Posted on: August 9, 2011 12:04 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Life in the college football world is hard enough when you've already got the #1 appearing next to your school, but life just got a bit tougher for Oklahoma. According to senior associate athletic director Kenny Mossman, linebacker Travis Lewis suffered a broken bone in his foot during practice on Monday and is going to be out for eight weeks.
This is a major loss for the Oklahoma defense, as the All-American has led the Sooners in tackles the last three seasons. Lewis has also had 6 sacks and 8 interceptions to go along with the 362 tackles he's made in his first three seasons with the Sooners. In other words, he's not the type of player you can just replace.
"We're disappointed for Travis," said Bob Stoops. "He has worked very hard and I know he'll want to get back as quickly as possible.
"We'll adapt in the meantime. We've recruited very well and have some excellent athletes in those positions. I'm confident that those players will perform well."
If there's any good news for Lewis it's that the foot will not require surgery.
Posted on: January 21, 2011 6:30 pm
Edited on: January 21, 2011 8:27 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
In the wake of the Texas announcement that it had cut a deal with ESPN to start a UT sports channel, it would be natural to wonder what this means for the future of the Big 12. Sure, Texas reiterated its commitment to the Big 12 when it announced its deal, but it's one thing to commit to a conference and quite another to do so while setting up an annual $15 million deal for lower-level television rights.
This, in effect, forces the other nine conference members to re-assess their situation with television revenue. In response, Oklahoma officials quickly set forth to announce preliminary plans for OU's own sports channel, and while it's not even close to a done deal, it's clearly something they've been working on for a while already:
Oklahoma's plan would likely involve Fox Sports or ESPN for content and Cox Cable for distribution, according to the article.
The problem the channel faces is that distribution, however. In terms of population, Oklahoma isn't exactly Wyoming, but it isn't exactly Texas either; it has about 3.7 million residents, which makes it basically the median of Mississippi and Alabama (two states that also feature two main college sports teams). And while Oklahoma most certainly "moves the needle" as far as television ratings go, getting an Oklahoma-centric channel with third-tier rights (like those given by Texas in its deal) picked up by any cable carrier outside the state lines is going to be more of a challenge than it's worth. The Oklahoma-Texas rivalry is heated enough to begin with. When Oklahoma comes to the cable companies looking for carriage fees (which, in turn, will affect Texas residents' cable bills), the rivalry becomes financial, and whenever pocketbooks come into play, politics aren't far behind.
Still, by the sound of it, Oklahoma isn't going to monopolize nationally relevant sporting events, so this shouldn't affect the conference's upcoming television deals in any material fashion. That's key for the health of the Big 12; if Oklahoma or Texas started looking for second-tier rights and undermining larger agreements, there's a problem, but we're not at that point.