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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Welcome the Big Red to the Big Ten

Posted Friday, June 11, 2010, at 8:02 PM

The power of the almighty dollar has finally fueled the seismic shifts that have long been rumored in college football. Say goodbye to one Big 12 and hello to perhaps another one as Nebraska was unanimously approved as the newest member of the Big 10 -- plus two now. So as the former Big 12 has now lost Colorado to the Pac-10 and Nebraska to the Big 10, perhaps the two conferences should just stay where they are and just switch names.

Tradition quickly went out the window as the Texas schools began talking to other conferences, the Pac-10, SEC and Big 10 were all going after the Longhorns, the rumors of conference demolition and re-invention quickly became reality. If you can blow up a conference and switch a half dozen schools to new ones, kinda makes me wonder why they can't fix the BCS and create a playoff.

Money!

College football is a money making juggernaut that can't be ignored, just ask Kansas, a basketball super power that could be left out in the cold because no one cares about Jayhawk football. Just imagine a world where the Jayhawks play Boise State as part of its conference basketball schedule. It could happen as Boise State just joined the Mountain West and that could perhaps end up as Kansas' only invite if the Big 12 implodes completely.

What might be even stranger will be the sight of Nebraska coming to Bloomington for potential football games.

While an annual butt kicking from one of the Big 12's blue bloods might not sound particularly appealing, it does provide another likely sell out for some of the Big 10's cellar dwellers. It all comes back to money as we all know and Nebraska saw the ultimate bottom line. Don't underestimate the power of the Big Ten Network on luring potential suitors. Nebraska will end up doubling its annual television revenue from a reported $9.1 million during the 2007-08 school year to an estimated $20 million, minimum, in the Big Ten. The Cornhuskers are also in the midst of building a brand new basketball arena in downtown Lincoln.

Don't forget however, the ultimate goal in enticing new schools into the Big Ten is creating the necessary minimum number of schools to create a conference football championship game. That singular game will pump millions of dollars throughout the entire conference and make many a chancellor happy.

So where does it stop, no one really knows just yet. Maryland, Syracuse and Rutgers are all rumored to be interested in the Big Ten as well. Texas and Notre Dame are still on the fence, but even the Irish have got to listen to some offers especially if the Big East starts to come apart at the seams.

So football fans get to sit back and watch the dominoes begin to fall and listen to the rumor mill churn.



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