Saturday, September 3, 2011
Big 12 country gets even shakier
By David Ubben
Oklahoma has a decision to make, and OU president David Boren says he wants to make it within the next couple of weeks.
University of Oklahoma president David Boren says multiple conferences have shown interest in the Sooners recently and he expects to decide whether to leave the Big 12 or not within the next three weeks.
Boren said Friday that Oklahoma is seeking stability in its conference relationship with "partners that are both outstanding athletically and academically as well because a conference that's strong is not only stable but it's one in which there are multiple relationships, along with sports, between the university members."
If Oklahoma wanted, it could presumably become the SEC's 14th team, but the university turned down a reported invitation last summer and hasn't expressed much interest in joining the league since.
But the Pac-12? The Sooners' bags were packed last summer before Texas decided to stick with the Big 12 instead of heading west. But with the Big 12 down another big program -- Texas A&M is all but officially headed to the SEC -- the Sooners may not want to stay in a league that's been weakened significantly in the past year and a half.
Baylor AD Ian McCaw told reporters on Friday night that the Big 12 expansion plans are on hold until the Sooners make up their minds.
"I don't think there's anything that has to be, at all, and everything doesn't have to be done today. I mean, there's nothing that says the conference will collapse at nine," Boren said. "We have a full season to play and we'll have to go through.
"Obviously, I think if we could eventually -- and that doesn't mean in one year, maybe it's going to take two or three years -- if we were to eventually get back to 12, I would feel better about it," Boren said.
Boren said the bottom line is "I don't think OU is going to be a wallflower when all is said and done."