The picture above is from Saturday’s game at the new and
improved pimped out Dallas Cowboy kingdom. We all know what happened on this Saturday night and whose shoulder was drove into the turf, so no need to rehash it. But if Jerry Jones had his way, those things wouldn’t have taken place in his house. In fact, Jones wanted to have Oklahoma State and Georgia battle it out instead. As I’m sure you know by now, the Cowboys said no.
The money was enticing. Since OSU already had played at Georgia, there would be no split gate. The Cowboys would reap all the financial benefits and just pay Georgia the $300,000 owed under the contract. Georgia certainly would jump at the chance to avoid a road game and play instead on quasi-neutral turf.
OSU athletic director Mike Holder did some math. He figured OSU could reap $8.5 million. The Cowboys typically make about $2.5 million off a home game. I know Pickens has pumped the OSU coffers full, but who can easily turn down $6 million? “Tempting,” Holder said.
But Holder said no. He turned down Jerry Jones. Brought the Bulldogs to Stillwater. And you know the rest. OSU beat Georgia 24-10 Saturday and now is primed to spend the next two months in the top 10, with visions of a Big 12 title and national championship contention dancing in Cowboy heads.
But was it really worth? Was it REALLY worth it? As a top 10 team, who is trying to build a top 10 reputation, don’t you jump at these type of opportunities? With supposedly one of your best teams in recent memory (or ever), shouldn’t you want to take your show on the road?
I understand giving your fans and students a marquee game against a marquee opponent, but this was a huge opportunity to show the nation, in prime time, that your program is for real. A chance to show off Zac Robinson and Dez Bryant. A chance for Mike Gundy to let the nation know that he’s not just a man, but a pretty good coach as well.
I also understand the fear of losing. And maybe even second guessing if the home field advantage would’ve helped you win. But what if you win? And as a top 10 team, shouldn’t you be expecting to win no matter where you’re playing?
The positives definitely outweigh the negatives. The bottom line is OSU dropped the ball with this one. They left the chance to make a statement on the table. They left the chance to show recruits across the nation that OSU is a place you need to be considering to play college football on the table. And last but not least, it’s $6 million. Aint no way that should be left on any table.
OSU-Georgia: The $6-million decision (Berry Tramel, NewsOK)