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Expansion Focus Now On Notre Dame?

I wanted to dedicate all my direct time to the Husky football this week, but expansion seems to be changing, and evolving not only every day, but every couple of hours with boards of regents burning the midnight oil at the major schools about to be affected.

This is a brief  re-cap based on reports from around the country over the last twenty-four hours. It seems the rumor that the Pac 10 was ready to invite six members from the Big 12 has moved up everyone's timetable.

Obviously Larry Scott's and the Pac 10 Presidents moves over the weekend have put the conference in the lead in a race that started last fall when the Big Ten said they could add one to five teams. It is ironic that the Pac 10 could end up as the big winner in the moves that could happen over the next 72 hours.

This article really explains where everything is right now and it logically focuses on ND, Nebraska, and Texas. The New York Times has a very intriguing question:

Does Notre Dame become the 12th team in the Big Ten or does it risk being forced to later join the conference as the 16th team?

"I think it’s impossible to say," Swarbrick said Monday when asked about the theory that Notre Dame joining the Big Ten would stabilize the collegiate landscape. "I understand why people have that conjecture. I also think it’s equally plausible that enough things have been spun in motion that it may not be true."

NY Times

If the Big 12 falls apart there will be a total reconstruction of college football as we know it organized into a power structure of four super conferences. If Notre Dame joins the Big Ten the conference stops expanding at 12 and movement throughout the rest of the collegiate world will be minimal

So is Notre Dame on the clock along with Nebraska?

The worst-case scenario for Nebraska would be to say no thanks to the Big 12, allow the Big 12 South schools to start negotiating with the Pac-10, only to see Notre Dame ultimately change its mind, land in the Big Ten, and leave Nebraska with the not-so-unthinkable scenario of joining Missouri, Colorado, Kansas and Kansas State in the Mountain West.


Missouri has a deadline of its own and this article asks what the Big 12 will do if they don't get loyalty oaths from Missouri and Nebraska. The only ramification I can think of is that half the conference will head West.

The University of Missouri has a deadline of June 17 to state its loyalty to the Big 12 and intention to stay in the conference, a source familiar with the matter said Tuesday.

Previous media reports out of Texas have suggested the conference gave MU and Nebraska a deadline of late this week with the possibility of it being extended.

Left unclear is what, if any, tangible ramifications would come with a negative response to the ultimatum. It is not believed, for instance, that the Big 12 has the power or inclination to cast out Mizzou should the school decline to pledge to stay.

StL Today

Should Colorado snub the Big 12 and Pac 10?

The Buffaloes could use some creative thinking. So here's one modest proposal: What if Bohn shopped CU to the Mountain West with the idea of becoming a 12-team league eligible for a conference championship game in football?

Denver Post

Kansas is fighting for it's BCS Survival.

"We want the Big 12 to continue," Gray-Little said. "But because any one or more of these things could happen, part of our discussion also is what would be the next plan for us. I don't have any specifics to give you at this point, but that has to be part of our thinking. If the efforts to keep the Big 12 in fact do not work out, what alternatives will there be for us or K-State and the other universities that might not be part of some new organization?"

Kansas and Kansas State, fierce rivals for decades, have vowed to work together.

Associated Press

Iowa State fans feel like they are about to be hosed.

Things are still fluid, but strong signals continue to point toward Nebraska and Missouri going to the Big Ten and six Big 12 South schools to the Pac-10 — which would leave Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State and Colorado deserted through no fault of their own.

"It's tough to be the odd man out,'' said Cyclone grad Bill Ziegmann of Omaha. "It seems like just about everybody has a place to go except Iowa State.''

Omaha World Herald

A Kansas City newspaper looks at the limited options of the Kansas schools.

Here’s one for a 20-team "super" conference that includes the Jayhawks and Wildcats and pretty much everybody else who echo in the empty stadiums of the pre-Christmas bowl games. The Mountain West didn’t add Boise State as expected. How does Mountain Midwest grab you? Hey, if Memphis can live a full and healthy basketball life in Conference USA

The SEC would rather stay at 12 because since they won't get Texas it really doesn't help them expand their footprint. If everything goes to 16 they will start making overtures to ACC members.

Florida president Bernie Machen said last week at the SEC spring meetings in Destin, Fla, that the league would be "reactive, not proactive" on expansion. That said, Slive will be prepared to shift from reactive to proactive mode in less than six seconds.

Go Gamecocks

Could Nebraska's move to the Big Ten already be a done deal? Good sources last night said they are and the dominoes could be ready to fall.

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.

Direct confirmation from Nebraska of a conference change for the Huskers wasn't immediately available. Sources at two other Big 12 schools told The World-Herald that their athletic directors have instructed them to be ready by week's end for a briefing on probable Big 12 changes.

Omaha World Herald