It was rumored on Orangebloods and Hookem.com earlier this week but early this morning the Longhorn Network went live for AT&T U-verse customers across the country. Longhorn fans everywhere are dancing in the streets over the news that they’ll get the chance to watch the season kickoff tomorrow against Wyoming live on LHN.
There wasn’t an official press release until late this morning, but LHN started showing up as channel 1609 (standard def 609) sometime overnight and by the 8am Twitter was blowing up with fans and former Horns fired up about getting access to the network.
Adding U-verse probably triples the number of people in the state of Texas that now have access to the network and gives them a second large national carrier (along with Verizon FiOS.) This is great news for Texas fans and could help nudge Time Warner, Comcast, DirecTV, et. al. into adding the network as well.
Well, the rivalry is over…at least for some time. The tussle between the Aggies and the Horns ended this year which also put to rest the State Farm Lonestar Showdown between both Universities. The made for internet contest was 19 events across women’s and men’s sports where the teams competed head to head for a possible 19 points for a trophy as big as Texas (it was a gaudy trophy at that). If the schools tied at the end of the year (which happened twice), the team that won the series championship from the previous year would be awarded the trophy. Check out the complete history at lonestarshowdown.net.
The contest went from 2004 until 2012 (8 years) where the Horns won 6 of these series over the Aggies. The two years the Aggies won were 2007-08 and 2008-09. Here are a few stats from this contest.
The biggest margin for the Aggies was 2 points in 2007-08
The biggest margin for the Horns was 10 points in 2004-05
Here are the teams that dominate during this 8 year span:
Texas Volleyball 6-2
A&M Women’s Indoor Track 6-2
Texas Men’s Cross Country 6-2
Texas Women’s Swimming 6-2
Texas Men’s Swimming 8-0
Texas Women’s Tennis 6-2
Texas Baseball 7-1
A&M won the following head to head battles during the 8 year time frame.
Soccer – Women’s Basketball – Women’s Indoor Track – Men’s Golf – Women’s Golf – Women’s Outdoor Track – Men’s Outdoor Track
Texas won the head to head battle on the following sports.
Volleyball – Men’s Cross Country – Women’s Swimming – Men’s Swimming – Men’s Basketball – Men’s Indoor Track – Men’s Tennis – Women’s Tennis – Baseball – Football
The two teams tied with a 4-4 record in Softball and Women’s Cross Country
A&M should feel proud about their sports program during this period because the program collected 8 of their 12 national championships during this time. (1) Men’s Golf (3) Men’s Outdoor Track (3) Women’s Outdoor Track (1) Women’s Basketball
Compare that to the Longhorns who secured 5 of their 48 National Championships during this series. (1) Baseball (1) Football (1) Men’s Swimming (1) Women’s Outdoor Track (1) Women’s Indoor Track
The Aggies will be quick to point out to that their football program since 1975 finished with a record of 19-18 against the Horns. We all know how the final game of this series ended to help Texas establish a decisive 76-37-5 record. During the Lonestar Showdown timeframe the Horns held a 5-3 record over the Aggies.
Isn’t it when you really want something bad enough, aren’t you suppose to get it? Many Aggies may have said that I need it, I really want it and I have to have it. You can possibly say that the Aggies wanted it more this year than the Horns, but as it turned out THE UNIVERSITY of the state took home the state title. Just don’t tell Baylor.
We have completed a quarter of the season and it’s time to start looking at conference match ups for the Horns. But before we get back to football, I want to look back at Realignment Armageddon 2.0. We can surmise that the Big 12 is back together and everything is back to normal. (Who believes that?) I do think we need to take a look at what was lost. Here is what I believe the PAC 16 would have looked like if Larry Scott and the rest of the universities on the left coast would have opened the door to the 4 schools in the East.
The pod system would have played out by having the schools in the East only having to travel to the western time zone twice a year for football. The teams would play a home and away series for two years and switch to the other remaining teams in that pod. The travel schedule for most of the other university sports would be quite different due to the size of this conference, but we all know that football pays the bills. The media markets that this league would boast would cover 12 of the major 28 markets including the biggies such as LA, SF, Houston, & DFW.
Here is a look at the possible football schedule using the pod system for the Longhorns for the 2012 and 2014 season. The odd years would result in the teams switching destinations to accommodate the home and away series. The OU game would still be played at the Cotton Bowl every year. The remaining 3 non-conference games of the season would be a host of cupcake teams to offset a brutal but highly entertaining regular season (goodbye A&M)!
2012 – Pac 16 conference games
@ Texas Tech
@ OK State
2014 – Pac 16 conference games
@ Arizona St.
@ Texas Tech
@ OK State
The Pac 16 games would provide better match ups and great destinations over the Big 12. The conference titles games would be the former Pac 8 schools (NW/West) against the Mountain/East division schools in locales such as Pasadena, Tempe or maybe even at Cowboy Stadium. Texas wants to play in large television markets for exposure and to play in mostly southern climates to recruit elite high school talent. The cons to this new frontier is that it would be much more difficult to reach a BCS bowl game or even the National Title game under the PAC 16 scenario. It looks like the Big 12 will allow the Longhorn Network to exist as long as the Tier 1 and Tier 2 television rights are shared among all schools in the league. There are probably some hurt feelings and back room deals that still need to be ironed out and another team needs to be added for this Big 12 conference to work. I just thought you might want to see what was lost last week when the Pac 12 was said that their full right now. I did enjoy DeLoss Dodds assessment of Texas during this entire upheaval. “We are who we are.”
Thanks for following my WTH articles throughout the season. I appreciate the opportunity to rant about the greatest University sports program in the country. You can continue to follow comments on all of UT sports on twitter @40AcresSports or follow me @Horns1991. HOOK EM!!
The University of Texas has a contract with ESPN for the Longhorn Network that pays it at least $300 million over the next 20 years.
For those who don’t know what that word means Wikipedia defines a contract as, “a legally enforceable agreement between two or more parties with mutual obligations.” You can’t just decide you don’t want to be in a contract anymore because you feel like it. There are penalties and repercussions.
What no one (both journalists and message board experts) seems to mention when they suggest Texas should head to the new Pac 16 and dump LHN is that it may be worse than sacrificing millions in possible revenue. Texas might owe ESPN some huge sum of money for breaching the contract if they want to kill it.
Not only do UT, DeLoss Dodds, Bill Powers, and the BOR need to decide to modify Longhorn Network but ESPN would as well. What’s in it for them to do so when one of the reasons Texas got such a good deal on LHN was ESPN didn’t want super conferences??
Video from ESPN on the latest in conference realignment caused by the Aggies running away from Texas to the SEC:
The Longhorn Network is coming, in HD, for Texas subscribers to Verizon FiOS TV packages. The LHN will be near the other sports programming on channel 579 (79 for standard def) for FiOS TV Prime HD, Extreme HD and Ultimate HD subscribers that live in Texas. Fans in other states will need to be Ultimate HD subscribers (the most expensive package) to see their Horns.
The press release:
Joining a growing lineup of regional and national collegiate sports networks on FiOS TV, the Longhorn Network has arrived on FiOS just in time for the start of the college football season. The Longhorn Network is a channel devoted to athletic programming and related activities at the University of Texas.
Verizon is the largest video service provider to date to announce the addition of the Longhorn Network to its channel lineup.
“The Longhorns have a huge presence in Texas, with a passionate fan base that extends across the country,” said David Preschlack, executive vice president, Disney and ESPN Media Networks. “Verizon’s early commitment to this network speaks to the university’s popularity and the consumer demand for this content.”
Terry Denson, vice president of content strategy and acquisition for Verizon, said, “We know Texas Longhorn fans are among the most loyal and enthusiastic in college sports, so we’re pleased to add the Longhorn Network to our already robust sports lineup on FiOS TV. The addition of this groundbreaking collegiate sports channel adds to Verizon’s commitment to bring the best in sports and entertainment and overall video content to our customers.”
The national distribution agreement with the Longhorn Network will allow fans of FiOS and the Longhorns to start watching the network on Sept. 1. FiOS TV Ultimate HD subscribers outside of Texas can watch LHN on Channel 320. In Texas, FiOS TV Prime HD, Extreme HD and Ultimate HD subscribers can watch LHN on Channels 79 (standard definition) and 579 (high definition).
In the near future, the Longhorn Network also will be available online, on tablets and on smartphones for fans with a Verizon FiOS TV plan, making UT athletics and other programming easily available anywhere, anytime.
Best quote of A&M’s so far failed bid to leave the Big 12 for the SEC:
I’m not quite as sure why the SEC wants A&M, because other than getting its toes into the state of Texas – assuming College Station counts – this is like a high-end mall expanding to add a Walgreens.
From Jeff Schultz at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Andy Katz thinks pretty much every other recent conference move made sense, except of course the Aggies moving to the SEC. Some quotes from Katz:
This move specifically is done because Texas A&M didn’t like the way Texas was getting favored status from the Big 12.
They didn’t like being treated as the second child.
The best one comes from the other host though…
A&M has been in the shadow of Texas for quite some while now.
Too bad for the Aggies. Instead of being little brother to Texas and Oklahoma whipping boy, they’ll now be fighting Mississipi State for fifth place in the SEC West. Aggie fans somehow think they’ll be better in SEC. They couldn’t consistently beat Texas Tech and Baylor but think they can hang with Bama and LSU.
The Sporting News’ 50 greatest coaches of all-time released recently caused a lot of conversation on sports talk radio. They polled 118 ex-players, coaches, and other experts and pegged [tag]UCLA[/tag] great John Wooden as the all-time greatest coach.
Overall it’s a great list, but there’s definitely some names left off and some order problems (Don Shula number 5?) that have people talking. Austin American-Statesman writer Kirk Bohls thinks Texas legend Darrell Royal deserved to be on the list:
But Darrell K. Royal absolutely must be included.
Without question, he has become the most overlooked great coach in the history of the game. He won three national championships, and I don’t want to hear cracks about his UPI title before the Cotton Bowl loss to Notre Dame in January 1971 because he won it under the rules of the day. Think split national titles, LSU and USC.
“No question, Darrell should be on the list,” said former Texas A&M coach R.C. Slocum, one of Sporting News’ 118 voters. “It takes away from the credibility of the list. If Darrell Royal is not on there, it’d be a suspect list, and I’m on the panel.”
What do you think? Is Royal one of the greatest coaches of all time?