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Berry Tramel: Pac-10 has more to offer than SEC

by Berry Tramel Published: June 14, 2010

Down in Brazos County, the Aggies have bowed up. Bowed up and stood up to the hated 'Horns.

Texas A&M will not go to the Pac-10 just because Texas says so. In fact, A&M might go to the Southeastern Conference just because UT said not to.

The Pac-10/SEC debate can get irrational through the Aggie prism. A&M seems to be saying it would rather lose to Alabama and LSU than Texas and Oklahoma.

But just because the Ags are kooky doesn't mean they're wrong. Would the Big 12 South schools leaving Dead League Walking be better off aligning with the SEC than the Pac-10?

Certainly some Sooner fans think so. Judging by rampant e-mail, the Pac-10 is the least popular option, trailing some kind of Big 12 salvation (which has a faint pulse, depending on commissioner Dan Beebe's television proposal today) and the SEC (no chance).

You can't blame the fans. The SEC is a siren song. The nation's best football conference. And the most-hyped.

Plus, marching in step with the Longhorns rubs OU the same way it rubs the Aggies. Wrong.

But the Pac-10 clearly is the best landing spot for both the Sooners and Oklahoma State. And here's why.

Maybe the best part of the Pac-16 proposal is the Big 12 South cohesion. Take all five South schools that matter into another league, and you're not entering alone.

Most of the vital rivalries are preserved. I know OU has been going to Lawrence and Manhattan and Ames for almost a century, and OSU's been going for half a century, but let's be honest. With Nebraska gone, every rivalry of substance for OSU and OU resides in the South.

OU-Texas. OU-Tech. OSU-A&M. OSU-Tech. Those are the games that matter more than OU-Missouri or OSU-Kansas.

Plus, familiar faces are seated at your table. There is strength in numbers; you know your voice will be heard. Maybe we shouldn't say this too loud, but the Pac-10 doesn't know what it's in for with Texas and Oklahoma in negotiations.

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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