NORMAN — Big 12 instability has caused many headaches for the remaining schools. But the biggest issue for Oklahoma is 2012 scheduling.
The addition of TCU means the Sooners will have to add a non-conference game. The potential loss of Missouri to the Southeastern Conference means the Sooners could have to find a second opponent to add, unless the Big 12 can scramble and replace Mizzou for the 2012 season.
“It's tough finding a game at this late date,” OU athletic director Joe Castiglione said before the OU-Texas Tech game Saturday night. “I've been making a lot of calls. It's not the prime time of year to be looking at a game for 2012.
“We're making a lot of calls. Last year at this time, I was receiving a lot of calls.”
Since the TCU game was scheduled for Fort Worth, Castiglione said that the Sooners would be willing to play a road game in 2012 as part of a home-and-home series. But with so many schools looking for games, and with so much conference instability, it could be hard to find two games.
Castiglione even tossed out the possibility of a home-and-home within the conference, and he was only half-joking.
“I don't think you could rule it out,” Castiglione said.
Castiglione, a member of the league's expansion committee, said there still was no consensus among Big 12 leaders on whether to have 10 or 12 schools in the league. He said that if Missouri leaves, the Big 12 might have to expand to 10, then later decide on the question of 12.
“Our intent would be to move as quickly as we can,” Castiglione said. “Behind the scenes, we'll be doing as much as we can.”
Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas said the league planned to play with 10 schools in 2012, but Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton indicated that if the Tigers left for the SEC, they would like to leave next summer.
Big 12 expansion could be complicated by Big East contractual entanglements. Brigham Young and three Big East schools – West Virginia, Louisville and Cincinnati – have been mentioned as the most likely targets of Big 12 expansion. Castiglione admitted that BYU, playing its first season as a football independent, would have fewer obligations to sort out than would other schools.
The prospect of playing with just nine schools in 2012 would be problematic for the Big 12's new contract with Fox Sports, since a nine-team league would have even less quality games than a 10-team league, which has less than the 12-team Big 12.
Castiglione said that if Missouri is going to leave, “go ahead and make a decision. But let me be clear. We want Missouri to stay.”
Castiglione said another frustrating part of this whole process has been the spotlight removed from the Big 12 on the field, where three teams remained undefeated going into Saturday night.