Read what you want into quotes by athletic director Tom Osborne on the possibility of Nebraska leaving the Big 12 for another conference, but it's clear the Cornhuskers are considering the possibilities.
"These are interesting times," Osborne told the Lincoln Star Journal. "I think fans are a little bit nervous. All I can tell fans right now is don't think for one minute that we're asleep at the switch, that we’re just sitting here waiting for something to happen to us.
"It's much better to be proactive than reactive. I don't think I'm free to say much more than that. We are very aware. We don't plan to get left at the gate, although we could be. I just don't know what’s going to happen in this environment."
Although Osborne said "it's hard for me to believe that Texas could get a better deal" than it has in the Big 12, the case is "a little different" for Missouri and Colorado. Missouri has been mentioned as a candidate to join the Big Ten and Colorado has been linked to the Pacific 10.
The Big 12's TV payout structure has long been a sore subject for the league's lesser members. Only half of Big 12 TV revenue is divided equally. The other half is put in an "appearance pool." Teams earn units of credit for every football TV appearance and for basketball nonconference TV games.
Texas, Nebraska and Oklahoma, which get more TV appearances than other league members, cash in on the deal whereas Iowa State, Kansas State and Baylor take a financial backseat.
Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard made a plea with Big 12 members to change the system at the 2007 league meetings. Pollard, who came to Ames from Wisconsin, said the Big 12 system was broke and that the Big Ten, which splits its revenue equally, was a stronger league because it divided the pie equally.
"That is a big reason that they have grown their brand as strong as they have," he said.
Although Pollard was later backed by outgoing Big 12 commish Kevin Weiberg, the league's powerhouse members would have none of it and the league has cobbled along since.
But as Osborne suggests, times are changing and the Big 12 might not be able to hold rank much longer. With the likely departure of at least two teams and no viable replacements in its neighborhood, the league could go the way of the old Southwest Conference.
That, of course, would force Texas' hand.