League Wide: Million Dollar Assistants and the Future of the Big 12
“I don’t disagree with the whole thought that it’s in our interest that the Big 12 succeed,” Boren said before telling reporters how famously OU gets along with conference rivals Oklahoma State and Texas. “So, no, we’re not desperate to go anywhere else … While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. 10Horned Frogs Let’s take a look at some news around the league from this week. Million-Dollar MenTexas and Oklahoma became the first Big 12 schools to pay coordinators $1m plus this week.Just a day after Texas formally approved a record-setting $1 million annual salary for defensive coordinator Todd Orlando, Oklahoma countered Thursday with a contract making offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley the highest-paid assistant in the Big 12 and one of the tops in the country.Riley will be paid $1.3 million per season in a new three-year deal. [Austin American-Statesman]Two things stick out here, first: its interesting to see Texas finally start throwing their wallet around a little bit.Now, paying top-dollar for the former Houston defensive coordinator? Eh, not that splashy. It’d be more impressive to see them throw a stack of bills taller than the Texas bell tower at the Texas A&M defensive coordinator (or poach from someone).The Riley extension was a well-done, big boy move. The Sooners pay a premium and basically ensure that Riley will only leave for a better than average head coaching job.Stoops mentioned it’s been in the works for months, the timing feels a little responsive to their rival’s big payout to an assistant. Lord knows they’ve been a bit chippier than usual lately.Railroad from Raider LandIt’s hard to put a finger on what’s going on in Lubbock but a pair of receivers have left over the last few weeks.Texas Tech receiver Tony Brown announced he plans to leave Lubbock and transfer from Texas Tech via Twitter on Thursday afternoon.Brown is the second receiver to announce an intent to transfer after leading receiver from last year Jonathan Giles said he was leaving the program on April 28. [SportsDay]More troubling, a Texas Tech All-Transfer team is in the making. “I would just say that we’re, at this point in time, hoping the Big 12 will improve and succeed.” [TulsaWorld] Rebuilding the JayhawksForget Texas, apparently Kansas may be getting (a twinge) of buzz.I’m willing to make such a — cough — bold, risky statement based on the simple fact that, for the first time in quite a while, KU has options.Beaty has mined the transfer market for talent, and at least a few of his recent five-year recruits have shown promise. The result: some loose approximation of depth and position battles, particularly on an offense that has been destitute for years. [SBNation]We’ll spare you the details but a couple of Bama transfers on offense (wide receiver and tackle) to go with the Texas A&M transfer that followed David Beatty in Doug Meacham’s offense could mean something.They’ve had (somewhat) stingy defenses over the last few years but anemic offenses plagued hungry Kansas squads. Gary Patterson (3): Patterson is in a similar situation as Dantonio. We all believe he’s a great coach, but he’s coming off a sub-par season. That recency bias has an effect on where he stands in these rankings, but his history suggests that he’s capable of another huge season with the Horned Frogs. [CBS Sports] In a perfect world: Texas Tech would be starting: Mayfield, Dauphine, Giles, Fehoko, Mitchell & Bethel in 2017. #WreckEm pic.twitter.com/xTnH6fNyIl— Ben Rosas (@Benjamin_Rosas) May 11, 2017That’s a two-time Heisman finalist, a Biletnikoff finalist and four four-star recruits. When a coach is under pressure (as Kliff Kingsbury undeniably is), recruiting takes a toll. But internal exits?Could be anything. Generally it’s over playing time or discipline. Either way, impact players leaving heading into year five isn’t good.KingmakersIn CBS’ most recent ranking of Power Five coaches, the Big 12 found four within the top twelve. One was interesting. Not quite the reassurance Big 12 fans are looking for from one of their bell cows.The article looks at how the realignment will fire up a bit when the Big Ten’s media contracts expire in the early 2020’s. Concerning OU’s landing spot, here’s a good question.Key question: Oklahoma pres David Boren is 76. Will he hold the reins in 3-5 years, when/if (by his estimation, too) realignment cranks up?— George Schroeder (@GeorgeSchroeder) May 12, 2017 Patterson threw the Frogs on his shoulders and carried them into the Big 12, securing the financial viability of the program for the immediate future. But No. 10 in the country?Either way, Stoops was at sixth, Snyder at ninth, Patterson at tenth and Gundy rounded off the group at twelfth. It’s been said but this guys do it as well as anybody with very little NFL talent.No Place Like (A New) HomeOU and Texas are the Big 12’s trophy brands. Much ado is being made this off season about one of those school’s options.