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Here we go: A&M gone, now what for OU?

Travis Haney Published: August 31, 2011

 

CAMPUS CORNER — Last night, during his weekly radio show, Sooners coach Bob Stoops said it was “inevitable” that Texas A&M would leave the Big 12 (presumably for the SEC). He was on top of that one.

Twelve or so hours later, A&M did officially hand in its letter of conference resignation, making it a free agent and distancing itself from hated Texas. As you know, that creates a sense of chaos in the Big 12 – THREE days before the start of the 2011 season.

Football will still be football this fall, for sure, but a cloud called uncertainty will be hovering just over the edge of Big 12 stadiums.

Can this league survive? Heavy hitters, voices you would trust, don’t think so – or, at best, they are not sure.

Stoops said he would like to see Notre Dame in the Big 12. But Notre Dame doesn’t see Notre Dame in the Big 12.

BYU, Houston and SMU are the names that have been floated most for the vacancy Texas A&M will open. But does that actually save the league? Or just provide a stay of execution?

One columnist in Salt Lake thinks BYU should run with arms wide open toward the Big 12, because of the hit its schedule has taken as an independent.

Maybe TCU isn’t out of the question, even though the Frogs are set to move next year to the Big East, already a qualifying league.

What is out of the question at this juncture?

I’ve asked, and I’m not sure if we’ll hear today from OU AD Joe Castiglione or prez David Boren. I hope so. I’d like to hear their thoughts. I’m sure you would, too, and it would be nice to know what OU’s statement and message is moving forward.

Is it … “We’re committed to saving the Big 12, etc.”? Or is it … “We’ll continue to examine whatever is best for our university and its athletic teams”?

Those are very different sentiments, no?

Why isn’t OU doing more, being more vocal and proactive? That’s been the concern for some of you. Well, we’re told the administration is doing more behind the scenes than you might realize. Just because it has not been as vocal as some other schools doesn’t mean it’s sitting around waiting for Texas to tell it what to do. That’s what we’ve been told privately.

Stoops hinted at that last night: “I feel our administration knows we have a strong hand to play.”

Stoops didn’t mean that for any particular outcome or decision, but rather OU realizing it has a lot of tradition and history to protect and use as leverage for any potential move or choice.

These are strange times on the conference landscape, for sure. Thanks, Texas.

= Trav

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