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A new report says Oklahoma is planning to apply to join the Pac-12 conference, effectively killing the Big 12 and shaking up conference alignments once again.The report comes from an unnamed source at OU, but Chip Brown at Texas site Orangebloods.com has been one of the leading reporters on alignment news since the Big 12 shakeup last year.
According to the story, the OU board of regents will vote this month to leave the Big 12, and Oklahoma State is expected to join them.
There are several big complications, however. One is that several Big 12 schools are already fighting to keep Texas A&M in the fold. Their move to the SEC has been held up due to threats of legal action.
However, if two more schools go, it will be that much harder to hold the conference together.
Two, is that Colorado – which left the Big 12 last year to join the Pac-10 – is not eager to see its old friends join their them in their new home.
A realignment of the Pac-12 would essentially be a step backward for the Buffaloes. They would likely be forced into a division against all the same teams they’ve just got rid of (limiting their access to games on the West Coast that they were craving.)
More importantly, Colorado’s share of the Pac-12’s shiny new TV contracts would suddenly shrink with the addition of two (or more) teams. Revenue sharing and TV money was a major reason they wanted out of the Big 12 in the first place.
If Oklahoma and Oklahoma State bolt, the Big 12 could be in danger of falling apart completely. Texas – the only true national power remaining – could try to cobble together a new conference with it’s six remaining friends, but would almost be better off an independent.
Or worse, they could chose to follow OU to the Pac-12 or even try to merge with the Big 10, but the remaining Texas football schools – Baylor, Texas Tech, Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State and Missouri – would suddenly become a second-tier BCS conference.
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