Sometimes, conference realignment talk just won’t go away, and now it’s former Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops fanning the flames in a recent interview.
Stoops was a guest on Sport & Story and said Wednesday:
“I just feel personally that they would be excellent in the Big 12. Geographically, where they’re located—can you imagine the series with Oklahoma and Oklahoma State every year? Also, Texas, TCU, all the teams there in the (Texas) area.”
Arkansas left the Southwest Conference for the SEC back in 1992 and has fallen into college football obscurity throughout the years. The Razorbacks have had their moments under Danny Ford, Houston Nutt and Bobby Petrino, but have been far from a mainstay atop the SEC, only winning the division and/or conference three times in 25 years.
“I just think they’d have an opportunity to really make a mark in the Big 12,” Stoops said. “I think it would be good for the Big 12, but I also think it would be good for Arkansas when you talk about the landscape of things.”
Stoops is spot on in his analysis and I’m happy the former OU head coach is out there pumping up and promoting the Big 12, but I have a very difficult time seeing that ever happening. The SEC is making the most money of any conference and in the end, that’s what these schools care about.
Also, considering many people consider the Big 12 the least stable of the Power 5 conferences, this move seems even more unlikely, but if Arkansas ever wanted to send college football into more conference realignment chaos, it sure would be fun for the Big 12.
Arkansas would be welcomed back to the Big 12 with some of its former rivals in the Southwest Conference and would create some exciting environments and rivalries would be brought back in games against Texas, TCU, Baylor, Texas Tech, and Oklahoma.
In my perfect world, the Big 12 brings in Arkansas and welcomes back Nebraska, and then breaks itself up into divisions like the “old days” with the Big 12 South and Big 12 North. The Big 12 South would be Texas, Arkansas, Baylor, Texas Tech, TCU, Oklahoma and the Big 12 North would consist of Iowa State, West Virginia, Kansas State, Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma State. The only tricky part is figuring out how to make sure Bedlam is played every year, but we can worry about that another day.
Both Nebraska and Arkansas would become more relevant in the Big 12 and would help retain their pipeline to Texas players that both schools seem to have lost in recent years.
Is this all a long shot? Sure it is. But a guy can dream, right?