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CRFF Roundtable Discussion: Is Oklahoma State a Basketball or Football School?

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This may or may not turn into a recurring feature here, but for this specific topic I felt that I was far too biased towards my answer to write about it objectively. Therefore, we get our first CRFF Roundtable with Cincy, Royal, and myself.  Feel free to chime in with your opinions in the comments.

Question (it is in two parts because they would overlap too much if separated):
1A) Is Oklahoma State a Football or a Basketball school?
1B) Would you rather Oklahoma State move more towards being an elite football or basketball school?  Why?

Sam
1A) I still think of Oklahoma State as a basketball school.  I realize that I am biased on this, and that 90% of OSU fans I know are more focused on football, but I still think as fans we focus more on basketball than 75% of D1 schools out there, and 99% more than fans of other schools in this part of the country (deal with all those percentages).  What I mean is, even at established basketball schools like North Carolina, Indiana, and UCLA, there is just as much if not more emphasis on football than basketball... that is just where our sports focus is at in America. If you were to really only consider schools as a "basketball school" if the basketball interest was markedly higher than the football interest, then only Big East schools that don't have FBS football teams (Georgetown, Villanova, etc), and maybe a few other scattered programs would earn the title of basketball schools.  Even fans of the most established basketball school around here (Kansas) are heavily focused on the football program as well.
For those reasons, I still consider OSU to be a basketball school (even if CRFF traffic history disagrees)

1B) I think this is obvious based on my answer to part A, but as for the "Why?".  I have a couple of completely stupid reasons for wanting OSU to be a basketball focused school that also has a decent football program, as opposed to the other way around.

I think there is a lot of opportunity to become a big player in basketball in the Big 12. Rather than comparing ourselves to Texas and OU's football programs (which based on historical significance we will never be able to be on the same level as), we could compare ourselves to Kansas' basketball program.  Sure we will never match Kansas' history, but we have our own great history and i feel that we (or any decent Big 12 bball program) absolutely can match their current performance level.

This one is based purely in facts....basketball schools have cool images.  If you were going to lie to someone to impress them with where you went to college, and you were given a list of basketball schools and football schools to pick from, you should pick from the basketball school list.  This is not based on academics or anything, just on the easily measurable "seeming hip" factor.  Arizona, Louisville, Temple, UNLV, St. Johns all sound like cool schools to be from... hell, even Syracuse seems like some hip place and it is in the coldest, bleakest part of the entire world... I chalk that all up to them being a basketball school.  Sure there are exceptions, but to put it another way, Nebraska and Oklahoma are the exact fanbase images I least want OSU to be seen as (not a put down, I don't think they would like to be seen how we are either), and we know what sport they hold most dear.

Royal
1. It is a basketball school hanging onto a thread of its identity. If in a couple years OSU does not make a Sweet 16 or better, OSU will become a full fledged football school. The reasons for this are simple. 1. Boone Pickens 2. Eddie Sutton is gone. First off, Pickens wants us to compete in football and that is all there is to it. It's his millions, he'll donate them wherever the hell he wants. The recent success of the football team brings more and more football fans but none of it would have been possible without Pickens. Second, the image of "OSU: Basketball School" had Eddie Sutton's picture attached to it. He was an icon and almost synonymous with Cowboy basketball. When he left, Mike Gundy became OSU's face of athletics.
2. I'm going to get burned for this but....football. It's the king of college sports. To be entrenched among the great football schools is a huge deal. Hell, OSU's football success has led to an increase in student enrollees! I love OSU hoops. It was my first passion. But I do know the importance of an elite football program. It literally increases the stature of the university. Should it work like that? Eh, maybe not. But it does.

Cincy
1. Oklahoma State is a football school with a better than average basketball program (historically). Bob Fenimore,Barry Sanders, Thurman Thomas, Dez Bryant, Darrent Williams, Jamall Williams, Kevin Williams and on and on and on....We've had some good years in basketball, but I don't think that success puts us in the ranks of the traditional basketball schools. Our history in football is better than our history in basketball. Better players, greater accomplishments and bigger games. Oh, and T Boone Pickens says so.

2. Football. I think it's better to be a football school with a good basketball team rather than the alternative. Basketball (like or not) has become a total crap shoot. Fucking Butler was in the championship game last year. BUTLER! There is more prestige, money, excitement and national attention that can be gathered from being an elite football school than there is with basketball. Look at teams like Florida, Texas, Ohio State and LSU. All have made it to the Final Four recently and all are considered to be Football schools. I have to think the money from Football helps the basketaball program. On the flip side though, you don't see many of the traditional basketaball schools (Duke, UNC, Kentucky, Kansas) competing at a high level in Football.

Jump for more discussion

 

Sam
I do have to agree with both of your points on why you would rather OSU be a football school, and from a "for the good of the school" standpoint there isn't a single decent counter-argument.  I think my leaning toward a basketball school comes from 1) I prefer basketball as a sport, 2) I kinda like OSU as a fringe school, not following mainstream trends, We have always had a bit of an outsider feel and I guess I have grown to love it, and 3) I am continually irritated by the LETS PLAY US SOME FOOTBAW! type of college fans that are mainly concentrated in the SEC parts of the country.

And Cincy, I have one counter argument to your list of esteemed football alumni, and it is this.

Royal
I disagree that our football history is better than our basketball history. First of all, we have a national championship in basketball. Second, in recent history OSU basketball has been to two Final Fours which is the equivalent to a BCS bowl game. OSU football has never even made it to the Big 12 championship game. And that brings up the fact that OSU basketball has multiple conference titles whereas OSU football has none. I'd say OSU basketball has a much richer history than football.

Cincy
I think a Heisman winner trumps 2 losses in the final four 10 + years apart.  We had a good run in basketball, no doubt, but it's hardly a rich history.

Royal
How does an individual award trump an entire team's accomplishments? You're comparing one football accomplishment to multiple basketball accomplishments. That doesn't do it for me.

Cincy
I don't look at it as an individual award really. Sure, it goes to one guy but there are only so many schools with Heisman winners. If going to the final four is like going to a bcs game, winning the heisman is like going to the title game.

Royal
Haha, I compare going to the title game to going to the title game.

Cincy
So does going to 2 Final Fours and winning 1 conference title in 14 years make you a basketball school?

Sam
I think both of your thought processes are dumb as fuck (belligerent emailer alert...no, Im totally just j/k'ing all over your tits).  If what sport your school is most associated with were based purely on results, then there is no argument, we are a wrestling school and little bit of a golf school.  IMO, how many final fours or heismans we have has nothing to do with us being a basketball or a football school. There is nothing really concrete to base this on.  I feel like OSU supports basketball more than 75% of other BCS conference schools, but are probably more in the middle of the pack for football support, therefore I lean towards the basketball school side.... but truth be told, there are only about 3 (if that) schools that have a football team in a BCS conference and are still true "basketball schools" if the definition is that the fanbase has to care more about basketball than football.

Royal
Well obviously it's not just result driven. It mainly has to do with A. fan support and B. mainstream popularity. Basketball and football are the two most popular college sports in the nation. For the longest time, OSU has had a great amount of fan support in basketball while having mediocre to low support in football (even during the late 80's). But I think that success in one of the two sports definitely has an effect on fanhood. If that weren't the case, OSU would still be a greatly supported basketball school instead of transitioning into a football school. I think that is what brought on the disagreement between Cinci and I. And I certainly see where he's coming from. I don't have a beef with what he is saying. Hell, I'll give him an OTPHJ right now (Over The Pants Hand Job).

Sam
I stand by my "dumb as fuck" assessment.