Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe drew a line in the sand, and now Nebraska, guided by the steady hand of Tom Osborne, is ready to cross it.
The Cornhuskers are expected to become a member of the Big Ten by Friday, according to a report by Lee Barfknecht of the Omaha World-Herald.
Sources at two other Big 12 schools told Barfknecht that their athletic directors have instructed them to be ready by week's end for a briefing on probable Big 12 changes. Nebraska chancellor Harvey Perlman is expected to address the topic with the Board of Regents at its Friday meeting in Lincoln.
"There's a lot of information we really don't have right now," Osborne said. "Hopefully we'll get these put together in the next few days."
Osborne also said the move has nothing to do with any grudge he or other Nebraska officials might have against Texas.
"This is not a case of reacting to any one school," Osborne said, "particularly Texas."
Dan Beebe had his chance two years ago to save the Big 12 Conference, but the commissioner blew it by deciding to put his trust in Big Ten counterpart Jim Delany.
Instead, as many as eight Big 12 teams could get offers this week to join other conferences. Beebe, in a last-ditch effort to keep his league together, has given Nebraska and Missouri a deadline of Friday to commit to the Big 12.
Six other Big 12 teams are reportedly being targeted by the Pacific 10, which is looking to create a 16-team superconference.
All this could have been avoided if Beebe had decided in 2008 to support a proposal for a "Plus One" format to the Bowl Championship Series, writes Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports.
J. Brady McCollough, Kansas City Star: Kansas athletic director Lew
a $5,000 personal check to former Medical Outfitters co-owner Mark
Glass in April as a back rental payment for $15,000 worth of exercise equipment
he originally borrowed from Glass' company in 2005 at no cost to
Perkins, Glass told the Star. On May 27, still unsure who was
entitled to the money because Medical Outfitters had gone bankrupt, Glass said he deposited the check into a holding
account, where it will remain until he figures out where it should go.
Tully Corcoran, Topeka Capital-Journal: Is this check being issued stuff part of a coverup? Stephen McAllister, Perkins' attorney, was asked Wednesday why, if Perkins had paid for rental charges on the equipment, he didn't say that on Sunday when first contacted about the accusation against his client. "What I'd say is, first of all, there's a lot of facts here that are part of this investigation. You don't have all the facts." ... Kansas chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little has ordered senior university staff
to review the allegations against Perkins within 10 working days.
Kevin Haskin, Topeka Capital-Journal: The time is now. Perkins needs to resign if he truly cares about Kansas moving forward.
Les Zaitz, Oregonian: Oregon solicitor general Jerry Lidz, who oversees state appeals all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, has resigned, upset over how the attorney general's office investigated athletic director Mike Bellotti's unwritten million-dollar deal with the University of Oregon.
David Ubben, ESPN.com: Commissioner Dan Beebe slammed the door on any chance of the Big 12 restructuring its TV revenue sharing plan. Big 12 teams share half of their television revenue equally, but teams that play in more televised games receive a greater share of the other half. In 2007, Texas received $10.2 million and Baylor only $7.1 million.
Ryan Finley, Arizona Daily Star: Arizona is erecting a five-foot concrete wall designed to keep students from flooding onto the field after games. Students made news last November when Arizona led Oregon in the final minutes of a nationally televised game and hundreds of students stormed the field, anticipating a postgame party. The Ducks tied the score with 6 seconds left in regulation and won in double overtime, while students from the ZonaZoo and others waited on the sidelines.
Heisman Pundit: Are recruiting services beginning to go the way of the rest of the college football media in pumping up players from the South — in particular, Florida — at the expense of other regions.
Austin Meek and James Carlson, Topeka Capital-Journal: Kansas athletic director Lew Perkins' possession of exercise equipment may have violated state ethics laws, a review of statutes shows. According to Kansas law, state officers or employees are prohibited from accepting "any gift, economic opportunity, loan, gratuity, special discount or service provided because of such person's official position." Violation of that law could result in a $5,000 fine and termination, though the latter is to be determined by a supervisor. Meanwhile, Perkins characterized himself as a victim of blackmail while addressing reporters at the Big 12 meetings.
Tom Keegan, Lawrence Journal-World: Perkins left something behind when he traveled to the Kansas City for the Big 12 meetings. His signature swagger didn't make the trip, and one has to wonder how much longer he will remain as Jayhawk athletic director.
Mike DeArmond, Kansas City Star: Athletic director DeLoss Dodds said Texas will not be left on the sideline of conference expansion. "We’re going to be a player in whatever happens." He added: "We're watching what's happening with the Big Ten, probably to a lesser degree to the Southeastern Conference. If the landscape is going to change, we're going to be a part of it and be a viable part of it. Texas will come out of it in good shape."
Chuck Carlton, Dallas Morning News: Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe on possibly losing teams to other conferences. "I'd hate to see the conference decimated and create a flyover zone." Beebe also acknowledged targeting possible new members.
Matthew McGowan, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: A Lubbock district judge ruled to allow Mike Leach to proceed with his lawsuit against Texas Tech solely on grounds the university may have violated his contract when it fired him.
Dwain Price, Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Two sources close to Leach said the university still hasn't paid the coach at least $1.7 million for work he performed for the school during the 2009 season.
WISC-TV: Ron Dayne's bracelet commemorating his status as a Heisman Trophy winner was one of several items stolen from a home in which the former Wisconsin standout is living. It's the second time Dayne has been the victim of a burglary in two months. He lost more than $100,000 in jewelry, including Rose Bowl rings, in a previous break-in.
It has been a rocky 2010 for the Big 12. Nebraska and Missouri have lobbied to become members of the Big Ten, and
Colorado is ready to snuggle up with the Pacific 10. Commissioner Dan Beebe has suggested that he will draw a line in the sand, wanting to know who's in and who's out when league meetings begin Tuesday in Kansas City.
Division among league members has never been greater, and Beebe might best be served trying to be a uniter instead of a divider.
Money aside, the out-of-league flirtations of Missouri and Colorado are likely wrapped in fear. What would become of the Big 12 if Texas and Nebraska were to leave?
In Nebraska's case, its motivation to flee is more the result of a deep distrust of Texas. It started in 1996 with the formation of the Big 12.
Nebraska was king of college football back then, in the midst of a remarkable run that had Tom Osborne's Cornhuskers staking claims to national titles in 1994, 1995 and 1997. With victory came power and Nebraska, the marquee member of the Big 8, called the shots. That was until Texas got a seat at the new Big 12 table.