Update – Special Rules for Texas and ND? Interesting addition, posted by the same guy who infuriated Delaney so much with his previous information releases.
Update 2- Boise State to the Mountain West? Is this an attempt to replace Utah or keep them from jumping to the Pac-10?
Update 3- BSU to MWC, officially.
Update 4 – Omaha World-Herald reports that Nebraska is officially a member of the Big Ten. Welcome home Cornhuskers!
Today’s a big day for many of the conferences in the nation, so let’s quickly debrief and make sure everyone is on the same page going in to today’s announcements. If I don’t link to a particular article for a point it’s because there are more articles discussing it than are worth linking to (or the point is made in a previously posted article).
What we know:
Pretty interesting news keeping us entertained during this offseason, eh? It’s only going to get better in the next couple days.
And now, your “Conference Expansion” update.
This weekend was a big bunch of doin’s across the nation, as Pac-10, Big 12, and Big T1e1en staff all held their meetings. Understandably, expansion was the topic of discussion across the board.
We’ve heard what the Pac-10 has on the table: Among the options are take part of the Big 12 (UT, TTU, aTm, OkSU, OU, CU), take the entire Big 12 South (UT, aTm, TTU, BU, OkSU, OU), or take Utah/Colorado. According to sources, they have received approval to extend these offers.
The second option listed above is a recent development- Texas legislators who are concerned that UT make a move without aTm and TTU are also preparing to demand that UT’s move include Baylor and exclude Colorado. This is the same legislative ideology that demanded that TTU be included in the Big 12; their academic caliber may be one of the reasons that the Big T1e1n wouldn’t extend an invitation to them, and may be the heart of Dr. Gee’s “Tech problem” reference.
In Colorado, this was greeted with the idea that CU join the MWC. Expected this week is an offer to Boise State to join the MWC; Colorado joining as well would then have the conference’s membership including Colorado, Utah, BYU, TCU, Boise State, and would strengthen state rivalries with Colorado State and Air Force.
So, what does this have to do with Nebraska? Well, it’s like this- at the Big 12 meetings, conference members were asked to reaffirm their commitment to the conference. Three schools did not: Missouri, Colorado, and Nebraska. In fact, Mizzou and Nebraska have allegedly been given a timeline to make up their minds on their future with the conference, although what would happen if they declined to take a position has not been stated.
Nebraska’s role in the history of the Big 12 is an interesting one. During the original merger between the Big 8 and the SWC’s teams, there was contention surrounding the new conference’s perspective on “partial qualifiers”- Nebraska wanted to maintain the Big 8′s willingness to allow unlimited numbers of these students as a part of the program (what has been described as a key part of their famous ‘walk on’ program); Texas wanted limits on the numbers of these types of students that would be allowed. Texas’ opinion won out. Recently, Nebraska AD and former football coach Tom Osborne was the only “nay’ vote in regards to maintaining the conference championship game’s location in Dallas; he thought that it should be split between Dallas (Big 12 south) and St. Louis (Big 12 north) regions. Remembering his school’s last experience in Dallas, this is more than understandable. Check out the great work on Orangebloods.com for more details on Nebraska’s position in this discussion.
So, if Nebraska decides that it will forsake the Big 12, it a) opens the door for others in the conference to do likewise (either to the Big T1e1n or Pac-10) and b) makes the national landscape unstable enough to potentially push Notre Dame into joining the Big t1e1n as well.
The 11 school presidents and chancellors along with Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick met for about 4 1/2 hours, and Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney said the majority of time was spent on expansion dialogue.