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Like Texas last year, Oklahoma taking lead role in conference realignment

by Berry Tramel Published: September 4, 2011

“I think one thing that's been made clear, Oklahoma is strong,” said the OU source. “Oklahoma is the key. I think they (Texas) realize it.

“I believe Texas has realized how much they need Oklahoma. There is a great respect by Texas of Oklahoma. I think Texas understands how important Oklahoma is to their future. They may never say that. But behind the scenes, they realize Oklahoma is the linchpin.”

Actually, the Longhorns are saying it. UT officials have expressed ambivalence about Texas A&M's impending departure. “We'll be disappointed if Texas A&M leaves,” said Longhorn athletic director DeLoss Dodds, “but if they do, we wish them well.”

Compare that to Dodds' statement a few days ago to the Austin American Statesman: “I think it's important that Oklahoma and Texas be on the same page.”

Dodds said he and OU athletic director Joe Castiglione “talk every day” and he said the same for Boren and UT president William Powers. “Oklahoma and Texas need to stay arm in arm.”

As the OU source said, “If Oklahoma were to leave, that puts Texas in one really, really tough spot.”

These college football superpowers seem to be working in concert. Last year, OU let Texas do the heavy lifting. This year, Texas is letting OU do the heavy lifting.

“We are carefully looking over all the options,” Boren said. “There's no school in the Big 12 more active than we are right now.”

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
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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