In the next of what will be several big moves to change the the landscape of college football, Nebraska has left the Big 12 and will join the Big Ten. Nebraska’s intentions are to begin Big Ten play in 2011, with the academic side of things changing over right away. Excuse me again to to the University of Colorado and Boise State, who actually left their conference today, too … but this is the first school to leave that matters. Here is the definitive statement from Nebraska’s chancellor Harvey Perlman:
“I will ask you to authorize the University of Nebraska Lincoln to apply for membership in Big Ten.”
Many people feel like this is the domino that will set off the huge reaction around college football. I agree and disagree with that. While Nebraska leaving does add incentive for Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas Tech, and Texas A&M to leave for the Pac-10, perhaps the league could have worked something out if one of its original Big 8 members was not intent on leaving. Then again, what damages a conference more: one team leaving, or FIVE? That’s six, if you include Colorado.
There are so many ways to go from here. For instance, will the Big 10 stop with adding Nebraska? They could add Notre Dame, Rutgers, Missouri, or Pitt. Though, since Mizzou is on the “we are proud members of the Big 12” kick lately, that means they are not getting an invite. My prediction on what happens for the Big Ten’s expansion is that for right now, they will stay with just Nebraska. I just don’t think that Notre Dame wants to join a conference because they really don’t have to, and the other schools mentioned above don’t add that much value.
I, for one, am thrilled that Nebraska is joining the Big Ten. I never had ties to the Big 12 anyway, since I grew up in Big Ten country. This conference switch just makes sense. I am excited that by the time I am an alum of the great University of Nebraska, we will be playing the likes of Iowa, Michigan, Penn State, and Ohio State. While I am on Ohio State [RL note – THE Ohio State University, thank you], you all know that the BSO Don, Robert Littal, is an alum. I will say it now: the Buckeyes don’t want it with the Huskers. There will be plenty of time for that, though, so stay tuned on Twitter.
As for the remaining schools left in the conference, assuming the Oklahoma schools plus Texas schools (minus Baylor) leave for the Pac-10, Missouri, Kansas, Kansas State, and Iowa State are rumored to either go to the Big East or maybe merge with the Mountain West. Nobody really wants poor Baylor. Either way, this is only the start of more moves that will change college football for a long time.
Greg Smith is one of the newest BSO writers and comes from a long background of high school star athletes and arm chair quarterbacks. You can follow Greg on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/g_twitty