I realize that by the time June arrives this topic will have been beaten to death (if it hasn't already), but I continue to get emails, phone calls, texts, and notes left on my car windshield all asking the same question:
Will Nebraska join the Big 10?
Rather than answer individually (how do you answer a note on your windshield, leave another note on your windshield?), here it is:
Obviously we (I'm a Nebraska alum, so "we" is appropriate here) have to be invited first, but if we are, it should take Harvey Perlman about 15 minutes to call a couple people and pull the trigger. Rather than spend a lot of time rehashing as to why, I think Lee Barfknecht pretty much summed up the positives as to why the decision isn't that difficult to make, especially when it comes to the increase in academic prestige.
There appears to be few negatives in making the move. In fact, here's another positive for you that I haven't seen mentioned. If Nebraska moves, you can feel good about rooting for Turner Gill at Kansas, since it's clear we won't be playing them anymore since athletic director Lew Perkins is adamant
Since there seems to be some hint of confession in the air, here's one for you:
I don't mind playing Texas. In fact, most of the time, I don't mind Texas. Does it bother me they've beaten us more than we've beaten them? Hell yes, it does, WTF do you think? I feel, I bleed, for crying out loud, but the fact remains that if you want to be the best, you have to play the best and Texas is the best in the nation.
Texas has the biggest athletic department in the country with the most money. They have just about every advantage you can think of. Despite that we compete well against them in volleyball (a sport in which the Big 12 will suffer greatly without Nebraska) and up until this season were one of the few teams that had a winning record against them in baseball. Football - well, the close losses are clearly a sign that they have a contract with the devil, just like Oklahoma did all those years when they were summoning Sooner Magic.
How'd you like to be in Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe's shoes right now? He does not have a whole lot of leverage when it comes to holding the conference together. He and Kansas athletic director Lew Perkins can tough talk all they want, but as the cliche' goes - talk is cheap, it takes money to buy whiskey - and they ain't offering a whole lot more than bullshit at this point.
"Larry and I have talked for several months in regards to collaborating to enhance media value and working in any ways that might aid the two leagues and be a helpful alliance," Beebe said, confirming the talks."
I'm sure they had meetings to determine the agenda where the SWOT analysis was done, discussions were taken offline, action items were established and cohesiveness was facilitated. Memos will be addressed to "Dear Valued Big 12 Member" from here on out, and bi-weekly progress meetings were scheduled so that everyone's on the same page.
This Big 12/Pac 10 alliance thing sounds like lipstick on a pig. The two conferences are going to band together to negotiate a better television contract? What, exactly, does that mean? Everyone is going to hold hands when they sit down with TV execs? The only commitment that Nebraska and Missouri (and maybe Texas or Colorado) can give Dan Beebe is one you've heard before - "Sure I'll go out with you... until something better comes along" - which doesn't exactly put one in a confident position.
You know that conference expansion talk will rule the airwaves until the facts come out in June, but I'll get back to talking about football soon. Still spending a lot of time getting "Cornhusker Kickoff 2010" put together, which is well worth the time. There's some excellent stuff coming out in the yearbook, and we'll have some more football content coming here soon.