Oct 12, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; Oklahoma Sooners receiver Sterling Shepard (3) runs with the ball against Texas Longhorns buck Jackson Jeffcoat (44) in the first quarter of the Red River Rivalry at the Cotton Bowl Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma is comfy in the Big 12, but a change wouldn't hurt

I was skimming through Twitter last night, and I saw a link to a thread on an OU message board. Around this time of year, I guess conference realignment is a fun topic of interest, and about a year ago, Oklahoma was the subject of a rumor listing OU and Kansas as candidates for Big Ten membership.

Now, the Sooners are quite comfy in the Big 12 Conference. They have made that perfectly clear. However, it would be interesting to see the Sooners in a different landscape.

While it is not happening in the foreseeable future, would it not be a nice change of pace to replace an 11 a.m. home game with Iowa State for a different conference bottom feeder?

Personally, I like the Big 12 opponents Oklahoma plays every year. Every school in the Big 12 has really made football season fun with the parity. Also, Big 12 basketball is the best pound-for-pound conference in the nation, and you can not tell me otherwise.

Sep 7, 2013; Norman, OK, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Trevor Knight (9) throws in the pocket in the third quarter against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. The Oklahoma Sooners beat the West Virginia Mountaineers 16-7. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Sep 7, 2013; Norman, OK, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Trevor Knight (9) throws in the pocket in the third quarter against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. The Oklahoma Sooners beat the West Virginia Mountaineers 16-7. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

But for arguments sake, let’s look at the other conferences. Where would OU fit in? Where would they succeed? What would be good for the program?

I NEVER do this, but I am going to put on the crimson glasses for a second as I look at potential new homes for Oklahoma.

Atlantic Coastal Conference

Pros: Right now, this is a very winnable conference, football-wise. Top to bottom, Oklahoma would be one of the conference’s elite. They probably would be able to make a decent bowl game every year, much like in the Big 12. And while the ACC fields a few decent football teams, Oklahoma would probably feel safe scheduling Texas out-of-conference every year if that was ever a concern with fans. Plus, during basketball season, who wouldn’t want to see Syracuse, Duke, North Carolina, and more make frequent trips to Norman? Also, they wouldn’t be forced to go to Lubbock, Texas ever again. So that’s a plus.

Cons: Basketball-wise, OU would struggle. However, conference strength could be a big recruiting tool. Geographically this move would not make sense, and honestly, the ACC does not do much for the OU brand or helping them get in to the College Football Playoff with some weaker competition. Thankfully, a move to the ACC would never happen.

Big Ten Conference

Pros: I really like the idea of Oklahoma playing Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, and Wisconsin on a regular basis in football. Same goes for basketball—those are pretty some balanced athletic programs. A move to the Big Ten would be reminiscent of the Big Eight days when Oklahoma was the most south team in the conference. Also, what Sooner fan wouldn’t want to see Oklahoma and Nebraska’s rivalry restored? Plus, OU wouldn’t ever have to play Texas Tech again. And that’s awesome.

Cons: The style of football is much different from the Big 12. Big Ten football and basketball is notorious for slower-paced games and lower scores. The Big Ten is a solid conference at the top, though, strength of schedule could affect Oklahoma’s odds at a spot in the College Football Playoff. Traveling would be a bit rough with Nebraska and Illinois being the two closest schools. Like with the Big 12, OU would be the “West Virginia” of the Big Ten, and who wants to be that guy?

Pacific 12 Conference

Pros: PARTY ON THE WEST COAST! This would be huge for OU’s already large footprint in West Coast recruiting. OU against USC, UCLA, and Oregon (not all at once) would be great match-ups on a consistent basis. The trips to Palo Alto, Salt Lake, and Los Angeles would be fun for the fans, and it would create more primetime opportunities with some bigger name Pac-12 schools like the Trojans and Ducks. Style of play-wise, OU would fit in with the up-tempo, spread offenses of the Pac-12. Also, OU would never have to step foot in Lubbock, Texas again.

Cons: The West Coast lifestyle would be fun, but this is another geographic nightmare. Oklahoma would be playing much later games as well in a different time zone. While it would not be every week, some of the older fans won’t enjoy staying up past midnight for the end of Oklahoma and Washington State and what have you. Also, the Pac-12 is notorious for its Thursday night games, and I am very anti-Thursday night game.

Southeastern Conference

Pros: Last, but not least, the SEC. Oklahoma would finally be taken seriously. Playing the best of the best every week. Oklahoma would get credit for National Championships they didn’t win. AND THEY WOULD NEVER HAVE TO GO TO LUBBOCK, TEXAS EVER AGAIN. The rivalries would be great. Also, OU getting Kentucky and Florida in basketball would be tortuous, but fun. If the Sugar Bowl and A&M and Mizzou’s success is any indication, OU could probably do some damage in this conference. Life in the SEC would be like upgrading from the public course to the country club. And man, what a life it would be.

Cons: Oklahoma’s schedule would probably prevent them from scheduling Texas out-of-conference. Also, the fans of the other SEC schools can be annoying (at least from my experience on Twitter). Honestly, I do no want to ever hear a booming S-E-C! chant in Norman, OK or Vanderbilt or Ole Miss claiming one of Oklahoma’s titles or Heisman winners (that’s how they operate, right?). Even though OU would be considered as a member of the best conference in the country, there would be many consequences that go with it.

THE VERDICT: I think Oklahoma should just stick with the Big 12. Adding at least two more teams would help the Big 12′s cause, and put them in a more stable position. While it won’t happen in the near future, adding a program like Louisville helps balance out the addition of West Virginia. And maybe the conference could add UCF just to give Baylor fans some scares.

Anyway, tell us what you think. What conference would you like to see Oklahoma join or are they fine where they are?

What conference do you want Oklahoma in?

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Tags: Football Oklahoma Sooners

  • Gray Grantham

    How about creating a Champions Conference where membership floats based upon the last 10 FBS Champions. While you are in the Champions Conference you play a 3 game OOC schedule and a 9 game Champions round robin. Once your team is replaced by a new FBS Champion, you go back to playing your regular conference opponents. This would probably come as close as possible to having 90 real impact games with sellout crowds. Obviously the downside is that we know based upon the Big 12 schedule there would be one or two 8 loss teams and that would make a couple of these traditional power house football teams look like KU and the reality of that eventuality is the very reason it would never happen.

    Currently the reigning past 10 National Champions Are:
    1. Florida State, 2. Alabama, 3. Auburn, 4. Florida, 5. LSU
    6. Texas, 7. Ohio State, 8. Miami, 9. Oklahoma and 10. Tennessee
    (Had USC’s 2005 Championship not been vacated USC would be in Tennessee would be out)

  • Dalton Mann

    ok this is all sweet and nice about the big 12 and adding two more teams is sorely needed. but a new mexico st. or a colorado st. does nothing for the conference. a Cincinnati helps some but not much. if we cant get two pretty decent teams then we are better off in the sec. why? because if you want that Chrystal ball you have to play the best teams and while this year was a little off for the sec most generally that is in the sec. the post by gary right below mine gives an outstanding example of this “Currently the reigning past 10 National Champions Are:”
    1. Florida State, 2. Alabama, 3. Auburn, 4. Florida, 5. LSU
    6. Texas, 7. Ohio State, 8. Miami, 9. Oklahoma and 10. Tennessee
    i would say that 5 out of ten is a pretty good record. guys i am no sec fan i am sooner born and sooner bred but if you are going to be the best you need to play the best!

    • Mike Bridges

      This SEC ass kissing party is getting old. Yep, they are the flavor of the month right now but, I bet this coming season is going to be a rough one for them. The top teams have all got to replace their QBs, on top of the rest of the losses that must be filled. So what if most of the 5* recruits are apparabtly going there? Eventually, these kids, who have been the star of their teams all the way up to and through HS, and they won’t wanna sit that bench for long. Every single one of them believe, they will be the starter, for let’s say Alabama. Once the ones who didn’t get the job have time to dwell on the fact that they will possibly never start a game again because there are 3-4 kids, in the same Draft class, in every position! They all can’t play, and they all want to play! Grey shirting may be the norm but, it will catch up with Saban. There is NO way all these studs will want to be backups. Already happened at FSU. They had more good QBs than they had room for. Only one can be the starter, and they want to be the guy, so, off they go! Once these top programs slip, there may just be a lot of transfers next year! Why fear the SEC? Even when they were loaded, OU smacked em! After the top 4, the rest are avg anyway, or below avg. Vandy will dwindle again. Kentucky may improve, with a Stoops leading! Fact is OU will have no problems making the 4 team playoff, if they take care of their Big12 and OOC biz! The Aggies and Tigers left because they were angry with Texas, just as Nebraska was. None of those teams could win the Big12! They will slide back, and be avg SEC teams, and be forgotten! There are 2 more teams out there that can be added, that will be better than most of the SEC. BYU is already asking to be invited! Unless the Big12 collapses, stay put OU! BOOMER!

  • Mitch Green

    Since nobody invited you, probably best to stay where you are.