As Sooner fans navigate the five stages of grief, somewhere between denial and anger, we offer a chance to jump the track.
Remember what took your minds off football during the good times of last week? Use it as pain reliever in the bad times.
Various reports during a wild Big 12 Tuesday revealed West Virginia in, Missouri out and Notre Dame at least willing to listen to some kind of hybrid relationship with Conference Chaos.
Feel better? Well, I didn't think so. Nothing soothes a home loss to Texas Tech, just as nothing in Stillwater could detract from the euphoria of a No. 3 BCS ranking.
But Notre Dame to the Big 12? Full membership in all sports but football, and a potential scheduling alliance on the gridiron? That would at least lift the Big 12's status from desperate to quirky.
Heck, the Big 12 might even be able to add Brigham Young as a football-only member to counter Notre Dame. Sure, such a mongrel conference would be squirrelly. But the Big 12 is long past the point of worrying about appearances.
I don't know if a Big 12/Notre Dame agreement could happen. But I do know Big 12 officials have dangled that possibility to South Bend since summer 2010, when Nebraska left the league.
And now, with the Big East teetering, Notre Dame has to get serious about where its athletic teams will land. The Big Ten and the ACC have been adamant that Notre Dame has to be all in to be any in. For now, the Irish want to maintain a semblance of football independence.
The Big 12 could be the solution, so long as the Big 12 goes in with the right attitude. Goes in with the knowledge that this common-law relationship never would result in a wedding.
Better conferences than the Big 12 have grown old and gray waiting on Notre Dame to walk the aisle. The Big Ten. The Big East, the current shack-up, has been waiting, too, much to the chagrin of Big East old-timers like Connecticut women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma, who last week blasted the Notre Dame/Big East relationship, inferring it kept the Big East in limbo.
Notre Dame joined the Big East in 1995 for all sports but football. The Irish in football have played Pitt most years since '95; the Irish also regularly played Boston College when BC was in the Big East.
But Notre Dame didn't play Virginia Tech or Miami. Doesn't play Louisville or Cincinnati. Has played Rutgers, West Virginia and Syracuse thrice each during the Big East years; South Florida and UConn once each.
If the Big 12 wants to make a deal with Notre Dame, some kind of minimum football scheduling should be required. Six games a year would be nice. A minimum of four.
Texas is hot and heavy to play Notre Dame every year, apparently on Thanksgiving, which would be the ultimate stick-it-to-A&M move. Bob Stoops probably isn't too keen on seeing the Irish every year, but frankly, the Sooners helped the Longhorns create this Big 12 mess. OU might need to take one for the team.
A batch of Notre Dame games, two or three a year on the road at Big 12 schools, would greatly enhance the Big 12 television package when it comes up for bid in a few years.
Why would Notre Dame suddenly sign off on showing its face in Manhattan, Kan., or Stillwater, places it would play only while holding its nose while getting its butt beat? Because the Irish need a home for those good basketball programs, and the Big East is turning into the Trans America Conference, with Boise State and Central Florida and SMU being mentioned to join the likes of Georgetown and St. John's.
Giving them that choice, a football game every once in awhile in Lubbock, Texas, doesn't seem so bad.
If the Big 12 wanted to add one more school, say Louisville, along with the quality addition of West Virginia, the league could then try to get the BYU/Notre Dame partnership for No. 12.
BYU in for football, Notre Dame in all other sports. Brigham Young's non-football teams are competing in the West Coast Conference; football is BYU's most pressing need. All the other sports are Notre Dame's most pressing need. So that might work.
It's probably a long shot. And yes, it would be in many ways a dubious arrangement. Nothing screams mickey mouse like a patched-together conference in which some schools don't toss all its teams into the mix.
But like I said, the Big 12's stately days are over. The Big 12 is in survival mode. The Big 12 will win no beauty contests. But nothing could proclaim the nine lives of this conference like a deal with Notre Dame.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. He 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. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.