NORMAN — In the search for games to fill out its 2012 non-conference schedule, Oklahoma is turning north and east. The Sooners, according to reports Monday in New Jersey, are discussing with Rutgers the idea of playing a neutral site game at MetLife Stadium, home of the NFL's Giants and Jets.
The talks were described as exploratory, still early in the process.
It's unclear when the game would be played, although OU is looking for two early-season games, due to TCU's move to join the Big 12. The Sooners were originally scheduled to play TCU in September.
The only non-conference game set for OU is the Oct. 27 meeting with Notre Dame at Owen Field. The Sooners go to South Bend in 2013.
OU athletic director Joe Castiglione spoke in the fall with Central Florida about a home-and-home arrangement, but NCAA violations soon cost several UCF administrators their jobs and slowed down the discussions. The Knights are already down to play Kansas State, but considered getting out of that series.
OU knows it will need at least two non-conference games, but it could need three if West Virginia doesn't get clearances to join the Big 12 in 2012. That will not be known until WVU and the Big East go to mediation Feb. 9, but there's increasing traction for the idea that the Big 12 could release two versions of its schedule — with and without the Mountaineers — sooner than that.
Because of the shuffling in the Big 12 and Big East, in particular, there are a handful of teams that need two non-conference games. Rutgers is one of those teams.
MetLife Stadium opened in 2010, replacing Giants Stadium in the East Rutherford N.J., area known as the Meadowlands. The complex is just west of Manhattan and about 30 miles north of Rutgers' campus in New Brunswick.