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Archive for Saturday, June 12, 2010

Huskers hightailing it: Football-rich Nebraska leaves Big 12 for Big Ten

Football fans at Memorial Stadium in in Lincoln, Neb., pictured above, will call the Big Ten Conference home after the school announced it was leaving the Big 12 on Friday. The Cornhuskers will attempt to begin play in the Big Ten in 2011.

Football fans at Memorial Stadium in in Lincoln, Neb., pictured above, will call the Big Ten Conference home after the school announced it was leaving the Big 12 on Friday. The Cornhuskers will attempt to begin play in the Big Ten in 2011.

June 12, 2010

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One thing many people worried about when Kansas University football coach Turner Gill was hired in December doesn’t seem like much of a problem anymore.

Nebraska officially moves to Big Ten

Nebraska announced officially Friday that it was leaving to join the Big Ten Conference. The school said it believes its academics fit better with the rest of the conference. Enlarge video

On Friday, as expected, the University of Nebraska — where Gill starred as a quarterback in the 1980s — announced its intention to leave the Big 12 Conference for the Big Ten. Nebraska became the second school in the past two days (Colorado officially joined the Pac-10 on Thursday) to depart the 15-year-old Big 12, which now appears closer than ever to extinction.

Because the Cornhuskers hope to begin play in the Big Ten in 2011, it appears Gill may have to face his alma mater just once as the head coach at Kansas, thus making concerns about his potentially divided loyalties all but moot.

Although Gill almost certainly has his own thoughts about Nebraska leaving its former Big Eight brothers, the KU coach made clear his feelings toward the Big Red when he was hired by Kansas.

“It’s just a name of a school,” he said. “I’m not getting caught up in where I’ve been. Obviously, I understand it. I have great memories there, and I have great respect for Nebraska. But I’m here to tell people about the University of Kansas and what we have to offer.”

What exactly that will be remains to be seen, as the rumors of Kansas heading to this conference or that continue to rage. What we do know for sure is that the Big 12 is down to 10 members and that Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe is doing everything he can — perhaps hoping against hope — to keep the conference alive.

“I will still be working for the remaining 10 institutions,” Beebe said via teleconference Friday. “I’m going all the way to the final whistle, and I have every intention of holding together the 10 that we have. I’m playing it out as hard and fast as I can, and I’m doing the best I can to help them understand what they would give up by leaving and what they have by staying.”

Although the reasons for Nebraska’s departure vary and are wide-ranging, Nebraska President J.B. Milliken spelled it out clearly Friday afternoon.

“The University of Nebraska would have new opportunities with membership in the Big Ten — and I believe the Big Ten would be a stronger conference as well,” he said.

For Nebraska Chancellor Harvey Perlman, the move came down to the future. Heading to the Big Ten, Perlman said, offers the kind of security that the Big 12 cannot.

Added Nebraska athletic director Tom Osborne: “As we read the tea leaves and listened to the conversations, some of the schools that were urging us to stay, we found some of them had talked to not only one other conference or two but even three, and those were the same ones urging us to stay,” he said.

Osborne continued: “This is not about any type of vindictiveness. You don’t make a decision of this size based on where you’re going to play Big 12 championship games.”

For now, it appears as if the Big Ten is finished with the Big 12. When asked if his conversation with Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany revealed any plans for adding Missouri, which has been open about its desire to follow Nebraska into the Big Ten, Beebe said: “At this point, my understanding is that there aren’t any other Big 12 members being considered by the Big Ten.”

The funny thing about that statement is that the Big Ten now might be the only conference not considering adding Big 12 schools.

Sources have told The Journal-World that the Mountain West Conference, which made a splash Friday by poaching perennial football power Boise State from the Western Athletic Conference, would jump at the chance to add any Big 12 institutions left in limbo.

“Without a doubt,” the source said. “The Mountain West would be very aggressive in moving forward to add any Big 12 schools that might be looking for a conference.”

Furthermore, East Carolina athletic director Terry Holland spoke frankly about his conference’s interest in any Big 12 castaways.

“Conference USA is rapidly preparing to compete for the remaining Big 12 members if the meltdown continues to a full implosion,” Holland said in a statement.

Another report, from ESPN, indicated that four of the five schools originally rumored to be heading to the Pac-10 with Colorado — Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas Tech — would be ready to announce their departures as soon as Tuesday.

That would bring the Pac-10’s membership to 15. At that point, most believe, there would be one more spot available in the Pac-10 that could be filled by Texas A&M, which was in the original merger talk, Kansas or Utah.

A&M has been rumored to have a strong desire to join the SEC, and SEC Commissioner Mike Slive revealed Friday that he would be willing to move current SEC schools Alabama and Auburn to the SEC East to allow for Texas and Texas A&M to slide into the SEC West.

Despite all of the rumors that continue to grow wilder by the day, Beebe said the Big 12 still had value with the 10 members that remained in the conference as of Friday.

“We could look at adding teams if the 10 institutions we have remain together,” Beebe said. “And that’s something we need to consider. However, in terms of value and conducting a high-level conference, we don’t have to do that. The information we have is pretty strong that the 10 members we have would continue to provide a tremendous amount of revenue in the future. The question is, ‘Are there any institutions that would add more value?’ I’m not sure that’s the case.”

Throughout this entire ordeal, some of the most influential people in Kansas have remained unified in their desire to see KU and K-State move forward together. If the Big 12 south schools do, in fact, jump ship to the Pac-10 by Tuesday, that could do damage to that outcome, especially if KU is interested in becoming the 16th member of the Pac-10, if invited.

Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson released a statement in the wake of Nebraska’s announcement Friday. Along with pledging confidence in the university leaders, Parkinson’s statement spoke to the dire situation both schools are facing.

“The University of Kansas and Kansas State University are world-class institutions with premier academic, research and athletic programs,” Parkinson said. “Although it appears uncertain whether they will stay in the Big 12 or align with a different athletic conference, I am confident that Chancellor (Bernadette) Gray-Little and President (Kirk) Schulz, working with the Board of Regents, will make a choice that’s in the best interests of their student-athletes, their world-class universities and our state.”

Comments

Freestater456 3 years, 10 months ago

Ugh i wish! I'm so tired of them and I have been for quite a few years. And if we are able to keep the big XII together I believe we'll be better off without Nebraska and Colorado because we'll have more money for each school. And we're dropping two of the worst basketball programs in the conference! Those two schools were so worthless! I can't wait to watch nebraska get kicked up and down the field in the Big 10. It'll be oh so sweet.

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jhokfan 3 years, 10 months ago

Agree fs456:

I don't know about the KSU sites but their lemming-like fans keep coming here seeking validation for their program. I say good riddance to the warden and his flock of sheep. Is there any way they can expedite the process and leave now.

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Freestater456 3 years, 10 months ago

Good lord i hate nebraska. they always say that their fans are so great and polite and blah blah blah.... If you're so great you wouldn't be bragging. And yes Nebraska is scared of Texas deny it if you want but you've never measured up to them since they joined the big XII. I'm somewhat estatic that my school (KSU) will never be in a conference with that worthless school and its egotistical, obnoxious fans.

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jhokfan 3 years, 10 months ago

@ FKUHAHA - thanks for confirming everything I said.

FNUHAHA

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Yawnmower 3 years, 10 months ago

^ 1/10

Nofku. We don't care about your football, just like you obviously don't care about basketball.

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FKUHAHAHA 3 years, 10 months ago

@ jhokfan. I gotta admit that listening to you beakers try to talk smack about Osborne & NU has been amussing. That being said, regarding the so-called "wardens" legacy you forgot to mention that he NEVER lost to your sorry a$$ team. As for going for 2, sure he could've kicked the extra point to tie the game which would've locked up the national title but that wouldn't be the Nebraska way. You see in Nebraska we play to win, I guess you beakers like to settle. As far as recruiting criminals, sure Nebraska has had a few of them throughout the years but that is hardly unique to NU. Oh, and if you're looking for criminals you can start in the Kansas athletic department. And do you really belive we are going to THE BIG TEN because we can't beat Texas? More like we are leaving an unstable disfunctional conference for the most stable and wealthy conference in the nation. Don't try to tell me you beakers wouldn't do the exact same thing if given half a chance. Enjoy your new lives in an obscure second tier conference beakers.

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CHEEZIT 3 years, 10 months ago

Never forget. One time at a KU-NU game. Terry Allen was the coach I think. Game was close to the end. Know that is hard to believe. lol. Fifty thousand fans trying to leave stadium. Of course transportation didn't plan for it to be close. Only a few buses to get people out. This one red clad lady I think in her seventies starts complaining what a lousy university KU was. Got in a heated argument with her. Won't miss them!!!

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distant_voice 3 years, 10 months ago

Don't let the Texas ruse by Nebraska fool you. Texas was certainly no darlings and good riddance to the long whores. I lived in Nebraska for 17 years and the Corn hucksters had been talking about joining the Big-10 clear back when they were part of the Big-8. It has nothing to do with being treated badly by the Big-12; it has everything to do about the money they think they're going to rake in playing Michigan and Ohio State. Nebraska just joined the growing list of universities selling their pride for dollars.

Best thing for KU to do now is go independent and wait until they're courted by a top conference.

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Steve Miller 3 years, 10 months ago

Looks like texas has squeezed out a big turd .. go figure.. they need investigated too. i bet their fingers stink like lews...

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Yawnmower 3 years, 10 months ago

So if Texas caused Nebraska to bail, and destroyed the Big XII in the process, why would KU be clamoring to follow Texas to the PAC 10 ? Seems like KU would just be buying time until it happens all over again.

Kansas and the PAC 10 have nothing in common. Thumbs down from me.

Conf USA, SEC, Big 10ish, Big East, heck even the MWC are better fits

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jhokfan 3 years, 10 months ago

Here’s the wardens legacy outside the state of Nebraska.

Good coach, although that decision to go for 2 against Miami was a real brain fart.

Recruited lots of criminal types to Lincoln (claimed he was trying to rehabilitate them).

Afraid to compete against Texas so bolted to a weaker conference.

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catfishturkeyhunter 3 years, 10 months ago

Kansas in the Mountain West, Pac 10, Big 10 or SEC lmfao??? They would be better off in the Missouri Valley Conference. Atleast they have a chance to win there. Same with K-State, Iowa State and Baylor

Bradley University Creighton University Drake University Illinois State University Indiana State University Missouri State University Southern Illinois University Carbondale University of Evansville University of Northern Iowa Wichita State University

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Rickyonealku 3 years, 10 months ago

The Mountain West Conference was a geographical misnomer from the beginning, as it launched with San Diego State among its eight original teams before adding TCU in 2005 and Boise State on Friday.

The conference's reach doesn't appear to be stopping there.

According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Kansas, Missouri and Kansas State are on the Mountain West's radar amid a continuing shakeup of the Big 12.

But Baylor isn't considered a candidate to join the conference, with TCU standing staunchly in its way, the Fort Worth newspaper reported, citing unnamed sources.

Provided Kansas does not get the PAC-10 Invite which BTY has been mentioned if The A & M Aggies try for the SEC.

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yourworstnightmare 3 years, 10 months ago

Nebraska was tired of Texas' bullying, vanity and greed, from moving all championship games to Texas, to refusing to give up their TV rights to a Big 12 network.

Make no mistake: the dissolution of the Big 12 is due to Texas, just as their behavior before led to the dissolution of the Southwest Conference. The Big 12 is the second conference that Texas has destroyed.

The best thing that could happen for KU is an invitation to the Pac 10. The next best thing would be to join a strengthened Mountain West with KSU and possibly MU. Anything else, C-USA included, would be a setback. With Boise State joining the MWC, the MWC will be the conference that gets the BCS bid of the dissolved Big 12.

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Kevin Randell 3 years, 10 months ago

Nuck Febraska...... My advice to KU.... This year, rise up, and beat the crap out of Colorado and Nebraska in ALL sports. Show the Big-10 and Pac-10 what terds they invited to their conference!

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Rickyonealku 3 years, 10 months ago

Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe is doing everything he can perhaps hoping against hope to keep the conference alive.

This Tuesday June 15th, 2010 will go down as the day the BIG XII went bye bye.

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Rickyonealku 3 years, 10 months ago

Lets hope the PAC-10 extend an invite to Kansas University while Texas A & M try to convince the SEC they need AGGIEVILLE...

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