Oklahoma Columnist Says This Is How Sooners Should Handle Next Round Of Realignment

first_imgThe Oklahoma Sooner Schooner carries the American flag on the anniversary of September 11 at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.NORMAN, OK – SEPTEMBER 11: The Oklahoma Sooner Schooner carries the American flag on the anniversary of September 11 at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on September 11, 2010 in Norman, Oklahoma. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)Conference realignment has died down a bit… for now. There will always be hypothetical situations brought up for big schools. Recently, the Pac-12 was a main focus, after a Dennis Dodd CBS Sports piece outlined some of the league’s big issues.The conference that has seemed at the highest risk of being poached, at least over the last few years, has been the Big 12. Much of that speculation centers on Oklahoma. The Sooners are one of college football’s preeminent powers, and could probably fit into any of the other Power Five leagues.A few years back, there were rumors of OU being a candidate to break off and head to the Pac-12. There’s been a ton of speculation about the SEC as well, as you’d expect.However, nothing is imminent, as far as anyone knows. The Big 12 has a grant of rights in place until 2025, so that is probably when another round would happen, as far as teams leaving is concerned.And in seven years, there is no guarantee that leaving the Big 12 would be the right move for the Sooners anyway. For The Oklahoman‘s Barry Tramel, the reason is simple: on the athletic fields, Oklahoma teams are thriving.Earlier today, Tramel argued that Oklahoma should stick around when conference realignment rears its head once again.Football is king, and OU football has made the four-team playoff twice in the last three years, and the transition from Bob Stoops to Lincoln Riley seems to have, if anything, invigorated the Big 12’s flagship program.It’s easy to make the compelling case that OU athletics are in better shape than they’ve ever been, from on-field success to financially to elite coaches on campus to administrative know-how. Heck, the Big 12’s even climbing the food chain. The Pac-12 has replaced the Big 12 as the conference that seems most shaky.Football is doing well, basketball has been in the spotlight more in recent years with stars like Buddy Hield and Trae Young, and the non-revenue sports are all thriving. For his piece, Tramel spoke to school president David Boren, in his last few weeks before retirement,  who echoed similar sentiments.“I hope it’s going to be long-lasting,” OU President David Boren told me this week. “If I had to make an educated guess either way, I would guess it will be … financially we’re doing extremely well. We’re certainly thriving in the Big 12.”Like most things in college athletics, this will ultimately come down to economics. Right now, though, the Big 12 seems in a steadier place than it has in a while, and Oklahoma is largely to thank for that.[The Oklahoman]last_img

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