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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Stoops says possible Pac-16 ‘kind of scary’

Rumors of the Pac-12 expanding to 16 teams once again resurfaced to steal the headlines this past weekend, as football powerhouses Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech have been rumored to be in talks of joining the movement.

While turning the Pac-12 into a super conference to rival the South Eastern Conference would give Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott’s project massive credibility, Mike Stoops says the current conference is “tough enough already.”

“You start adding Oklahoma State, Texas, Oklahoma, I don’t know if anything will be able to compare to it,” Stoops said. “Obviously the South Eastern Conference will have their say. This is getting pretty crazy when you look at the amount of quality teams we would have in one conference.

“It’s kind of scary, especially if you don’t have a long-term contract.”

Arizona is one of those teams without a long-term contract and a position at the top of the Pac-12 totem pole, making Stoops somewhat weary of the expansion. But although adding top schools would hurt the Wildcats’ chances of competing with the top teams in the conference and growing as a program, Stoops said the Pac-12 has to do what’s best for the conference’s success.

“I trust Larry Scott. He’s done some awfully good things for this conference in a short period of time,” Stoops said. “They’ve got to do what’s best for our conference and the longevity of sustaining the financial impact that we just signed.”

“Everyone’s looking to grow,” he added. “That’s the evolution. People say it could go to 64 BCS schools. I don’t know that but who knows. This thing’s got kind of a mind of its own right now but I’m sure it will start to work its way out. That’s for commissioners and presidents. Our job is to play the schedule and really worry about Oklahoma Sate. That’s more than enough right now for me.“

Several reports have indicated that Oklahoma and Texas are in discussions to move into the Pac-12, and the Big 12’s Texas A&M has already attempted to leave.

However, there are still many discussions that must take place before movement occurs. Oklahoma State President Burns Hargis released a statement on Saturday, saying the Cowboys were not looking to make a change.

“We want to be clear that we worked actively to encourage Texas A&M to remain in the Big 12 Conference and regret they decided to leave,” Hargis’ statement said. “We are moving ahead. Oklahoma State University’s athletic program has never been stronger from top to bottom, putting us in a position to explore and pursue options, including the possible expansion of our current conference.

“We are in close communications with our colleagues at the University of Oklahoma,” he added, “and expect a decision soon that will be in the best interest of our institutions and the state of Oklahoma.”   

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