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Report: Oklahoma Sooners Focused On Joining Pac-12

The Aggies aren't the only one looking to escape the Big 12 as the Sooners are reportedly focused on joining the Pac-12.

The landscape in college athletics could be changing dramatically once again. Reports have surfaced that the Oklahoma Sooners are now focusing their attention on joining the Pac-12. This is on the heels of Texas A&M sending a letter to the Big 12, stating that they intend to leave the conference as early as July of 2012.

Oklahoma President David Boren said recently that Oklahoma will decide within three weeks on whether or not to leave the sinking Big 12 conference. 

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."
He said he tried to prevent Texas A&M from leaving the Big 12 and was disappointed the Aggies announced this week they would seek to join another conference - most likely the SEC - by next July.

The loss of Texas A&M, presumably to the SEC, looks like it could be the nail in the coffin for the Big 12. While the Aggies could certainly be replaced, the effect of them leaving causing the Sooners to openly look to join the Pac-12 will prove to be devastating to the conference. 

According to the Oklahoman, the Longhorns could be next to be poached by the Pac-12 should the Sooners commit to the conference.

The Pac-12 sales job shifts now to Texas, and sources indicated that the Longhorns have warmed to the idea, even though some compromise would be in order, since the Pac-12 has announced plans for a conference network and UT has its own Longhorn Network that has caused such consternation in the Big 12.

"Given what the Pac-12 has announced, there's a place for the Pac-12 and Texas to keep their network,"an OU source said.

The Sooners prefer going to the Pac-12 with three other Big 12 schools, preferably OSU and the two Texas schools. That would keep OU's Texas recruiting ties strong and would help minimize travel.

The death of the Big 12 looks like it will be imminent. The conference has already lost Colorado and Nebraska and is in the process of losing Texas A&M. Now with the Sooners on the way out, it looks like everybody will be jumping ship shortly.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.