Stillwater News Press

September 5, 2011

Oklahoma State won't be a wallflower at the super-conference dance

By Chris Day
Stillwater NewsPress

STILLWATER, Okla. — It will be much nicer to be a have than a have not if Texas A&M’s departure and inquiries from other conferences splinter the Big 12.

That’s have as in having other conferences calling as opposed to Big 12 members that won’t be asked to the super-conference dance.

Clearly, Texas, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are super-conference material because of their football teams, facilities and quality of the entire athletic program.

The University of Texas athletic department has won 48 national championshps in 11 sports. The University of Oklahoma has delivered 26 national champions in six sports.

Of course, Oklahoma State leads the haves with 50 national championships in six sports.

Texas football coach Mack Brown said the Longhorns are more concerned with their next opponent – Brigham Young University – than what conference the Longhorns will be playing in in 2012.

Brown is letting university president Bill Powers and athletic director DeLoss Dodds decide the future.

“I know that we are in the Big 12 til the end of the year. I will let Bill Powers and DeLoss Dodds tell me if the schedule changes,” Brown said.

The coach said Texas can choose any conference it wants to join or be an independent.

“Our school will be OK and that’s not the case with everybody. We will end up where we want to end up,” Brown said Monday.

The next step for the University of Oklahoma probably is a super conference. OU coach Bob Stoops said college football is heading the super-conference direction.  

Stoops said he will support any decision made by OU president David Boren and athletic director Joe Castiglione make. “As long as we get to play, I will go play wherever they tell me I need to play,” Stoops said Monday.

Oklahoma State probably would be in the have not category if not for Boone Pickens and his huge financial donations to OSU’s athletic department that started in 2006 with $165 million. That donation and others have improved facilities for football and other OSU athletic programs.

Oklahoma State University athletic director Mike Holder and Pickens talked about the Big 12’s future seven or eight years ago, Pickens said Saturday. Picken said he predicted the Big 12’s demise back then. OSU would have been a have not if it didn’t improve facilities and turn mediocrity into excellence.

“We had that conversation several times. If we didn’t do something for ourselves, nobody would want us. ... I think we are competitive. We have facilities as good as any and better than most.” Pickens said.

OSU football coach Mike Gundy said he likes the Big 12’s regional geography for recruiting and rivalries and hopes conference members will stick together.

“I would hope that our league could somehow stay together and survive. I guess it doesn’t look like that is going to happen,” Gundy said.