So as I was perusing the interwebs last night, I came across an interesting premise and wanted to expand on it here with our CCM readers. As most of you are probably painfully aware, the realignment talk (or more specifically the A&M can't shut up about it already talk) is in full swing yet again. In fact, our good friends over at the SB Nation Aggie blog have even been so bold as to proclaim their decision to SECede (clever) a done deal. Far be it from me to question their "inside sources" but I'll believe this September 1st talk when I see it. That said, the cliche of "Where there's smoke . . ." is a cliche for a reason and this drama has all the makings, potentially, of a blazing tire fire. Potentially being the key word, but if you'll humor me that's where I'd like to take us.
So it's no secret amongst Sooner Nation that Joe C. and the OU bosses did not come off well publicly last year during all the realignment drama when they, in essence, admitted that "We're doing whatever Texas does." Even if that is true, know your audience fellas. You can't possibly expect OU fans to accept that explanation and yet that is clearly what they were telling us. Now before we go any farther, it's important to understand a couple key points. (1) Is it more than reasonable to assume Joe C. & Boren are working things behind closed doors and what we think we know probably isn't the whole story? Uh yeah, no doubt about it. Their public comments at the time didn't help with the perception that our beloved university came off as little more than Texas' lap dog, but Joe C. & Boren did not get to where they are and OU where it is by being stupid people. (2) Joe C. & Boren are the 'public faces' and wield significant power within the state of OK, but they're not the only ones who would "make the decision" to leave. As foolish as some of us might consider it to be, politics would inevitably play some kind of role in this. So while I think the politicians would get on board with just about any scenario Boren would present, assuming of course that Okie State isn't left out in the cold, it's not as simple the OU brass saying "We're leaving" and packing things up.
So now that we know where things stand as they are today, let's play a little game of hypothetical shall we? Let's just say that the blind squirrel (played by A&M's miketag) has found that precious nut (get you minds out of the gutter) and Texas A&M really is leaving. If history is any indication, Dan Beebe and UT are very likely already practicing their pitch to the now even more depleted remaining conference members about how much better off they'd be if they super glue this thing back together one more time.
So my first question to you OUfans is this. If A&M bolts and we see a repeat of last summer, where OU is once again convinced to stick around in a watered down Big Whatever, would you be able to forgive the OU bosses for finding themselves in this position yet again?
Personally, I'd be forced to seriously question their decision making. Much like I did at this time last year when it appeared they were really focusing on the short term and mostly dollar signs, when they all promptly bent over and allowed Texas to dictate any and every term it saw fit to keep the conference together. So here they would find themselves again and would they be naive enough a second time to buy into the crap bag UT and Beebe would be selling? I fear the answer is yes, what about you?
Question #2 is a spin-off of the first. If A&M does leave and OU finds itself with a decision to make, would you be able to forgive the OU bosses if they choose to stay rather than leave?
The short answer for this OU fan is no. Now to be clear, that doesn't mean I abandon all that I've known my entire sports loving life and go find another school to root for every Saturday. However, it does mean that I will have lost pretty much all respect for the powers that be at OU for once again being bullied into a poor decision (at least in my opinion) for the fans and more importantly the future of the university. Look, I'm not breaking any news when I say that the Big XII-2 is not long for this world. If you assume A&M leaves after just one year into this new agreement, what in the world would make you think some other deformed reincarnation of the same screwed up plan is suddenly going to work like magic?!? A&M leaving just strengthens the sleeper hold UT currently has locked on the rest of the conference and unlike in the magic world of professional wrestling where you just know the guy is going to catch his arm before he lets it fall on that ref's final count, if OU chooses to stay a second time we ain't getting up. We're going to sleep. Us and the rest of the suckers have just admitted, publicly, for a second time in incredibly embarrassing fashion that Texas can have their way with us and we won't even put up a fight.
Here is a third scenario and even more 'hypothetical' if you will mainly due the unlikeliness of it actually taking place, but for the sake of conversation just play along. Let's say that A&M has their deal in place as they claim. One of the many rumors we've heard in the past is that the SEC was interested in OU, but unwilling to accept our permanent coat tail resident known as
So question #3 is, would you be able to forgive the OU bosses if they allowed OSU to be the sole reason preventing them from a move?
Now as I said in the intro to this premise I don't see this as a likely possibility, but at the same time that doesn't mean it's impossible. I do believe that if OU was dead serious about making it happen, some how, some way, they could get it done. However, I'm also not a politician (shocking, I know) so I wouldn't presume to know how the OK legislature works and whether or not this is really feasible. I do know that OSU despises the fact that my previous "coat tail" sentence is actually the truth and is
foolishlyadamant that they are becoming a force to be reckoned with in the college football landscape. So while their fanbase would probably welcome the idea of kissing OU goodbye and going at it on their own, the people who know don't have the neon orange glasses on realize that would be a very poor decision for OSU and the state thus are highly unlikely to allow it to happen.
So as usual, I'm looking for your feedback people. If given the opportunity a second time, where do you want to see OU wind up? Do you think A&M is all talk, again? Do you think OU is working behind the scenes to prevent last year's perception of doing nothing? Do you think UT can buy their way into keeping this conference on life support a second time?