Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Future of Nebraska Football

There is a lot of talk going around about the University of Nebraska leaving the Big 12 athletic conference and joining the Big 10. I’ve spent quite a bit of time today reading dozens of news articles on the internet trying to find out just exactly what is going on. From what I have read, it seems like nobody really knows anything right now.

In trying to sort through all the rumours and speculation, I’ve drilled down to two basic facts: 1) The Big 10 conference is looking to expand by adding one or more schools to its roster, and Nebraska has been named as a likely candidate. 2) The University of Nebraska’s Board of Regents is currently discussing the possibility of a conference shift. Other than that, nothing is certain, although it sounds like there could be a decision from Nebraska as early as this Friday.

Now, on to the rumours and speculations. Of all the articles I’ve read, whether news or opinion, most seem to agree that if Nebraska jumps ship, the entire Big 12 conference will dissolve. There are a variety of reasons why that might happen, but the prevailing theory is that with Nebraska gone, the Big 12 will become too weak to compete on a national level and the other schools will look for better deals as well. In fact, it sounds like the Pac 10 conference is already seriously courting the entire Big 12 south division.

Basically, it sounds like the Big 12 will cease to exist, with all twelve schools being absorbed into other conferences. Nebraska and Missouri are expected to join the Big 10. The Pac 10 will pick up six other schools: Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and either Colorado or Baylor. It sounds like Colorado is the more likely candidate for the Pac 10, but there is a rumour that Texas is creating legislature to keep all four Texas schools together. If they go with Colorado, Baylor may get left out in the cold. After all that, there is a possibility of the Mountain West conference, which I have never even heard of, picking up Kansas, Kansas State, and Iowa State. If the Pac 10 chooses Baylor over Colorado, then CU may also go to the Mountain West.

So why is all this happening? Partly for security. Much as I hate to admit it, Texas is a national powerhouse in college football. If Texas leaves the conference, the old Big 8 schools may be left in the lurch. It would be better for Nebraska to get out before that happens, especially while there is a very good offer on the table. As you may have already guessed, money is a major factor. They are saying that in the Big 10, UNL television revenues could increase by as much as 20 million dollars per year.

I’ll be honest with you, I’m not real fond of change, especially on such a large scale. Football is a pretty big deal in Nebraska, as it is in many states. I’ve spent my whole life watching Nebraska play against Oklahoma and Kansas State and Colorado. Especially Oklahoma. Football fans all over the country are aware of the rivalry between NU and OU. If all this happens, it's likely that the two teams will never meet on the field again. Things are always getting bigger. During my years at UPS, I witnessed first-hand how little companies get swallowed up by big companies. Mom and Pop stores get overrun by national chains, and little football conferences get absorbed into larger super-conferences. It’s just sad sometimes. This world is no place for nostalgics like me, I guess.

Well, at any rate, it doesn’t sound like we’ll have to speculate much longer. There should be some concrete news on this by the weekend. In the meantime, I better start learning what schools are in the Big 10 conference!

Psalms 102:26-27 They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded. But you remain the same, and your years will never end.

1 comment:

  1. My knowledge of the importance of conferences is nil, but you shed some light on it for me.

    I just like football I don't care where they go or what they do, just play ball!

    BUT when it boils down to the money factor it makes me wonder where our nation as a whole is headed? Are we going to be absorbed by the almighty dollar? Haven't we already been sucked into the pool and set on the tidal wave of economics?

    *tosses hands up in the air*

    Give me life, or give me football!

    GO HUSKERS! We're with you!