Among the dozens (hundreds?) of rumors flying around during the last few weeks of expansion fever was that the Big 12 was trying to lure Arkansas away from the SEC, promising them the renewal of their traditional rivalries with Texas and other old Southwest Conference foes.
Of course, since the very concept of the Hogs abandoning the fabulously wealthy and highly stable SEC for the Big 12's offers of less money and more uncertainty is laughable, those rumors didn't get too far. So maybe it comes as something of a surprise that according to Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long, the Big 12 did in fact reach out to gauge the Razorbacks' interest.
Naturally, Long said the "conversation" between his institution and the Big 12 "didn't go far":
“I think that our program is such that there are a number of conferences that would love to add us as a member,” Long said. “But we’re strongly committed to the SEC. I’d be surprised if we weren’t reached out to by other conferences about joining them. That happened. It didn’t surprise me. But, again, we’re committed to the SEC. It’s the strongest conference in the country and is only going to get stronger.”On the one hand, we can't fault the Big 12 just for asking if Arkansas might have had some measure of interest. But on the other, the last few days have made it clear that the Big 12 has much more on its plate than trying to get the old SWC band back together ... and that maybe keeping teams like Oklahoma from potentially bolting to the Pac-12 should have been a little higher up the priority list.