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Oklahoma meets with Pac-10 commissioner

Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott met with the president and athletic director at Oklahoma on Saturday in the latest round of conference maneuvering in college athletics.

Oklahoma president David Boren and athletic director Joe Castiglione said in a statement that they met with Scott and deputy Pac-10 commissioner Kevin Weiberg.

The Oklahoman of Oklahoma City and the Kansas City Star said Scott also spoke to Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech.

The paper reported that those five Big 12 schools are about to be invited to the Pac-10, joining Colorado, which made the switch official on Thursday.

Jay Doyle, a spokesman for Boren, said Boren and Castiglione "had a very cordial and informative meeting" with the Pac-10 leaders. The university's regents will meet Wednesday "to weigh possible conference options," Doyle said.

The board of regents at Texas and Texas Tech are meeting Tuesday.

The Associated Press reported that Scott also met with Oklahoma State President Burns Hargis and athletic director Mike Holder.

Texas A&M might still be a wild card. The Oklahoman reported that the school is delaying a decision because it is also exploring the possibility of joining the SEC.

A&M athletic director Bill Byrne said in an e-mail to several media outlets: "It is still our choice to keep the remaining 10 Big 12 schools together if we can. If we cannot do that, then we will do our best to do the right thing."

Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds said his school is still "looking at all options" before deciding whether to stay put or move to another league.

Dodds has said he wants to keep the Big 12 together. The Longhorns are considered the key to the league's survival, particularly after it lost Nebraska (Big Ten) and Colorado in a matter of two days this week.

Texas president William Powers Jr., watching a Longhorns baseball game with football coach Mack Brown, declined comment on the situation.

"I'm just watching the ball game, guys," Powers said.

In other news concerning possible conference shakeups:

• The Kansas City Star reported that athletic officials from the other five Big 12 schools — Kansas, Missouri, Kansas State, Iowa State and Baylor — spoke to one another via conference call to figure out what would come next.

If A&M turns down an invitation to the Pac-10, Scott could target Kansas as a member, but according to the Star, the league would more likely look at Utah in that scenario.

• The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that the Mountain West Conference, which just snagged Boise State away from the Western Athletic Conference on Friday, is sending out feelers to at least Kansas and Missouri.

The paper also said Baylor would not be a candidate because TCU would lobby the MWC against the Bears' inclusion. Some TCU officials are still upset with the way Baylor was included in the Big 12 over TCU after the breakup of the Southwest Conference in the 1990s.

There have been scenarios involving 12, 14 or 16 schools in the MWC, conference champion­ship games and more.

It all depends on whether any schools — most likely the ones in what would be left of the Big 12 — can't find a conference they like better.

Adding Kansas or Missouri would enhance the MWC's attempt to earn an automatic BCS bowl bid, especially if the Big 12 — currently one of six leagues with an automatic BCS spot — ceases to exist.

"The Mountain West wants to be a national player and continue to grow in that realm." MWC commissioner Craig Thompson said. "We are extremely interested in BCS automatic qualification. We are simply trying to get to the level where each and every year a Mountain West team is playing in a BCS bowl game."

• If the Pac-10 jumps to 16 members, it's still possible that the SEC and Big Ten could step up their efforts to expand, and Missouri, long speculated as a Big Ten candidate, could yet land there.

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said Friday in Lincoln, Neb. — where he welcomed the Big 12's Nebraska as his league's 12th member — that his conference would return to its original timetable, set last December at 12 to 18 months.

• ESPN.com reported that the SEC would also be interested in Texas and/or Oklahoma in addition to Texas A&M, but it didn't figure to have a realistic chance of landing either one. The website also said the SEC was not planning to target Florida State, Miami, Georgia Tech or Clemson from the ACC.

• Maryland of the ACC denied interest in the Big Ten or having had any contact with the league.

"I haven't heard anything from the Big Ten, and, to the best of my knowledge, (university president) Dr. (Dan) Mote has not either," Maryland athletic director Debbie Yow told the Baltimore Sun.

Oklahoma meets with Pac-10 commissioner 06/12/10 [Last modified: Saturday, June 12, 2010 10:36pm]
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