Mike Gundy spoke at Cowboy Caravan in Tulsa on Thursday. Among the topics of discussion were the backup quarterback situation, Barry J. Sanders helping out in the punt return game (yeah, it’s happening), and of course, Big 12 expansion.
It turns out, Gundy is just like the rest of us. Gundy talked to Guerin Emig of the Tulsa World, and spoke out against adding Houston to the Big 12. Gundy is not the first to speak out against the conference adding Houston, however.
In an interview with the Wichita Eagle, Kansas State Offensive Coordinator Dana Dimel said, "If they get into the Big 12, they will be tough to beat in recruiting because of the proximity... I can’t believe anybody would want Houston."
It’s clear that Big 12 coaches feel they would be put at a recruiting disadvantage if the conference were to add Houston. Emig asked Gundy about those comments from Dimel, and got his take on the ‘Coogs.
He told Emig, "The concern is, and where that comment [from Dimel] is coming from, is if your northern schools put a southern school, and another school in Texas, in the same league, that essentially is going to pull recruits from all of us," Gundy said. "That’s what it comes down to."
I’ve said from the get-go that Houston would be an awful addition to the Big 12. Not in a sense of quality football, but in terms of recruitment. Oklahoma State relies heavily on recruiting the state of Texas. If you add another school, especially in a recruiting hotbed like Houston, the roaring faucet that is Texas recruiting slows to a drip for Oklahoma State.
OSU is not the only school to use the state of Texas heavily in recruiting. You know who else does? Oklahoma.
The Sooners have a much larger pull with the conference than OSU, and rightfully so. If OU feels slighted that they would have to compete with another Texas school in recruiting, I can’t imagine that bodes well for Houston.
Houston also doesn’t bring much else to the table, as I mentioned yesterday. Other than a sometimes-solid football program, the rest of their athletics department leaves a lot to be desired. Now, that’s a moot point if they join the Big 12 as a football-only member, but is the Big 12 interested in that?
Another drawback for bringing Houston into the conference is the TV market. The Big 12 already owns the Houston TV market. They don’t need the Cougars to join the conference, as its’ footprint already stretches to Houston with the Longhorns being in Austin. And we haven’t even talked about cord-cutting.
If there’s no incentive in the ballooning TV market to add Houston, and other Big 12 coaches are speaking out against adding the Cougars, what’s the point? Is Houston football really worth the headache?