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Gundy Declares War On The Longhorn Network

Mike Gundy is saying things must change in the Big 12, specifically pointing to the Longhorn Network, if the conference hopes to stay together for the long haul.

I was talking in the football office with Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy on Feb. 22, and I mentioned that I had watched Penn State beat the Cowboys 29-18 in the NWCA National Duals Championship on the Big Ten Network. I mentioned how the network continually props and advertises the various schools in the league and shows their campuses. It is a huge tool to promote the Big 10 schools to anybody that watches.

Gundy proceeded to go into a high quality rant, well thought out as if he had rehearsed it on several occasions.

"The Longhorn Network is going to be the end of the Big 12," Gundy said. "(OU President David Boren) is right and if Texas doesn't allow that to become a Big 12 Network then we're eventually going to break apart. We'll be in the SEC with OU and Texas will be in the Big 10 or the Pac-12."

Gundy said schools feel cheated that they aren't getting the same kind of promotion that schools in the Big 10, SEC, and Pac-12 from their networks. He emphasized schools like Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State need that visibility. He said it would help Oklahoma State and all the others too. He said OU has a good deal going with Fox Sports Southwest and Oklahoma, but a Big 12 network would be better. 

I kind of dismissed it, but now Gundy is rocking the internet as the Cowboys get back on the practice field and his comments to Dennis Dodd at CBS Sports have nostrils flared from Austin to Ames.

"If we don't eliminate the Longhorn Network and create our own network, they're going to continue to have issues with this league,” Gundy said to Dodd.

He continued: "You don't have a Big 12 Network; you have a network within the league that people consider a failure."

That comment will hurt and could cause some ruffles in Bristol, Conn., at the ESPN headquarters. Yes, the Longhorn Network has struggled with rumored losses of as much as $50 million since it came on board in 2011. So much of the material now is from archives and University derived public service type of programming. It makes you think if Texas came on line with a Big 12 Network that it could be a lot more entertaining with programming. You know blue, crimson, green, gold, and a brighter shade of orange would beat the burnt orange that permeates the networks' look.

"Everything is based on marketing,” Gundy said to CBS. "Right now the Big 12 is not getting the marketing we need because of the Longhorn Network. Now, nobody wants to hear that but …"

Gundy is not alone in this thinking. If you spoke with the other coaches on campus such as baseball coach Josh Holliday, softball coach Kenny Gajewski, soccer coach Colin Carmichael or really any of the coaches they would tell you the added exposure for their competition in the SEC and Big 10 hurts them in recruiting even in Texas. Honestly, they don't think Texas is getting much of an advantage out of the Longhorn Network in that nobody seems to watch it.

"You are getting the SEC Network, and you are getting the Big Ten Network and you are getting the Pac[-12 Network]," Gundy said. "Until we come together as a group [and] find a financial solution to eliminating the Longhorn Network, [there will be issues]. If Texas doesn't [fold LHN] in X number of years, they're going to be in the Pac-12 or SEC. If that's what they want, keep riding this horse. If you don't want that, you better make some changes or it's going to happen whether you like it or not."

Gundy isn't breaking new ground with his comments. They are the same thoughts that OU President David Boren has voiced. Now you have a very unlikely Bedlam chorus belting out the same tune.


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