Sooners' departure helped create a Big 12 it might never have left. Oh, well.
It was 2010 and David Boren, then president of the university, appeared to want nothing more than to have Oklahoma enter the then-called Pac-10.
I couldn’t help but hope it would happen, yet I don’t remember writing it should happen, because my reasons were entirely personal.
I wanted to go to Los Angeles, baby.
Simple as that.
Writing sports, though few may agree any longer, you can’t be cheering for the teams you cover. You can’t have emotional interests defining your coverage.
Leave it for the fans.
Instead, internally, you cheer for the story, and, yes, as it happens, the stories tend to draw more interest and readers when the teams you cover win, so there’s still that.
You can also cheer for yourself, privately, and that’s what I was doing 13 years ago, back in a time newspapers still put sportswriters on planes fairly easily.
I wanted to cover football games at the Coliseum and Rose Bowl, conference basketball tourneys in Los Angeles, Phoenix and maybe Seattle, and anything in the Bay Area, because, well, have you been there?
But when OU wound up staying put and the Big 12 embraced itself as a 10-team league whose football teams played every conference opponent and whose basketball teams went home and away against against the entire league slate, too, it made all the sense in the world to me and I wrote about it.
Had the Sooners bolted, I would still have been thrilled, but only for myself. However, now, I wonder if that’s the way it’s going to work for media, traveling fans, even plain-old television watching fans, after the initial rush of watching the Sooners enter the Southeastern Conference.
Coming up, just one more academic year way, fortunate media and traveling fans will have new destinations: Tuscaloosa, Athens, Lexington, Knoxville, Nashville, Oxford and Starkville and other places, too.
It will be new.
It will be different.
It will be exiting and amazing.
Not just to be there, but just to watch.
After all, who didn’t love tuning into interleague play when it arrived on the diamond?
But after two, three, four or five years of the Sooners' new league — especially if they’re perpetually stuck behind Alabama, Georgia, LSU and maybe Tennessee, too — how many will begin to wonder why the move was ever made in the first place?
Hey, it’s Clay. Though you get a great deal of Oklahoma Columnist for free, the way to get all of it, like this column, is to support this venture as a paid subscriber for the grand sum of $6/month or $60/year. Thanks for reading.