Bob Stoops thinks Arkansas could ‘make a mark’ in the Big 12

Further Big 12 Conference expansion doesn’t seem likely anytime soon, but former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops thinks one SEC program could benefit personally from a move to the Big 12.

Stoops spoke with Bo Mattingly on the Sports Talk Podcast on Wednesday while in town visiting the Northwest Arkansas Touchdown Club in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Around the 12:41 mark of the podcast, former Sooners head coach was asked if he thought the Arkansas Razorbacks should be in the SEC.

“Listen, [Arkansas coach] Bret Bielema is a friend of mine, and I think he’s a great coach. They do an excellent job,” Stoops said on the podcast. “… We were talking on the way flying out here that I just felt personally that [Arkansas would] be excellent in the Big 12 in that, they’re geography where they’re located.

“Can you imagine the series with Oklahoma, Oklahoma State every year? Also, Texas, TCU, all the teams there and in the Dallas area. I think it would bring Texas recruiting, that they would be down there competing in the Texas area along with even in Oklahoma.

“That would be more attractive recruiting just because of where they’re playing their football games. So in the end, I don’t know all the business side of that, that’s not what I do, but I just think they’d have an opportunity to really make a mark in the Big 12. I think it would be good for the Big 12, but I also think it’d be good for Arkansas overall when you just talk about the whole landscape of things and their opportunities here.”

Arkansas hasn’t moved conferences since leaving the now-defunct Southwestern Conference for the SEC in 1992. A move to the Big 12 would put the Razorbacks in the same league as Baylor, Texas, TCU and Texas Tech again. Although, Arkansas would leave behind the rivalries it forged in the SEC.

As for what Arkansas could do in the Big 12, it might give the Razorbacks a better chance at a conference title on a more consistent basis. Arkansas hasn’t had a 10-plus win season since 2011 when it won a Cotton Bowl over Kansas State.

The Razorbacks have never won an SEC championship, however. The Hogs’ most-recent conference crown came in 1989 when Ken Hatfield led the Razorbacks to a Southwestern Conference title.

A change of pace certainly couldn’t hurt the Razorbacks and they make plenty of sense geographically in the Big 12.

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