We've said it before, and it could be another dud rumor, but as shared in fanposts last night, it could finally be that, in the words of Polexia Aprhodisia, "It's allll happppenninnnngggg..."
Lee Barfknecht is legit enough that NU really might be about to leave, negating all other links below
Omaha World-Herald (Lee Barfknecht): NU to Big 10 as early as Friday?
An executive at a Big 12 school relayed to The World-Herald on Tuesday that he expects Nebraska to become a member of the Big Ten as early as Friday.Lincoln Journal-Star: Tom Osborne hopes to put realignment talk to bed soon
Nebraska A.D. Tom Osborne offered implicit confirmation Tuesday night that the timetable on national conference realignment has been accelerated.On his monthly appearance on the Husker Sports Network, Osborne said:
"I think before too long — I don't know exactly what that time frame is — we'll be able to put this to bed," then he jokingly added, "because I'm getting tired of it."
Detroit Free Press: Missouri, Nebraska leaders prepare to talk about Big Ten
NE State Paper: Osborne Speaks
Chicago Tribune: Who should be in, out in Big Ten expansion
Now, I don't think we can conclusively assume from Osborne's quote that Nebraska is gone; when taken out of the context of what "an executive at a Big 12 school" said to Barfknecht, all Osborne has been saying is that he hopes a decision is made, in either direction, this week. And considering how many times "executives" at other schools have been wrong in the last six months (remember how Mizzou is a Big Ten slam dunk?), I'm not going to start assuming infallibility. BUT ... Barfknecht has his finger on Nebraska's pulse as well as any reporter at any school, so I'm treating this with a little more legitimacy than I would others. I'm just going on the record saying that the headlines we will see all day today ("Nebraska's leaving!!!!!") are a little more conclusive than they should be.
Of course ... I would say that, at the very least, the odds of NU being gone are 50/50. That being the case, we have no choice but to look at what it means for Missouri. Actually, what it means is pretty simple: by Friday, Missouri could officially be inches away from both their best- and worst-case scenarios.
If Nebraska is gone, I highly doubt the Big Ten stops there. Doing so would give them their championship game and solidify their football and volleyball rosters. But Dave Matter and others put a lot of work into showing just how much of an impact the Big Ten's "footprint" could have on the Big Ten Network's revenue (I believe the figures were this: the BTN makes 70 cents a month off of subscribers in the footprint, 10 cents outside the footprint ... a gigantic difference), and no matter what Nebraska brings to the table, expanding their footprint only to include the Omaha and Lincoln markets (which combine to be the same size as Springfield/Columbia/Jeff City) would only represent a minor improvement in BTN revenue. Since very few markets even outside the footprint would be adding BTN to their packages with the addition of Nebraska (I'm sorry, but I still don't think cable companies are saying "I wasn't on board with Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State, but I'm now on board with Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State and Nebraska!"), it wouldn't really make sense to stop with just the Huskers.
And maybe they're okay with not adding to the footprint ... but in a world where Nebraska's move to the Big Ten likely causes the formation of the Pac-16, which would encompass almost 40% of the nation's biggest markets, it would seem to me that the footprint and the BTN's potential new revenue would still be extremely important. The conference could still add Notre Dame to the roster if the Irish panic (I don't think it will happen, and besides, THAT wouldn't have any impact on the footprint either), which leaves at least one extra spot on the roster, since they wouldn't stop at 13. So I have to think that, in the shadow of the Pac-16 colossus forming to the west, Mizzou would either be fighting it out with Rutgers for the 14th spot on the roster, or joining Rutgers as the 13th and 14th members. I just don't think the Big Ten can stop at 12, considering what the fallout of NU-as-12th-member would create. Of course ...
...given that supposedly the Big 12 is quickly kaput if Nebraska leaves, then Mizzou is also one step away from the Great Plains Division of the Mountain West Conference if the Big Ten decides we are not worthy of inclusion. And in some ways, that's not the end of the world. We'd still be in a wonderful position for basketball -- we'd likely be in a division with KU, KSU and Baylor at the very least -- we'd be in position to win the Great Plains Division rather often, and ... as I joked to The Beef on e-mail yesterday, wouldn't it be so much more relaxing to be separated from Texas?
Of course, that was a joke. In a world without a Big 12, clearly the Mountain West (which, in a BCS world, would likely qualify as a BCS conference, whatever it's actually called) would be able to find a decent TV deal for football ... but we're talking lots of 11:30 Fox kickoffs, games on Versus, and untelevised road games. Granted, that wouldn't be much of a step down from the current situation ... but it would absolutely be a step down. And while Mizzou could continue to recruit the state of Texas ... a) Texas is Pac-16 country now, and b) nobody's really going to care about the Mountain West ... at least not as much as the Pac-16, Big Ten and SEC. Recruiting would likely suffer.
So here's what I suggest: in the next two days, get on the phone to 1) any Big Ten executive you may know, 2) your deity of choice, or 3) Tom Osborne (who might soon qualify as both #1 and #2). Mizzou needs a good break now because, if NU is indeed leaving, the ball has officially begun to roll.
More links after the jump. You've got to read the Carmelo-Kroenke quote.
Pac-16 getting closer
Dallas Morning News: A closer look at how the Pac-16 would operate
Dallas Morning News: Texas will thrive no matter what Nebraska decides, but other schools likely better off in Pac-16
CU regents meet (i.e. the big story before Barfknecht's story)
Orangebloods.com: Speculation growing Colorado preparing to bolt
Yeah, not so much...
Ralphie Report: Kyle Ringo of the BDC Reports No Pending Announcements From Colorado, Does Not Have Invite From Pac-10
KC Star: Missouri says board won't comment on Big Ten
The Trib (Dave Matter): Should Missouri answer the ultimatum? (as also referenced in FanShots)
NY Times: While Expansion Is Considered, Notre Dame Returns to Spotlight
Dr. Saturday: Expansion fury slows (ed note: whoops) with Irish independence on the brink
Beebe: still not a good commissioner (a.k.a. Big 12: still not a good league)
Post-Dispatch (Bryan Burwell): Big 12 head is taking the wrong approach
KC Star (Campus Corner): Jon Sundvold: If Big 12 Blows Up, Blame the League Presidents
Daily Oklahoman (That Fruity Guy from the Oklahoman): Dysfunctional Big 12 should die
Cry for Kansas (and K-State)
The Dagger: Kansas tries to avoid being homeless, but is it too late?
ESPN.com College Basketball Blog: Conference realignment: The sad reality
KC Star: K-State's future depends on what happens to Big 12
Double-T Nation: Conference Realignment :: Asking Too Many Questions
The Rivalry, Esq.: Winning the Expansion Game in Three Steps
Topeka Capital-Journal: Speculation unreal
Mizzou Football Links
- PowerMizzou: Kansas City camp recap
- KC Star: Move to Big Ten would not halt MU commitment to recruiting in Texas
- ESPN.com Big 12 Blog: Ranking the Big 12's best: No. 21 - Tim Barnes
- Examiner.com: Three things you missed amid expansion buzz
Mizzou Basketball Links
Josh Kroenke: Nuggets Owner
Denver Post: Kroenke family keeping Avs, Nuggets
The Missourian: Kroenke: Rams ownership will stay in the family
[Carmelo] Anthony also pointed out perhaps Josh Kroenke's strongest asset.
"He's a humble person. Humbleness will always get you over the hump," Anthony said.
The son of billionaire parents, Kroenke is as down to earth as they come, unassuming and gregarious to everyone.
Anthony and Josh Kroenke played against each another during a 2003 college game, which to this day sparks some trash talk between the two. Syracuse defeated Missouri 76-69 with help from Anthony's 16 points and 11 rebounds.
Other Mizzou Links
MUtigers.com: Softball Announces Annual Team Awards
The Trib: Missouri hopes to avoid 2-and-done
MUtigers.com: Rhea Taylor Named to All-Tournament Team
MUtigers.com: Five Tigers Selected in MLB Draft
SimmonsField.com: MU Recruit Jason Adam drafted in 5th round by Royals
The Missourian: Tigers selected in MLB draft
The Missourian: Nicholas leads five Missouri baseball players selected
SimmonsField.com: Mizzou Baseball 2010 Draft