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The OSU students speak: Reaction to Texas A&M leaving Big 12

Gina Mizell Published: August 31, 2011

I spent much of the afternoon on the OSU campus, chatting with students about Texas A&M’s announcement that it plans to leave the Big 12.

I got a wide range of answers. About the Aggies. About the future of the Big 12. About what this all means for OSU and what the school should do from here. About keeping the Bedlam rivalry intact.

And then there were some folks who had no idea what I was talking about. Hey, it’s a big university. Not everyone is going to care about football. Unfathomable to our kind, I know.

Here’s a sample of the answers I got:

Reaction to Texas A&M officially announcing it intends to leave the Big 12

“I’m kind of glad. (Texas A&M) needed to decide one way or another. I know there’s lots of movement amongst the conferences, so if they want to go elsewhere, I can’t necessarily blame them. But they kind of needed to pick one way or the other.”
Aaron Krejci, senior

“I don’t really know what to think. It’s going to be sad to see Texas A&M go. I think they’re going to have a lot tougher schedule in the SEC. I’m kind of wondering why they’re doing it, just because they’re going to go from one of the top schools in the Big 12 to one of the lowest ones in the SEC, because they have Auburn, Alabama, Florida. All those schools are going to have so much bigger of the advantage. I guess they’re just looking for money. I think with the Longhorn Network, that’s one of the big reasons they’re moving, too. I think they’re some bad blood (between Texas and Texas A&M).”
Matthew Roche, senior

“It’s been all over Twitter and stuff for a long time. Everybody’s known it’s coming.”
–Cade Colburn, junior    

On what this means for the Big 12 conference

“It’s probably not good for the Big 12, because the more teams that leave, the conference is probably going to fall apart. Other teams might be convinced to leave, and the big schools might want to go to bigger conferences to compete. This probably means the downfall of the Big 12.”
Aaron Krejci, senior

“I don’t know what’s going to happen to the Big 12 now. Probably going to end up disbanding, I’d think.”
Matthew Roche, senior

“I don’t know if (the Big 12 is) going to start falling out, or if we’re going to stay strong and just be like ‘Oh well, see you later,’ (to Texas A&M).”
–Courtney Evans, sophomore

“Someone said the Big 12’s going to be around as long as Oklahoma and Texas want it to be, so I don’t really think it’s going to hurt us that badly. I think A&M’s more hurting themselves going to the SEC.”
–Cade Colburn, junior

On what OSU should do

“It’s nice having (OSU) in the Big 12, because regionally, you can travel with road games. If they play in the Pac-whatever-it-will-be, traveling for road games will be a lot harder. The Big 12 is a good fit, but if (OSU) was going to go anywhere, I’d like to see it go west. The SEC is a football powerhouse, and I feel like we’d get crushed and we’d become the Baylor of the SEC. I wish the Big 12 would stay together.”
Aaron Krejci, senior

“I’d rather go East Coast than West Coast, but we’ll see what happens. But I think we’ll definitely start looking for another conference.”
Matthew Roche, senior

On if trying to keep the Big 12 together is worth it

“It would be cool to keep the Big 12, for sure. I don’t know what teams, though, especially with TCU signing on with the Big East. They would have been a perfect addition, I think. We should keep exploring (new conferences), but I think we should definitely try to keep the Big 12 together, because there’s a lot of history behind it.”
–Matthew Roche, senior

“In a perfect world, I’d like (the Big 12) to pick up more teams. But I don’t want weak teams, so some people kind of lose respect for our conference. If we can pick up respectable teams, that’s kind of ideal.”
–Cade Colburn, junior

On what schools the Big 12 should go after

“TCU, even though it’s a smaller school. They’ve had lots of success lately. I know there’s been talk about Air Force and BYU. BYU would be a good school, because it has a lot of fans, a lot of followers. Those two schools (TCU and BYU) I would say for sure.”
Aaron Krejci, senior

On if sticking with OU is critical

“If we did split with OU and we didn’t play them every year, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. But it is that rivalry and it’s what college football’s all about, and so if at all possible, you like to see the great rivalries stay together. It would be nice to go wherever OU goes, but we also want to be a school that thinks for ourselves and doesn’t just follow the herd. I think programs with that mentality are the top programs—that we’re leaders, not followers.”
Aaron Krejci, senior

“I want to stay with OU for sure. I want to keep that Bedlam rivalry going.”
Matthew Roche, senior

“It’s still a good game every year. I like Bedlam and I don’t really want to see (OU) leave, but I wouldn’t mind seeing OU get their butts kicked in another conference.”
–Courtney Evans, sophomore

“It’s Bedlam. It’s just kind of the way things work. You’ve got to have a rivalry (game).”
–Cade Colburn, junior

Sidenote: Can someone please tell Mother Nature that it’s almost September and that these 100-degree temperatures need to go away?

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