Big 10 Commissioner On Expansion: ‘Still Looking’

Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany and Nebraska officials made the media rounds today in the aftermath of the league poaching the school from the Big 12.

Jim Delany holds press conference at Nebraska

During the media sessions, Delany said the league will continue to look for expansion candidates over the next year but that, “we’re back to the slow tempo game.

Michigan State President Anna K. Simon said of the continuing Big Ten expansion process, “We have two-thirds of the study period left to go and we’re real anxious to work with Jim and others around the next step.

Delany would not comment on specific schools as targets, which I’m sure has the Big East absolutely delighted. Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe said today that, “it was his understanding” that the Big Ten was not interested in the remaining Big 12 schools.

Also notable today was Delany confirming that a Big Ten football championship game is now likely to happen in 2011 and that Nebraska sports will begin play in the league in the fall of 2011.

Delany would not speculate on how divisions for the Big Ten would play out though he gave the criteria for dividing up the league in order: Competitive fairness, rivalries, geography. (How you determine “fairness” I have no idea.)

More comments from Delany:

On scheduling: “This is not going to the moon, this is creating some football and basketball schedules. We’re going into this with the idea that rivalries really matter. But not all rivalries are equal. Our coaches have wanted to play deeper in December. That’s arrangeable.”

What Big Ten was looking for in possible expansion candidate schools: “We wanted to get to a point in time where everybody was equal. We didn’t want anybody that didn’t want equality.” (See veiled shot at Notre Dame, Texas.)

On a Big Ten football championship game: “I presume that we will.Read more…

Colorado Confirming Pac-10 Move Friday At 11am

UPDATE: Colorado to the Pac-10 is official - announced on Pac-10 official website.

Kyle Ringo of the BOULDER (CO) DAILY CAMERA reports Thursday morning:

It’s a done deal.

Colorado Buffaloes Floor Mat

The University of Colorado will announce at an 11 a.m. Friday press conference that the school will leave the Big 12 and join the Pac-10.

Multiple sources confirmed the deal to the Camera early Thursday, and league officials are scheduled to be in Boulder on Friday for the announcement.

Matt Hayes of SportingNews.com, Joe Schad of ESPN.com, and Jon Wilner of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS also report today that Colorado will be the first Big 12 school to formally accept an invitation from the Pac-10.

That news has the Texas political machinery in high gear. Read more…

NU Regents Chairman: Big 10 Reports ‘Inaccurate’

Brian Christopherson of the LINCOLN JOURNAL-STAR reports Nebraska Board of Regents Chairman Bob Phares said Wednesday evening that he had no knowledge of the school receiving an invitation to the Big Ten and that, “a report being circulated this afternoon among sports media stating that the University of Nebraska Board of Regents ‘met informally’ today and have ‘agreed to move to the Big Ten’ is not accurate.

Texas Coach Says School AD did not say Big 12 is dead

Chip Brown of Texas sports website Orangebloods.com reported earlier today:

Nebraska regents have informally agreed to leave for the Big Ten. A formal announcement will come Friday.

More from Christopherson on NU Regents Chairman Phares:

I asked Phares about reports circulating through cyberspace that Nebraska’s Board of Regents have agreed to move to the Big Ten and that a formal announcement Nebraska is leaving will come Friday.

Phares answer: “First of all, there are several factual errors. No. 1, there’s been no vote by the board at all. No. 2, as I understand it, there are no invitations that are extended. You decide if you wish to make an application and then they react to your application.

ESPN.com reported earlier Wednesday, “a source close to the Nebraska program told ESPN’s Chris Mortensen that athletic director Tom Osborne informed some staff members within the past 24 hours that the Cornhuskers were going to make the move to the Big Ten conference.”

Christopherson revealed after Mortensen’s report Wednesday evening that, “The Journal Star has spoken to coaches from three different sports who said there has been no meeting with Osborne since last Friday.

Phares added to the Journal-Star: “I heard that there were reports that Tom Osborne had advised all of his staff that it was a done deal. You can talk to Tom and see what his comment is. I would be immensely surprised if that was the case, because as I said there’s been no vote by the board and no formal decision.

Also today, Orangebloods.com reported: “Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds and president Williams Powers gathered UT coaches today at 2 p.m. CT to tell them they did everything they could to save the Big 12 but that they were unsuccessful.

The AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN’s Alan Trubow reported after that Orangebloods.com report: Read more…

Chicago Tribune: Nebraska Will Join The Big Ten

Teddy Greenstein of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE reports Wednesday:

Nebraska Board of Regents Agenda

The Big Red will be joining the Big Ten.

A source with knowledge of the expansion talks has confirmed to the Tribune that Nebraska will be invited to apply for Big Ten membership.

The league has not determined, the source said, whether it will remain at 12 schools or expand to 14 or 16.

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said Sunday that the league “could act and act again” - meaning that expansion could occur in phases.

The official website of the University of Nebraska lists “Resolution regarding UNL conference alignment” as being on the agenda of the NU Board of Regents meeting Friday at 1pm CT.

The meeting will not be televised but audio will be available on the official NU website.

Sean Callahan of KFAB-AM in Omaha also has this official statement from NU on Wednesday afternoon: “No action was taken during today’s (Regents executive committee) conference call, and none will be taken prior to Friday’s meeting.

Reports: Nebraska Will Join Big 10

(Texas Coaches Reportedly Informed Of Move Today)

Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com notes today that Nebraska’s reported move has six other Big 12 schools circling the wagons in preparation for an exodus to the Pac-10. Read more…

NU Regents: Conference Call Today About Big 10

The LINCOLN JOURNAL-STAR reports Wednesday that the Executive Committee of the University of Nebraska Board of Regents will meet today at 2:15p ET to discuss the school’s possible future conference affiliation.

When NU Regent Kent Schroeder was asked if he believed they would be discussing the realignment issue on the conference call, he said: “I anticipate that’s what it will be (about).”

NU Regents Bob Phares, Bob Whitehouse, Schroeder and Howard Hawks will be on the call.

More from Schroeder:

“It may be the purpose of this conference call today is for (University of Nebraska) President (J.B.) Milliken to get some input from the executive committee as if we do talk about (conference realignment) in closed session, who do we want to be there?

“Is Chancellor (Harvey) Perlman and athletic director (Tom) Osborne enough, or do you want to talk to other people? One of the things I’ve been reading about in the newspaper, and frankly that’s all I know about is what I’ve read, is it’s possible the research dollars would increase coming to the University of Nebraska because the Big Ten is more prestigious than the Big 12 in that regard.

So I might want to have (vice chancellor for research and economic development) Prem Paul there and ask him that question.”

Though information gathering is apparently one reason for the conference call today, there’s another factor in the hasty arrangement. Read more…

NU Regent: Board Could ‘Wipe Out’ Big 10 Move

Lee Barfknecht of the OMAHA WORLD-HERALD reports today, “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.

Nebraska new basketball arena factor in Big 10 expansion interest

(Source: Nebraska’s new arena piqued Big 10’s interest in school)

Barfknecht added that NU Chancellor Harvey Perlman, “is expected to address the topic with the Board of Regents at its Friday meeting in Lincoln.

Brian Rosenthal of the LINCOLN JOURNAL-STAR though reports that, “as of Tuesday, the topic is not on the agenda, although an item can be added as late as 24 hours in advance — in this case, 1 p.m. Thursday.

NU Board of Regents member Randy Ferlic told the Journal-Star that he hasn’t heard anything yet from Perlman or Osborne.

“I have not had any official or unofficial notification of anything other than what I’ve read in the newspapers and heard on the news.  If they were going to do something on Friday, I’d certainly want to get some backup data to support whichever way I want to vote. I don’t feel like I was ever elected to be a nod, and I’m not a nod.”

NU Communications Manager Melissa Lee said Tuesday that approval from the Board of Regents wouldn’t necessarily be required for the school to change conference affiliations.

In response to Lee’s assertion, NU Regent Ferlic scoffed at that possibility. Read more…

Out In The Cold? Panic Officially Sets In At Kansas

Lee Barfknecht of the OMAHA WORLD-HERALD reported yesterday, “two Big 12 sources confirmed to The World-Herald that last week Nebraska and Missouri were given a drop-dead date — this Friday afternoon — to commit to the Big 12. Nebraska, with a Board of Regents meeting this weekend, asked for a delay into the week of June 14-18.

Lew Perkins as Luca Brasi

(Lew/KU’s Conference To Sleep With The Fishes?)

Nebraska’s decision on conference affiliation reportedly could trigger six schools bolting from the Big 12 to the Pac-10. Those half-dozen schools reportedly don’t include Kansas.

If you want to take the temperature of Kansans on that matter, Topeka Capital-Journal columnist Kevin Haskin provides a significant sample today:

Calling all politicians.

Pat Roberts, Sam Brownback, Kathleen Sebelius, Mark Parkinson … anyone with any connections whatsoever. Be it a regent, congressman, mayor, board chairman, entertainer or evangelist.

The time is now to get involved on behalf of Kansas and Kansas State.

Find a phone number or address for Nebraska chancellor Harvey Perlman and rehearse a persuasive plea.

PLEEEESE! Do not abandon longtime partners you’ve competed against, and cajoled with, since helmets were made of leather.

While the dynamics of conference realignment are all about football, the shaky future of the Big 12 is more than just an athletics matter for KU and K-State.

If the Wildcats and Jayhawks are no longer competing in the big-time — repeat, rinse, repeat: B-C-S — virtually anything at K-State and KU could be affected. Adversely.

Both would still strive to be exemplary universities, retain great faculty, conduct breakthrough research and graduate sharp, promising professionals.

But enrollment could decline, perhaps significantly. Without as much sports exposure — be it daily on ESPN updates or over the course of a team schedule through television opportunities — the universities lose invaluable branding.

Embattled Kansas Athletic Director Lew Perkins strikes a similar tone on the subject:

“The most important thing for the University of Kansas and for college athletics is expansion. That’s it.

“If I said I wasn’t worried, I’d be a fool. I am worried every day — not only about Kansas and the Big 12, but for the Pac-10, the Big Ten. … This is serious, serious, serious stuff. I am concerned.”

Then there’s the most powerful man in Kansas, Jayhawks basketball coach Bill Self: Read more…

What? Baylor, Nebraska May Decide Fate Of Big 12

All hell has broken loose since I noted a report last week from a Texas-centric athletics website that claimed the Pac-10 was set to invite six Big 12 schools to join the conference.

Big 10 President Jim Delany As Pontius Pilate

(Delany’s All-Powerful Sceptre Controls Fate of Nebraska, Pac-10 Expansion?)

The site originating that report, Yahoo’s Orangebloods.com, has since added that Nebraska has been given an ultimatum by the Big 12 to state its intentions in the next two weeks. If the Cornhuskers remain on the fence or pledge allegiance to the Big Ten, six Big 12 schools will reportedly move to the Pac-10.

Missouri has also been given a similar deadline, but MU moving to the Big Ten is now reportedly a foregone conclusion. Nebraska though appears to be the trigger that could set the demise of the Big 12 in motion if it also defects to the Big Ten.

In the wake of that originating report, Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany acknowledged today that the timetable of his league’s expansion is likely to be affected by the Big 12’s new deadline for Nebraska and Missouri.

Teddy Greenstein of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE has the commissioner’s reaction to the Big 12 ultimatum today:

  Jim Delany: “The timeline could be affected.” In other words, it will be affected.

The ASSOCIATED PRESS also reports from this afternoon’s Pac-10 meetings:

The Pac-10 concluded its meetings Sunday by giving commissioner Larry Scott the authority to pursue any possible expansion, while not committing the conference to adding any more schools.

In the preceding months, Nebraska Athletic Director Tom Osborne has alternately professed his openness to joining the Big Ten while also playing coy about the prospect. Most recently, he’s been mum on the subject but today it was revealed that after Osborne met with Ohio State Coach Jim Tressel in late April, he sent an email to Nebraska Chancellor Harvey Perlman that read, “I think it would be a good time if we met sometime soon regarding the expansion landscape.”

So why is Nebraska so important to the future of the Big 12? Read more…

Tom Osborne Names Himself Interim Nebraska Football Coach

OSBORNE PICKS BEST MAN FOR NEBRASKA JOB - HIMSELF: The good Doctor Tom Osborne believes that if you want something done right, do it yourself:

Tom Osborne

The OMAHA WORLD-HERALD snaps news that the interim Nebraska athletic director has named himself interim head football coach for the Huskers.The move enables Osborne to recruit away from campus, and allows whatever coach Dr. Tom hires to make return visits to Husker hopefuls - all under the OK of NCAA rules.

Even when he decides on a new permanent coach, Osborne can technically stay on the football staff as an assistant, meaning he can do even more recruiting for the Big Red.

In the meantime, Tom will be getting his troops ready for Nebraska’s bowl game.

Colorado Nebraska football

Oh, wait.

Video Of Bill Callahan Snubbing Tom Osborne After Kansas Loss

NO DEFENSE FOR CALLAHAN POSTGAME SNUB OF OSBORNE: WOWT-TV in Omaha has postgame video of Bill Callahan walking off the field in Lawrence after his Cornhuskers lost 76-39 on Saturday - and apparently snubbing the school’s current interim AD Tom Osborne:

Bill Callahan Snubs Tom Osborne After Kansas Loss

In Callahan’s defense (no pun), what the hell is he supposed to do? Give Osborne a hug? That was the only good call Callahan made all day.