At least not yet. Reportedly.
Even if Bob Stoops thinks that superconferences are the direction toward which the college football world is heading, the Pac-12 appears to be content staying at 12 members barring a major shift in conference realignment, in which case Larry Scott may be more reactive than proactive.
Sources have told Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News that the preference for Pac-12 presidents and chancellors is a a continuation in the conference membership status quo — in other words, for A&M to stay in the Big 12 and for the SEC to remain at 12 members.
That’s likely not going to happen barring some magnificent trip up in the legal process now that A&M is officially looking to withdraw from the conference. Still, that’s for what Pac-12 officials are reportedly keeping their fingers crossed.
From the Mercury News:
“The conference has stability… it has a football championship game … it has the richest TV deal in college sports history … and it has a wholly-owned network(s) to serve its fans, provide unprecedented exposure for its athletes, promote the league’s academic mission — and generate millions of dollars per school annually once it attains maximum distribution.”
But, in the event that the SEC and Big Ten begin plucking schools, expect the Pac-12 to follow with an invite to — at least — Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. The Sooners have expressed an accelerated interest in their long-term conference security over the past week that may or may not necessarily be tied to Texas’ interests.
“Their bond has frayed,” a source said. “Texas overplayed its hand.”
“The SEC won’t stop at 13, or even 14. And if the SEC is at 14 or 16, the Big Ten will do it,” another source told the Mercury News. ”At that point, (the Pac-12) would be crazy not to entertain the idea of expansion.”
But that doesn’t mean that Texas couldn’t join the Pac-whatever. Now, I know what you’re thinking — “What about the Longhorn Network?” As BusinessofCollegeSports.com explains, Texas’ LHN could morph into one of the of the Pac-12’s regional networks, and seeing how Texas and Texas Tech would likely be a package deal (unless the Pac-whatever wants another school), that means Texas would have to share revenue with the Red Raiders.
Make no mistake, though: any conference would want Texas as part of their conference. That doesn’t mean they’ll cater to Texas’ every desire, but you can bet there would be some compromise.
Unless the Longhorns go independent in football. At which point, congratulations on joining Conference USA (or the ACC as some have speculated?) in all Olympic sports.