Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott notified Oklahoma and Oklahoma State on Thursday the Pac-12 would not be expanding at this time, multiple sources have told Orangebloods.com.
Scott's declaration - reiterated in comments he made to reporters at the Arizona State-Missouri game Friday night - raise questions about what Oklahoma's conference options are at this time.
"We haven't spent one minute thinking about going further, that's not our desire," Scott told reporters Friday about possible expansion. "It's when all this discussion started happening in the Big 12 and it seems like the SEC is going to go beyond 12 and teams started approaching, let's take a step back and look at the future - if the landscape is going to change."
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Added Scott, "We think 12 is a good number and when we look at our peer conferences, they're at 12, too, so we think it's an evenly balanced, competitive landscape. And with the new TV deal that we've got done, the new network we've got, we're thrilled with our position. We've pretty completely repositioned where the Pac-12 fits in the overall landscape and we've got some real work to do to make 12 work."
Oklahoma president David Boren last Friday sent shockwaves through the Big 12 by telling reporters the Sooners were being active in exploring their conference options.
Subsequent reports out of Oklahoma said the Sooners were focused solely on the Pac-12. But that appears to be a dead end. For now.
The Southeastern Conference has expressed interest in OU, dating to last year's realignment, sources said. Texas A&M also tried to convince OU to make the move to the SEC over the past month, sources said.
But OU has repeatedly indicated there is not interest in the SEC.
So what are the Sooners' options at this point?
Unless OU changes its mind about the SEC, the Sooners' options may be limited.
There are varying viewpoints within the Big 12 about whether Oklahoma would go anywhere without Texas. And Texas doesn't want to go anywhere. The Longhorns are working to hold the Big 12 together, so UT can hang onto its Longhorn Network.
But Texas may have to work a little harder to convince OU's president and board of regents the Big 12 is worth sticking around for.
Sources reiterated on Saturday that Texas appears willing to make some concessions to try and hold the league together. Orangebloods.com reported on Friday that sources indicate Texas is supportive of equal revenue sharing from the league's Tier 1 television deal with ABC/ESPN.
But that doesn't necessarily help OU from a financial standpoint. In fact, it probably hurts the Sooners.
OU is already one of the haves in the Big 12 when it comes to making more money from the Tier 1 contract (which pays the most to those who appear the most on TV). So sharing that revenue equally would probably mean a reduction in TV revenue for OU.
Another source close to the situation said, "Texas needs to extend a hand to A&M and resolve the issues. Keeping A&M is the only way to save the Big 12."
But A&M is focused solely on getting to the Southeastern Conference despite the threat of legal action from a handful of members in the Big 12 this week.
"The events of this week have not changed our plans in regards to the Big 12," an A&M official told Orangebloods.com. "Our primary focus is on the SEC at this time."
In other words, if holding A&M in the Big 12 is the only way to save the conference, the conference remains firmly in jeopardy no matter how long this forced marriage continues.
Sounds like it's time for the Big 12 and its members to get creative in a hurry to figure things out during this pause in realignment.
Or other conferences could use the time to get creative and entice members of the Big 12 to make plans to leave in a year or two - whenever A&M feels like it can get away.