OMAHA, Neb. — Bob Stoops and his wife Carol made the trek to Omaha to support the Oklahoma baseball team.
During a lengthy rain delay at Rosenblatt Stadium, Stoops took time to chat with a few reporters on the hot topic of recent weeks: realignment.
Now that the dust has settled, how do you feel about the way have things have shaken out with the Big 12?
The dust wasn't bothering me. So, in the end, as everybody likes to say, it is what it is.
Are you happy with how things turned out?
I have to be, since that's how it turned out, right? We'll see moving forward.
Are you optimistic everyone can move forward peacefully, given the acrimony and harsh feelings that came from the process?
I'm not in those meetings. Coaches, we aren't the ones making those decisions. I don't know why it wouldn't be. You move forward. We still have a strong product, obviously.
Losing Nebraska, what do you think the impact of that will be?
We'll see. No one knows. We don't know what the impact will be for them in five years. We don't know what it will be for us in five years. We still have a very strong product, or we wouldn't be joined the way we are and maybe have the TV market and all that we have. It sounds like TV wise we'll be very similar to what we have been.
Have you talked to (Nebraska coach) Bo Pelini?
I talked to him after the fact. He felt the same way. He goes, 'People want to know is this a good thing?' Like he said, 'Talk to me in five years and we'll see how it's all worked out for everybody.'
Would you interested in maintaining a relationship with Nebraska on the schedule?
Yes, we'll stick them in between Cincinnati and Florida State. If we had a non-conference schedule like a lot of other teams, it would be awesome. But we don't. Something's got to change. If they're willing to do it, we'll have to make some serious adjustments in our schedule. I mean, we've got Notre Dame coming, LSU coming, Ohio State. We play a very difficult out-of-conference schedule. To stick them in between is not very realistic.
How do you feel about a 10-team Big 12?
We'll still play 12 games. Doesn't much matter, right? If we play all nine other teams, that's probably not all bad. Right now, unless there's a waiver, we don't have a championship game. But we've played 14 games more than we haven't, being in the Big 12 championship game seven times in 11 years. We've been used to playing 14 games. We kind of like the Big 12 championship game after all these years. I've always said, 'It's too bad everyone doesn't play one.' Now, everyone else is playing one and we're not. So it's kind of flipped. But we'll see. That may be a good thing.
It seemed like you'd warmed up to the idea of moving West?
I thought it was exciting, when that all came about. We play Texas in the Cotton Bowl. But playing those other teams in Texas is a strong presence, us in Texas. Helps us recruiting. And that, along with travel, logistically is what was working. And then you add what the Pac-10 brings, which is long tradition and history, great schools, great academic schools. I just thought all of it was a win-win in my eyes. We've moved this way. I'm not at all complaining. I think this has been great for us over the last 11 years. We've been in seven Big 12 championship games and four national championship (games) is pretty special. So I'm not at all complaining where it's at. But if that was going to happen, the possibility of that was exciting.