Cowboys' executive vice president Stephen Jones recently told NBC-5 that the Razorbacks are a natural fit for the conference because of their historic rivalries with Texas and Texas A&M as members of the Southwest Conference--which have greatly gone the way of the dodo since their departure to the SEC.
The Lawrence Journal-World (Kansas) cites a source "familiar with [Jones's] thinking" in supporting these rumors.
"A visionary, Jones sees the Big 12 expanding with Arkansas and Notre Dame," The article says. "Such a conference alignment turns on TV sets across America and sends cash gushing out of Big 12 faucets everywhere."
That much, at least, is true, particularly considering the intrigue between Arkansas and its old rivals, and the fact that many see the Brian Kelly-led Irish as a program on the road to redemption. But much work remains to be done and, for now, the realignment plan seems little more than a dream.
Some roadblocks are already surfacing in the words of officials.
Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long said that the school had "no interest" in leaving the SEC. Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe was similarly dismissive of the idea, though his exact words leave some question.
"We’re not looking to expand at all," Beebe said, per the Lawrence Journal-World, "and certainly we wouldn’t look to expand with any institutions that are in our geographic, five-state area."
It's worth noting then, that neither Notre Dame or Arkansas are in the Big 12's "geographic, five-state area."Also worth noting is that, as it stands now, there would be no Big 12 Championship in 2013, a game scheduled to be held at Cowboys Stadium--which means that, as it stands now, Jones would lose out on the money that the game would bring in.