The Oklahoma Sooners appear to be serious and ready to hitch up the wagon and ride out of the Big 12 Conference for the Pac-12.
Oklahoma will submit a membership application to the Pac-12 Conference before the end of the month and Oklahoma State is expected to join their in-state rival, according to a source close to the OU administration.
The source told the popular sports website Orangebloods.com that the Oklahoma Board of Regents says it is fed up with the instability in the Big 12 Conference and plans to meet within two weeks to formalize plans for Oklahoma to apply for membership to the Pac-12. The belief is that Oklahoma State will follow suit, although OSU President Burns Hargis and OSU mega-benefactor T. Boone Pickens both voiced support late last week for keeping the Big 12 together.
It is also being reported that representatives of Oklahoma, presumably President David Boren and athletic director Joe Castiglione, met with officials of the University of Texas over the weekend to discuss conference realignment. It is believed that Oklahoma officials were talking to Texas about a move to the Pac-12, but Texas reportedly is holding firm in favor of keeping things together in the Big 12. A big factor in Texas' stance is the Longhorn Network, which debuted earlier this month and would be prohibited in the Pac-12 because that conference wants to launch its own league-wide network, similar to the Big Ten Conference.
There reportedly is mixed sentiment among Pac-12 presidents and athletic directors about expansion beyond the current 12 members. Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott told reporters last week that the conference is not interested in expanding further at this time. It was Scott, however, that was working hard a year ago to get Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State to join Colorado in a move to the Pac-12.
Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe met a little over a week ago by conference call with league presidents, excluding, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Texas, and asked them to "work on Texas" with the strong belief that the Pac-12 would not accept Oklahoma without Texas.
That may be what Beebe and others in the Big 12 are holding onto, but it as this saga plays out further, the chances are increasing that Oklahoma is willing to make the move to the Pac-12 with or without the Longhorns' blessing.