FanDuel - WFBC

June 09, 2010

Nebraska Expected to Leave Big 12: Nebraska will become a member of the Big Ten as early as Friday, an executive at a Big 12 school told the Omaha World-Herald. The PAC-10 has reportedly approached all six Big 12 South schools to join, a move that would disintegrate the conference.

posted by rcade to football at 12:14 PM - 25 comments

As a longtime Nebraska fan and Big 10 Hater, this overfills the bummer cup. But, really, it's all felt fake since they nixed the Big 8.

I guess seeing the Huskers smear the Gophers on a regular basis would be an upside.

posted by cobra! at 12:26 PM on June 09

I think you mean join the Big Ten!

posted by BikeNut at 12:26 PM on June 09

Why would anyone want Baylor? If it is because Texas state legislators are forcing the Pac-10 to take them if they want Texas, the Pac-10 should bring a First Amendment challenge to Texas's subsidizing a Baptist school. I think Baylor has received more money from the BCS in the last five years than Utah, Boise State, or SMU. It's ridiculous.

posted by Aardhart at 12:29 PM on June 09

If all of this happens, I expect that the rest of the Big 12 North will be begging to join the increasingly-inaccurately named Big Ten. Assuming that the Big Ten would not want to go beyond 16, they'd probably take Iowa State (natural fit with Iowa), and Missouri (helps get the Kansas City and St. Louis markets), which leaves Kansas, Kansas State and Colorado with room for only two more. The Big Ten would probably want the Denver market, but would Kansas and Kansas State have to be a package deal much as Baylor is with the rest of the Texas schools for the Pac 10? If so, Colorado is probably going to be forced into the Mountain West.

posted by TheQatarian at 12:31 PM on June 09

According to rcade's second link, the 6 Big XII teams invited by the Pac 10 are Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Colorado. There's no mention of Baylor. The state of Texas wants to keep the state schools together. As for the Big XII North schools, since they are in different states, they would only be a package if they try to make themselves a package. In that scenario, it could be a fun experiment in game theory if the rest of the conference is crumbling around them.

posted by bender at 01:01 PM on June 09

I was only suggesting that Kansas and Kansas State may insist on staying together. Iowa State, Missouri and possibly Colorado would obviously be on their own.

I also was assuming that Baylor would be in over Colorado in order to satisfy the rest of the Texas schools, because that's what they seem to want, and Texas (both the state and the school) carries a lot of weight in this. If Colorado was in the group of six headed to the Pac 10, then we could safely assume Baylor would be left to rot.

posted by TheQatarian at 02:23 PM on June 09

I think you may be right that Kansas and Kansas State would probably prefer to remain in the same conference (although they may not care). However, if , for instance, the Big 10 only asks Kansas to join and half of the Big XII has already bolted for the Pac 10, I doubt they raise too much of a stink about being separated from their in-state brethren when the alternative is being demoted to a second-tier conference.

Basically, I'm saying that Texas (the state) can make their demands because everyone wants Texas (the university) to join them, because they bring lots of alumni and money. Some conference will settle for A&M and Tech to get the package with the Longhorns. Conferences won't be beating down the door to get Kansas or K State (even with KU's basketball clout), so they don't have much leverage and will probably have to take what they can get.

posted by bender at 03:01 PM on June 09

I just don't get what the Big 10 fascination with Nebraska could be. I thought it was really Missouri that they wanted because of the TV households. What does Nebraska bring to the table as far as dollars (meaning TV viewers) compared to other possible schools?

Also, I am interested in seeing how these super conferences work out as far as scheduling. With 12 members and two divisions, the Big 12 plays 8 conference games (five in your division and three in the other division alternating each year). With 10 members, the Pac 10 plays 9 conference games (all teams play each other). With 11 members, the Big 10 plays 8 conference games so each year they are missing two somehow. With 16 teams, they may not play be able to play some teams in their own conference but every three or four years.

posted by graymatters at 03:14 PM on June 09

The other question here is what happens to the Big XII automatic BCS spot. Adding Texas and Oklahoma to the Pac 10 seems to diminish the prospects of the teams not named USC to get in occasionally and I doubt the new schools can 'bring' the spot along.

Or is there another shoe yet to drop, as in the rumor discussed here not long ago that the Pac 10, Big 10, SEC and ACC will form their own post-season extravaganza?

posted by billsaysthis at 03:47 PM on June 09

Think I saw a rumor in papers here in Iowa the other day that Iowa State has heard sounders from the MAC if everything falls apart. I could be making that up, but.

posted by boredom_08 at 04:17 PM on June 09

I'm sure if given the choice, Iowa State would rather join the Big Ten than the MAC. But I'd also bet that the Big Ten would like to grab a bigger TV market than Ames. Just because Iowa State is geographically logical (like Nebraska and Missouri would be) doesn't mean they'll get invited, though that's what I'd like to see.

posted by TheQatarian at 04:42 PM on June 09

The Big Ten has for the past several years been somewhat handicapped by the lack of a playoff game. The addition of a 12th team will make it possible to play a true 2-division schedule and have a playoff. However, I do not look for this to be the last move. I think Missouri is now a good bet to join the Big Ten, given its rivalry with Nebraska and Illinois. I think another team in the east is a good bet, picking from Pitt or West Virginia, or possibly both, and if both are picked up, then another team from the Midwest would likely be added. Iowa State could be a choice here, if they so desire.

The conference could ultimately line up like this:

East: Penn State, Pitt, West Va, Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, Indiana.

West: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Northwestern, Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa, Iowa State.

There are some blood rivalries here.

posted by Howard_T at 05:11 PM on June 09

So essentially the traditional powerhouses would all be in the East? Sounds more like Tier One and Tier Two instead of East and West.

posted by graymatters at 06:09 PM on June 09

Doesn't Nebraska count as a traditional power? Who are the traditional powers? Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, and Nebraska? Although Howard_T's East and West are intuitive, maybe the Bigger Ten could go Northwestish and Eastsouthish, essentially trading the state of Michigan for the state of Illinois:

Eastsouthish: Penn State, Pitt, West Va, Ohio State, Purdue, Indiana, Illinois, Northwestern.

Northwestish: Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa, Iowa State.

posted by Aardhart at 06:24 PM on June 09

The primary problem with that scenario is that you'd have Ohio State and Michigan in separate divisions, and I'm sure they would want to keep those two playing every year.

And the "traditional powerhouses" all being in the East in the other setup isn't really any different from the lineups of the Big 12 North and South right now. Wisconsin and Iowa are certainly consistently better than pretty much any Big 12 North team has been lately (much to the chagrin of this Gopher fan).

posted by TheQatarian at 06:50 PM on June 09

The primary problem with that scenario is that you'd have Ohio State and Michigan in separate divisions, and I'm sure they would want to keep those two playing every year.

Other conferences have "rivalry" games in which East/West or North/South teams play each other every year. In the SEC each east and west team has a rivalry game of sorts that it plays every year against a team from the other division (I know LSU and Florida play every year and believe Bama and Tennessee do as well).

posted by holden at 06:56 PM on June 09

Other conferences have "rivalry" games in which East/West or North/South teams play each other every year. In the SEC each east and west team has a rivalry game of sorts that it plays every year against a team from the other division (I know LSU and Florida play every year and believe Bama and Tennessee do as well).

Yup, and you have UGA, where one of there most hated rivals is from SEC West (Auburn) and they play yearly. Plus, there's the bi-yearly game of UGA-LSU is very intense. And they play GT yearly, too.

So, yea, not being in the same sub-conference can certainly work for rivalries. Granted it may be easier in a 12-team conference to have such a schedule than a possible 16-team conference where more alternating conference games may be required.

posted by jmd82 at 09:53 PM on June 09

Granted it may be easier in a 12-team conference to have such a schedule than a possible 16-team conference where more alternating conference games may be required.

That's pretty much the problem. The conference season is eight games, so if you have to play everyone in your division once, that's 7 of the 8. If you lock in a "rivalry" game with the other division, then you never play any of the other 7 teams in the other division.

Perhaps the conference season would have to be expanded to 9 or 10 games, and lose a non-conference game or two. But then teams would get to feed on cream puffs and bolster their records.

posted by TheQatarian at 11:22 PM on June 09

Good point, and that's why I think 12-team conferences are perfect. Play your division every year and other divisions every other year or every year depending on rivalries. Seems that in a 16-team conference, you might see a conference team once every 3-5 years? That doesn't sound very conferency to me.

posted by jmd82 at 11:55 PM on June 09

Wisconsin and Iowa are certainly consistently better than pretty much any Big 12 North team has been lately

So add three Big 12 North teams? It's certainly not about football; it's about money.

Dallas sports radio this afternoon was all about the death of the Big 12, with Texas, TTech, TAMU, OU, OUState and Colorado going to Pac16. Supposed to happen in 2012 because of conference restrictions. I assume same restriction would keep Nebraska and Missouri in Big 12 until then? If not, don't know what the teams would do about the 2010 and 2011 schedules since they are set and would be hard to change this late.

posted by graymatters at 12:03 AM on June 10

Lifelong Iowa fan here. Yay for adding Nebraska, but keep Iowa State out of this, okay? The very idea of ISU in the Big Ten makes my skin crawl. Happily, I cannot imagine it's the remotest possibility. The Big Ten is ambitious, not desperate.

Division Alignment? Maybe this would work:

North Michigan, Penn State, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Purdue

South Ohio State, Nebraska, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan State

Some geographic compromises there, I know, and a couple of traditional rivalries would be played less frequently. But I like it better than the east-west splits I've seen.

Fourteen seems cumbersome, but if we thinking big: adding NE, ND, and Pitt seems like best possible way to round out a new megaconference.

posted by Uncle Toby at 01:05 PM on June 10

I had an appointment with my rheumatologist, a Kansas grad, who had an interesting take. He seems to think that the Big Ten is playing Missouri for a fool, and that the Big Twelve isn't too happy with Missouri either. His thinking is that when Notre Dame sees what is happening, given that their TV contract is up in the not-too-distant future, they will opt for the Big Ten as well. He personally is hoping that Kansas somehow winds up in the Big Ten, but thinks that the State Board of Regents would insist that Kansas State go along as well.

I threw Iowa State into the mix just to get an even number of teams and because of its geographical location. Its quite possible that when some of the Big 12 teams go to the Pac 10, the Mountain West might expand and include Iowa State and possibly Missouri and the Kansas teams. Another consideration is basketball. I've been looking only at the football aspect, but if the Big Ten wants to upgrade the competition in its basketball programs, Kansas is a good choice.

posted by Howard_T at 02:42 PM on June 10

Agreed, Howard_T, about Missouri. They look like an afterthought, really.

posted by Uncle Toby at 03:01 PM on June 10

Colorado has announced for the Pac-10, let the deluge begin!

posted by billsaysthis at 03:23 PM on June 10

I always loved the symmetry of the Pac-10 -- two teams from Washington, two teams from Oregon, two teams from Northern California, two teams from Southern California, and two teams from Arizona -- and the fact that each team played every other team each football season. Too bad that will change, but I am sure the generally more lucrative TV rights and the additional revenue from a conference championship game was too much to pass up.

posted by holden at 03:35 PM on June 10

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