June 6, 2010

Big XII continues march to self-destruction; Nebraska, Mizzou given Ultimatum

Will Nebraska jump ship? The Pac-10 and Big XII are now in an all-out war over expansion. And the Big Ten is, surprising, not directly in the middle of it. (photo: Huskers.com)
Just as we all started to recover from the Pac-10/Big XII expansion news, another salvo was fired by the Big XII, which is quickly growing into the most dysfunctional conference in college football.

Bitter, much?
"Nebraska and Missouri have been given an ultimatum by the Big 12 and told they have until this Friday to decide if they want to remain in the conference or entertain the possibility of joining the Big Ten, two highly placed officials of two Big 12 schools have told the Statesman."
Lately, the Big XII has been squirming like a three year old at church, so it's not surprising that this kind of story is developing. However, I have to believe that this could in fact hasten the demise of the Big XII.
“I’ve talked to the Pac-10,” said the Big 12 school administrator, who expected the speculation involving the Big 12 to be resolved within two weeks. “There is an invitation. When it comes, it’ll come fast.” One Pac-10 athletic director told the Statesman on Saturday, “There’s still a lot that has to happen. It’s nowhere near done. At this point, we have not been presented any definite plans. Said another political figure heavily connected to Texas, “I know the war drums are beating. This is way beyond gossip.”
Not so fast, my friend. Chip Brown, now approaching legendary status for his reporting on this story for Orangebloods.com, tweeted today that "Pac-10 commish Larry Scott today will recommend six-team, Big 12 expansion to league presidents and chancellors."

But that's not all, folks. The Pac-10 won't only go for six Big XII teams, but it's also going for a knock out punch. A follow-up tweet from Brown indicated "Pac-10 commish Larry Scott will also recommend a 16-team conference network that projects to pay $20 million per school."

That's basically a big'ole "suck it" to the Big Ten and Big XII. For the Big Ten, this takes all the air out of our home conference's sails. Jim Delaney & Co. was in the biggest spotlight for months now. To the Big XII, this move suggests the Pac-10 is not about to be left behind in this march toward expansion. And if that means the Big XII gets destroyed, well, that's just a casualty of war.

I'll be very interested to see what the Big Ten "officials" have to say to the media this week, if anything at all. You would think they will say something, particularly since Nebraska and Missouri were the earliest speculated invitees to the Big Ten.

What if Nebraska and/or Missouri say "good riddance" to the Big XII? Would they be left without a conference, if the Big Ten doesn't jump on them? Does this open up a chance for the Big Ten to have two teams basically locked in, with the momentum to grab a Rutgers, Pitt, or (dum-dum-dum!) Notre Dame?

Hang on, folks!

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