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.