Big 12 mess provides more reasons for OU to poke the eyes of Texas

by Berry Tramel Modified: September 23, 2011 at 7:57 am •  Published: September 22, 2011

NORMAN – Hey, Bob Stoops. Your batphone is ringing.

Oklahoma needs you. Needs you bad.

Big bad Bevo is loose again, terrorizing our not-so-Gotham state. The great Big 12 carousel finally has stopped, and Texas wins. Texas always wins.

Except on the football field. That's where you come in, Bobby. The Sooner masses, bloodied and bowed by yet another Longhorn stampede, need a little balm. A little salve. Need to be reminded of what's really important.

The crimson cladded need a victory in the Cotton Bowl in two weeks. By a resounding score, if possible.

That October Saturday is the only thing that saves the Sooners from the madness of being under DeLoss Dodds' thumb.

The Big 12 lives, and so does Texas' boardroom winning streak. Texas always wins in the boardroom.

In the Big 12's Lazarus Project sequel, announced on various campi Thursday night, the Longhorns get to keep their cushy conference, every remaining school has signed blood oaths to stay at least six years and no announced Texas concessions to the particular reforms most dear to Sooner hearts.

Commissioner Dan Beebe's head? Small potatoes. Equal revenue sharing, which apparently is coming? Actually will cost OU money, which makes school president David Boren humanitarian of the year but doesn't rein in Bevo. The six-year granting-of-rights, which virtually guarantees no more league jumping? Limits the options for the Sooners if the Longhorns get any more insufferable.

Time was, OU didn't care too much about that boardroom. It drove Nebraska daffy and eventually out of the league. The Sooners just strapped on the pads and won seven of the last 11 Big 12 football titles. That's not a bad way to take out your frustrations.

But Texas' Longhorn Network, with the backing and bullying of ESPN, has changed OU's attitude. BevoTV is buying conference games for its empty network and vowing to show high school highlights, which would skew the recruiting landscape.

All of a sudden, the boardroom mattered to OU. Which made the Thursday conference call of Big 12 presidents so interesting.

Sooner sources had said the school would stay in the Big 12 and not jump to the Pac-12, if Texas made concessions. But the Pac-12 spilled the beans that a Pac-14 just wouldn't work, and gone was OU's leverage.

So Boren's declaration of victory Thursday night was hollow to those tired of Texas. Which frankly includes not just 'Horn-hating fans but dignitaries up the food chain all the way to Stoops himself.

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by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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