Bob Stoops versus Mike Stoops. There's so much intrigue should the Pac-12 expand yet again to a Pac-16 that would include both the Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners. But nothing can scare the Arizona Wildcats like the incoming Stoops-war that would pit the two brothers in a yearly competition.
Of course, you could view this as a Stoops Thanksgiving, where backyard pigskin likely used to take place -- maybe it still does. The teams could even ask for the schedule-Gods to promote such a yearly Thanksgiving game, allowing the one-time Sooners defensive coordinator, Mike, to spend the holiday with his brother, be it in Tucson or Norman.
But wait a second -- this isn't backyard football. These are their jobs, their livelihoods. Success and failure is bigger than dinner-table bragging rights. Last season, Mike Stoops let it be known he'd rather not play his brother when asked about the possibility once the bowl games were about to be sorted out.
Sibling rivalries only go so far. Competing is one thing. But knowing that your brother will have a queasy, empty feeling in his stomach should you beat him isn't one either Bob or Mike wants to feel.
And for Arizona fans, the Pac-12 expansion also means more than the Wildcats getting battered by two of the countries powerhouses every year.I assume that if two divisions were kept after expansion, Arizona would fall into the East/South division with both Texas and Oklahoma. Granted, that all depends on the other two teams that would make the current Pac-12 the Pac-16. Whether they come from the Northwest or from out East (Oklahoma State and Texas Tech are the rumored candidates), location will dictate whether the Wildcats and the rival Sun Devils will remain with the old Pac-10 or with an entirely new group of NCAA teams.
But if it's the latter, the competition becomes much, much more daunting. How would that affect Mike Stoops' attempts are breaking Arizona out of the long list of mediocre NCAA football teams?
Let it be known that this is far off from being a sure-fire deal: Oklahoma State President Burngs Hargis released this statement on Saturday regarding keeping the Big 12 intact:
"We want to be clear tha we worked actively to encourage Texas A&M to remain in the Big 12 Conference and regret they decided to leave. We are moving ahead. Oklahoma State University's athletic program has never been stronger from top to bottom, putting us in a position to explore and pursue options, including the possible expansion of our current conference. We are in close communications with our colleagues at the University of Oklahoma and expect a decision soon that will be in the best interest of our institutions and the state of Oklahoma."
So there's that. Should any of this happen, the Wildcats would immediately become the near-bottom-dwellers of the new division -- Colorado would be the only lock to be worse than the Wildcats, as of today.
And of course, there's the whole Stoops Angle in this ordeal. Would Mike even want to stick around if the Wildcats struggle to compete in such a league? If anything, the guess here is that he wouldn't be thrilled to play his brother and old Sooner squad -- even if the Wildcats prove on Thursday they can indeed compete with the big boys in the Big 12.