Conference Realignment: Oklahoma Looking To Move To Pac-12?

We interrupt your post-loss self-loathing with this bit of NCAA conference realignment talk. According to a report in The Oklahoman, it looks like the Sooners are next in line to jump the sinking ship that is the Big 12 to join the Pac-12.

"Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott was in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday night for the Oregon-LSU game.

Prime opportunity for OU officials to meet with the head of the conference they are considering joining. But an OU source said Saturday there were no plans for Scott to meet with the Sooners.

Not because something has gone wrong, but because something went right.

"I don't think anybody needs to go" meet with Scott, the source said, indicating the Pac-12 has become the Sooners' sole focus."

It's been previously reported that the Pac-12's preference is to add four schools -- namely, Oklahoma, Oklahoma state, Texas and Texas Tech -- to move to 16 schools, creating the nation's first superconference. It doesn't sound like Oklahoma State is making plans to stick around either, with a highly-placed OSU official saying that "OU and OSU have to stick together." 

It sounds like Oklahoma is getting increasingly frustrated with the Big 12's search for a Texas A&M replacement, with Notre Dame, Arkansas and Pittsburgh already rejected the conference's overtures. Big 12 expansion options like BYU, Air Force and TCU don't interest the Sooners much, either. 

One of the big sticking points for any move to the Pac-12 for Texas is whether they can keep their TV relationship with ESPN and the Longhorn Network. The OU source has said that there's a place for the Pac-12 TV rights deal and Texas' Longhorn Network to coexist. Take that for what it's worth. 

If Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas Tech do bolt for the left coast, look for the SEC to scoop up Missouri along with Texas A&M to move to 14 programs. Big East Commissioner John Marinatto likely also smells blood in the water. I'm sure he would jump at the chance of adding Kansas, Kansas State and maybe even Baylor to get to 12 football programs and bounce the basketball-only schools, making the Big East smaller and even less eastern.

However, if the non-football members of the Big East are eventually bounced, that puts the biggest fish in the conference realignment pond -- Notre Dame -- back in the market for a conference home for its hoops and Olympic sports. Could the Irish eventually find themselves in the ACC for all other sports and maybe even for football in a post-apocalyptic, four superconference world?  

Basically, all that talk of Texas holding the keys to conference expansion? Make that Oklahoma. And if OU, OSU, Texas and Texas Tech do give up on making the Big 12 marriage of convenience work, all sorts of craziness may follow. 

Can't we just settle all this already and get back to playing football?

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