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Pac-12 Conference Realignment: Cal & Stanford Could Be Worried About Academics For Oklahoma, Oklahoma State

If the Pac-12 presidents decide to get together and vote for conference expansion to include the Oklahoma State Cowboys and the Oklahoma Sooners, the biggest concern for schools like the California Golden Bears and the Stanford Cardinal would be the academic profile of their new members in a Pac-14.

It looks as if the Pac-12 will be voting on future expansion in the upcoming days. With the Oklahoma Sooners and the Oklahoma St. Cowboys likely to look at joining the conference in the near future, Ralph D. Russo of the Associated Press reports that the twelve presidents of the current conference will have to vote on whether these two schools deserve membership. According to Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News, nine votes are required, so there will have to be a three-fourths majority to get the two college football powers into the conference.

Will the California Golden Bears and the Stanford Cardinal go along with expansion to a Pac-14? As the academic powerhouses of the conference, they'd have to be worried about the lack of prestige of these two new schools. Neither Oklahoma nor Oklahoma State are members of the Association of American Universities, which judges the value of the academic research of the university in question. However, both Cal and Stanford were in favor of admitting Utah last season, who also isn't an AAU member, not to mention the fact that several other members of the conference aren't terribly high on the academics.

Jon Wilner also garnered this opinion.

Sources said that at least five schools (Stanford, Cal, USC, UCLA and Washington) have serious questions about admitting the Oklahoma schools, which are not members of the Association of American Universities.

But when I asked a source close to Stanford president John Hennessy, one of the league’s most influential CEOs, if the AAU issue would be a deal-breaker, the answer was: "Probably not."

Said another source: "If Larry (Scott) thinks adding (Oklahoma and OSU) is the right thing, the CEOs will ultimately fall in line."

You have the feeling that these schools would be more receptive to expansion if the Texas Longhorns (a program with strong athletic and academic credentials) were somehow involved. But it's possible expans

For more on Pac-12 expansion, check out Pacific Takes. Also go to the California Golden Blogs (Cal) and Rule of Tree for more discussion.