Nebraska heading to the Big Ten – are four more Big 12 teams on the move?

The downfall of the Big 12 is about to be underway, as is reporting that Nebraska has officially accepted an invitation to join the Big Ten.

Nebraska departs the Big 12 to become the 12th member of the Big Ten. Earlier this week, a source told that no other schools are imminent to accompany the Cornhuskers into the Big Ten.

The future of the Big 12 is in jeopardy after Colorado agreed Thursday to jump to the Pac-10. The Pac-10 is also reportedly interested in inviting Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech to form a 16-team league.

University of Texas regents will meet next week to decide whether the Longhorns will remain in the Big 12 or switch to another conference.

The regents announced Friday that they will hold a meeting by telephone Tuesday for “discussion and appropriate action regarding athletic conference membership.”

Rumor had it that if Nebraska left the Big 12, then the rest of the conference would dissolve. It appears as though the Pac-10 is on its way to being a 16-team conference, although as I wrote yesterday, that doesn’t mean that it’ll implement a championship game. (Which is just a ridiculous notion when you think about it.)

Joining the Big Ten makes a lot of sense for Nebraska, most notably from a revenue standpoint. Big Ten schools bring in $22 million each year thanks in large part to the Big Ten Network, which can now extend its reach once Nebraska comes aboard. The Huskers now have more security in the Big Ten than they did in the Big 12, which was apparently held together by cheese and crackers.

Nebraska and Michigan will finally get to settle the 1997 debate. Too bad nothing will be left of the UM program after Rich Rodriguez gets done burning everything in Ann Arbor to the ground.

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Nebraska leaning towards joining the Big Ten?

As long as the conference doesn’t leave them hanging without an invitation, it appears that Nebraska could be heading to the Big Ten.


The source said the school is leaning toward the Big Ten, but an invitation hadn’t yet been extended, and there was no indication when that would occur. The consensus within the athletic department is that Nebraska wouldn’t separate itself from the Big 12 without some assurance that a Big Ten invitation would come, the source said. The Big Ten has set no date for any announcement in the coming weeks, leaving open the possibility that Nebraska could be left in limbo.

Adding another school would allow the Big Ten to implement a championship game and expand its cable television network. Adding a title game would be exciting for fans of the conference, especially considering the Big Ten usually doesn’t play past the last weekend in November. When other conferences are still getting exposure in December thanks to their title games, the Big Ten is sitting with its thumb up its ass waiting for bowl season to start. It makes sense for them to expand.

That said, would Nebraska be a good fit? Yeah, probably. From their point of view, they get security (as everyone can see, the Big 12 is ready to fall apart at any moment, where as the Big Ten will stay intact long-term) and added revenue (Big Ten schools bring in $22 million each year thanks in large part to the Big Ten Network). A Nebraska-Iowa rivalry is also intriguing and the Huskers would no doubt bring competition to a conference that sorely lacks it.

We’ll find out by the end of the week whether or not Nebraska is Big Ten bound or will stay in the Big 12. But as of Wednesday morning, it appears that Ohio State, Iowa and Michigan are going to get some new company.

Should Nebraska join the Big Ten?

Tom Shatel of the Omaha World-Herald thinks the Huskers should:

Why would Nebraska want to join the Big Ten?
Two reasons. Revenue. Security. Big Ten members already are raking in $22 million each per year, thanks in large part to the Big Ten Network. Grow the network and grow the earning potential. That’s about $15 million more than what NU gets from the Big 12. Think of what you can do with $15 more million per year.

Then there’s long-term security. Does anyone really trust that the Big 12 will stay together or be something that NU would want to be part of? How does Nebraska vs. TCU/New Mexico/Colorado State grab you?

Why would the Big Ten want Nebraska?
The national profile to boost Big Ten network numbers, plain and simple. reported that the Big Ten Network is getting a subscription fee of 70 cents per subscriber within the eight-state Big Ten region; outside the region it’s 10 cents per subscriber. If the Big Ten can increase the market outside its region, the subscription price would soon follow. NU may not have the TV sets in Nebraska, but they have the TV sets around the country, from Maine to Florida to California. NU also brings sizzle. Rutgers and Mizzou don’t.

The biggest problem that Nebraska would have if it moved to the Big Ten would be recruiting. The Huskers do a ton of recruiting in the talent-rich state of Texas and if they moved to the Big Ten, they would likely have a much tougher time convincing blue chippers to play against the likes of Ohio State and Michigan every year, as opposed to UT.

That said, Nebraska is a tradition-rich program and would fit well with a tradition-rich conference like the Big Ten. (Although I’m sorry, but there may be nothing more boring than Nebraska-Iowa every year.)

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