Options for OU and OSU if Texas A&M leaves the Big 12

BY BERRY TRAMEL Published: August 12, 2011

If Texas A&M leaves the Big 12, options for OU and OSU:

Remain in the Big 12: A nine-team conference is not appealing, at least to OU officials. But replacing A&M would be a sign of stability. Even better would be bringing in three schools and returning to divisional play and a football championship game. Arkansas and Notre Dame are pipe dreams for an unstable conference. Viable options include Brigham Young, Air Force, TCU and Louisville. Chances: 50 percent OU, 50 percent OSU.

Join the Pac-12: This option almost certainly will be available for OU and probably will be available for OSU. The Sooners would need the Cowboys out West, not just for political reasons, but because any school from this part of the country joining the Pac-12 needs to be part of a four-team group, to allow for the Pac-16 model of two divisions. The East Division would include minimal games on the West Coast in all sports. The Pac-12 has stated its intentions on expansion, and OU and Texas remain the two biggest prizes. Chances: 45 percent OU, 40 percent OSU.

Join the SEC: OU and OSU have been mentioned as possible candidates, but OU has not expressed interest, even declining an invitation a year ago from the SEC. OSU is a long shot, unless the SEC expanded to 16 teams and needed a school from the Southwest. Chances: 3 percent for OU, 2 percent for OSU.

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