The Big 12 Championship football game could move permanently to the new Cowboys Stadium, which could be bad news for Oklahoma City. PHOTO BY BRYAN TERRY, THE OKLAHOMAN
That matches the total of non-KC Big 12 basketball tournaments (three Dallas, two OKC).
Suddenly drop Arrowhead from that rotation, which seems all but assured, and the North schools would want reparations. Oklahoma City could be sacrificed.
"Makes our job more challenging,” Brassfield admitted. "We need to make an impression that it’s tough not to come back.”
Certainly, OKC’s passion for the women’s tournament helps. Unless the league goes all Solomon and decides to split the baby, giving KC the men’s basketball and Oklahoma City the women’s.
Some, notably Texas A&M women’s coach Gary Blair, have campaigned for separation of the men’s and women’s tournaments. But Big 12 officials consistently say there is little traction for such a split.
Big 12 football is set for Arlington in 2009 and 2010. Kansas City has basketball in 2010 and 2011.
Oklahoma City will have post-season basketball, no matter what happens with the Big 12 championships. OKC is hosting NCAA men’s first- and second-round games in 2010, plus has bids out for 2011 and 2012 for the men, and 2011 for a women’s regional. Oklahoma City has stated a preference to the NCAA for 2011, since Brassfield hopes to land the 2012 Big 12 Tournament.
More intrigue: In 2013 and 2014, an NCAA Tournament stop for Oklahoma City is less likely, since the Big 12 won’t be involved in hosting in those years. In 2013, the Big 12 is hosting an NCAA regional at Jerry Jones World, in advance of hosting the 2014 Final Four.
Oklahoma City then would have to get OU or OSU to act as the host institution, which neither would want to do because that would prohibit their team from being placed at the Ford Center.
All of which makes the Big 12 Tournament more a priority in those years. But Big 12 basketball will be difficult for Oklahoma City to keep, because Big 12 football seems surely headed south.
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.