ESPN college football analysts Chris Spielman, a former Ohio State linebacker, and Urban Meyer, a former Florida coach, discussed the Sooners’ chances and Texas A&M’s move to the SEC in a conference call this week:
Q. – I have two questions. First one is evaluate Oklahoma that’s ranked by No. 1 in every preseason poll, and the second one is how do you see the future of the Big 12 Conference considering all the stuff that’s been said about A & M and Nebraska and Colorado of course leaving last year?
Spielman: I think now we’re talking about one quarterback in Landry Jones, and I know Urban went down to Oklahoma and interviewed Landry, and I got to see that interview and comment on that interview actually, and I think that that kid has just a lot of ability. Coach Stoops can recruit. They have talent. Losing a linebacker might hurt them a little bit, but if you’re like Oklahoma or Florida or Ohio State, usually those guys – one guy goes down, you’ve got the guys waiting on the sidelines to replace him, look just like him coming in. So I think Oklahoma is as good as advertised.
The Big 12 conference, I have no doubt that A&M is going to go in the SEC. I think A&M is on their timetable and nobody else’s. But I think that’s happening sooner rather than later. And the Big 12, I don’t know if they’ll survive that. I don’t know. They’re taking hit after hit after hit.
MEYER: My comment on Oklahoma is that the guy that I spent time with down there, Landry Jones, and the quality of kid, the quality of leader he is, I walked away from that campus really impressed. I’ve always had a great relationship with Coach Stoops. We coached against him in a big game one time, and I actually got to walk through the weight room with guys working out, and that is a great looking football team. I think their schedule is on their side, and just so many things can happen. If they stay healthy I think they’re going to have a great year.
I’m a traditionalist. As far as the Big 12, to see Texas A&M really leave Texas and go to the SEC, I’m not in all the meetings about the television contracts and everything else, but it’s hard for me to – after the last 40 years watching Texas play Texas A & M and from the Big Eight to the Big 12 and those rivalries, to see those things disintegrate, I’m just not sure if that’s great for college football, take away all the money issues. And I’m sad – to me I’m just sad to see that happen. I’m like Chris; if Texas A&M leaves the Big 12, I’m not – the survival of that conference is going to be in question.