OU coach Bob Stoops hints OU-Texas game might be casualty of conference realignment

BY BERRY TRAMEL, Staff Writer, btramel@opubco.com Published: September 6, 2011

NORMAN — Bob Stoops warned Tuesday that the OU-Texas series could end if the Sooners and Longhorns end up in different conferences.

But was he bluffing?

Stoops was asked during his weekly press conference if he would want to keep the rivalry with Texas going as a nonconference game.

“I don't think it's necessary,” Stoops said. “No one wants to hear that. But life changes. If it changes, you have to change with it to whatever degree.

“If it works, great. I love the game. But if it doesn't, it doesn't. Sometimes that's the way it goes.”

But later, in a private conversation, Stoops was asked if he was playing politics with the Longhorns, who reportedly are waffling over whether to join the Sooners in the Pac-12 Conference should Texas A&M leave the Big 12, as expected.

Stoops grinned and said, “Maybe. Playing cards.”

Stoops said he had little desire to play Texas in a nonconference game along with the litany of traditional powers scheduled to play OU the next decade: Notre Dame, Ohio State, Tennessee, LSU.

But Stoops agreed that OU likely would seek to get out of those contracts before ending the Texas series.

And while Stoops said such decisions should be made above the athletic level, he admitted that OU-Texas in Dallas every October is a huge benefit for both institutions in non-football ways.

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