Big Ten and Pac 10 Expansion: Is Nebraska The New Linchpin?

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Pac 10 met in San Francisco, and the Big Ten met in Chicago. What was presented, could very well create a seismic shift to major c”>

Sunday was the day for two meetings of university presidents. The Pac 10 met in San Francisco, and the Big Ten met in Chicago. What was presented, could very well create a seismic shift to major college athletics.

The Pac 10 meeting created the most buzz. First year commissioner Larry Scott was given the permission by university presidents to invite new members, after he laid out many different scenarios of possible expansion for those CEO’s.

One of those examples had Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Colorado, joining the Pac 10. Since then the Texas Legislature has weighed in trying to tie the Texas schools invited to Baylor, in an attempt to replace Colorado, with the private university.

Now if you remember, Jim Delany of The Big Ten said last month, that there would be little action at this weeks presidents meeting, mentioning he would cook the Brat’s if the press brought the Beer, or something to that effect, trying to downplay the meetings.

University of Nebraska Lincoln logo
Could Nebraska be the key to expansion?

With good reason I might add, because the Big Ten was the only show in town at that time. But with the Pac 10 moving at light speed, The Big Ten presidents meeting in Chicago has become more urgent to say the least.

What was acknowledged at those meetings was the Big Ten is in deed speeding up the expansion process.

MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon, chairwoman for university presidents said the following.

“Our announcement in December has caused institutions and conferences to consider their futures, and that has had an impact on our deliberations.”

Simon also made it clear that a vote was not taken Sunday in regards to expansion candidates. Noting a vote can be taken electronically, and that the members do not have to meet to conduct a vote.

All signs point toward a seriously increased time table for the Big Ten.

So in a nut shell, the potential of quick aggressive Pac 10 expansion, has pushed the Big Ten’s timeline.

Now one thing I have learned from Expansionpalooza, to steal a term from Frank The Tank’s Slant, is that nothing is set in stone, and expansion is fluid to say the least.

With that said, Hail to The Victors Blog has a take on the major players and what we have seen in the last couple of days by those players.

Texas, is the “Hot Girl” you want to marry, with in-laws that are flat out crazy. Sure, Texas has an 138 million dollar athletic budget, and sure, they are the hottest girl at the party, but there is not a chance in hell, the Big Ten allows Texas Tech to join. This “Tech” academic problem is what OSU president Gee is talking to Delany about in his email. Now add Baylor to the mix, and that is too many in-laws living with you, and the hot chick. So if Texas is tied to Tech, and possibly Baylor, the Big Ten is a non-starter.

So assuming the Big Ten is out, Texas would probably want to explore the possibility of them running their own TV Network, since they have already explored this option, but this would mean keeping the Big 12 together.

Texas has made it clear that keeping the Big 12 together would have to include Nebraska and to a lesser extent Missouri. So it is apparent to me at least, that Texas is the driving force behind these ultimatums on Nebraska and Missouri.

Remember when the Big 12 meetings ended? there wasn’t any talk of an ultimatum. All of sudden every leak pointing toward giving Nebraska and Missouri a deadline, came from Texas sources. The American Statesman in Austin, and Orangebloods.com a Texas blog, leading the way.

Texas in my opinion may want to salvage the Big 12, because they have to bring their crazy in-laws with them anywhere they go. Which could turn the Pac 10 and the Big Ten off. With that said, they also do not want to be the team that collapsed the Big 12, so they are pushing Nebraska to decide the actual fate of the conference.

But Texas didn’t stop at pressuring Nebraska with an ultimatum, they also through Orangebloods.com leaked a story, which said, if ND joined the Big Ten, the conference would only add one team. Thus leaving Nebraska out in the cold, possibly without a conference. Adding more pressure on Nebraska staying. It is also the opinion of Hail To The Victors Blog, that the Big 12 could care less about Missouri, but keeping Nebraska is the goal, if the conference is to stay intact.

So Nebraska is the new linchpin of college expansion, if they decide to stay, they continue in a conference where Texas is the “belle of the ball” getting more revenue and probably the rights to a Longhorn Network, which would probably trump a Big 12 network even being created. If Nebraska decides to go, Texas works out a deal with the Pac 10 bringing their crazy in-laws along, or possibly coming to the Big Ten without the in-laws, which is highly unlikely. Either way the Big 12 is history.

What happens next will probably happen sooner than later now, and as a self-proclaimed Expansionpalooza junkie, I can’t wait to see what happens.

Hail to The Victors Blog would love to here your opinion on Big Ten Expansion.

William Armstrong is a lifelong Michigan Fan now living in Tennessee, where he is starved for information regarding his Michigan Wolverines and the Big Ten in general. That is the reason he writes about University of Michigan Sport. Contact him at his blog hailtothevictorsblog.blogspot.com