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Rock M Roundtable!

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1 - So the Longhorn Network overreaches, A&M and OU push back, and talk of "REALIGNMENT!!!!!1!!" comes right back to the forefront. Are you any more or less confident in the long-term viability of the Big 12 now than you were a week or two ago?

2 - On a scale of 1-10, rate your team representatives' performance at Big 12 Media Days this week. Did you laugh? Did you cry? Are you suddenly fearing an 0-12 season? (And yes, that last part is more directed at Doug, ahem...)


3 - In talking about the differences between Blaine Gabbert and James Franklin, T.J. Moe revealed some interesting details about Gabbert's habits and Franklin's likely tendencies. Would the greater inclusion of Jerrell Jackson and Wes Kemp be a net positive for the offense? Even if it takes away from some of T.J. Moe's touches?

4 - In 20 years, when somebody mentions Amy Winehouse, is the reaction going to lean more toward "Who?", or will she be remembered in the same meaningful ways as, say, Janis Joplin?

The Beef: 1 - I really cannot fault or blame UT or ESPN (since really, they are driving this in some ways) for "reaching" for programming options like they have.  In the end, this is a 24/7/365 network focused on one fairly small thing.  They will need programming options, and showing high school football from Texas is not stupid when programming predominantly to people from Texas.  In the end, I don’t think the conference is any more or less stable because I don’t think aTm has the stones to move, nor do I think the Texas legislature will allow aTm to move without some sort of fight.

2 - Um…for as much as I paid attention…7?  I think Pinkel said something funny about the UT network and Mack Brown and yeah…that’s all I captured out of it.

3 - Now THAT registered with me this morning when I read that.  Almost smacked of TJ being tired of catching the ball and getting killed for 10 yards, which I can understand to an extent.  In a spread offense, the more the ball is, well, spread around, I assume the better the offense will function.  I suppose Franklin might improve our chances of seeing whether or not my last statement is true.

4 - Who?

SleepyFloyd7: 1 - I think I am just a hair less optimistic that there ill be a Big12 in 10 years - of course, last week I thought the chances for conference survival were about as long as the drive to Lubbock.

2 - I thought our guys looked and performed very well. Coach Pinkel brought the thunder, and the new mustard-gold shirts reminded me of Star Trek for some reason. A solid 8.

3 - More viable targets = better offense (if the QB can get the ball out there). Positive, and might open things up to get TJ the ball in space for more YAC's.

4 - Tough question. She was very talented, but her style and sound were derivative. She (and producer Mark Ronson) were able to authentically reproduce that classic Soul/R&B sound, and lead the charge in the new Brittish Soul movement. There is something to be said for making a seminal album - most artists don't even get close to that - but ultimately, I think her legacy will fade a bit.

Michael Atchison: I won’t be around much today, so let me lay my mediocrity on you now.

1. I feel the same as I did before. The key to all of this is A&M, and I think if they ever get to the point where they have to make a real decision about whether to stay or go, they’ll blink. Such is co-dependency.

2. I have no idea what happened at media day. Did we cover it here?

3. Absolutely it would be a positive to get those guys more touches. Still, I wonder if Moe didn’t overstate things a little. I would think that Franklin would rely heavily on a security blanket receiver, at least early on, and that’s what Moe and Egnew are. But if Jackson and Kemp can stretch the field (both vertically and horizontally), that ought to help everyone.

4. For the most part, I’d rather listen to Winehouse than Joplin, but she won’t be remembered like Janis. Janis happened at a time when the culture was much less fragmented. Large swaths of people listened to the same music, and those swaths came from the most populous generation we’ve ever produced. There’s still an outlet for her music today. It’s hard for me to believe that in 2031, there will be a large contingent of people listening to the pop hits of 2000-09. That Ebert piece that you linked (I read it yesterday) hits it on the head for me:

"In the media, I am analog by training and long habit. Phonograph records seem logical to me. Now that I can obtain any music in an instant on the internet, the music is no longer present. When I owned an lp album, I possessed something tangible. When I download an album from iTunes, I can listen to it, but I possess nothing I can touch. When I enter a theater and see a movie, I experience it differently than when I watch a video. The instant availability of tens of thousands of movies diminishes them somehow."

When I was a kid, and I bought 5 or 10 albums a year, I treasured them all. When I got to be an adult and bought 50-75 a year, I still enjoyed them, but few of them became totems. Now that every song in world shows up in my inbox, I don’t have the chance to appreciate any of them. That’s the challenge that any current artist faces when it comes to being remembered long term. When you’re a drop of water in a rushing river, how do you stand apart? Especially, if you’re Amy Winehouse, other drops in the river include Lily Allen, Duffy and Adele?

Doug: 1 - I still think it's a mistake for the Big 12 to stand pat at 10 teams (God, that sounds stupid). They should have been looking for two more schools (at least) to chat with during the summer. It was obviously too late to add them now, but work should have been done to add conference members. If the status quo remains for more than a couple of seasons, I'm really pessimistic about the long-term stability over the next five years.

2 - Um... yeah... that would have required me paying attention to the Big 12 Media Days. Suffice to say, I don't fear an 0 and 12 season.

3 - Question is, can Franklin make those reads fast enough to get to the outside? Gabbert made the difficult throws and sacrificed his receivers to a certain extent, but he didn't hold on to the ball. If Franklin takes time progressing through his reads, that will require a longer time in time in the box, increasing the likelihood of a sack. So, there's a chance for some positive yards, but the whole thing could average itself out if Franklin is dropped for a loss more than Gabbert was.

4 - She had one major hit, the only thing going in her favor is the direct connection between that song and her ultimate demise. Within a few years she'll be relegated to the junk pile of pop culture history.

The Beef: To your third answer…I took Franklin’s ability to get the ball to the boundary to those guys perhaps more as a result of his ability to scramble and extend plays than through progression.  You certainly make a point, and anyone who watched Gabbert, from the pocket pepper the ball 15-20 yards downfield AND to the boundary in the bowl game knew then and there he was not coming back, but Blaine did not do a lot of extending plays by scrambling before throwing.  I believe most feel Franklin will be more capable of that, and therefore have the chance to move and get the ball to those guys instead of sitting in the pocket and maybe getting it out there like Blaine did at times.

Bill C.: The problem with expanding to 12: who the hell could provide enough value to keep everybody's revenue distribution the same? Arkansas and Notre Dame are pretty much the only possible duo in that regard, and ... uh, no. So it would have to be some combination of BYU, Boise State, Memphis, Cincy and Louisville, and ... there's not nearly enough value there, even with the added footprint (and, in Louisville's/Memphis' case, good basketball). The Big 12 is together because the money's good; I really don't think there are two more teams out there that could keep the money where it currently is.

The Beef: Not unless you are somehow reverse raiding the SEC for teams beyond Arkansas and going from 10 to 14 or 16

Bill C.: THE ENTIRE SEC WEST TO THE BIG 12!!!!!!1!

The Beef: You heard it here first.

SleepyFloyd7: Atch, what are albums? Are they those big black CDs?

Also, are you saying that people who are becoming music lovers in a digital age are unable to have as authentic an experience as the one you had?

The Beef: Before this breaks down to Gen X vs. Gen Y, I will say that though I am FAR from a music lover, I can see Atch’s point to an extent when it came to physical music media ownership.  In high school when I was buying tapes and/or CD’s, I worked to earn the money and thus appreciated the stuff more, especially as wore it down over the years.  Needless to say, you cannot wear out a digital download, which while certainly a good thing, still may speak to the point he was making about pride of ownership.

ZouDave: 1 – I was never all that confident in the longhorn….err, long-term viability of the Big XII.  When 2 teams left and Beebe basically said "Good!" you had to know it was over.

2 – I sadly watched exactly 0 seconds of Big 12 Media Days.

3 – More options are never a bad thing.  Moe and Egnew can be exceptional at 70 catches as opposed to 90 and teams won’t be able to simply focus on him and Egnew if Jackson and Kemp are each getting 20 more passes their way (or, obviously, any of the other receivers).  I have no doubt that when it’s 3rd and 8, the 2 primary reads are going to be Moe and Egnew.  That kind of stuff doesn’t just change; those are our 2 best pass catchers.  But Kemp is a good receiver and Jackson has the most big-play ability of our starters so it will be nothing but good if we get them more involved.  As we learned under Chase Daniel, the defense can’t cover everyone for very long if you’ve got 5 capable receivers out in the pattern.

4 – It’s already basically a "Who?" for me.

I’ll try to catch up on all the responses I’ve already missed, but today is going to be an exceptionally busy day and I’m not sure how much more I will even be able to respond.  I know you’re terribly broken up by that, but it’s true.  Did want to officially say belated Happy Birthday to The Veal and also announce that The Captain turned 70 on Sunday.  Here’s to The Captain!

The Beef: Happy Birthday to the Admiral…looking forward to seeing him this season at some point!

Michael Atchison: An album is any collection of songs, no matter the physical (or digital) format. The big black ones are called LPs.

I’m not saying that people who come of age in the digital era are having a less authentic experience, just a completely different one. With that, I have to leave. I’ll try to follow up later, because I know everyone is fascinated by this. Am I right?!?

The Beef: It will become even more fascinating when Tepper responds about how you are telling people HOW to like their music

Doug: Scratches give music character, dammit!

(Someone has to fill in for Atch.)

(90 minutes later...)

D-Sing: Looks like I need to finish up the Longhorn Network/Big 12 piece I started writing while at Disneyland this weekend.

1. My feelings about the togetherness of this conference has not changed with the recent events because I still think this conference is dead within 5 years when Texas goes independent. I think that is the ultimate end game here.

2. I'll start paying attention to media days if I ever get credentialed for them. And even then, I find them to be somewhat anachronistic. Convenient for some, but still anachronistic in this era of 24/7/365 coverage of teams.

3. If Kemp and Jackson are getting touches, in theory, as the X and Z receivers, then it has to be a net positive for the offense because it means the field is being stretched. If the field is stretched vertically, then the Y and H receivers (Egnew and Moe) as well as the F position (running backs/ 5th receiver) have more opportunities over the now softer part of the field because coverage will have to rotate and account for the threat outside.

But...a lot of that is predicated on Franklin not showing the Gabbert-like tendency to go throught progressions like one-two-run! Because then it's all a moot point.

4. Sadly, I wasn't shocked when I heard that she had died. Maybe that's cold of me, but when a self-destructive personality self-destructs, it is sad but it isn't shocking. She hadn't released an album in 5 years, so I don't know how relevant musically she was at this point to begin with.

As far as the other point that was brought up goes, Winehouse might have shown us one way to become "culturally relevant" is to become a train wreck/druggie/abuser/abusee. Because as we can see by her death, even though she might not have been too relevant musically (no album in years, very few featured artist spots) the more macabre elements of us are spiking her sales from her (slim) catalog.

We have become narrowcasted as a culture as technology evolves, that is true. But I don't buy into this idea that because I download a song instead of buying a physically tangible version of it, then it doesn't have the same relevance or presence in my life like those old albums did. Although it could also be that I don't do that anyway and the entire point of the argument is lost on me in that manner.

I tend to be a believer in letting the art speak to you, and if you like it yourself, then that's all that matters (which is why I can appreciate Roger Ebert as a writer for what he does, but I don't necessarily view him or any critic as an authority). That's where the value of the music or the film or movie is going to be. Of course, this might be bordering on solipsism.

(90 minutes later...)

ZouDave: This Roundtable……sucks?