Clay column on the OU/Texas situation

Great Article…We have to start winning plain and simple in football we do that and all things will become a whole lot easier.

We have proven we can compete in this league and we have proven we can compete against Oklahoma and Texas.We have to have the players and we have to have everything in place for us to WIN… We do that and and everything else will fall into place.

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OU is close to two very fruitful recruiting areas, DFW and OKC. It is the big draw in its state. It’s got lots of money and other resources. It’s not Tex or Bama, but it’s close. I hate them, but they’re way above us in football pecking order. I hope to catch up to them, but it’s a long climb.

While I love the idea of being a part of the most powerful conference in the U.S., I feel like this is going to keep Arkansas in the lower tier of the conference with the Mississippi schools and Vanderbilt. I thought the addition of TAM was a huge negative for Arkansas in that it would pull more kids from Texas away from Arkansas. Missouri not so much. Arkansas also gets a few kids from OK. I think those days will be ending now that TX and OK kids can stay at home and play in the SEC. IMO the biggest positive will be that Alabama’s days at the top are numbered. Despite what they have in the form of resources, they can’t compete with Texas. One needs to look no further than the old SWC. The balancing factor could be Texas’s propensity to cheat which is basically one of the prime reasons the SWC folded. The Texas schools truly hate each other; much more than Alabama and Auburn dislike each other. I hope I’m wrong. I hope that it will help the hogs but am not that optimistic.

This is my view, however, if we can get Bama off our regular schedule I’m for it. Their machine is so far ahead of this league and now they have the ability to pay players in the open (Bama fans will throw their first born into a volcano for Saban). That said, the SEC office has always treated us with disrespect and has another opportunity to put a needle in our eye with scheduling. Until proven otherwise, Hog fans know how this is going to pan out. A/M coming into the league did not help us beyond more money, it marked the beginning of the spiral into football nothingness.

I would say bad coaching put us in the death spiral

That can be and is being corrected


IMO our spiral had nothing to do with A&M joining the SEC. It had everything to do with hires JL Smith, CBB (and the contract extensions and raises) and CCM incompetence.

I’m shocked at the fear I see of Texass. When they enter the SEC they will be just one of the guys. NOT the big dog. Bring them on.


OU is usually a top 10 in recruiting,12th in '20, but rarely top 5. We are not that far behind them & hope we improve & equal them as we get better & recruit Texas. OU advantage seems to be in finding the top QBs.

Ok St has recently recruited well in TX but assume that will decline in future years depending on where they land. Ok St post Big12 decline will hopefully be an Arkansas advantage.

aTm obviously primarily recruits Texas players but their focus & success is the Houston area & East TX. I would have expected more for them from the DFW area based on the AR/aTm series. Both ut & aTm blocked UH from SEC & Big12 as they divide the Houston HS market. With alternating year games at aTm, perhaps that will give us exposure in that market, but DFW proximity still seems to be our opportunity. UofA decline was self inflicted with a bad AD & bad coaches, not aTm.

AL advantage is Saban who is a coaching anomaly, but at 69 he is approaching retirement. If money dictates future success, ut or aTm (& perhaps OU) may be the teams to watch.

I don’t know why everyone always cites Texas’s “resources.” So what? What has Texas done with them on the last 10 years? Clay nails it. You have to have the right head coach, and then assistant coaches. Critical. Texas hasn’t had that since Mack Brown, despite all of its silly “resources” everyone touts. It’s made a bunch of bad hires just like Arkansas. It’s really a pretty easy concept. Coaching is critical in college football. Do you want Nick Saban or Mike Shula? Lincoln Riley or John Blake? Charlie Strong or Mack Brown?

Then, at Texas, will you leave the coach alone and let him build a real team with some toughness? Or, will you let the fat cat alums who know nothing about football mettle and cause culture problems?

Except every other team will be getting this $30M, so it really doesn’t change anything in that vein. We haven’t been a top payer, and unless we change our stripes, we’ll continue to be bottom third in this arrangement.


Texas AD Del Conte since 2017 may be the difference for ut & has proven to be willing to spend whatever it takes to change coaches & improve their programs. He is proactive, like HY, in making the upgrades as he has recently done in football & basketball. Perhaps ut has learned from aTm to spend the $ or otherwise risk falling behind.

Ironically for ut, Mack & his prior success may have been what kept ut from hiring Saban away from AL in 2012.

IMO the 75 million A&M spent on what’s his name has not paid off….

No. Only SEC teams get the extra $30 million. Not every great Coach (assistant or otherwise) is in the SEC.

It would be interesting to compare what we spend on non-football coaches and facilities to what other big schools spend. In other words, how much do other schools go “all in” on football in spending, to the detriment of other team sports? I realize Title IX may place some limits on that. But I tend to believe the hardcore football schools spend $$ on coaches and staff, and cut back in other areas. I think OU does that. Its baseball and basketball facilities are dumps. But football facilities are awesome and they pay football coaches, including assistants, through the nose.

Is 7.5 million/year worth being a top 5 football team & opportunity for a NC? Some of aTm success may be due to their move to the SEC & their proximity to top recruits. Their alumni are consequently opening up their pocketbooks, & their facilities & coaching upgrades reflect that.

Correct, and we currently don’t pay to get them, so, I don’t see it making that big of a difference.

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Resources give them the chance to correct mistakes. No doubt bad hires & bad decisions can make resources irrelevant, but if you have the resources, it’s much easier to bounce back. (And by resources, I don’t just mean money. I mean a large recruiting base, a large fan base, a history of winning, large TV markets…all the things that can be marshaled to regroup if they screw up.) However, there’s no doubt resources do not guarantee success. And the right guy with limited resources can do wonders. Frank Broyles is an example.

BTW, I don’t minimize our resources. We have a lot of money, a statewide passionate fanbase, and a good history that is sometimes forgotten in the wake of the past 8 years. Petrino, despite his flaws & the damage he eventually did to our program, proved we can win at the highest level. Then we made two terrible coaching hires (3 if you count Smith) that drove us down. I’m optimistic we now have the right guy. I’m not at all concerned about our ability to compete. However, I know that over the long haul schools with more resources are more likely to succeed. Being in the SEC gives us a lot of resources, but it also means we must beat schools with as many or more.

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Thanks Clay. I needed to read that.

UT has had deep pockets forever and has not won much of late.

True but ut has not spent the $, at least not like aTm has done lately. After ut saw what the SEC has done for aTm, the decision to leave the Big12 was made. Unlike Big12, SEC has excited their alumni base. ut should have listened to JFB in '90 as they would be a much different team today.

Being in the SEC & competing against aTm & SEC powers will open up the ut checkbooks. NIL will enable & empower their wealthy alumni base - as it will for aTm & other teams. Their AD, Del Conte, has recently shown the ability & desire to get & spend $ on facilities & coaches. The large & deep pocketed ut alumni base is supportive of their opportunity to buy championships.

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It still comes down to coaching. Can Sarkisian manage the head coaching duties at UT? They are massive. And then run the offense? And handle recruiting? And avoid the demons that got him before?