Layna Dewell, News9.com
OKLAHOMA CITY – Bob Stoops and Mike Gundy are disappointed.
Interestingly enough, their disappointment has nothing to do with their football teams, but rather with another school all together.
On Sunday, after a long and drawn out process, the Texas A&M Aggies officially became a member of the Southeastern Conference with competition to begin in all sports for the 2012-13 academic year.
The Aggies departure from the Big 12 conference is what has both Stoops and Gundy clearly disappointed.
"I'm disappointed that we lost them," said OSU head coach Mike Gundy during this week's Big 12 coaches teleconference. "I hate that they're not in our league."
"I wish it hadn't happened," said Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops. "But I still believe we have a very strong and powerful league."
Related Story: Texas A&M Officially a Member of the SEC
"I think they were good for the Big 12 and we've had some great games with them," added Gundy. "I was disappointed just because I think there is a lot of strength in this league and I hate to see it break up and/or I hate to see teams move."
"I wish it hadn't happened but I still believe we have a very strong and powerful league especially when you look at the rest of the teams and the quality of football teams and those in the top 25," said Stoops.
"I've been a big supporter of the Big 12…I thought that our league was really strong and competitive and I liked everything about it and I hated that they left," said Gundy.
So now what? How does the move affect the Big 12 and both OU and OSU?
One of the most obvious concerns is that as of now, the league is left with nine teams. It is uncertain whether the Big 12 will add another team or compete with the uneven nine teams.
Regardless, both coaches reiterated that A&M has a good football team, but that they also think that the Big 12 remains strong without them.
"It's still a strong league with a lot of great players in it and excellent coaching so I think there's still a great deal here," said Stoops.
"People talk about well, they're leaving and they're a good football team and it makes it easier, but I don't see it that way," said Gundy. "Whatever league or conference that we're in, there's going to be good football teams in them and I think the ones that are geographically located in this area of the country make our league stronger."
Nevertheless, both coaches stress that they will get back to work on the field and let the conference work out the details.
"I don't know that it's going to affect us all that much. It's disappointing, I wish that it hadn't happened this way, but still if that's what they need to do they'll do it and we'll continue on. I don't know that it has to change what we've been doing at all," said Stoops.
"I want the Big 12 to stay," said Gundy. "Maybe we play with nine teams, or maybe we pick somebody else up…… Hopefully we can find somebody in this area to add and get back to the number that we started with and if not we'll make it work with nine."