BY TRAVIS HANEY Staff Writer thaney@opubco.com Modified: August 31, 2011 at 7:31 pm •  Published: August 31, 2011

“We're in a lot of good ones,” Stoops said of the Aggie atmosphere. “For me to sit here and brag on theirs wouldn't be fair.”

But Stoops did acknowledge “fun times” with some of OU's memorable games at A&M. Torrance Marshall's interception return for a touchdown in 2000. Jason White's clutch throws in 2004. Stoops' 4th-and-1 gamble from his own 29-yard line in 2006.

Stoops was specifically asked Tuesday at his news conference if Notre Dame would make for a good replacement, to help sustain the Big 12.

“Sure I'd like to see Notre Dame in. Who wouldn't?” Stoops said. “We've got to play them next year, anyway, so might as well be in conference. Maybe that's the invitation they're waiting on.”

The Sooners and Irish have a home-and-home scheduled for 2012 and 2013.

Notre Dame has indicated, according to reports, that it has no interest in joining a conference and abandoning its football independence. Other schools that have at least been discussed as replacements are Arkansas, BYU, Houston and SMU.

There's a feeling within OU's athletic walls that it would be tough for the Big 12 to survive with the way things have unfolded — and unraveled — in the past year-plus. Would that then open the door for the Sooners to jump to another conference such as the Pac-12 or the SEC? If so, would that move have to include some combo of Oklahoma State or Texas?

A lot of off-the-field questions remain to be answered, even with the 2011 season two days away from its start.

“Do I like the 10 teams? Sure. Do I like the 12 better? Probably. But we'll see,” Stoops said. “Ten would have been fine. But we'll see. Twelve, obviously in today's game and landscape, with the championship game, is probably better.”

How about nine teams — or at least a different 10th?


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