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Berry Tramel: Conference realignment could mean dilemma for Mike Stoops

by Berry Tramel Modified: June 7, 2010 at 4:07 pm •  Published: June 7, 2010

New marketing. Bold ideas. No foot-dragging. Now the possible leap to the nation's first super conference.

"It was time,” Stoops said of Pac-10 aggression. "We've got great TV markets; feel like we've been slighted. This drives our market into Texas. That's a strong parlay with what we have on the West Coast.

"Putting together one of the super conferences gets us revenue we've been missing out on for years.”

That revenue can help Arizona try to keep up with the powers it might have to start keeping up with.

But don't go feeling too sorry for Arizona or Arizona State. They are strategically placed in the new conference, much like the Oklahoma schools were at the formation of the Big 12.

OU and OSU benefited from more exposure in Texas, and Arizona can do the same. Playing two or three games a year in Oklahoma and Texas will open recruiting grounds for the Wildcats.

"That's the first thing that comes to mind,” Stoops said. "Obviously, we go into Texas pretty heavily, but we've lost a lot of players to Big 12 schools. You gain exposure being in Texas as much as we would be.”

Arizona football is on the upswing. Stoops is 33-39 after six seasons, but 'Zona has gone 8-5 each of the last two seasons and gone to consecutive bowls for the first time in a decade. 'Zona beat Southern Cal last season and has beaten UCLA three straight years for the first time ever.

Soon enough, Arizona might trade in the Los Angeles duo for the Oklahoma-Texas axis. We all have our crosses to bear.

Berry Tramel: (405) 760-8080; Berry Tramel can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1.

by Berry Tramel
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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