Joining the Pac-10: OU's view

By Jake Trotter, Staff Writer, jtrotter@opubco.com Published: June 4, 2010
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Pros and cons of OU joining a super-conference with the Pac-10

Pros
1. Currently, OU receives roughly $10 million a year in TV revenue. That number could expand to more than $20 million in a Pac-10 super-conference, which would make OU's athletic department an even bigger revenue producer.

2. For years, OU has relied on Oklahoma and Texas for its recruiting. But the chance to play in California regularly could open the doors to another pipeline from one of the three biggest recruiting pipeline states in the country.

3. With the Big Ten likely to expand, and the SEC possible to follow suit, it's possible OU's brand drops a notch playing in a humbled Big 12. But by joining a power conference featuring Texas and USC, not only would that not happen, OU's visibility just might increase with the chance to cultivate and build on rivalries vs. the likes of USC, Oregon and Arizona.

Cons
1. Think a trip to Lubbock, Texas, is far? Fans would struggle to make regular road trips to Eugene, Ore., and Pullman, Wash., meaning OU's impressive support away from Norman would dwindle.

2. The travel of non-revenue sports like baseball would increase significantly. That would place a greater strain on football to support those added travel expenses and a greater strain on non-revenue athletes to stay afloat in school while spending extra time on the road.

3. The uptick in schedule could present a greater obstacle to OU's yearly national championship aspirations. In a Pac-10 super conference, OU, most years, would probably have to defeat Texas and USC — not to mention Arizona, Arizona State and possibly Oregon, Cal or Washington — just to make a national championship game. Beating Texas and emerging out of the Big 12 South is hard enough.


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