It’s been quite the week for Texas football. Rumors circulated about the possibility of Xavier Worthy and Jahdae Barron being offered six figures to enter the transfer portal. Pitt’s WR Jordan Addison was also speculated to have been offered seven figures by USC to transfer but has yet to make a decision. What would be a bigger win for Texas: keeping Worthy and Barron? Or landing Addison?
Cameron Parker (@camerondparker) - Keeping Worthy and Barron. Barron was one of the few bright spots in the secondary last season and Worthy, well, we all know what we saw out of the star in the making. But besides what Texas would lose on the field if both players transferred, what message would it send to the rest of the college football world? This is Texas, right? But Oregon and USC are still able to poach our players if they want? It would be a bad look to see Texas outbid for two key players on this roster going forward.
Gerald Goodridge (@ghgoodridge) - I think framing it in reverse helped me land on my opinion: Would it be a bigger loss for Texas for Worthy and Barron to transfer out or miss out on adding Addison? And when framed like that, Worthy and Barron is the obvious answer for two reasons. Texas had two consistent threats offensively a year ago, Worthy and Bijan Robinson, while Barron is a presumptive starter on defense heading into 2022. Next season Texas should trot out a receiver room with Isaiah Neyor, Jordan Whittington, Agiye Hall, and Worthy as your top end, with both Jahleel Billingsly and Ja’Tavion Sanders in a pass catching tight end role. Addison would be a huge get for Texas, but this framing requires a choice. In this scenario, Texas would swap out Worthy for Addison, while also losing a starter in the secondary – one of the biggest positions of need. The other reason I go with retaining the talent is the simple fact that losing those two shows that the boosters are even more disorganized than we thought, leaving Texas vulnerable. For a long time, the biggest knock on Texas was that there were too many voices chirping from the donors, so a “put up or shut up” scenario can hopefully serve as a rallying cry and unifying moment.
The NIL and transfer portal has turned the NCAA into the Wild Wild West. Is the current trajectory of both sustainable?
Cameron - If it’s going to be unregulated like it is already, it’s not sustainable. Players deserved to be paid, period. But we’re starting to smell scents of tampering and that is not right. It’s part of every professional sport and nearly impossible to monitor but guidelines have to be set. Does that mean capping how much a player can make from an NIL agreement? I don’t have the answer to that but we’re going to quickly find out if boosters and coaches are truly ready for this next generation of players.
Gerald - No. And as someone who grew up with a healthy distrust of authority, I think that was kind of the plan all along. I said on the podcast after NIL rules were first announced that I had a feeling the NCAA was under-regulating it in the first year so it would become the wild west, allowing them to step in and over-regulate it on the back end. The NCAA has time and time again proven that its No. 1 priority is to maximize its cash cows, while making performative shows of force against less-bankable programs. Ask any Oklahoma State basketball fan, they’ll agree with me. I am a firm believer that the players should be able to make money off of their name, image, and likeness – especially if the schools can use that same name, image, and likeness to advertise. The current pay-for-play deals were seeing are the minority of what is happening, but when you create a free market with no boundaries, those with the most funds set the rules. I hope the NCAA is able to actually put together something worth calling regulation and then enforce it uniformly, but my dad once told me “wish in one hand and spit in another, then tell me which one fills up first.”
It was a rough weekend for Texas Baseball. The Horns were swept by Oklahoma State - including a blown 7-run lead - and subsequently dropped out of the rankings. Any chance of hosting a regional is bleak at the moment. Can Texas turn it around?
Cameron - Texas will go as far as their bats will take them. We saw Lucas Gordon have one of the best outings of any Longhorns pitcher on Sunday, only for the bullpen to allow 10 runs in one inning. I’d rule out any hope of hosting a regional and the chance of returning to Omaha is very slim at the moment. The bullpen is what it is at this point and can’t be fixed.
Gerald - What even is around at this point? I retired the thought of hosting a regional a long time ago. Unless Texas wins out, including the conference tournament, I see them being on the road for the postseason. That being said, with the way the bullpen is playing right now, I don’t imagine it will be a long postseason. I was way too high on this team heading into the season and had too lofty expectations, so I’m just jettisoning all expectations until proven otherwise.
Texas unveiled their new court design for home games at the Moody Center…thoughts?
Cameron - Love it. Simple yet visually appealing. I’ll miss having the Texas state outline around halfcourt but I love the burnt orange mixed with the natural color of a wood floor.
Gerald - Busy court designs and color schemes literally make my head hurt. I’m aware of how old that makes me sound, but I worked hard to be this old and I plan on continuing as long as I can., I am a sucker for the state outline under the logo, so I would have been fine with that. I also love that a priority for Texas is to move back to actual Burnt Orange and making the colors on the uniforms match the floor. I understand the frustration of a lot of folks, especially given that it’s hard to tell where the contest winners’ ideas were included in a substantive way. All of that being said, I like it. Clean, simple, iconic.