I'm going to go ahead and call yesterday the worst day in the history of Twitter. And not just because the Fail Whale made quite a few appearances throughout the day. I've often said that the Internet is the greatest creation the world has ever seen (slight exaggeration) ... and the worst creation the world has ever seen. Well, if that is the case, then Twitter is the Internet of the Internet. It has worked to make communication and the spread of news even faster, and that's great ... except for when everybody is racing to break news that isn't ready to be broken.
Multiple times yesterday, I hopped on to check my updates and found myself with a rather ridiculous number of college football posts ... and no actual, provable news. There was breaking news from Chip Brown ("Nebraska regents have informally agreed to leave for the Big Ten. A formal announcement will come Friday."), retweeted by everybody ... then there was contradictory information ("Nebraska regents' conference call still in progress, according to board chairman's office."), retweeted by everybody.
There was my favorite -- more breaking news from Chip Brown!!!! ("Texas AD and President gathered coaches at 2 p.m. to tell them they did all they could to save B12 but were unsuccessful."), retweeted by everybody ... then there was news stating the exact opposite ("Augie Garrido said DeLoss Dodds did meet with #ut coaches today but never mentioned that Big 12 was dead or anything was final."), retweeted by ... well, not everybody. That one hurt the narrative too much, so I saw people pushing Brown's account throughout the evening.
I think we know which direction this whole story is headed, and considering the historical implications, the story is moving at a startling rate. But it's not moving as quickly as the narrative wants it to, and so anybody trying to keep up with the story in real time is fed nine pieces of jumping-the-gun information (or just straight-up false stories). Even SportsCenter. But hey ... at least Chip Brown's life is going swimmingly, as I'm sure Orangebloods' is as well. And that's all that really matters, right?
Anyway, while I don't believe the dominoes have begun to fall yet, they're obviously teetering. And I'm sure we'll have a couple more fun days of 95% rumors ahead.
(And if you're even more sick of realignment talk than I am, skip to the bottom and soak in the great Trib story on Rick McGuire.)
Conference Realignment Links
Nebraska has an offer might have an offer about which they'll meet Friday to maybe accept! (shared in chronological order, as the narrative was all over the damn place)
ESPN.com: Nebraska president, athletic director expected to present options to university board of regents on Friday
Maize 'n Brew: Notre Dame, Nebraska involved in Expensive Game of Big Ten Expansion Chicken
For all the speculation regarding Nebraska joining the Big Ten, there seems to be something missing from the equation. What could it be.... oh yeah! An invite. Just little details.
A source told ESPN.com that Nebraska is "leaning toward" the Big Ten but is waiting for a formal invitation from the conference before acting.
I see how this works now. I'm also "leaning toward consummating" a relationship with Charlize Theron, but I'm waiting on a formal invitation. Maybe if I announce how willing I am, it'll happen. See what I mean about driving with your lights off?
Now Nebraska wouldn't be taking measures like this, or
quietly holding ontobroadcasting their intentions to anyone with a microphone, if they didn't have something to go on. I think. But then again, it was widely assumed Colorado would announce it was bolting for the Pac 10 last night. Only they didn't. In fact all they announced was that there was nothing to announce, only that they'd talked to their lawyers about what to do in the event an offer was extended.
Lincoln Journal-Star: Regent chair doesn't know of any Big Ten offer?
Omaha World-Herald: All signs point to Big Ten
Chicago Tribune: Nebraska will join the Big Ten, source says
College Football Talk: If Nebraska bolts, what's next in the game of conference roulette?
SI.com (Stewart Mandel): Nebraska ready to make right move at right time
Clone Chronicles: Nebraska, Big 10 Expansion, and Competitive Balance: A Few Thoughts
KC Star: As the Big 12 worries, Huskers are set to leap
SB Nation: Nebraska Says Report It Reached Agreement With Big Ten Is 'Not Accurate' (!!!!!)
SB Nation: Six Big 12 Schools to Depart for Pac-10
ESPN.com: Pac-10 Conference poised to Invite 6 Big 12 Conference teams
Ralphie Report: ESPN Reports Colorado Has Pac 10 Offer
Daily Oklahoman (That Fruity Guy): Pac-16 would be wise to avoid mistakes of Big 12
Daily Oklahoman: OU, OSU move west seems imminent
Austin American-Statesman (Kirk Bohls): Longhorns are not the villain in expansion scenarios
ESPN Dallas: UT, A&M, Tech pledge solidarity
Dallas Morning News: SEC might make one final pitch for Texas A&M
SI.com (Andy Staples): SEC? Pac-10? Big 12? Lots of options for Texas A&M
Burnt Orange Nation: Longhorns' Legacy in Big 12 (The Numbers)
The Trib: On this topic, nothing much left to discuss
KC Star (Campus Corner): Missouri and a Texas Recruiting Presence
The Trib (Dave Matter): Is there a Missouri domino?
I’m told Missouri Athletic Director Mike Alden has been calm during this potential storm. Some folks close to the athletic department are convinced he has an ace up his sleeve … even though all the Big Ten attention has been centered on Nebraska the last 48 hours. I’m told that the major players in Missouri athletics — starting at the top with Alden and football Coach Gary Pinkel — have taken a serious oath not to leak a single word of the school’s plans and any communications with the Big Ten. "Not to their family, their lawyers, friends. Nobody," one prominent booster told me. Frankly, the tight seal around this topic is rare for Missouri. Someone at the highest level of the state government made the comment to me on Wednesday that, "Is it just me, or is Missouri exercising rare discipline in keeping quiet on this topic?" I absolutely agreed.
There are a lot of theories out there as to how many schools the Big Ten intends to add … the role Notre Dame plays in all of this … the Big Ten's genuine interest in Missouri and Rutgers ... . Some of those theories and leads I’m hearing contradict each other, so there’s a lot of smoke billowing through phone lines and laptops. I’ll be at the UM Board of Curators meetings Thursday and Friday hopefully to shed some light on Missouri's scenario.
Omaha World-Herald: Big 12 breakup a federal case?
Dr. Saturday: Kansas senators lobby Huskers, threaten legal fight to save Big 12
Bring On the Cats: It's Over
Don't say this is about the Big 12 being against you, Nebraska. You'll throw all those 11-1 votes out there as evidence that everyone was wrong and out go get you. One of those 11-1 votes was for a conference championship game. Yeah, that was a really f***ing terrible idea. Only brought more money in to your athletic department every year. The other was partial qualifiers. I suppose it's true that limiting partial qualifiers is one more hypocritical gloss on the blatant hypocrisy that is big-time college athletics, but the pitiful use of "partial qualifiers" as the crutch upon which you based all your problems got old quickly. The reason that Nebraska fell from its rightful perch among college football's elite couldn't possibly have been that Tom Osborne mandated that they hire a long-time assistant who was woefully unqualified to be the head coach of a major-college football team. Or that they followed that guy up with one of the worst hires in the history of college football (right up there with Ron Prince). No, if they had been permitted partial qualifiers, all would have been just fine under Frank Solich and Bill Callahan. Oh yeah, and one final comment on this topic: I'll bet you right now no Nebraska fan will mention another 11-1 vote that happened recently. That would be the 11-1 vote against the University of Texas on the conference's fifth tiebreaker to break a three-way divisional tie in football. It seems that, rather than trying to tear any one university down, most Big 12 schools are capable of recognizing a galactically stupid idea when they see it, and voting accordingly.
That last mention turns my attention to Texas. We really appreciate that you "did everything you could to save the Big 12" recently. Because it's obvious you were willing to go to any lengths necessary to save this conference, other than actually, you know, doing something. Texas was willing to do anything, as long as it still got a disproportionate share of the revenue. Texas was willing to do anything, as long as the conference changed an obscure tiebreaker rule that probably never would have affected it again. Texas was willing to do anything, so long as it was permitted to start up its own TV network, with no interference from a conference-wide network that would benefit all schools, or a new deal from FOX this week that might have saved the conference.
Team Speed Kills: SEC Invades Cuba in Latest Step of Conference Wars
Dallas Morning News Blog: Is It 1994? (I was going to blurb this one, but instead I think I'll write an entire post about it shortly)
Dr. Saturday: As Big 12 braces for split, will holdovers decide it's worth saving?
Mizzou Football Links
- ESPN.com Big 12 Blog: Big 12's most irreplaceable players and their backups
Other Mizzou Links
Mizzou Has Smart Kids!
MUtigers.com: Mizzou Ranks Second in Big 12 for APR Report
Mizzou Track & Field
The Trib: Coach's final meet has special meaning
MUtigers.com Blog: NCAA Championship Live Blog - Day One
SimmonsField.com: Mizzou Baseball Past & Future
The Missourian: Missouri's Aaron Senne is ready for the next level