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OU president David Boren expects Big 12 decision by September's end

By Travis Haney and Berry Tramel, Staff Writers Published: September 2, 2011

NORMAN — University of Oklahoma officials had been extremely quiet since Texas A&M announced Wednesday that it would seek another conference home. Not any longer.

One of the Big 12's remaining foundational pieces broke its silence Friday, with OU president David Boren saying he has been “consumed” this week with figuring out the Sooners' next step.

“It's too early yet to know exactly what the outcome will be,” Boren said.

But it's coming soon. Boren said he expects a decision about the conference — glue it together or fold, with OU and others heading elsewhere — as early as Monday and no later than September's end.

“I don't really think this is something that's going to linger on beyond two or three weeks,” he said.

Meanwhile, an OU source said there is growing momentum for the Sooners to move to the Pac-12 Conference.

“I just sense a Pac-10 (12) option starting to bubble up in a stronger fashion,” the source said.

Brigham Young and Texas Christian have been mentioned as possible replacements for Texas A&M.

“Those moves would be stopgap,” the source said. “If somebody's thinking, ‘Add them, then you're good at 10, they're sadly mistaken.”

The Big 12 expressed contentment with 10 schools after Nebraska and Colorado announced a year ago they would leave the conference this summer. But now it appears the Big 12 has renewed interest in returning to 12 schools.

“The key is the right institutions,” the source said.

Houston and SMU have been mentioned as possible additions, but there is no apparent support for those former Southwest Conference schools.

“I don't think any Texas schools are fired up about adding more Texas schools,” the source said. “They may end up agreeing to one addition. No one wants to do anything that looks like a reconstitution of the Southwest Conference.

“If the conference moved to 12, you could make a case TCU would fit. But then you look, who else?”

Boren admitted OU has been consciously quiet this week, in the wake of A&M again throwing the league into upheaval.

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