GLENDALE, AZ - FILE: Travis Lewis #28 of the Oklahoma Sooners celebrates the Sooners 48-20 victory against the Connecticut Huskies during the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl at the University of Phoenix Stadium on January 1, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. It was announced on August 9, 2011 that Travis Lewis of the Oklahoma Sooners broke his foot during practice and will be out up to eight weeks. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman is reporting that the Oklahoma Sooners 'sole focus/is now to leave what's left of the Big 12 join the Pac 12 conference. According to the report, Pac 12 Commissioner Larry Scott is hoping to get theTexas Longhorns, Texas Tech Red Raiders, OU, and the Oklahoma State Cowboys to form a 16 team super conference.
I was hoping that the conference realignment insanity of last summer was over. But, when Texas A&M decided to notify the Big 12 that they were in fact planning to leave the Big 12, aftershocks were inevitable. The SEC has to add at least one more team. The PAC 10 appears set to add two or four more squads. Will the PAC 10 consider concessions that allow Texas to join while keeping the Longhorn Network? While that seemed unlikely just days ago, you have to wonder how OU's new mindset changes the way the Longhorns view the long-term viability of the Big 12.Eventually, this madness will have an impact on Conference USA and other non-AQ leagues. If the Big 12 loses any combination of teams, they may raid the Big East for Louisville or Pitt. If the Big 12 loses four squads, they may finally have to look seriously at Houston or SMU. Texas wouldn't be there to block the admission of any new Texas schools to the Big 12 footprint.
Conference USA was incredibly lucky to have survived the last round of realignment unscathed. I figured the league was safe for another 5-6 years. No sense in getting too carried away with the scenarios, but it appears that the Conference Realignment Carousel is about to become the central focus of the college football universe... again.