Texas, as a university and state, hungers for prestige. UT likes to believe it’s among America’s top public universities, like Virginia, California, or North Carolina. Most recognize that UT has already achieved this status but, for a litany of reasons too long to go into here, it’s not enough. Success in academics does not have the same cultural impact in the South that success in football has. And if there is success to be had, or a caveat on the success achieved, UT will go out of its way to claim it. It wants to compete with the best, regardless of the outcome.
Which means the move to the SEC will ultimately mean little to either the Longhorns or the Sooners. Both recruit at an elite level and play high level games that grab national attention. Now the games are just more elite and higher profile. How this translates into SEC success for either team is debatable … largely because of the biggest unknown variable, and likely the second biggest reason, for the move in the first place.
The name, image, and likeness rules will allow college athletes to profit
while playing college sports for the first time. Texas, and to a lesser degree OU, is taking a big bet that their fan base will mint overnight millionaires out of recruits. Texas is trying to buy a national championship.
And I won’t cheer any less when they succeed.