Update: Oregon and Utah need a place to land, time for new commissioner to get to work
STILLWATER — Just an update after San Jose Mercury sportswriter and Pac-12 batting expert Jon Wilner announced that the conference realignment, an annual summer blockbuster, is back for 2022. . Gundy never wavered from his stance that the conference realignment hadn’t been done and that there would be more movement sooner rather than later, no pun intended. The news is that USC and UCLA are looking to join the Big Ten in time for the 2024 football season and the 2024-25 academic calendar. Wow!
An update on the end of Oklahoma State. The school’s president, Dr. Kayse Shrum, was in Oklahoma City on business and was back in Stillwater later that day. She was kept informed of the news. Athletic director Chad Weiberg and assistant athletic director Reid Sigmon were also at the athletics center on Thursday. The department’s resident expert on the Pac-12, Senior Associate Athletic Director Kevin Klintworth was not in the office, but was in contact with Weiberg. Klintworth worked at Cal-Berkeley and, while not surprised by the move from USC and UCLA, always found it interesting, especially since UCLA and Cal-Berkeley are in the same system. I bet the folks in Cal feel a lot like the folks in Oklahoma State felt last summer.
An athletics staff member said while it didn’t feel like last summer, there was some tension in the air. Last year the threat level was changed to DEFCON one. This decision today put him somewhere between DEFCON three and four. The movement of the Trojans and Bruins could trigger the final dominoes by bringing together a super level of college football and schools like Oklahoma State want to secure a place at the table.
What allowed USC and UCLA to leave was that the Pac-12 rights grant ends after the 2023 season, when the league’s current media rights agreement ends. A Pac-12 administrator claimed his conference just got earlier and better known. They were. Just as Oklahoma and Texas had a future in the Big 12, like a new arm’s length rights-licensing deal; USC and UCLA have also done the same with respect to an extension of the Pac-12 rights grant. When will conference officials and other school administrators learn that they are being passed over for a better deal.
Wilner said he thought it was an inspired move by FOX Television as they halted negotiations with the Big Ten and the break may have been to bring in the Los Angeles market. in the Big Ten before finalizing the new TV deal. FOX, in essence, is maneuvering a deal to bolster the Big Ten, much like ESPN was behind Texas and Oklahoma’s move to the SEC.
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Lincoln Riley is going to coach in a real football conference after all…
Okay, as Oklahoma State fans, you don’t care about USC and UCLA. It will be fun to see former OU head coach Lincoln Riley go to a league where he may have to play more than two or three legitimate, solid football programs. He will see some competition in the Big Ten. What’s important to Oklahoma State University President Dr. Kayse Shrum, Vice President Kyle Wray, Athletic Director Chad Weiberg and Gundy is putting Oklahoma State in the best place possible.
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For Yormark, it’s time to get to work.
I would advise new Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark to drop everything, even the final weeks of Beyonce’s world tour, and get to work on the future of the Big 12. With the announcement of USC and with UCLA going to the Big Ten, he either needs to strengthen his conference or he’ll likely see some of his programs looking for other options.
What exactly are the best options for Oklahoma State when it comes to the Big 12 or any other development:
By far the best option for Oklahoma State is to have the SEC grow again and be one of the teams to enter. SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey might see this development and be eager to add more to the SEC. Dr. Shrum stayed in touch with Sankey and let him know that his school was eager to compete in this league. The SEC and Big Ten are now well ahead of other conferences known as the Power Five. If you do not participate in either of these two conferences, you are in a precarious position.
Oklahoma State needs to hope and see the SEC, Big Ten, and other legitimate schools that are among the top 25-30 in all of college football come together to forge a college football super association. SEC and Big Ten schools, even Vanderbilt, Rutgers, Maryland, Purdue, and Missouri will be included because they are part of the SEC and the Big Ten. Outside you would have Clemson, Oklahoma State, North Carolina, Baylor, Miami (Fla), Florida State, Oregon, Washington and Utah which would appear to be legitimate members of this soccer super league. Unfortunately, this enhanced conference might be somewhat skinny, skinny enough that some good football schools aren’t included.
The Big 12 and the Pac-12 finally come together. It was supposed to happen, it was even very close seven years ago, but now it would be in desperation. I wouldn’t advise keeping everyone. Oklahoma State, Baylor, Texas Tech, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Houston, Cincinnati, BYU, West Virginia, UCF, Utah, Oregon, Washington, Stanford, Oregon State, State of Washington, Colorado. Why omit TCU, California, Arizona, Arizona State? I don’t know how much football value they really have. Pull out spreadsheets, TV ratings history and make decisions accordingly.
It’s my favorite if Oklahoma State isn’t integrated into the SEC or a soccer super league isn’t formed. Just go get Utah (best Pac-12 football program) and Oregon (most valuable and watched Pac-12 program) and bring them to the Big 12. With Utah, you Get the “Holy War” rivalry, the best rivalry football in the Rockies and the West. Utah plays football like a top-tier Big 12 program. Oregon brings all the flash and big branding courtesy of Nike. What about Washington? Sorry, I only take two and they are not in the first two.