The college football world has always been spinning and changing, but it seems that recently, it’s been doing it much quicker.
Conference realignments and expansions have taken off in recent years, especially when the SEC added Missouri and Texas A&M from the Big 12 in 2012. Well, there have been more talks recently with one school in particular.
On Monday, Paul Finebaum joined WJOX, a Birmingham radio station, and claimed that the Oklahoma Sooners were “desperately” wanting to leave the Big 12. “I can think of one school in the Big 12 that would like out pretty desperately, and if that happened, would it have a domino effect? That school is the University of Oklahoma,” Finebaum said.
Thursday, OU President David Boren was asked about this and responded, “We’re not desperate to go anywhere. We’re in pretty stable position in the Big 12.”
According to Finebaum (and most people with common sense), the Sooners want to leave because of the lack of a conference television network. Texas signed a 20-year, $295 million contract with ESPN to launch their own Longhorn Network, which will probably lead to the Big 12’s demise – well that and the lack of talented teams. By the way, in just five years, their network has lost a reported $48 million and it just keeps getting bigger by the year.
As a whole, the Big 12’s future seems dim. From 2010-2013, the conference lost four of its charter members (Nebraska, Colorado, Missouri, Texas A&M). Oklahoma is considered a top-15 program and over the past few years, they’ve usually been the top team in the conference. The only team in the entire conference with their own network finished 5-7 (3-7 conf.) with an embarrassing loss to Kansas, who quite literally may be the worst team in the country. Can you blame Oklahoma for wanting out? Not really.
In addition, The Oklahoman columnist Berry Tramel hopped on Finebaum’s show Thursday and even said that Sooner fans are “ready for the SEC” and they are “done with the Big 12.” The Big 12’s grant of rights expires in 2024, which means OU would be free to look around without penalty. However, with the way the college football landscape is changing, including the Big 12’s downward spiral, the SEC could and would like to add Oklahoma much….sooner.