Longhorn Network has become a scourge

Texas athletics has hit the skids since the network launched less than two years ago. It's not just football. It's men's basketball. It's women's basketball. It's baseball.
by Jenni Carlson Published: January 19, 2013
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photo - REACTION: Texas coach Mack Brown reacts during the Red River Rivalry college football game between the University of Oklahoma (OU) and the University of Texas (UT) at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012. Oklahoma won 63-21. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
REACTION: Texas coach Mack Brown reacts during the Red River Rivalry college football game between the University of Oklahoma (OU) and the University of Texas (UT) at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012. Oklahoma won 63-21. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

Even the most dedicated of Texas fans might want to look away.

That's because football isn't the only sport to struggle. Basketball, the big winter staple of the network, might actually be in worse shape than football.

The men's team has yet to score a Big 12 win. There were a pair of overtime losses to Baylor and West Virginia, then came a 20-point loss at Iowa State and a close-but-no-cigar loss to Kansas.

The Longhorns do have a big win on their nonconference resume, a double-digit beatdown of North Carolina, but there's also a loss to Chaminade.

Do those two cancel each other out?

I vote yes.

Women's basketball is in the midst of a similar slide. After losing to Oklahoma on Saturday afternoon, the Longhorns' losing streak has hit eight games, including its first six Big 12 games.

These Longhorns are having a tough time off the court, too. Earlier this week, they had not one but two players end their careers because of injury. Senior center Cokie Reed and junior guard Chelsea Bass decided to retire for medical reasons.

Talk about some bad karma.

But wait, there's more.

The always powerful Texas baseball team failed to make the NCAA Tournament last spring. Ditto for the usually strong women's soccer team this past fall.

But lest you're feeling sorry for the burnt orange — though I suspect you aren't — all is not lost in Austin. Men's golf won an NCAA title last spring. Women's volleyball won one in December.

Does any of that make good TV for the Longhorn Network?

Stay tuned.

Or not.

Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.


by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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