I was reading Burnt Orange Gold in The Eyes of Texas, and it brought me back to something I started thinking about a year ago when Arkansas dropped us to play A&M for 10 years (by the way, great article and great magazine!).
Does the new Dallas Cowboy stadium hurt us in recruiting?
Having a BIG game in Dallas every year, obviously, really helps our exposure there. Although it currently isn’t nearly as important as the Red River
Shoot Out Rivalry, the A&M/Ark game will still be a highly promoted game between 2 BCS teams.
Arkansas has always attempted to pull talent from the north end of the state in much the same way as OU has. Now they have a big game in the second biggest recruiting hot bed in Texas. Even worse, as much as some of us would like to deny it, A&M still has a big following and Sherman has done a good job of recruiting. Now he can tell recruits in Dallas that they can come to A&M and be guaranteed of playing in the (new) Cotton Bowl every year in front of their friends and family on national TV.
OU is also getting the opportunity to play the first game in this new stadium. Will they get more games like this? Will their extra exposure hurt us?
Do we start seeing a few more 4 and 5 star recruits start slipping away because of this?
With that in mind, I would like to see us get another game in Dallas each year. Do a long term deal with a BCS team if we have to, or invite UTEP/TCU/A New Warm Body to play us there each year.
Also, while making my scheduling/recruiting wish list, here are a couple other things:
1) Play in Houston every year. I think it’s great that we might play in Reliant next year. That will be good for us. I say either invite a team to play in Reliant every year, or set up Home-Away with Rice and UH so that we play one of them in Houston every year (the other at home, obviously).
2) Pick a state and mine it by scheduling some games there. Florida and California are the next largest hot beds for recruiting but distance and competition (at least in Florida) may be too great. I would actually set my sights on Louisiana. Not as many recruits, but we are much closer. That would save money on recruiting trips, plus, we’d already have a bit more exposure there, and making it to camps/campus would be easier on recruits. I believe going and playing a game there every other year would, in the long run, pay off for us in recruiting Louisiana (and maybe even east Texas). We could play LSU, but I don’t think we have to; Tulane would work just fine. Maybe we could invite FSU/Ga/South Carolina or someone similar to meet us in the ‘middle’ and play at the Superdome occasionally?
The only problem I see is the decrease in home games. That would be 1 in Dallas and Houston every year, and one in Louisiana every other. So an average of 1.5 home non-con games and 3.5 conference games gives us only 5 home games a year (if I’m correct about the number of home conference games). Maybe a big time deal at Jerry World would be enough to make up for the lost revenue from the home game?
What are your thoughts? Does this hurt us? As mentioned in Burnt Orange Gold, we can't just ignore this and write it off because “We're Texas.” We have to look at the possibility that teams that we are already competing heavily against for recruits might get an advantage playing in what will be the newest, best football stadium in a city full of talented high school players. And if it does, what do we do about it?