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Conference Realignment: The Big 12 under the gun?

Some interesting going's on yesterday.

From Chip Brown at

Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe convened a conference call late Friday afternoon with a handful of his conference's presidents to discuss the increasing possibility that Oklahoma wants to bolt the Big 12 for the Pac-12, multiple sources said.

Texas president Bill Powers, Oklahoma president David Boren and Texas A&M president R. Bowen Loftin were excluded from the call, sources said. But Beebe advised the other presidents in the Big 12 to "work on Texas" to get the Longhorns to stay in the Big 12, sources said.

It's Beebe's belief that if Texas refuses to go to the Pac-12 that Oklahoma would not get a bid from the Pac-12, sources said. But another source close to the situation said if Oklahoma and Oklahoma State indicated to the Pac-12 that they wanted to be a part of that league, they would be admitted.

As Jon Wilner noted yesterday many conversations have taken place.

Most probably to gauge interest or to see where certain programs are at.

This latest round of speculation/damage control got started because of OU President David Boren's comments...

University of Oklahoma president David Boren says multiple conferences have shown interest in the Sooners recently and he expects to decide whether to leave the Big 12 or not within the next three weeks.

Boren said Friday that Oklahoma is seeking stability in its conference relationship with "partners that are both outstanding athletically and academically as well because a conference that's strong is not only stable but it's one in which there are multiple relationships, along with sports, between the university members."

It could be a logistical problem with the Olympic sports, but that is not insurmountable.

The thing that is so incredible here is the sudden courage that a number of schools are finding in all of this. Texas has had their way in the conference for a long would appear that others have had their fill. Texas may not care, but it could dilute their overall schedule. And with ESPN basically being in Texas' corner others see the scales tipped unfairly.

I didn't buy UT AD DeLoss Dodd's story that he offered aTm a partnership on a network. UT doesn't like to share, so any discussion about a partnership may have been complimentary at best and probably not serious at all.

Dennis Dodd's offers his take...The Pac-16 isn't out of the question.

Let's assume that Larry Scott could be as predatory as last summer when the then-Pac-10 commissioner shocked the world by inviting half the Big 12.

Assume it because it's true. The Pac-12 wants Texas and Oklahoma to be the cornerstones for the Pac-16. Desperately. Everything else is details. Oklahoma State and Texas Tech too? Sure, why not?

As the Big 12 looks for new dance partners and Texas A&M waits to be asked to the SEC prom, realignment is centering on Texas and Oklahoma. The Pac-12 new/old idea is to take two of the most powerful brands in the sport and lock them up for 12 years in the new ESPN/Fox deal worth $3 billion.

Although the Big 12 is anticipating its own lucrative payoff for its primary rights in 2015, it first has to get there. For now, Texas and OU are part of the existing Big 12 (primary) deal that has four years to run.

Hardly a done deal, but certainly not dead.

If Scott pulls it off I will be impressed. He will also then have a whole host of issues to try and overcome.

It is way too early to tell how this will all shake out.

And then there is the Big-10...