A look at why ESPN is not driving the conference expansion story.
Oklahoma AD Joe Castiglione confirmed to the Tulsa World that the SEC has shown interest in the Sooners, but that OU will follow Texas.— Wes Rucker (@wesrucker247) June 10, 2010
The Chattanooga Times Free Press's Wes Rucker (a very reliable guy) says that Oklahoma's AD Joe Castiglione told the Tulsa World about the SEC talking with OU about inclusion. No word on whether an official offer was extended (I highly doubt it), but Oklahoma has decided to follow Texas wherever it goes. So you can forget about the Sooners joining the SEC. The only possible Big 12 entrant into the SEC at this point appears to be Texas A&M, who may or may not have pledged unity with Texas and Texas Tech already. Gene Stallings is on Texas A&M's board and has been pushing hard for an SEC move, something he apparently confirmed to a Phoenix-area sports radio show today. So while the Tulsa World doesn't have anything on its website about OU and the SEC yet, it does repeat a report from TMZ that Oklahoma State is as good as gone to the Pac-10. OSU would only comfirm that its president will issue a statement later today. UPDATE: 2:23 PM Here's the quote from Castiglione: While Castiglione also confirmed that the SEC has shown interest in the Sooners, OU's position is that it's going to stick with Texas wherever the Longhorns go because of the long history between the two schools. "I think it would be a horrendous decision for OU and Texas to break up," Castiglione said. "We're going to stick together if it's at all possible." UPDATE 2:32 PM The Oklahoman's sources inside Oklahoma State (who I would believe far more than I would TMZ) say that not only is OSU to the Pac-10 not a done deal, but that OSU hasn't even talked to the Pac-10 and won't until Nebraska-to-the-Big-Ten becomes official and public. They have only heard from Texas officials that they'd be a part of any movement the Longhorns make, which makes it sound like Texas isn't as innocent as Chip Brown has been making it out to be. Another strike against TMZ's source: it believes the ultimate end game of conference expansion down the road is a playoff. Right.