As the conference expansion wheel spun wildly last summer, one subject of speculation that emerged was the possibility of the Texas Longhorns going independent. Even though the school ended up agreeing to stay as part of the new-look 10-team Big 12 (after a brief but serious flirtation with the Pac-10), independence remained a topic of discussion, and last week's announcement of the $300 million Longhorn Network deal with ESPN fueled even more Internet chatter on the subject.
We're not using this space to speculate on whether Texas will decide to go independent. We're instead arguing that the Longhorns should -- not for financial reasons (the ones that are driving all conference expansion decisions), but for competitive reasons. Our reason why is simple: The numbers show that the Longhorns would have a better chance of contending for a national championship every year if they were an independent than if they remained in the Big 12.