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Football/basketball: Is Nebraska about to make a move that could dissolve the Big 12?

By Jeff Faraudo
Wednesday, June 9th, 2010 at 5:52 pm in Basketball, Expansion, Football.

Depending on whether you believe reports from the Texas-based website orangebloods.com and ESPN.com or a rebuttal from the chairman of the Nebraska Board of Regents, the University of Nebraska seems ready to accept an offer to the Big Ten Conference by Friday, if not sooner.

Bob Phares, chairman of Nebraska’s Board of Regents, told the Lincoln Journal-Star that there has been no vote by the board to accept an offer from the Big Ten and, in fact, there has been no offer. Whether this is semantics or a reflection of the reality is hard to say.

This much seems clear: If Nebraska bolts for the Big Ten, it could begin the unraveling of the Big 12 . . . and the expansion of the Pac-10, perhaps to 16 teams.

Texas already has indicated it would not remain in the Big 12 if the conference drops below its current membership level. ESPN reported that officials from Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech have met to pledge solidarity to remain conference brethren, whether in the Big 12 or a new league home.

Colorado has long been a potential target of the Pac-10, and is considered the more likely choice of the league over Baylor, a fourth Big 12 team from Texas, because the TV market in Denver is far greater than that in Waco. Another potential stumbling block, which Pac-10 officials may not wish to verbalize, is that Baylor is a Baptist school and the Pac-10 may not want to include a school with a religious affiliation (See: BYU).

Oklahoma and Oklahoma State also have been reported by orangebloods.com as part of a six-school group from the Big 12 that would wind up in the Pac-10.

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  • uh oh.

    I read this, went away, and had to come back and comment. Ted Miller writes the following in his article (your ESPN link):

    (A coach said)…
    it’s possible the Pac-16 would push for two automatic bids to the BCS, one for each division champion. That potential bonanza could open the possibility of the two division champs from one league playing for the national title, and it would eliminate the need for a conference championship game.

    What a total piece of nonsense. The reason they are doing this is to GAIN a conference championship game, not bypass it.

    AND, what on earth makes this person think the other conferences and teams across the country are simply going to allow the Pac16 to walk into a national championship game? The SEC has been facing this possibility for years, where they have top teams facing off against each other in the SEC championship game – the WINNER (only) going on to the championship game.

    INSTEAD, what I think the Pac16 would do is:
    1) create a championship game
    2) send the winner to the national chumpionship game against the SEC (more often than not).
    3) create the Pac10 TV network
    4) raise more money – good point at the end of ESPN article about conference revenues.

    I like that it preserves the Pac8.
    Maybe the loser of the Pac16 championship game goes to the Rose Bowl (winner to National game).
    But I STILL say that the athletics are really being taken advantage of here. One day there will be a major “free agent”-like lawsuit that changes EVERYTHING. Who are the aspiring group of lawyers that will successfully take that on?