Hello, Nebraska

  • 06/09/2010 9:00 pm in

I’ve gotten on the train a little bit later than some news outlets not too far from here, but that train — the one with “EXPANSION” written on the side and barrels of money tucked away in the hold cars — is barreling toward Chicago nonetheless. Nebraska appears ready to board.

Obviously, no one is surprised by this. Of the umpteen million purported combinations and scenarios relating to Big Ten expansion, Nebraska and, along the way, Missouri joining sooner rather than later is perhaps the most popular. And if the above report or the dozens like it circling like sharks around the wounded Big 12 are to be believed, sooner rather than later is about to become right now.

Nebraska makes sense on a number of levels. Big state school, tradition-steeped football program, lots of fans and, most importantly, boosters with deep pockets.

So how would this work?

1. The Big Ten must formally invite any team that wishes to apply first. It is unimaginable that the Big Ten would invite anyone with any intention or expectation of being turned down or turning anyone down. So expect an invitation to basically be a pre-acceptance formality.

2. The invitation and subsequent acceptance would have to be voted on by the Big Ten’s Council of Presidents/Chancellors. What we learned, among other things, last weekend in Chicago was that the COPC can vote without being together, either by phone or e-mail. So that restriction does not exist.

3. We haven’t heard as much on Missouri in all this as Nebraska, but the Cornhuskers are the big fish. Commissioner Jim Delany said Sunday that the Big Ten could “act, and then act again” with regard to expansion, as opposed to staying put or doing everything all at once. This report from Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune suggests that’s exactly what will happen. So maybe Nebraska (and perhaps also Missouri) now, and who knows what’s coming down the track.

4. So what happens to Notre Dame? Well, it depends on what you believe. There are those who report that the Irish will preserve their independence at any cost, even at the risk of ending up on the outside looking in when all the dust settles. There are others who say Notre Dame would only join the Big Ten if it were the only entrant, not wanting to share dollars or the conference spotlight any more than would be necessary. The second of those now appears untrue. It remains to be seen — and could even take years to decide — whether not joining a conference will marginalize Notre Dame if the dominoes fall in the form of “super conferences” that stretch from the East Coast to Omaha and L.A. to Dallas.

There’s a lot more to this, we could seriously go on for hours. And it’s going to take years to decide once and for all what the ramifications of the coming days, weeks and months will be on the college sports landscape. In the meantime, I’d run down to your local Walgreens and grab a greeting card, the Big Ten family looks like it’s getting bigger very soon.

Filed to:

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    And Iowa thinks, “God, finally glad to have another boring state in the league! We were so lonely just sitting here by ourselves … and these scarecrows we made out of corn stalks. Sooie!!!”

  • jgongora86

    i didn't think about that. Great point Kelin. The man is a beast.

  • GFDave


  • GFDave

    This talk about Maryland really has me puzzled. I live about 45 minutes from their campus and to me they are an ACC school through and through. They have established and intense rivalries with NC and Duke in basketball and Virginia and GaTech in football. Culturally, we are very mid-atlantic (read wine and cheese crowds) around here and if you think academic standards are tough in the B10, try looking at the freshman class profiles of ACC schools. I would be shocked to see them move.

  • Outoftheloop

    See my post below where the Big 10 gets tired of waiting for Notre Dame to “make it's historic decision” and grabs Baylor as our 16th team, getting all of the TV market and recruiting benefits of the state of Texas and NONE of the negatives of actually having to play U of Texas!

  • Outoftheloop

    See my post below and above.

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    Looks like Baylor will definitely be left out in the cold:
    “Baylor officials were hoping beyond hope that some 11th-hour change would happen to either save the Big 12 or allow them to get on the train out west.

    But one Baylor official told Orangebloods.com, “It's probably 90 percent sure the other Texas schools are gone, but we have to hold onto that 10 percent that something could change.”

    Orangebloods.com was the first to report Wednesday that Baylor, which has strong ties to the Baptist church, was being met with some resistance in the Pac-10, namely Cal-Berkeley, because of its religious affiliation.”

    I kinda like the idea of Baylor joining the B10, but wouldn't we need a travel buddy to head down to TX? (If the B10 is desperate to get into TX and needs a travel buddy, what about TCU? That's not a terrible back-up plan if Notre Dame rebuffs the B10). I think the SEC would love to take Baylor if they were even a middling football team.

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    crap, i know how to turn on italics (for the quote from Orangebloods), but not off (for my own finishing thoughts)…

  • Nick Williams transfered to Mississippi, not Missouri.

  • Bryan

    Start lobbying the Texas legislature right now Kelin. If they choose not to intervene on Baylor's behalf, they're probably sunk, and Perea's ours.

  • Indymac5

    I think adding Kansas would be good, but I see no chance the Big Ten even considers adding K-State.

  • Outoftheloop

    I don't think that the idea of a “traveling buddy” is relevant any more. In Football you travel and go home. In Basketball the Big 10 is all over the place, with games on TU, Wed, TH, Sat and Sunday, Home and Away, with no predictable pattern. Now the Ivy League does it the right way: you have an “away weekend”, games Friday night and Saturday night, leave Friday morning and back at school by noon on Sunday, followed by a “home weekend”, all within an easy bus ride away. The furthest trip is U Penn to Dartmouth. For non-revenue sports in the Big 10, except for baseball, softball, field hockey and soccer, you do 4-way dual meets at one location, 4 schools, alternating 1 at home every 4 years so you get 12 competitions over 4 years with just 3 trips.

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    I know traveling partners haven't been used recently, but I saw it in an article about expansion last week (positing that if teams from outside the Midwest joined the B10, then the process might get resurrected).

    It's not a bad idea to visit programs close in proximity in the same week (e.g. play MSU on Thursday, UofM on Sunday), esp. for non-revenue sports–which is pretty much everything except basketball and football. If UTex and A&M joined the B10 (which I doubt), then it would make sense, even for men's basketball, to stay down there (play UT on Wednesday, A&M on Saturday). Nebraska might consider doing something like that if it wants to play PSU and, say, Rutgers… or even IU and PU (or PU and Northwestern, or PU and Illinois, etc.).

    I'll talk to Commissioner Delany and get this plan in motion…

  • marcusgresham

    I like that idea so long as he doesn't try to lock the Replogle brothers in a tool shed

  • marcusgresham

    I kind of expect KU and K-State to try to keep the “Big 12” name (or at least the BCS automatic bid,) with Baylor, Iowa State, Texas Tech, and whatever is left of that conference by adding teams like BYU, Utah (if they haven't gone to the Pac-1?,) TCU, and others like maybe Boise St., New Mexico, UNLV, Houston, Memphis….

    One thing I don't think anyone has mentioned, because most of the talk relates to football, is that at least a conference or two is probably going to be eliminated, opening up another at-large bid in the basketball tournament.

  • slikyslim222

    ND will just tease & balk. Add in Missouri & Iowa St.(for a good rival matchup for the hawkeyes) as they fit well, make geographical sense, and maintain the midwestern heartland flavor. Also, Missouri brings in decent markets with StLouis & Kansas City.

    Go for 14.

  • Outoftheloop

    That means you miss all or 1/2 classes plus library resources etc. on Tues (flight in), all on Wed (game day), all on Thurs (dead day), all on Fri (dead day), all on Sat (game day). I don't think so. Do 4-way duals at one location for all sports you can. Do 3-Way games over a weekend at one location and rotate the host: at IU, Nebraska and PN State for soccer: IU v PN St Fri night, IU v NE Sat night, NE v PN S Sunday 3 PM. So you get 2 away games for 1 weekend travel.

  • marcusgresham

    I thought that too about the TV markets, but the Big 10 already does fairly well in the St. Louis area thanks to the Whinin' Illini. (Not that I'd use that as a deterrent against taking Mizzou.)

  • Outoftheloop

    That means you miss all or 1/2 classes plus library resources etc. on Tues (flight in), all on Wed (game day), all on Thurs (dead day), all on Fri (dead day), all on Sat (game day). I don't think so. Do 4-way duals at one location for all sports you can. Do 3-Way games over a weekend at one location and rotate the host: at IU, Nebraska and PN State for soccer: IU v PN St Fri night, IU v NE Sat night, NE v PN S Sunday 3 PM. So you get 2 away games for 1 weekend travel.

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    I'm mostly thinking men's & women's basketball here… (I'm fine with the 4-way and 3-way meets/matches/games that already occur). But in your scenario they'll still have away games on weekdays (they miss Tues and Wed one week to play a Wed night game, and Wed, Thurs, and Fri the next week to play a Thurs night game … I teach and TA at Purdue and if athletes have a Thursday night event, they don't come on Friday… only about 60% of the non-athletes attend Fri classes anyway), so my proposal places all of the absences in one week, instead of spreading them out. And maybe they could make it a Thur/Sat or Thur/Sun rotation for that sort of thing, so you'd fly out Thursday morning and come back Sunday evening/night, only missing two days of classes.

    Delany didn't return my call, but I bet I receive a drunk dial later tonight…

  • Outoftheloop

    Now you are getting close. Have set away travel/home weekends Th-Sat, or Fri-Sun. Spread out the time zones so you have Eastern, Central and Mountain if possible, that's 6-8 hours of sports programming 4 days/week, couple this with Tues and Wed ESPN “marque games” (no PN St v Nebraska in basketball) and the money rolls in.