Oklahoma and Texas have made it known they plan to leave the Big 12, and a vote from SEC presidents and chancellors inviting the two blue-blood programs could come as soon as this week. Even for conference realignment, this entire process has moved quickly, which hasn't allowed for much time to process such a seismic shift.
But former Sooners coach Bob Stoops is here to weigh in on the subject. In a special column in The Oklahoman, Stoops called the realignment a "good and necessary" move for Oklahoma. He's also pushing back on recent comments from Oklahoma State president Dr. Kayse Shrum, who said that the Sooners following Texas to the SEC was "to the detriment of the State of Oklahoma."
In the process, Stoops, who coached at Oklahoma for 18 years between 1999 and 2016 and is the program's all-time leader in wins, took a couple of swings of his own at Oklahoma's in-state rival:
Let's set the record straight: OU's move to the SEC is what's best for Oklahoma. The reality is that conferences are now more important than ever and, with limited spots, the strongest conferences would not accept OU if we were to require OSU to join as well. By joining the SEC, we ensure the state's flagship university will be represented nationally while protecting our rich football history for many years to come. To move forward in any other manner would be to the detriment of OU and the state of Oklahoma.
Stoops praised the move overall, citing everything from fan experiences to exposure and financial gains. In short, he said the program was "taking control of its own destiny." While that might ring true for those bleeding crimson and cream, such changes are not without bitterness and hurt feelings by other schools who fear being left behind in college athletics's changing landscape.