Ketch's 10 Thoughts From The Weekend (The SEC move was born from the ashes of TEOT saga)

the_rustler2000

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Dec 9, 2002
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That's not really what was written, but hey man, we can't all do nuance.
What’s nuance about:
I believe the past 11 days, which were capped off Friday with the University of Texas officially accepting an invitation to the Southeastern Conference, was largely born out of The Eyes of Texas crisis on the 40 Acres
 

mofohorn

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Feb 5, 2007
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ee0e3a40b744e2eebc3b4d949eaa9055x.jpg

I'm not trying to start trouble.

Believe me, I realize that I'm in very delicate territory, so I'm just going to blurt out an idea...

I believe the past 11 days, which were capped off Friday with the University of Texas officially accepting an invitation to the Southeastern Conference, was largely born out of The Eyes of Texas crisis on the 40 Acres.

So, let's travel back to 365 days ago.

It was a time when the entire university was walking on eggshells, especially the football program. Only seven weeks earlier in June 2020, members of the Texas football team had demanded the school song be replaced, a situation which made high-level donors so agitated that university officials were shaken by the complicated juggling that was suddenly upon them.

On the football side, there was an uneasy quiet about the situation, with most at the school simply hoping the issue would go away when the season started.

It didn't, and chaos ensued.

From trying to rush the school song in the immediate aftermath of the season-opener to the players walking off the field following a loss to TCU to Sam Ehlinger standing all alone in the Cotton Bowl to the uncertainty behind what the athletic director was telling his football head coach and just how much of what he was being told was being relayed to his players, it was a disaster.

We don't need to relitigate it. The scars are so fresh that it won't take much to cause bleeding.

Yet, it was during this stress that Texas desperately needed a cohesive message from the top down.

Enter Kevin Eltife.

For those keeping score, Eltife was named the new chairman of the Board of Regents on December 20, 2018, but I'm going to argue that it was 22 months later... six months after former Texas president Greg Fenves resigned to take a job at Emory and two months after Texas favorite son Jay Hartzell was selected as the lone finalist to replace him... that the former mayor of Tyler truly emerged as this century's version of legendary UT shot-caller Frank Erwin.

Less than 24 hours after I had written a fairly scathing article on the athletic department's handling of the school song saga, which had somehow bled beyond the OU game into the middle of October without any clarity, I was speaking to a high-level university source who had been quoted in the article less than 24 hours prior, and the entire tone had changed.

According to this source, the Mickey Mouse handling of the situation was done. Never before had the Texas Board of Regents been more aligned on any issue, and with Eltife's leadership, a plan to get the car back on the road was mapped out.

The school song would be saved. Period. The back and forth drama between Chris Del Conte and Tom Herman would stop. Period. Come hell or high water, the BOR, president, athletic director and everyone below them would get on the same page or else.

There was a calm that day in talking with this particular source that was different from any other time we had spoken. It was as if someone behind the scenes had finally started herding cats and turned them into cattle.

What I believe about this moment can be summed up quickly.

a. For the first time since I began covering the school professionally in 1994, the chairman, the BOR as a whole, the president and athletic director were fully aligned, which means when the word came down from the top, no one pursued their own self interests. It might seem like a small and simple thing, but certainly wasn't normal around Austin.

b. Eltife never let go of the steering wheel once he had it.

Fast-forward a couple of months with uncertainty around Herman after Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte had indicated that Herman would return, it was reportedly Eltife that shut down the first version of a vote of confidence press release from Del Conte.

By God, there was going to be change, a limited pool of candidates be damned. From the ousting of Herman to the hire of Steve Sarkisian, Eltife's shadow loomed over every move.

As fate would have it, this was also around the time when Texas and Oklahoma started playing footsie with the SEC, which would eventually lead to the last two weeks.

Talk to anyone involved and they'll tell you that Eltife is the Keyser Soze of the entire university. Want to know how this was planned so well? Eltife. Want to know how the incredible message discipline was put into place like a well-oiled political machine? Eltife. Want to know how UT went from playing checkers to chess in less than 12 months?

Maybe all of this was going to happen anyway. Maybe once Fenves was bumped out and Hartzell was installed as the president, Eltife's strategy and savvy were always going to take control. Maybe.

Yet, from my perspective, there's no getting around the fact that the pieces on the chess board were being moved by him last October. There was a huge need for an alpha in the midst of a crisis that had been void of leadership, and to his credit, he didn't run from the job.

The ship finally stopped drifting aimlessly at the lowest moment of The Eyes of Texas controversy, and no one has wondered who is in control since.

No. 2 - The other elephant in the room...

Someone asked me on Orangebloods this weekend if there was another moment that represented a line in the sand in this movement to get out of the Big 12 and into the SEC.

Yes, the loss of the Brockermeyers.

If the decommitment of Quinn Ewers was the unofficial moment when the leaders of the university knew that a change had to be made with Herman, the inability to land the two biggest legacy recruits in the history of the program was the gut punch that opened everyone's eyes; the only way to stop the wolves from breaking into your home and stealing all of your stuff was to join the wolfpack.

Losing the sons of a former All-American great, who met his wife on the 40 Acres and had a son already on the team, did more than leave a mark.

I believe it helped trigger change that never could have been imagined at the time.

No. 3 - Stop with the NIL is crushing recruiting stuff...

I can tell who does and does not read this column on a regular basis almost entirely by some of the reactions this weekend to the news that Texas is...wait for it...a bit sluggish in recruiting with elite prospects at the moment.

SHOCKING!!!!!!

Or not.

One of the trendy talking points for those that will do anything to create talking points is to point the finger at the new boogieman of Texas football recruiting...NIL.

Understand this - Texas' lack of momentum in the 2022 recruiting class didn't start on July 1. Almost eight months have passed since Texas landed Maalik Murphy in recruiting and the program hasn't landed a player in the Rivals Top 150 since.

The reality is that it feels better to say that Kelvin Banks picked Oregon because of NIL as opposed to admitting that he might not believe in the vision and messaging of the program from the coaching staff. Or that he doesn't want to be alone in coming to Austin.

It's just the newest form of excuse-making... the kind that Aggies have embarked on for much of the last 20-25 years before Jimbo Fisher was able to change the narrative.

No. 4 - Let's go over the non-NIL problems...

Instead of misplacing responsibility, let's take a look at the real issues facing the program as things currently stand in the 2022 class.

1. As has been mentioned in this column countless times, elite of the elite prospects aren't giving this coaching staff the kind of first-year benefit of the doubt that Charlie Strong and Tom Herman both received.

2. This staff can do better and finish better. Both the De'Anthony Gatson and Kelvin Banks recruitments featured miscalculations or misreadings. There's no reason to belabor the points again and again and again. The staff can be better.

3. In the case of a few recruits around the state, there's a sense that there are briefcases full of cash in play. Of course, you know what the SEC calls recruitments that involve briefcases full of cash? They call it Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday...

I don't know what to tell you about the third point, but the first two can be controlled and addressed with quality play on the field this season and the staff doing a better job.

No. 5 - Prepare yourself...



The Xavier Worthy hype is going to be wild by this time next week.

This is going to sound wild, but his buzz is 10X higher than Ja'Tavion Sanders inside the team right now and I wouldn't have thought that to be possible, but it is.

Even his peers in the wide receiver group are talking about him.

I'm just telling you right now, prepare yourself.

No. 6 - If you find yourself bored on Monday ...

Check out this 14-year old recruiting update on Andrew Luck.

I don't want to spoil it for you, but it's wild.


No. 7 – BUY or SELL …

BUY-SELL.gif




(Buy) Imagine a weekly podcast with both of us on it.



(Buy) Give or take one or two.



(Sell) It's one thing to have an MLS team, but something more than feels too complicated.



(Buy) It's not a scientific opinion, but, yeah... it's a tide that would lift all burnt orange boats.



(Sell) I'm not sure that an extra year does much. The 2022 team should have a lot of parts coming together.



(Buy) I'd suggest saving at least three each year.



(Buy) Yes, in Waco.



(Buy) A&M had success?



(Buy) It's as simple as that.



(Buy) Easily.



(Buy) Very easily.



(Buy) Honestly, you pretty much "hear" that about all SEC teams outside of Vanderbilt.



(Sell) It'll be close, but not as of right now.



(Buy) It's a hat I think this team and program will wear well... and they better.

No. 8 - Scattershooting on the sports weekend...

... There's only one week left in the Olympics and I still don't know how to find the events on NBC's coverage map that I want to watch. It's kind of a pain in the ass and that's without even factoring in that day is night and night is day in Japan.

... Kevin Durant is the all-time leading scorer for the men's national basketball team, and by the time he's done, he might just put that record out of reach. That's pretty damn cool.

... If the men's basketball team wins gold, it will have earned it. Starting with Spain in the quarterfinals, there are no easy games.

... I'm ready for some NFL preseason action. Just be prepared for me to say I'm done after the first week.

... Dear soccer gods, please let Austin FC score a few goals at home before this season ends. Amen.

.... With Carson Wentz out with a foot injury (surprise!), Sam Ehlinger is battling Jacob Eason and newly signed Brett Hundley for practice reps.

No. 9 - Top 10 Chris Wall songs ...

The news on Friday night that country singer/songwriter Chris Wall had passed away after a long bout with cancer was a blow to my soul.

For those that have never heard of Wall, he represents a time in my life that I'll never quite get back. It was the 90s, I was in my 20s and Austin just felt like a different town back then.

As I explored the music that Austin had to offer, walking into a Wall show at The Broken Spoke was just a breath of fresh and old air at the same time. His version of country music was an anti-Nashville sound and it's a big reason why his impact can be felt on everyone from Jerry Jeff Walker to Reckless Kelly.

Even though it's probably been 20 years since I had seen a live performance, I emphatically love his music and by extension, Wall as a man.

He was the real deal and we were all lucky to have him.

My Wall Top 10

10. An Outlaw's Blues
9. I Feel Like Singing Alone
8. Cowboy Nation
7. Texas Time
6. Three Acress
5. Turns to Tears
4. I Feel Like Hank Williams Tonight
3. A Gal From San Antone
2. Trashy Women
1. Miles of Rodeo

Objectively, Trashy Women is his No.1 song, but Miles of Rodeo is one of my favorite country songs of all-time. Plus, Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis sing on the track.








No. 10 - And Finally ...

Orangebloods will announce three more NIL deals with Texas athletes at noon Monday.

One is an All-American, another is a critical incoming transfer and the final one is one of the most important true freshmen in all of Texas athletics.

Expect even more announcements soon.
Sources or pure speculation?
 

researchrat

Well-Known Member
Gold Member
Dec 30, 2012
46
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18
Since:
1) I graduated in ‘77 when Earl won the Heisman
2) I am 32 years out from a heart transplant .. check the record book folks, In the top 20 out of 16,000
3) from the play Colt got hurt on, running an option inside the 10 against a team we were clearly better than,
4) Since that play we have never been better than mediocre

Conclusion: I have a better shot to 40 years post transplant than Texas has of being anything other than what they have been … mediocre.

oh BTW. Thank you Fred Akers for ruining my New Year’s day and blowing the National Championship you way too conservative %!@#&!@ … no baby is not forgotten. Hook ‘em
 

TonyfBlack

Well-Known Member
Gold Member
Jun 28, 2019
127
73
28
Right, but this column wasn't about the why... it was about the who and the how.
I don't think money is the reason UTx is going forward to the SEC but rather an angle to stop the poaching of recruits to out of state teams. Texas isn't as concerned over the dollar aspects as it is trying to recruit on a more equal playing field (no pun intended). Aggies have gotten mush closer if not surpassed the 'Horns via recruiting via the SEC vs Big XII. Sooners are the same way, struggling to keep up with SEC propaganda and swaying of recruits. In short, this is about RECRUITING, plain and simple ! It is a solid financial way to take care of one's self and not stay bogged down with the Also-Rans left in the Big XII, but is more important to try and get on top of the Ohio St's, Georgia's, Bama and to a smaller degree, LSU. Hook'em!
 

Ketchum

Resident Blockhead
Staff
May 29, 2001
238,934
268,409
113
Your understanding is correct.
If he was giving very clear understandings, why were they still having meetings about into the middle of the season.

It's intellectually unsound based on what we actually know happened.

There are reasons why CDC has NEVER discussed his role in all of this in an open question format with the media. He's never taken a single question.
 

Texasgolong

Well-Known Member
Gold Member
Sep 14, 2002
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ee0e3a40b744e2eebc3b4d949eaa9055x.jpg

I'm not trying to start trouble.

Believe me, I realize that I'm in very delicate territory, so I'm just going to blurt out an idea...

I believe the past 11 days, which were capped off Friday with the University of Texas officially accepting an invitation to the Southeastern Conference, was largely born out of The Eyes of Texas crisis on the 40 Acres.

So, let's travel back to 365 days ago.

It was a time when the entire university was walking on eggshells, especially the football program. Only seven weeks earlier in June 2020, members of the Texas football team had demanded the school song be replaced, a situation which made high-level donors so agitated that university officials were shaken by the complicated juggling that was suddenly upon them.

On the football side, there was an uneasy quiet about the situation, with most at the school simply hoping the issue would go away when the season started.

It didn't, and chaos ensued.

From trying to rush the school song in the immediate aftermath of the season-opener to the players walking off the field following a loss to TCU to Sam Ehlinger standing all alone in the Cotton Bowl to the uncertainty behind what the athletic director was telling his football head coach and just how much of what he was being told was being relayed to his players, it was a disaster.

We don't need to relitigate it. The scars are so fresh that it won't take much to cause bleeding.

Yet, it was during this stress that Texas desperately needed a cohesive message from the top down.

Enter Kevin Eltife.

For those keeping score, Eltife was named the new chairman of the Board of Regents on December 20, 2018, but I'm going to argue that it was 22 months later... six months after former Texas president Greg Fenves resigned to take a job at Emory and two months after Texas favorite son Jay Hartzell was selected as the lone finalist to replace him... that the former mayor of Tyler truly emerged as this century's version of legendary UT shot-caller Frank Erwin.

Less than 24 hours after I had written a fairly scathing article on the athletic department's handling of the school song saga, which had somehow bled beyond the OU game into the middle of October without any clarity, I was speaking to a high-level university source who had been quoted in the article less than 24 hours prior, and the entire tone had changed.

According to this source, the Mickey Mouse handling of the situation was done. Never before had the Texas Board of Regents been more aligned on any issue, and with Eltife's leadership, a plan to get the car back on the road was mapped out.

The school song would be saved. Period. The back and forth drama between Chris Del Conte and Tom Herman would stop. Period. Come hell or high water, the BOR, president, athletic director and everyone below them would get on the same page or else.

There was a calm that day in talking with this particular source that was different from any other time we had spoken. It was as if someone behind the scenes had finally started herding cats and turned them into cattle.

What I believe about this moment can be summed up quickly.

a. For the first time since I began covering the school professionally in 1994, the chairman, the BOR as a whole, the president and athletic director were fully aligned, which means when the word came down from the top, no one pursued their own self interests. It might seem like a small and simple thing, but certainly wasn't normal around Austin.

b. Eltife never let go of the steering wheel once he had it.

Fast-forward a couple of months with uncertainty around Herman after Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte had indicated that Herman would return, it was reportedly Eltife that shut down the first version of a vote of confidence press release from Del Conte.

By God, there was going to be change, a limited pool of candidates be damned. From the ousting of Herman to the hire of Steve Sarkisian, Eltife's shadow loomed over every move.

As fate would have it, this was also around the time when Texas and Oklahoma started playing footsie with the SEC, which would eventually lead to the last two weeks.

Talk to anyone involved and they'll tell you that Eltife is the Keyser Soze of the entire university. Want to know how this was planned so well? Eltife. Want to know how the incredible message discipline was put into place like a well-oiled political machine? Eltife. Want to know how UT went from playing checkers to chess in less than 12 months?

Maybe all of this was going to happen anyway. Maybe once Fenves was bumped out and Hartzell was installed as the president, Eltife's strategy and savvy were always going to take control. Maybe.

Yet, from my perspective, there's no getting around the fact that the pieces on the chess board were being moved by him last October. There was a huge need for an alpha in the midst of a crisis that had been void of leadership, and to his credit, he didn't run from the job.

The ship finally stopped drifting aimlessly at the lowest moment of The Eyes of Texas controversy, and no one has wondered who is in control since.

No. 2 - The other elephant in the room...

Someone asked me on Orangebloods this weekend if there was another moment that represented a line in the sand in this movement to get out of the Big 12 and into the SEC.

Yes, the loss of the Brockermeyers.

If the decommitment of Quinn Ewers was the unofficial moment when the leaders of the university knew that a change had to be made with Herman, the inability to land the two biggest legacy recruits in the history of the program was the gut punch that opened everyone's eyes; the only way to stop the wolves from breaking into your home and stealing all of your stuff was to join the wolfpack.

Losing the sons of a former All-American great, who met his wife on the 40 Acres and had a son already on the team, did more than leave a mark.

I believe it helped trigger change that never could have been imagined at the time.

No. 3 - Stop with the NIL is crushing recruiting stuff...

I can tell who does and does not read this column on a regular basis almost entirely by some of the reactions this weekend to the news that Texas is...wait for it...a bit sluggish in recruiting with elite prospects at the moment.

SHOCKING!!!!!!

Or not.

One of the trendy talking points for those that will do anything to create talking points is to point the finger at the new boogieman of Texas football recruiting...NIL.

Understand this - Texas' lack of momentum in the 2022 recruiting class didn't start on July 1. Almost eight months have passed since Texas landed Maalik Murphy in recruiting and the program hasn't landed a player in the Rivals Top 150 since.

The reality is that it feels better to say that Kelvin Banks picked Oregon because of NIL as opposed to admitting that he might not believe in the vision and messaging of the program from the coaching staff. Or that he doesn't want to be alone in coming to Austin.

It's just the newest form of excuse-making... the kind that Aggies have embarked on for much of the last 20-25 years before Jimbo Fisher was able to change the narrative.

No. 4 - Let's go over the non-NIL problems...

Instead of misplacing responsibility, let's take a look at the real issues facing the program as things currently stand in the 2022 class.

1. As has been mentioned in this column countless times, elite of the elite prospects aren't giving this coaching staff the kind of first-year benefit of the doubt that Charlie Strong and Tom Herman both received.

2. This staff can do better and finish better. Both the De'Anthony Gatson and Kelvin Banks recruitments featured miscalculations or misreadings. There's no reason to belabor the points again and again and again. The staff can be better.

3. In the case of a few recruits around the state, there's a sense that there are briefcases full of cash in play. Of course, you know what the SEC calls recruitments that involve briefcases full of cash? They call it Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday...

I don't know what to tell you about the third point, but the first two can be controlled and addressed with quality play on the field this season and the staff doing a better job.

No. 5 - Prepare yourself...



The Xavier Worthy hype is going to be wild by this time next week.

This is going to sound wild, but his buzz is 10X higher than Ja'Tavion Sanders inside the team right now and I wouldn't have thought that to be possible, but it is.

Even his peers in the wide receiver group are talking about him.

I'm just telling you right now, prepare yourself.

No. 6 - If you find yourself bored on Monday ...

Check out this 14-year old recruiting update on Andrew Luck.

I don't want to spoil it for you, but it's wild.


No. 7 – BUY or SELL …

BUY-SELL.gif




(Buy) Imagine a weekly podcast with both of us on it.



(Buy) Give or take one or two.



(Sell) It's one thing to have an MLS team, but something more than feels too complicated.



(Buy) It's not a scientific opinion, but, yeah... it's a tide that would lift all burnt orange boats.



(Sell) I'm not sure that an extra year does much. The 2022 team should have a lot of parts coming together.



(Buy) I'd suggest saving at least three each year.



(Buy) Yes, in Waco.



(Buy) A&M had success?



(Buy) It's as simple as that.



(Buy) Easily.



(Buy) Very easily.



(Buy) Honestly, you pretty much "hear" that about all SEC teams outside of Vanderbilt.



(Sell) It'll be close, but not as of right now.



(Buy) It's a hat I think this team and program will wear well... and they better.

No. 8 - Scattershooting on the sports weekend...

... There's only one week left in the Olympics and I still don't know how to find the events on NBC's coverage map that I want to watch. It's kind of a pain in the ass and that's without even factoring in that day is night and night is day in Japan.

... Kevin Durant is the all-time leading scorer for the men's national basketball team, and by the time he's done, he might just put that record out of reach. That's pretty damn cool.

... If the men's basketball team wins gold, it will have earned it. Starting with Spain in the quarterfinals, there are no easy games.

... I'm ready for some NFL preseason action. Just be prepared for me to say I'm done after the first week.

... Dear soccer gods, please let Austin FC score a few goals at home before this season ends. Amen.

.... With Carson Wentz out with a foot injury (surprise!), Sam Ehlinger is battling Jacob Eason and newly signed Brett Hundley for practice reps.

No. 9 - Top 10 Chris Wall songs ...

The news on Friday night that country singer/songwriter Chris Wall had passed away after a long bout with cancer was a blow to my soul.

For those that have never heard of Wall, he represents a time in my life that I'll never quite get back. It was the 90s, I was in my 20s and Austin just felt like a different town back then.

As I explored the music that Austin had to offer, walking into a Wall show at The Broken Spoke was just a breath of fresh and old air at the same time. His version of country music was an anti-Nashville sound and it's a big reason why his impact can be felt on everyone from Jerry Jeff Walker to Reckless Kelly.

Even though it's probably been 20 years since I had seen a live performance, I emphatically love his music and by extension, Wall as a man.

He was the real deal and we were all lucky to have him.

My Wall Top 10

10. An Outlaw's Blues
9. I Feel Like Singing Alone
8. Cowboy Nation
7. Texas Time
6. Three Acress
5. Turns to Tears
4. I Feel Like Hank Williams Tonight
3. A Gal From San Antone
2. Trashy Women
1. Miles of Rodeo

Objectively, Trashy Women is his No.1 song, but Miles of Rodeo is one of my favorite country songs of all-time. Plus, Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis sing on the track.








No. 10 - And Finally ...

Orangebloods will announce three more NIL deals with Texas athletes at noon Monday.

One is an All-American, another is a critical incoming transfer and the final one is one of the most important true freshmen in all of Texas athletics.

Expect even more announcements soon.
Excellent piece - thank you!
 

J Tull

Well-Known Member
Gold Member
Jan 5, 2004
8,754
3,033
113
Conroe
"If he was giving very clear understandings, why were they still having meetings about into the middle of the season."

Because Herman didn't follow the orders the way the other fall coaches did. One of the other fall coaches also mentioned (generally but simply) what he was told. Both did what CDC asked. One fall coach (his name rhymes with Berman) did not follow CDC's directions with the team (more interested in playing "us against the world"), which apparently included showing the team he was one of "them" and didn't take orders, while the other two fall coaches followed directions from their superior without a problem.

We all noticed Sam by himself at Cotton Bowl (though he was only there when 'Eyes' started b/c he gave a post game interview). Players stayed on field in games after okie game blow up...and Tom finally did what he had been told after that game as well.

Agree to disagree on this one. Been thru it before with you. Not worth a repeat.
 
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