Blue roundup: Does OU control fate of Big 12?

Published: Thursday, Sept. 1 2011 12:45 p.m. MDT

Does the University of Oklahoma hold all the cards when it comes to the fate of the Big 12 Conference?

Now that Texas A&M is officially departing the Big 12, speculation and reports abound about the future of the league. The conference is down to nine members and looking to add new ones, including, possibly, BYU.

But according to Austin American-Statesman columnist Kirk Bohls, Oklahoma could choose to leave the Big 12, which would likely spell the demise of the conference.

"Should Oklahoma act upon its earnest desires and seek an invitation to join the Pacific-12 Conference — something I'm fully expecting to happen within days, if not hours — that decision could well be the killing blow to the Big 12 while also providing Texas the political cover to follow suit and ask for admission as well," Bohls writes.

And what about BYU? "BYU remains a possibility, but its use of older, more mature athletes because of two-year mission trips, its refusal to play on Sundays and its lack of an impeccable academic pedigree make it a harder sell," Bohls writes.

It appears Pittsburgh's stock is rising as a possible replacement for Texas A&M while BYU is still in the mix, according to this report.

"The two names I keep hearing at the moment are BYU and Pittsburgh. BYU makes sense because ESPN has the Cougars' television contract, and ABC/ESPN is also the Tier 1 rights holder in the Big 12," writes Chip Brown. "But BYU may be perfect as an independent because of its ties to the Church of Latter-day Saints and its policies prohibiting the Cougars from athletic competition on Sundays."

Finally, the Huffington Post ranks the top rivalries in college sports. Check out where the BYU-Utah rivalry ranks here.

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