Stoops Big 12

Bob Stoops: Arkansas ‘excellent’ fit for Big 12

Former Oklahoma coach says Big 12 would be good for Hogs

By Bart Pohlman

It’s been one of the bigger “what if” questions for Arkansas since former athletic director Frank Broyles took the Hogs to the SEC: What if, instead of going to the SEC, Arkansas had moved to the Big 12?

Broyles long denied moving from the Southwest Conference to the Big 12 was ever even a possibility.

“We wouldn’t be in the Big 12,” Broyles once said on Sports Talk. “I’d been told emphatically by the leaders of the old Southwest Conference and the Big Eight—before it was the Big 12—that we would not have been invited to be in the Big 12. We would not have been invited to be a member of the Big 12 had we waited. We would have been an independent or in Conference USA or something like that, because we would not have had a chance (to be) in that conference.”

Regardless of the history, count recently retired Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops among those who think Arkansas would be a great fit for the 10-team league.

“I just feel personally that they would be excellent in the Big 12,” Stoops said Wednesday on Sports Talk. “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.”

The Arkansas-Texas rivalry pretty much went into the history books when the Hogs joined the SEC—the two teams have only met twice since 1992—but plenty of Razorback fans would love to see the rivalry reborn.

Speaking of Texas, the idea of better recruiting in the state is another reason Stoops thinks the Hogs would be a good fit in the Big 12.

“I think it would bring Texas recruiting, being that they would be down there competing in the Texas area, even in Oklahoma,” Stoops said. “They’d be more attractive in recruiting, just because of where they’re playing their football games.”

Stoops admits he doesn’t know the business side of such a move, but said he thinks it’d be good for both parties.

“I just think they’d have an opportunity to really make a mark in the Big 12,” he said. “I think it’d be good for the Big 12, but I also think it’d be good for Arkansas overall, when you talk about the landscape of things and their opportunities here.”