Kirk’s Korner: Adding Texas, Oklahoma to SEC Will Help Arkansas’ Recruiting, Not Hurt It in Lone Star State

Hog Recruiting

Photo Courtesy: University of Arkansas Athletics

FAYETTEVILLE — The SEC will hold a meeting on Thursday concerning inviting Texas and Oklahoma to join the SEC according to ESPN.

The SEC presidents and chancellors may or may not vote on Thursday to add the pair. Sources indicate the SEC will have at least the 11 votes needed to allow Texas and OU into the league whenever the vote is held.

As far as football at Arkansas is concerned many have speculated such a move by the SEC to allow the pair in would hurt the recruiting efforts by the Razorbacks in Texas. Too many are focusing on the University of Texas will making this statement and not looking at the big picture.

The theory is Texas moving to the SEC will allow them to get some more top recruits to join them. First, most kids who grow up in Texas dreaming of playing for the Longhorns will sign with them regardless of the league they are in. If two or three top prospects did opt to go to Texas because they are in the SEC that would hurt Texas A&M more than Arkansas. The Aggies are the ones getting those few recruits now, not Arkansas.

So forget Texas for a minute, but look at Baylor, TCU, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State. Those four schools will be left to scramble for a conference once Texas and OU leave the Big 12. Anyone who thinks the Big 12 is going to still be around after they lose Texas and OU need to know it’s time to get the obituary started. The Big 12 was already 10 schools, not 12, and eight without Texas and OU aren’t making it.

Sure Arkansas competes with Texas and OU for recruits and the Hogs win some battles. Ketron Jackson grew up a Texas fan, but opted for the Hogs. Some others from Texas have chosen the Hogs over the Horns or Sooners.

But where it will help Arkansas is they should start getting some recruits that maybe Baylor, TCU, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State were getting. The Hogs will get more publicity in Texas with both the Horns and Aggies in the SEC.

Also people seem to forget when Arkansas was in the Southwest Conference they seemed to get several key recruits from Texas. In fact, the Hogs got a lot of them. Until the latter stages of Frank Broyles’ coaching career at Arkansas the schools weren’t limited to the current totals.

In 1973 the NCAA started restricting the number of football scholarships due to Title IX. They first limited schools to 105 total football recruits on scholarship at one time. In 1978 it was reduced again and this time to 95 and then brought the limit to its present number of 85 and 63 for Division I-AA. Arkansas was getting some very good Texas players when the Longhorns and others there had 150 players on scholarship. So with that number cut to 85 you don’t think the Hogs should do even better?

Sam Pittman’s staff is doing a great job of getting into some areas that weren’t exactly hot spots for the Hogs such as landing safety Myles Rowser from Michigan and Mani Powell from Ohio. Frank Broyles developed a pipeline of sorts into Youngstown, Ohio, when he was coaching and Lou Holtz kept it going for awhile. Ron Calcagni, Alfred Mohammed and others played well for the Hogs from Youngstown.

Arkansas will have more of a presence in Texas when the Longhorns join plus there’s a great chance they will still play a game in the Lone Star State each season, but not have to do it at neutral site. If the schedule falls right they will visit College Station or Austin each year.

Baylor, TCU, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State will still get some good recruits, but look at it this way what if the Hogs got just one recruit away from each of those four every year because they are in the SEC? Just for example, what if right now Mount Pleasant (Texas) defensive tackle Tre Emory (Baylor), Houston (Texas) Klein Cain wide receiver Matthew Golden (TCU) and Broken Arrow (Okla.) athlete Maurion Horn (Texas Tech) were instead committed to Arkansas? I am not saying those three would be Hogs if the Big 12 didn’t exist, but I do know the Razorbacks would have had better chances at each of them. Depending on which league those four schools land in think how far the parents may have to travel to see them play. If they thought occasional trips to Iowa State and West Virginia were bad get ready for several of those type trips probably.

Arkansas recruited the Lone Star State well when they were in the Southwest Conference and the only non-Texas school in it. Texas and OU joining the SEC isn’t going to hurt, it’s going to help and time will prove that to be true.

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