TCU vs. Texas Tech Cactus: The Big 12’s Newest Rivalry

min read
(AP Photo/Brad Tollefson)
Chase Kiddy @chaseakiddy Jul 23, 2022, 9:03 AM

National media members constantly mistake the Big 12 as a two-team conference with little else to offer.

But the Big 12 is a fascinating collection of teams and fans, with dynamic NCAAF odds and a true round-robin schedule. In particular, the Texas schools are always competing and trying to find some kind of edge against one another.

That’s where today’s strange and amusing sports story comes from.

Texas Tech: Cactus Emoji Now At the Center of TCU Rivalry

There’s an awful lot of money being thrown around in Lubbock right now. One week after announcing a new $200 million football facilities capital project, a NIL collective called The Matador Club made a big announcement regarding financial support for Texas Tech players.

The Matador Club is signing all 85 Texas Tech scholarship football players to a $25,000 annual NIL deal, with the money faucet turning on in August. 

The $25,000 deal will also be extended to 20 walk-on players. That’s 105 players total, for a bottom-line cost of $2,125,000.

I’ll pause here for you to write whatever joke you like. Something like, “maybe all that money will finally get Texas Tech to eight wins!”

In all seriousness, NIL funding on this scale is a very powerful tool in college football. 

That’s doubly true when considering the power vacuum that could be created in the Big 12 with Texas and Oklahoma leaving for the SEC. 

This is around the time where TCU decided to get into the mix. The Horned Frogs’ recruiting analyst, Bryan Carrington, started a thread on Twitter that spoke to how short-sighted he felt the Texas Tech NIL deal was.

“Y’all really gotta stop romanticizing what appears to be ‘unique NIL deals!’” Carrington said. “While they wave what appears to be a big number I urge you to ask these schools to quantify your brand potential as an individual entity, separate from the university in the same market!”

It went on for a while.


Carrington is a recruiting coordinator, so he has to maintain the charade that the No. 4 weak-side linebacker on the depth chart has valuable branding potential. 

We should all just be grown-ups and admit this money is almost never about personal branding and almost always about paying players to come to our school over your school. 

I can’t begrudge Carrington for keeping up appearances, though, because that’s his job. So let’s table his actual point in the thread for another day.

Frankly, his overall argument isn’t what anyone reacted to, anyway.

That’s because in one segment of his thread, he referred to the new Lubbock NIL deal as Texas Tech “attempting to ‘build their a brand’ in a desert.” 

Carrington dropped the cactus emoji.

Then, it was on.

Texas Tech, TCU Trade Barbs Over Cactus Emoji

Yes, I can’t believe I just wrote those words in that order, either. But it’s late July, and almost nothing else is happening, so the college football betting world is strangely fixated on two Texas schools arguing about an emoji.

 

There’s also another element to this story about TCU’s athletic director trying to stop fans from other schools from buying single-game tickets and flooding Horned Frogs home games.

Maybe we’ll just leave that part for another day, though. For now, there are just too many spicy cactus tweets to enjoy.

College Football Odds at BetMGM

Online sports betting is a unique way to add more excitement to each college football season.

From Week 0 through the College Football Playoff, you can bet on spreads, over/under totals, moneylines, and more. And with live sports betting, there’s never a break in the action. You can bet on live odds during hundreds of games each year.

Visit BetMGM today to view updated odds!

BetMGM $1000 Welcome Bonus Offer
About the Author

Chase Kiddy

Read More @chaseakiddy

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.