Major Big 12 votes loom, says OU president David Boren

Two weeks ago, Big 12 presidents and chancellors agreed to at least consider the ideas of expansion, a championship game and a conference network.

According to Oklahoma president David Boren, a vote on all three could happen as soon as this summer.

Boren told The Oklahoman on Tuesday that Big 12 leaders have agreed to make a decision on the agenda he has championed, which has centered on implementing a conference championship game, expanding back to 12 members and forming a conference network.

"We're in a fact-finding mode, we're in a data-gathering mode," Boren said. "In other words, what will it mean to the stability of the conference? What will it mean financially to the conference?

"We've sort of said to ourselves: Come this summer, we're going to have to finally make a decision about what we do. We cannot indefinitely postpone decisions. That's what I had gotten frustrated about. I thought we were spinning our wheels."

Boren has been the biggest internal critic of the Big 12, calling the conference "psychologically disadvantaged" multiple times over the last year.

He has said the only solution is expanding from 10 members back to 12 and replacing the Longhorn Network with a conference-wide television package.

"What's good about it, I would say, no one's slammed the door shut on any possibilities," Boren said. "We're doing what we should do. We're being prudent, we're being diligent. We're reviewing all the data."

Boren's comments come just a few days after the league's presidents, chancellors and athletic directors met at the conference office in Irving, Texas. There, they agreed to allow only commissioner Bob Bowlsby to speak on behalf of the conference going forward, presumably in response to the negative comments Boren had made about the league.

"At some particular point, sort of like a family argument, is it better to do it in Applebee's or is it better to do it at home?" said Kansas State's Kirk Schulz, the Big 12 board chairman. "I think we're at a point that we decided that when we have the family argument, we're going to do it at home with the door shut."

Boren declined to do any interviews at the conference office. But Tuesday, while visiting the Oklahoman newsroom, he was publicly weighing in on the future of the Big 12 again.

"It's a good time to act," Boren told the paper. "Let's don't wait until we have a crisis or we're about to lose a member or two. We're stable right now, we like each other. Most people in the Big 12 want to stay in the Big 12. It's the right time to make progress."