Gundy: Big 12 Best Of All Possible Solutions

It's official, Oklahoma State will remain in the Big 12 Conference, and head football coach Mike Gundy couldn't be happier. GoPokes.com has exclusive coverage of what the OSU head coach had to say Monday evening when it became apparent that the Big 12 would remain intact despite Oklahoma State receiving an invitation over the weekend to join the Pac-10.

Oklahoma State is following the lead of Texas, which seemed destined to leave the Big 12 for the Pac-10 until commissioner Dan Beebe presented a new television deal that will pay each school between $14 million and $17 million annually. Texas has reversed field and decided to remain in the Big 12, prompting Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Texas Tech and apparently Texas A&M to follow.

"This was the best of all possible solutions," Gundy told GoPokes.com.

In the new 10-team league, each school will play the other nine teams in football each season, and basketball teams will play a home-and-home series against all the other Big 12 teams.

"It's the way the league should have been conducted years ago with each team scheduled to play each of the other teams (in the league)," Gundy said.

In the past, OSU has played its five South Division opponents (Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Baylor) every season, and then played three teams from the North Division. But with Nebraska (to the Big Ten) and Colorado (to the Pac-10) announcing last week that they were leaving the conference, there will now be no divisions in the 10-team league.

The prevailing thought that by expanding to the Pac-10 with Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and possibly Texas A&M, that it would have opened up fertile recruiting areas in California and Arizona for the Big 12 schools. But Gundy is not disappointed that will not be happening.

"For recruiting, this is a great thing for Oklahoma State and really for the entire conference," he said.

Oklahoma State president Burns Hargis issued the following statement on Monday night: "We have said all along we prefer to keep the conference together. We applaud Commissioner Beebe's bold moves and intense efforts over the past several days to keep the conference not only together, but also more viable than ever. We also appreciate the collaboration of all conference members to reach this agreement."

OSU athletic Director Mike Holder released this statement: "While we are disappointed Nebraska and Colorado have chosen to withdraw from the conference, we believe the remaining members have the ability to maintain the Big 12 Conference's tradition of competing for national championships. Our hope is that this experience will draw the conference closer together and inspire us to work together toward a brighter future."


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