Wednesday, September 21, 2011
OU, Texas must come back together
By ESPN.com staff
Colleague Pat Forde weighed in today on the Big 12's newest near-implosion. He says there's plenty of fault to go around, but regardless of past mistakes, Texas and Oklahoma must come together and make this work.
As for the Sooners?
Throughout the Big 12 turmoil, Oklahoma president David Boren appears to have been holding a pair of twos and playing it like a royal flush. We'll see whether the bluff works now that the cards are hitting the table.
"He's put his school in a tough position by getting so far out on a limb," a well-connected college source said of Boren's power play.
...Larry Scott couldn't get some of the most powerful members of his league to bring Oklahoma aboard without Texas -- and Texas didn't want to compromise its Longhorn Network television deal to join the league.
"I know that at least two [Pac-12] presidents out there are saying, 'If Texas isn't part of the deal, don't bring that deal to us,'" the source said. "I don't think Oklahoma has anyplace to go."
Sure enough, the Pac-12 pulled the plug on expansion Tuesday night.
And what about the Texas brass? They've got some cleaning up to do as well.
Nevertheless, it would behoove Texas to make some concessions -- not just because Oklahoma wants it, but to show its Big 12 brethren that it gives a damn about them.
The Longhorns' steady diet of me-first has left them bloated and indifferent to the feelings of their peers. You can't blame athletic director DeLoss Dodds for capitalizing on his program's abundant successes and rampant popularity, but there has to be some concern for everyone else.
Does there? If not, what will the rest of the Big 12 do about it?
The drama surrounding the league breaking apart looks like it's over for now.
But the drama surrounding the league trying to glue itself back together again, perhaps with new leadership? It's only just beginning. A meeting later this week of the Big 12 board of directors should be fascinating.