 at the perfect time. But that wasn't it entirely. After all, while Johnny Manziel was exciting as hell on the field and Kevin Sumlin's offense is great fun to watch, the Aggies have just gone 10-6 in their 16 SEC games. Indeed, that's what should be scariest of all to Texas. The Aggies are dominating them in recruiting and prestige and they haven't even started to win big yet.


    Mostly, it was A&M joining the SEC.


    A&M was like a card counter who sat down at the table and immediately hit two straight blackjacks with Sumlin and Manziel. It's a great result, but it's not the reason you sat down at the table. If you're a card counter you know you're going to win the game long-term, but you don't count on getting incredibly lucky in the meantime. Sumlin and Manziel immediately made A&M's decision makers and the SEC's leaders look brilliant. They were the lucky blackjacks, but the long range strategy of A&M in the SEC was bound to pay off eventually. The Aggie braintrust card counters surveyed the college football landscape and realized they weren't going to beat the Longhorns by going toe-to-toe in Texas. They needed back-up. So they brought the SEC branded cavalry.


    While Longhorn fans were snickering about how A&M would perform in the SEC, the Aggies branded themselves as the SEC in Texas. I noticed it the moment I got to College Station for the first time. Sure, there were Aggie signs galore, but Texas A&M wedded itself to the SEC too. The stadium was covered in SEC logos, and t-shirts prominently featured the Aggie brand joining the SEC. Aggie leaders knew that once they started to sell the top conference in football to Texas high school kids, they were going to have a product that no one else could match in the state.

    Not even the Longhorns.

    While A&M was wedding itself to the best brand in football other than the NFL, Texas's leaders made the opposite decision, deciding the Longhorn brand was strong enough to stand alone. That was the entire business proposition behind the Longhorn Network -- "We're Texas, we don't need to worry about anyone but us." That line of thinking killed the Big 12, subtracting four decent-sized foes in the process -- Nebraska, Texas A&M, Colorado and Missouri all fled for better pastures. TCU and West Virginiareplaced those programs, devaluing the Big 12's football brand. At the exact moment when who you played mattered the most to building your brand, the Longhorns decided the opposite. The problem was, Texas did need to worry about everyone else too; they just weren't smart enough to realize it. To put it into historical terms, Texas was the Mexican Army under Santa Ana, taking a siesta while Sam Houston'sTexas A&M Aggie rebels snuck up on the sleeping Mexican army. The result was a rout, both in regional power and in national perception.


    Don't believe me that conference branding matters? Texas's record in the Big 12 over the past two seasons is 12-6. Meanwhile, Texas A&M is 10-6 in the SEC. So the Longhorns have a better record in the Big 12 over the past two seasons than A&M does in the SEC. Yet Texas fired its coach and is scrambling to rebuild its program, meanwhile Texas A&M gave its coach a massive extension and is in the process of building the biggest stadium in the nation's best conference. If that isn't a great example of two college football ships passing in the night, I don't know what is.


    That's because in college football today, you're only as strong as your surrounding partners. Texas decided that playing Iowa State and Kansas and Kansas State every year wasn't going to hurt its brand. Operating from a position of strength, the Longhorns chose poorly, believing that nothing would ever change in the state, that their position of prominence was unassailable. Now Texas isn't in the SEC or even playing their former top rival anymore. They've been passed both regionally and nationally by the Aggies. What's more, now they have direct competition in the state of Texas. Hell, you can make the argument that right now Texas is the third or fourth best program in the state in the Big 12. Baylor and Art Briles are running circles around the Longhorns, Texas Tech has the most charismatic coach in college football and plays an exciting brand of football, and TCU plays the style of football that Charlie Strong wants to play, only they're better at it.


    In less than five years Texas has gone from the premier program in its state to, potentially, the fifth best football program in the state. With the torrential downpour of money that is soon to surge into Texas A&M athletics from the SEC Network -- a number that will make the Longhorn Network look like chicken feed -- the Aggie ascension and Longhorn decline isn't just a short blip on the radar that headed for a correction. It's a fundamental alteration of generations of Texas football power.


    A&M was smart enough to realize the value of the SEC's brand. Texas wasn't. And in the end, that made all the difference.


    http://msn.foxsports.com/college-fo...hanges-lone-star-state-football-future-062514
     
  2. Quattro

    Quattro Banned BANNED Club Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2010
    Messages:
    26,503
    Likes Received:
    761
    There's gonna be a ton of talent in the SEC West between them, Bama, and Auburn (all of which have top 10 classes).

    Really didn't see this playing out like it has for Texas, it's pretty incredible how fast everything changed for them. Bravo to the admin at aTm
     
  3. sackman

    sackman Club Member Club Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    48,465
    Likes Received:
    4,471
    We all saw this coming. **** Texas. I hope they die in a fire. Their hubris has decimated their own program. Couldn't happen to a nicer set of guys. This happened to them once before, when Arkansas bolted the SWC and it collapsed. Texas was thrown a life jacket by the Big 12. We need to make sure nobody throws them a life jacket now. Especially not the PAC 12.
     
  4. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Messages:
    80,608
    Likes Received:
    16,229
    You know, I think that UT fans would actually be happier if they could form a new conference of:

    Texas
    Oklahoma
    Oklahoma State
    Texas Tech
    Baylor
    Texas Christian
    Houston
    Texas El Paso
    Texas San Antonio
    SMU

    Their arrogance is big enough to believe that the awesomeness of that conference would be enough to lure Arkansas and Texas A&M back into the fold.
     
  5. Burrito Palazzo

    Burrito Palazzo huff my smug Club Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2010
    Messages:
    31,662
    Likes Received:
    4,352
    So csu is joining the sec?
     
  6. J.R. Ewing

    J.R. Ewing Club Member Club Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2011
    Messages:
    13,852
    Likes Received:
    3,589
    UT will right the ship with Strong. Black athletes in Texas would much, much, much rather go to Austin than College Station.
     
  7. boydbuff

    boydbuff Club Member Club Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2011
    Messages:
    3,471
    Likes Received:
    110
    I just read that article a few minutes ago on Rivals and was loving it. While I was aware of A&M's rise and UTs fall I hadn't followed it closely enough to understand that these may be structural problems due to UT's arrogance in driving out some of the other Big 12 players.

    It is true that the Big 12 has a pretty ****ty brand right now. And UT certainly has played the biggest role in that. I would love to see A&M dominate TX for years to come. But like others, would prefer the Pac avoid bringing them into the fold at some point, but I could certainly see it happening.
     
  8. Burrito Palazzo

    Burrito Palazzo huff my smug Club Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2010
    Messages:
    31,662
    Likes Received:
    4,352
    If I was a top recruit, I'd leave the state to avoid the controversy.
     
  9. sackman

    sackman Club Member Club Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    48,465
    Likes Received:
    4,471
    Makes sense.

    [​IMG]
     
    GregInArlington likes this.
  10. Idot Buff

    Idot Buff Club Member Club Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2007
    Messages:
    10,668
    Likes Received:
    1,428
    We will see....based on early reports on Strong, UT may have made the wrong hire.
     
  11. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Messages:
    80,608
    Likes Received:
    16,229
    Yeah. Get out of that mess and take in some fresh mountain air or something.
     
  12. Burrito Palazzo

    Burrito Palazzo huff my smug Club Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2010
    Messages:
    31,662
    Likes Received:
    4,352
    The best thread in all the innerwebz!
     
  13. Idot Buff

    Idot Buff Club Member Club Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2007
    Messages:
    10,668
    Likes Received:
    1,428
  14. MtnBuff

    MtnBuff Not allowed in Barzil 2 Club Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Messages:
    26,428
    Likes Received:
    2,336
    Strong probably isn't the guy to do it but eventually Texas will find the right guy.

    When they do they will return to the top spot. Doesn't mean that aTm is going away but UT has a place in Texas culture that isn't going away.

    When Texas gets the right guy they will get back to playing in top flight bowl games and being highly ranked. At the same time aTm benefits from playing in the SEC but eventually they are going to find themselves with some 3rd and 4th place finishes in their division (and maybe lower.)

    When the novelty wears off and Texas is back to winning then their being able to take first pick of lots of Texas recruits will be over.

    That said I will enjoy UTs struggles for as long as they last.
     
  15. FlaBuff

    FlaBuff I drive a Dodge Stratus! Club Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2005
    Messages:
    3,718
    Likes Received:
    1,161
    I'd not bury Strong too quickly. He is a builder. There are a lot of egos among the Texas HS coaches who were used to regular stroking by Mack Brown. Strong isn't that guy. His guys would run thru walls for him at UF and UL.
     
  16. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Messages:
    80,608
    Likes Received:
    16,229
    I'm rooting for him. I worry, though, that the UT HC is more about it being a political appointment than about coaching acumen. Strong's going to hate all the ass kissing of boosters, HS coaches and LHN commitments that come with that job.
     
  17. Idot Buff

    Idot Buff Club Member Club Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2007
    Messages:
    10,668
    Likes Received:
    1,428
    Seems to be lacking leadership and communication skills, certainly vital to succeed in a place like UT. Hopefully it works out for him, but he may be like Hawkins......made his name and built success with strong assistants.
     
  18. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Messages:
    80,608
    Likes Received:
    16,229
    I think you misunderstand the guy. He was the best BCS assistant in the nation for years and more than paid his dues before getting the Louisville job. Great leader that his staff and players respect the hell out of. But he's not good at the schmoozing stuff.
     
  19. Duff Man

    Duff Man Moderator Club Member Junta Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2006
    Messages:
    39,665
    Likes Received:
    4,658
    You guys are describing a 9-3/8-4 type coach IMO. I like him, but blue chip recruiting is vital for that job.
     
  20. BuffsNYC

    BuffsNYC Uptown Club Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2007
    Messages:
    2,658
    Likes Received:
    993
    Hmmm, Texas has sucked for a few seasons. I wonder what their recruiting rankings were then?
     
    OrangeBowl likes this.
  21. tante

    tante Club Member Club Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Messages:
    25,787
    Likes Received:
    1,359
    I have mixed feelings. Rooting for him a person but hate him as coach of the longhorns (because i would hate all their coaches or of principle)
     
  22. Idot Buff

    Idot Buff Club Member Club Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2007
    Messages:
    10,668
    Likes Received:
    1,428

    Time will tell, I suppose. I see jobs like the UT head coaching job as one of a CEO....requires paying dues and excelling through the ranks, but requires excellent communication and political skill to excel at the next level. I think Duff is correct.....he won't be wildly successful at UT.
     
  23. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Messages:
    80,608
    Likes Received:
    16,229
    That's what I'm saying. Though I do think that if he can win quickly it will solve a lot of those other issues and he'll do well. What he can't afford is a transition year out of the gates. That could ruin his chances with the charismatic recruiters at aTm, Baylor and even TTU.

    But you called the guy a Dan Hawkins. Damn, dude.
     
  24. Idot Buff

    Idot Buff Club Member Club Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2007
    Messages:
    10,668
    Likes Received:
    1,428
    Could have been worse....had I called him a combination of Embree and Danny.
     
  25. Duff Man

    Duff Man Moderator Club Member Junta Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2006
    Messages:
    39,665
    Likes Received:
    4,658
    I think Texas fans will look back at 2000-2009 as a big missed opportunity.
     
  26. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Messages:
    80,608
    Likes Received:
    16,229
    Kind of similar to the Tom Osborne run, but with only 1 title to show for it.
     
  27. Clean Undies

    Clean Undies Flagship of the 12-Pac Club Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Messages:
    27,289
    Likes Received:
    5,935
    The Longhorns have proven that having the largest revenue in the NCAA does not guarantee success. The endowment is huge. The facilities are top rate. They attract highly ranked athletes in a talent rich state. The football schedule is engineered to play in-state for months on end, with guaranteed 7 home games. Opponents include a diet of OOC cupcakes, one big name OOC program, and a limited number of quality conference opponents. All of this engineering to create an unleveled playing field that tilts to their advantage has been no sure fire recipe for a national championship campaign. Austin is big in every way except for shunning pro-sports in order to focus on filling the 105K stadium and going all-in on the the college team. The coaches are at the top of the pay scale.

    It is unfathomable how Mack Brown and DeLoss Dodd couldn't quite leverage every advantage to beat OU and dominate in the years following the 2005 championship run.

    Texas under Charlie Strong and AD Steve Patterson were hired to undo the damage inflicted by Dodds and Brown. The new regime still has the resources, brand, and benefits. The pieces are in place for Texas to dominate. It all hinges on the coaching.

    I'm not convinced A&M's jump to the SEC and Manzeil circus is sustainable. It's not like A&M got anywhere close to winning the SEC conference, nor even a division title. A&M beat Alabama once. But what have they accomplished? College Station is not that great. The new kyle stadium renovation cost is huge, and the business case is going to turn A&M into program that is even more all about the money, just like Texas, forcing Aggie to squeeze fans at every chance.

    Let's revisit this subject in three years time and see if Aggie steps on their dicks in the ehseesea, as they are prone to do. And let's see if Texas continues to stay down under Strong.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2014
  28. TimmyDUBs

    TimmyDUBs Dirty haole Club Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2011
    Messages:
    6,565
    Likes Received:
    948
    In all honestly, the idea of going to A&M over Texas baffles me. Austin is a really cool town, great campus, and their cheer leaders aren't a bunch of boy scouts. I just don't get it.
     
  29. OUBuff

    OUBuff American Club Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    Messages:
    5,193
    Likes Received:
    1,130
  30. MtnBuff

    MtnBuff Not allowed in Barzil 2 Club Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Messages:
    26,428
    Likes Received:
    2,336
    Skiddy,

    Two things. One is that the NC year had a lot more to do with a guy named Vince Young than it did with anything special that Mack did.

    Secondly, once Mack got that title it seems like he went into cruise control. He handled the PR part of the job, which is as mentioned earlier is probably a bigger part of the job at Texas than it is at any other school. The coaching got turned over to his assistants.

    They also got lazy recruiting. Invite a bunch of top flight juniors to camp with them, offer the ones who had the best junior years, and fill their class early. The problem with this approach is that they got a lot of highly rated kids, in part rated highly because they were committed to UT, many of who were early developers but who didn't continue to develop while at the same time missing out on a lot of better kids who didn't jump out until their senior seasons and then went elsewhere.

    You also make a pretty good point about Manzel and the circus he brought with him. He was in the spotlight so often he opened a lot of recruiting doors to them. Will that continue once he's gone. Also how many games does aTm lose last year without Johnny Football taking snaps. In the world of the SEC there is a huge difference between a 1-2 loss team and a 3-4 loss team.

    This isn't the first time that aTm has had a couple of big winning teams and it won't be the first time they drop off following.
     

Share This Page