OU's interest in the Pac-12 extends beyond the athletic world, to academia. Boren has told associates he would like to align his school with academic powerhouses such as Cal and Stanford.
Sources familiar with negotiations have said the Pac-12 would ideally like a package that would include OU and Texas. Oklahoma State and Texas Tech would likely also be involved, because of their links to the states' flagship schools, to push Pac-12 membership to 16 — and so-called "superconference" status.
It still remains unclear whether OU and OSU would receive the necessary votes to enter the Pac-12 without Texas. Some close to the talks say it has been discussed and OU and OSU would be in. Others are not so sure, saying Texas means more to league expansion than it has been perceived.
OU sources have said the school believes it would be accepted without Texas, but they were not firm in their wording about those prospects. Nine of 12 Pac-12 presidents would have to approve any decision. Those presidents have been polled informally — and OU and OSU received support — but no formal meeting has been held.