LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Retired coaches are my favorite coaches. They can say what they actually believe without fretting over how it plays on social media.
The news that Texas and Oklahoma have taken a pitchout and made their run toward the Southeastern Conference inspired reaction across the coaching and media world.
I found an interesting non-coaching reaction from former ESPN honcho John Skipper, who told Dan Le Batard that we’re tracking toward four 16-team leagues and that the Atlantic Coast Conference should consider Kansas to expand its footprint and enhance its basketball brand.
Our captain John Skipper joined the show to shed light on college football realignment and the motivations behind it. Spoiler alert: $$$🎙 https://t.co/7OW1Zu9wpn 🎙 https://t.co/Z5EMsJdgiQ➡️ https://t.co/2MdaM3y5jA pic.twitter.com/P2qzFOA4f1— Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz (@LeBatardShow) July 27, 2021
But my favorite two responses are from retired coaches with national championship rings: former Florida and South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier and Boomer Sooner himself, Barry Switzer.
(Pardon the interruption, but this is a perfect time to share my one interaction with Switzer. In 1980, when Kentucky played at Oklahoma, I flew to Norman the day before the game. Switzer agreed to a short interview. He invited me to OU’s practice the day before the game. Loose? The Sooners laughed their way through the session by calling out the words, "Instant Replay!" After running plays they really liked, players retraced their steps to where they stood pre-snap. Then they ran the play again with Switzer describing how the play would work against Kentucky. OU won 29-7. So much for media snoops destroying sanctity of practice.)
Steve Spurrier on Texas jump to SEC: ‘They can’t win the Big 12 anyway.’ https://t.co/DoYG71MS8u— Sentinel Sports (@orlandosports) July 29, 2021
Back to business: Spurrier and Switzer were asked about the Sooners and Longhorns jumping up in class to join the SEC. Neither guy wallowed in Coach Speak.
“I can understand Texas jumping over,” Spurrier told Edgar Thompson of the Orlando Sentinel. “They get to play Texas A&M again. They get to ... they can’t win the Big 12 anyway.
“I think they’re only won two in the last 30 years or so. What is it?”
Spurrier also fired a zinger at Oklahoma, saying he doubted the Sooners would win the SEC with the regularity they have won the Big 12.
That fits well with this dart from ESPN college basketball analyst Fran Fraschilla.
Texas is the rich kid who ruined his father’s business.— Fran Fraschilla (@franfraschilla) July 27, 2021
Switzer also had his say. The man knows the football culture in that part of the country. Before he coached at Oklahoma, Switzer played at Arkansas with his pal, Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones.
Switzer picked one winner — and one loser — as the two biggest names rush to leave the Big 12.
Barry Switzer Says 1 School Is Hurt Most By Oklahoma, Texas https://t.co/ISou3tEZTY— Football Writers Association of America (@TheFWAA) July 29, 2021
The winner, he said, will be Arkansas because it will make recruiting the state of Texas easier for the Razorbacks. And recruiting Texas remains essential for the success of the Arkansas program. The Razorbacks have history with Texas back to the Southwest Conference, which was their home before they bolted for the SEC in 1991.
Which school figured to be most likely to take a shot from a former Oklahoma coach?
Sorry, Mike Gundy.
Switzer said Oklahoma State will suffer. The Cowboys will lose their primary rival. Their conference has been diminished. And they will find it more difficult to recruit in Texas.
"I’m glad to see this,” Switzer told Clay Henry of WholeHogSports. “I think it helps Arkansas. It can’t hurt.
“First, it expands their recruiting territory. Now, there is little doubt in my mind that Oklahoma and Texas are going to continue to get five-star players. But there are lots of good players left and Arkansas has won with those good players before and will again.
“What it does most is hurt Oklahoma State a hell of a lot. And that helps Arkansas.”
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