Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops admitted he has some concerns about OU’s 2012 non-conference schedule, as well as the conference schedule, should West Virginia not be added to the league before the season.
If West Virginia can’t leave, “then we have to deal with that,” Stoops said. “But I think the first issue that (athletic director Joe Castiglione) is trying to work out is just the early games, and who will play us. That's the other thing. It's hard to get anyone to come play us.”
If West Virginia is forced to stay in the Big East another year, the Big 12 will have to reconfigure its schedule for nine teams.
Because of realignment, the Sooners now have two open dates in the non-conference. The previously scheduled meeting with TCU became a conference game with the Horned Frogs’ admission to the Big 12.
OU’s lone remaining scheduled non-conference game is with Notre Dame. Stoops said the Sooners are trying to line up a pair of non-conference games for the early part of the season, since the Notre Dame game is scheduled for Oct. 27. So far, that’s been a challenge.
“I think (Castiglione) has done a masterful job of working the BCS and how we've scheduled to help us,” Stoops said. “Joe works hard at it. I've got a lot of confidence he's working it the best he can to help us and protect us that way. But believe me, in visiting with him, it's challenging.”
Stoops said that if West Virginia is added, the Mountaineers could slot into Missouri’s spot on the schedule, with TCU assuming Texas A&M’s.
Stoops said he believes the league can thrive with just 10 teams and no conference championship game because of what West Virginia and TCU bring to the table.
“Let's face it, this year, if you add TCU and West Virginia, two more ranked teams, we're not missing a whole lot,” Stoops said. “Look at the way the guys have been playing in the bowls. We're not taking a backseat to much here. But if everyone wants the conference (championship) game, and if we get two good football teams, that would be great. But I still think we've more than proven we're a lot to deal with, this league, without it.”