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Houston BoR chairman thinks Texas is scared of Big 12 adding the Cougars

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Insulting the Longhorns is apparently the way to earn a bid to the conference that spurned the Cougars 20 years ago.

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Are the Texas Longhorns afraid of the Houston Cougars joining the Big 12? That's the position of Houston Board of Regents chairman Tilman Fertitta, who is apparently willing to say anything to get someone to pay attention to Cougar High.

"That's kind of disappointing that Texas with their big budget fears the University of Houston," Fertitta told CBSSports. "For other schools in the Big 12 to keep them out because they're scared of them, men need to be men."

Fertitta's stance presumably relates back to the Longhorns not wanting to fold the Longhorn Network in favor of a conference-wide network that no one may want to buy, though the reasoning behind the scenes in Austin also holds that there aren't any schools worth adding to the conference.

This isn't the first time for Fertitta to run his mouth in a desperate attempt for attention, either.

"We belong playing Texas and TCU and Baylor," Fertitta said last fall. "That's who we belong playing."

But, does Houston really belong playing Texas and TCU and Baylor?

There was a time when Houston did play those schools as a member of the SWC, but the Cougars didn't earn an invite to the Big 12 upon its formation in 1996. And the 'Horns aren't afraid of playing the Cougars based on previous results, as Texas went 16-7-2 against Houston during those days.

The bigger issue is that while Fertitta cites the fact that Houston will soon be the third-largest city in the country and compares the school's recent football success to what happened at TCU before joining the Big 12, neither of those factors actually make a difference. Houston doesn't actually hold a large share of the television market there -- or much of a share at all -- and will likely slide back into relative mediocrity when star head football coach Tom Herman leaves for a bigger opportunity in the near future.

And while Houston just opened a $128 million stadium in 2014, it only seats 40,000, a capacity that reflects the amount of market share the Cougars command in a market dominated by the Aggies and the Longhorns.

So Fertitta's claims don't ring true and the bombast is mostly for the purposes of hoping that someone important actually pays attention to little o'l Cougar High. It might have worked today, but it won't result in Houston joining any version of the Big 12 that includes Texas. Sorry, dude.