Friday, June 11, 2010

News - Conference Re-Alignment Taking Shape

On Friday, the University of Nebraska Board of Regents met in a televised conference to discuss and vote on a proposal to join the Big 10 conference. As expected, the board approved the motion in a unanimous vote of the members. While this was only a move to apply for membership into the Big 10, there is little doubt that the Big 10 will accept since they were the ones who extended the invitation.

Before the vote, most of the board members made brief speeches. The various speeches were mostly redundant, each member stating that a move to the Big 10 would be in the best interest of the university and the state of Nebraska for a variety of reasons, including increased research dollars, recruiting potential, and future stability. The increase in television revenues from sporting events was played down as a minor factor in the decision.

The only thing anyone said that was of real interest to me, was Athletic Director, Tom Osborne’s comment, “One school leaving a conference does not break up a conference. Two schools leaving a conference does not break up a conference. Six schools leaving a conference breaks up a conference.” Doctor Tom’s meaning was clear, even with Nebraska and Colorado already making pledges to join other conferences, it is still up to Texas whether or not the Big 12 continues to exist. Osborne is trying to make Texas the scape-goat, but I’m not sure if I agree with his logic. It's true, the remaining ten teams of the Big 12 could stick together and could even invite other schools to join, but without Nebraska and Colorado, the conference will be weaker and less attractive to the national television markets. I think it is only a matter of time now before the other schools of the Big 12 begin to disperse.

I’m glad that Nebraska was able to make a deal to ensure a stable future, but I still worry about what will happen to the rest of the Big 12 north. Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, and Missouri were important elements of the Big 12, but alone, they are not attractive targets for the major conferences to pick up. There was talk of Missouri also being invited to join the Big 10, but there has still been no official statement from the Big 10 on that. I just hate to see anyone get left behind. I dearly wish that the Big 10 would pick up at least one other team from the Big 12, thereby preserving at least a small part of Cornhusker football history. There's still plenty of time, the Big 10 has already stated that their expansion will take place in stages.

Now that Nebraska has made its decision, the media eye will most likely now turn to Texas. Will Texas pledge allegiance to the Pac 10, or will they try to piece together the crumbling Big 12? Only time will tell.

This all took place at approximately two o’clock pm cdt in Lincoln. When the five o’clock news came on, the first thing they announced was that the Big 10 had already accepted Nebraska’s application. I’m guessing the meeting this afternoon was just a formality and that this was already a done deal. The commissioner of the Big 10 conference was already on hand in Lincoln in time for the five o’clock news.

The official date of the merger will be July 1, 2011. That means this will be Nebraska’s last year in the Big 12, and maybe the last year of the Big 12 altogether. That will make this year’s football games very interesting indeed, especially Nebraska versus Texas on October 16 in Lincoln. For any teams that have grudges against each other, this will be their last chance to get one-up.

Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

1 comment:

  1. You know, sometimes we always fight change, but in the long run, it turns out for the best.

    And think of the NEW Championship games Nebraska can win!!! New rivals, new fun! :)

    Go HUSKERS!!!