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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Stoops expects Pac-16 deal to happen

Paul Moseley
Oklahoma Sooners running back Mossis Madu leaps over Texas kicker Justin Tucker (19) during the first quarter at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas, Saturday, October 2, 2010. Oklahoma defeated Texas, 28-20, in the Red River Rivalry. (Paul Moseley/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT)

With discussions about Texas and Oklahoma joining the Pac-12 heating up daily, the conference expansion seems to no longer be a matter of if, but when.

“If I had to be on it I would say it’s going to happen here eventually,” said head coach Mike Stoops. “I don’t know when. I would say it’s inevitable it looks like.

“I think we’ll probably know the landscape here pretty quick.”

ESPN reported on Monday that both Oklahoma and Texas’ board of regents have allowed the universities’ presidents to enter discussions, moving the Sooners and Longhorns one step closer toward officially applying to the Pac-12. The proposed deal would bring Oklahoma State and Texas Tech to the conference in addition to the Sooners and Longhorns.

However, the expansion has still not been recommended to the Pac-12 presidents, according to ESPN’s Andy Katz, and there are still a lot of moving pieces given Texas’ massive television network.

But given commissioner Larry Scott’s past aggressiveness running the Pac-12, there’s reason to believe a deal will get done eventually.

“Larry’s been proactive, let’s face it,” Stoops said. “What he’s done in two years, he’s very aggressive in his thinking and what’s best for the conference. He’s done a great job with that.”

If the expansion does come to fruition, the conference may be divided into four pods — to keep regional rivals in tact — that are then divided into two divisions. Stoops is all for the idea of four-team pods where Arizona would play the three teams in his pod and two teams in each of the other three pods to make up a nine-game conference schedule.

“I think that’s more tolerable for us. It would keep us in our markets of LA, I think it’s a big part of us in the Pac-12,” Stoops said. “Hopefully that would keep us in a natural geographic range that’s good for Arizona.”

With four potential powerhouses joining an already stacked conference, the question becomes this: Will Arizona be able to keep its head above water?

With the right financial resources, Stoops thinks so.

“I believe you can be competitive as long as you’re committed to being competitive. I think that’s an institutional commitment,” Stoops said. “That takes resources. It takes facilities. It takes everybody. There’s no way you can win without it at the level we’re competing. I think Oklahoma State has proven that right now.”

Although he’ll no longer be a Wildcat, Nick Foles is all for the Pac-16, but his mind is elsewhere right now. The Wildcats have No. 10 Oregon in town this weekend as Arizona looks to avoid moving to 1-3.

“I think it will be cool. I think the more teams the more exciting it’s going to be,” Foles said. “I think this Arizona program’s going to continue to improve. We’ve just got to get over this hump right now. We’ve got to get a win.”

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