Posted by Tom Fornelli
Like most days as of late, Friday hasn't been the best day for the Big 12. Earlier in the day Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel said what many people are thinking by placing the blame for the conference's problems on commissioner Dan Beebe, and on Friday evening Oklahoma president David Boren didn't do much to douse the fire of Oklahoma possibly leaving the Big 12 for another conference.
Boren talked to The Oklahoman's Travis Haney, and basically said that he has no idea what the future of the Big 12 or Oklahoma holds.
“It’s too early yet to know exactly what the outcome will be," said Boren. "Our main responsibility will be protecting the interest of the University of Oklahoma, do what’s in the best long-term interest of the university and our athletics department and the fans. That’s what we’ll attempt to do to. Beyond that, while we haven’t been saying much publicly – frankly, on purpose, because we’re at the sensitive point of discussions among schools. Too much said in public reduces success of our goals rather than enhances it.
“We have to study the best options for ourselves and not lock ourselves into a course of action until we know what’s best for the university. We’re heavily involved. I don’t know how long it will be before clarity comes to us. My experience is that, in these kinds of things, it might be a matter of 72 hours, it might be a matter of two weeks. I don’t really think this is something that’s going to linger on beyond two or three weeks, from the outside. This has been consuming my life the last few days. It’s a fascinating challenge. We’re just in the search for what’s best for the university."
Doren also went on to say that other conferences are interested in Oklahoma, though he did not say anything about Oklahoma being contacted by anyone. He also said that Oklahoma is exploring all its options.
“At this point in time, I’ll be very honest with you in saying I do not know with certainty, or perhaps even can’t hazard a totally intelligent guess as to what our final decision will be. But we are carefully looking over all the options."
It's been speculated in recent days that one of those options would be the Pac-12 as it is considering becoming the Pac-16 by adding Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas Tech. Of course, the SEC has been rumored to be interested in Oklahoma before as well, though I'm not sure the Sooners would make that move without Oklahoma State. Which means the SEC would then have to add a 16th school.
Of course, as Doren said, nobody can be sure what's going to happen in the Big 12 over the coming days, weeks and months. But it's somewhat hard to deny that dark clouds seem to be forming overhead.