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  1. 2010 Jul 01

    Husker Heartbeat 7/1: Suh, Kiffin, TO, Vick, Lions, Tiger and Bears


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    Welcome to Husker Heartbeat - a sampling of links and quick wit to start your morning! Keep checking each morning, Monday-Friday, for new links! We look for the offbeat as well as the straightforward - so don’t just think of us as a typical link farm!

    A quick abbreviation key FYI: OWH=Omaha World-Herald, LJS=Lincoln Journal-Star, CN=Corn Nation, BRN=Big Red Network, HI=Huskers Illustrated, BRR=Big Red Report. If we need to add more - we will. Others, like ESPN, are self-explanatory.

    Cool? Cool!

    *Ndamukong Suh forges a relationship with former NFL Draft pick Lavar Arrington, who tries to help rookies acclimate to the league.

    *Seantrel Henderson doesn’t seem to want to go to USC now that the Trojans have been smacked around by the NCAA.

    *Tom Osborne and Harvey Perlman talks exit fees.

    *Ohio State spent $32 million on its football program in 2009 - the largest amount in the nation. Iowa was No. 3.

    *If Jake Locker wants to win the Heisman - Nebraska could be his coming out party. Jake may want to play well at BYU first.

    *Michael Vick, caught in a lie. Nah…

    *Tiger Woods caught in a lie, too. Nah…

    *Syracuse and Penn State will play in the new Meadowlands.

    *Baylor chasing a long bowl drought.

    Tags: husker heartbeat, ndamukong suh, tom osborne, harvey perlman, big 12, big ten expansion, tiger woods, michael vick, ohio state, penn state, baylor

  2. 2010 Jun 29

    Husker Heartbeat 6/29, Doc, Big Ten Division and Tom Harkin


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    Welcome to Husker Heartbeat - a sampling of links and quick wit to start your morning! Keep checking each morning, Monday-Friday, for new links! We look for the offbeat as well as the straightforward - so don’t just think of us as a typical link farm!

    A quick abbreviation key FYI: OWH=Omaha World-Herald, LJS=Lincoln Journal-Star, CN=Corn Nation, BRN=Big Red Network, HI=Huskers Illustrated, BRR=Big Red Report. If we need to add more - we will. Others, like ESPN, are self-explanatory.

    Cool? Cool!

    *The startup cost for the Longhorn Network should fall between $15 and $30 million.

    *LJS Sipple offers his take on the Big Ten divisions - opting for a Nebraska/Penn State side.

    *Doc Sadler hasn’t thought about the Big Ten yet. Why would he? Plus, the fire drill that is Nebraska’s summer trip continues - apparently parents of certain players don’t think a trip to Cancun is safe enough.

    *Tom Shatel finds it hard to say goodbye to Rosenblatt after this College World Series.

    *Iowa State, feeling a little miffed out of being left of the Big Ten, riles up its two senators.

    Tags: husker heartbeat, tom shatel, tom harkin, big ten expansion, steve sipple, texas

  3. 2010 Jun 28

    Husker Heartbeat 6/28: BTN, Sad Hoops and Mad Men


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    Welcome to Husker Heartbeat - a sampling of links and quick wit to start your morning! Keep checking each morning, Monday-Friday, for new links! We look for the offbeat as well as the straightforward - so don’t just think of us as a typical link farm!

    A quick abbreviation key FYI: OWH=Omaha World-Herald, LJS=Lincoln Journal-Star, CN=Corn Nation, BRN=Big Red Network, HI=Huskers Illustrated, BRR=Big Red Report. If we need to add more - we will. Others, like ESPN, are self-explanatory.

    Cool? Cool!

    *Lee B explores the birth of the Big Ten Network and how it benefits Nebraska. Also: How Big Ten and NU values dovetail.

    *An entirely too-long article on why the Big Ten won’t change its name.

    *Recent conference realignment events made it clear: College basketball doesn’t have near the cachet college football does.

    *The LJS examines the across-the-board competitiveness of the Big Ten.

    *New scholarship offer rules will make life a little harder for recruiting Web sites, but not really recruits.

    *AMC, the network behind Mad Men and Breaking Bad, is planning a new dramatic show around college football.

    *OWH tabs Rivals’ Jeremy Crabtree to say Nebraska might recruit more in the summer. Why? Because Big Ten teams are afraid of cold official visits. Shrug. We guess. The Big 12 South does more summer recruiting than just about any grouping of teams in college football.

    *Indiana and Purdue having winning records vs. Nebraska. For now.

    *USC appeals its harsh NCAA penalty.

    Tags: husker heartbeat, lee b, big ten expansion, big ten network, recruiting, usc, indiana, purdue

  4. 2010 Jun 23

    Husker Heartbeat 6/23: Suh, Turner, Sterup, Dillard, Phil Steele, Boyd Epley and The Old Debate


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    Welcome to Husker Heartbeat - a sampling of links and quick wit to start your morning! Keep checking each morning, Monday-Friday, for new links! We look for the offbeat as well as the straightforward - so don’t just think of us as a typical link farm!

    A quick abbreviation key FYI: OWH=Omaha World-Herald, LJS=Lincoln Journal-Star, CN=Corn Nation, BRN=Big Red Network, HI=Huskers Illustrated, BRR=Big Red Report. If we need to add more - we will. Others, like ESPN, are self-explanatory.

    Cool? Cool!

    *Ah, the old debate - 1994 Nebraska vs. 1994 Penn State.

    *Anticipatory breach of contract - what is it? And how does it affect Nebraska and the Big 12?

    *Art Briles on the spread. Kind of a must read.

    *Jamal Turner gives a thumbs up to Bubba Starling’s commitment.

    *Ndamukong Suh at the College World Series.

    *BRN: The recruiting momentum continues.

    *Phil Steele continues to prove that statistics don’t mean everything with his bizarre 2009 end-of-season rankings, which insist 8-5 Oklahoma was the No. 5 team in the country.

    *Maple Street puts out its Cornhusker Kickoff 2010.

    *Phillip Dillard signs with the New York Giants.

    *Boyd Epley, weightlifting pioneer.

    Tags: husker heartbeat, ndamukong suh, phil steele, jamal turner, recruiting, zach sterup, bubba starling, art briles, big ten expansion, big 12, penn state

  5. 2010 Jun 18

    Husker Heartbeat 6/18: Big Ten Divisions, RichRod and Football 202


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    Welcome to Husker Heartbeat - a sampling of links and quick wit to start your morning! Keep checking each morning, Monday-Friday, for new links! We look for the offbeat as well as the straightforward - so don’t just think of us as a typical link farm!

    A quick abbreviation key FYI: OWH=Omaha World-Herald, LJS=Lincoln Journal-Star, CN=Corn Nation, BRN=Big Red Network, HI=Huskers Illustrated, BRR=Big Red Report. If we need to add more - we will. Others, like ESPN, are self-explanatory.

    Cool? Cool!

    *RichRod at Michigan talks Nebraska. Kinda. Check out the quote at the end of the story. This guy is a total…something, isn’t he?

    *ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg suggests these Big Ten divisions, while the OWH says Big Ten ADs aren’t sure that a geographical split is a sure thing.

    *Jerry Jones would like to fit Arkansas back into the Big 12. We really just have nothing to say here. Except: Houston wants in, too! Now we really have nothing to say.

    *The chicken dinner winners in the conference realignment sweepstakes are Bo and Tom.

    *Here comes Football 202.

    *The biggest loser in conference realignment, it would appear, is the WAC.

    *The CWS begins in Omaha.

    Tags: husker heartbeat, richrod, big ten expansion

  6. 2010 Jun 17

    Husker Heartbeat 6/17: Alvarez, Big Ten, More Big 12, Great Lakes and Pac-10 South


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    Welcome to Husker Heartbeat - a sampling of links and quick wit to start your morning! Keep checking each morning, Monday-Friday, for new links! We look for the offbeat as well as the straightforward - so don’t just think of us as a typical link farm!

    A quick abbreviation key FYI: OWH=Omaha World-Herald, LJS=Lincoln Journal-Star, CN=Corn Nation, BRN=Big Red Network, HI=Huskers Illustrated, BRR=Big Red Report. If we need to add more - we will. Others, like ESPN, are self-explanatory.

    Cool? Cool!

    *Barry Alvarez was pushing Nebraska for the Big Ten since January.

    *Time to figure out Big Ten scheduling for 2011.

    *Meanwhile, in the Big 12, there appears to be no clear idea on just how that penalty money will work.

    *The Top 12 moments in Big 12 history.

    *NU should improve its recruiting in the Great Lakes with a move to the Big Ten.

    *Utah heads to the Pac-10 where it will join Colorado in the Pac-12 South.

    Tags: husker heartbeat, big ten expansion, big 12, barry alvarez, pac 10, colorado

  7. 2010 Jun 16

    RECRUITING: Around the Big Ten, Pt. 2


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    A massive recruiting podcast! Samuel McKewon breaks down the muddled identity of Michigan, the juggernaut of Ohio State, the odd trends of Penn State and the rising recruiting power at Michigan State. Insight you won't get anywhere else! Check it out!

    Tags: big ten expansion, recruiting

  8. 2010 Jun 16

    Husker Heartbeat 6/16: Big 12 lives, Mizzou Spins and Pete Carroll Wins 'Forever!'


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    Welcome to Husker Heartbeat - a sampling of links and quick wit to start your morning! Keep checking each morning, Monday-Friday, for new links! We look for the offbeat as well as the straightforward - so don’t just think of us as a typical link farm!

    A quick abbreviation key FYI: OWH=Omaha World-Herald, LJS=Lincoln Journal-Star, CN=Corn Nation, BRN=Big Red Network, HI=Huskers Illustrated, BRR=Big Red Report. If we need to add more - we will. Others, like ESPN, are self-explanatory.

    Cool? Cool!

    *As the Big 12 lives Nebraska looks at a penalty of 15 million in withheld distribution. Not that Harvey Perlman expects NU should it pay it.

    *That’s some spin coming out of Missouri, isn’t it? Only Mizzou’s hometown newspaper isn’t quite buying it.

    *How will the Big 12 recover from all the pain inflicted by its current members on each other?

    *We know how T. Boone Pickens feels about Nebraska. Another advantage of the Big Ten: Considerably fewer oilmen.

    *Husker Dan rolls into town with conference realignment thoughts.

    *BRN will miss playing Texas on the field. Don’t worry; Ohio State’s plenty tough enough.

    *A commentary on Chip Brown. Not bad.

    *Les Miles tours the Louisiana oil spill. This guy…

    *Pete Carroll’s new book is entitled "Win Forever.” Chew on that for a minute. Win forever? What does it mean? For all of time? In heaven? What are you going to do with your life, young Pete? Oh, win forever.

    Tags: husker heartbeat, big 12, missouri, texas, big ten expansion

  9. 2010 Jun 15

    NEBRASKA BIG TEN: Sunnier Days for Doc?


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    After concocting several recruiting formulas only to find them unfulfilling, Nebraska basketball coach Doc Sadler seemed to find one Friday to his liking: Switch to the Big Ten, and start beating the big-city bushes for talent, much like NU football forages around in Texas for its prospects.

    As ESPN’s Andy Katz reported Monday, Sadler will be beefing up his recruiting in the Great Lakes well, pretty much immediately.

    "I'm only going to spend one or two days outside of the Big Ten states now," Sadler told Katz. "When you're at Nebraska before, all the population is down in Oklahoma and Texas in the [Big 12] league [so] that you had to be involved with kids from that area. I would go to Iowa, Minnesota and Illinois but those kids want to be in the Big Ten. I'm now closer to that than before."

    Three questions:

    1. Will Sadler win enough in the Big 12 this year to reach the Big Ten next year?
    2. Will Sadler’s current roster and style translate to the Big Ten?
    3. Can Sadler actually pluck a stud or two out of Big Ten country?

    Our answers:

    1. Yes.
    2. It’ll be harder than you think.
    3. He’ll have to.

    We’ll examine this more closely at the appropriate. Just be swirling it around in your brain.

    Tags: basketball, doc sadler, big ten expansion

  10. 2010 Jun 15

    Big 12 Lives - But Still Has a Texas Problem


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    With bluffs and threats and proverbially shaking fists, Texas tried to bully the Big 12 South into bending to its will and heading to the Pac-10. Or so it seemed.

    Master! The Big 12! It’s alive!

    It’ll be Texas A&M athletic director Bill Byrne, of all people, who inadvertently helped save the league. His refusal to play the “UT says” game - and his keen understanding of just how awry “Pac-16” travel schedules could get - was the lone stumbling block in the plan of Texas President Bill Powers, a California-Berkeley graduate - to send Dust Bowl football on the last train for the coast.

    That stumbling block bought some key people - whom ESPN says you’ll never know- enough time to cobble together a weird, long-term TV deal - that, as of this hour, has remained oddly secret - that satisfied UT enough to make the Horns’ final demands to the Pac-10 utterly unreasonable.

    Long story short: The TV, BCS and NCAA people weren’t ready for interstellar war and the Congressional snooping that was sure to come with it. Weren’t ready They pulled Texas back from the brink, intervened on the behalf of the hapless Dan Beebe and saved a lot of butts.

    And Nebraska slipped out of one hot mess of a league just in time.

    It’s going to take years to truly unravel what happened over the last several months.

    Because Rivals.com seems to have funneled its coverage through the reporter with the chattiest source, you’ve primarily heard UT’s side of the story. And what a side of beef it is! Somehow, while Texas flirted with three different conferences - the Pac-10, the Big Ten and SEC - while stringing along its Big 12, and it remained a steadfast savior, the Boss Horn.

    Garbage. Until Monday, the Longhorns appeared willing to drag a coalition of the half-willing to the Pac-10. It would have been, over time, a disaster. To repeat: Texas was courting its own demise trucking itself to a league that has been, and will continue to be, irrelevant to the East Coast unless USC’s on the tube.

    The “savior” will now get to own and control its Longhorn Sports Network while Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri lick cowboy boots. They’ll be thankful, of course - what choice do they have? - but they’ll be hired hands on UT‘s ranch.

    A&M survived a slew of Texas threats but stood firm, using a threat of its own: The SEC. The Aggies’ surely intended to make the leap. Their intent staved off the Pac-10’s power play.

    If you wanted to know what scares Texas, the Aggies unloaded the kryptonite. If Texas is Sentenza il brutto, the SEC is Tuco il cattivo. If the A&M gave the keys of Texas high school football to the SEC and its greasy palms, UT could no longer so easily usher in its preferred prospects on Junior Day and pressure them into committing. You don’t want a guy like Nick Saban sniffing around the DFW Metroplex and Houston, selling kids on the best football conference in the nation (which it still is).

    But A&M’s bluff had a lot more bite than UT’s threat to disavow College Station. An encroachment from the east by the SEC, coupled with an inevitable partnership with the West, would have put Texas in a kind of checkmate. Far from consolidating its power from Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean, the two moves combined would have eroded what makes Texas…Texas.

    Now, the Longhorns don’t turn in to the Roman Empire, don’t erode the traditional Pac-10 brand and maintain a Midwestern presence.

    Minus Nebraska, of course.

    The Big 12’s survival will cause some NU fans to glance back at a league that may dump its conference title game and create a round-robin scheduling format that would have allowed the Huskers to renew their Oklahoma rivalry.

    Maybe they‘ll ask: If we could trade places with Missouri right this second - would we do it?

    (And Mizzou says: Sure!)

    But Nebraska should be thrilled with its choice.

    The “Texas problem” is never going away. Not for the Big 12, not for Beebe - who will try to jump ship at the first sign of shore - and, perhaps worst of all, not for Texas, whose appetite is insatiable and antithetical, frankly, to good sense. The Horns’ reaction to the mere prospect of realignment was both childish and hypocritical, an impulse of jealousy and base greed. Think Jett Rink. Or Hud. The efficiency with which UT controlled and spun the story through the media is startling. Lone Star state politics is a cutthroat game in its own right.

    And mark these words: Texas will test the open market again - with its Longhorns Sports Network firmly in place - and present itself to whichever conference is willing to bend its rules to fit UT under the umbrella.

    Don’t forget this little nugget from the Denver Post, which quoted an exasperated Pac-10 negotiator: “At the 11th hour, after months of telling us they understand the TV rights, they're trying to pull a fast one on the verge of sealing the deal in the regents meeting. They want a better revenue sharing deal and their own network. Those were points of principle. (The Pac-10) wants to treat everyone fairly. It's been that way for months of discussions."

    M-o-n-t-h-s of discussions. Texas can and will flirt. Long-term TV deal or not.

    So Nebraska needs to walk away. No regrets.

    And in a decade, you’ll see why. NU will be in a coffee shop talking research with its new friends. The Big 12 will be in another barroom brawl. Texas will be standing on a table, looking to dive into the scrum, a broken bottle in one hoof, a money clip in another.

    Tags: big ten expansion, big 12, texas

  11. 2010 Jun 15

    RECRUITING: Around the Big Ten, Pt. 1


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    Samuel McKewon dives into the recruiting efforts, successes and failures of Indiana, Northwestern, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota in part one of this recruiting roundup. Which of them is making a surprising push in 2010? Which team best molds its recruits to its style? Find out!

    Tags: recruiting, big ten expansion

  12. 2010 Jun 11

    Full-Hearted Huskers, Big Ten Bold


    By HuskerLocker

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    He lunched at a picnic bench under a grove of low-slung trees outside the dairy store. Walked back into the basement meeting room of Varner Hall, where the University of Nebraska Board of Regents convene, wearing the shades you clip to your eyeglasses. He took them off, and like the old don he clearly has become, Harvey Perlman stood up, walked to a modest podium, and murdered the heads of the five families.

    It was business. And maybe just a little personal.

    “Nebraska did not start this discussion,” said the University of Nebraska-Lincoln chancellor.

    But Perlman, in ten short minutes, finished it, erecting the Big 12’s headstone in the process.

    It reads: Here lies an organization riddled with agendas, filled with administrators and athletic directors either bloviating, ineffectual or corrupt, run almost solely by Texas’ weird, megalomaniacal compulsions to have a finger in every pie, presided over by a short-sighted, meat-headed functionary in Dan Beebe, way out of his league, just looking for a way to keep his giblets together for a measly six years while he jumped out the fire escape.

    That’s some chisel.

    Who falls for a league like that? Not Perlman. He may like Texas, he may have done business with Texas, but he never trusted Texas. Or perhaps he trusted Texas to be Texas. Which the Longhorns were. In spades.

    NU moved to the Big Ten. Just. Like. That. First-round knockout of Missouri. Technical knockout of Kansas, Kansas State and Iowa State, and a symbolic haymaker to the Big 12 South. Oklahoma prefers its rivalry to Texas? Have fun in the arroyo, Sooners. Lucky Colorado didn’t even have to get in the ring. The Pac-10 must have wanted discounts on Aspen ski rates.

    Perlman led the way. Athletic director Tom Osborne took a few minutes to warm up, but, as if channeling his inner Jimmy Stewart - the outer being already matches well enough - the old coach delivered a lovely, logical summation to just how nuts it was to blame Nebraska for leaving when it was Texas who threatened to walk if NU didn’t commit, on the spot, to stay - until 2016? For all of six years? That’s some marriage! Try running a law firm like that. Hey - unless the junior partner stays, the senior partner bolts and takes three of his best litigators across town! Gah!

    “One school leaving a conference does not break up a conference,” Osborne said. “Two schools leaving a conference does not break up a conference. Six schools leaving a conference breaks up a conference.”

    And then this sweet little dig:

    “We have acted independently, we have been transparent, we’ve let people in the Big 12 Conference know what we were thinking, we have not hidden any agenda, we dealt with only one conference and we’ve been straight up with them. We’ve not tried to influence or coerce anyone to go with us or anything else.”

    Friday’s proceedings were about a hundred things, but at the heart of them all lied this: Modest Nebraska had the guts to be bold. O, Pioneers! The Big Ten’s gotta lotta loot, and a horde of schools were waiting for commissioner Jim Delany‘s golden ticket. Most of them attracted more media attention than NU did.

    But the Huskers got the prize first, and that’s the way we’ll remember it. Nebraska didn’t settle. It didn’t wait. It didn’t pat Missouri on the back as the Tigers danced their way to the Big Ten. It didn’t prefer to hold the hands of Kansas and Kansas State, defeated as they may be.

    NU has almost always considered the needs of others before its own, and while the motto stands as good in a man’s life, an educational institution must best equip its students to live that kind of life. And you’re only going to do that if you rise up with a full heart and, for once, muster the gumption to ask, seek, knock and pray. And get deliverance.

    You’re probably thinking, today, about whether Bo Pelini will head to the Horseshoe in 2011. But the impact of this move is far broader than that. The Big Ten brand will attract companies, investors and jobs. It’ll plug NU undergraduates into better choices for grad schools, and it’ll improve Nebraska’s grad schools in the process, too. It’ll lift up an already excellent University of Nebraska Medical Center to greater heights. It will help retain Nebraska’s brightest high school scholars. Not overnight - but soon.

    And see, NU’s always been thought of a “nice” school with some “good” programs. Depending on your major, it was a good fit, but prevailing notion was that Nebraska’s private colleges were superior in many areas. Missouri and Kansas? Just plum better. I’m not here to rile up a debate. But the Big Ten brand will make it a lot more interesting. You don’t just fall out of an apple cart into the Big Ten. The invite confirms what many Nebraskans have begun to understand: UNL is a different place in the last decade. Certainly since Perlman took over as chancellor after serving as Dean of the UNL Law College.

    The man is a damn assassin and you probably didn’t know it. He knows poker; he gambled his career on it.

    In 2003, after he cut tenured faculty positions in face of withering state budget cuts, Perlman, just two years into his stint as chancellor, faced a vote of no confidence from the UNL Academic Senate. So he went right over their heads - straight to the entire faculty, which he thought might view the matter more pragmatically than as a sacred cow never to be slaughtered.

    The faculty voted for him to stay by a vote of 914-110. Wipeout win. Except Perlman had no Jimmy Chitwood as a bargaining chip.

    Perlman managed, over many years and skillful planning, to dislodge the Nebraska State Fair from its home. It now resides in Grand Island; NU will build Innovation Campus in its wake.

    He fired Steve Pederson just months after giving him a huge raise and didn’t blink while doing it. Consider that Pederson, like Perlman did in 2003, made cuts and changes deemed unpopular in the athletic department. His supporters argued he shed dead weight; his detractors presented him as a tyrant.

    Could Perlman view any similarities? Apparently not. He sacked the prominent chin on his silver mane.

    As honcho of a profoundly-flawed college football merit system, Perlman was asked to defend the BCS in Congress, giving plain-spoken arguments that frankly fly in the face of fair play, but leave him undeterred anyhow. His line about Utah playing Nebraska’s schedule? Priceless. Elitest, uncompromising, brief, unfair and, well, kinda true.

    Perlman often is to his target as life is to most of us.

    But he’s our assassin, and Friday, he spoke firmly the words Nebraskans wanted to hear. Osborne, a courtly relief pitcher, softened the barbs, but his sense of justice - and Osborne has a sense of justice - wouldn’t allow him to let the moment pass. Together, they stood as twin backbones to an impressive body of work on and off the field, a perseverance that produced character, and, as a result, excellence.

    Like I said Thursday: No regrets. The Big Ten may be a family, but it’s a competitive, accomplished bunch of siblings, and Nebraska’s will have to catch up fast.

    So let’s just do this now and let Bo and Co. take it from here in 2010.

    Goodbye, Big 12. Hello, Cosgrove.

    And as for that buyout penalty? You can have Perlman’s answer now, commissioner Beebe.


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    Tags: big ten expansion, tom osborne, harvey perlman

  13. 2010 Jun 11

    NU BIG TEN: Nebraska in Big Ten Heaven


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    Behold a brave, new, profitable world for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

    Against what may have seemed considerable - indeed, impossible - odds just a few months ago, NU made its move to the Big Ten - which some consider the nation’s premier collection of Division I academic institutions - when the Nebraska Board Regents Friday voted 8-0 to approve NU’s resolution to apply for membership and the Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors voted 11-0 to accept it.

    Later, at NU’s Van Brunt Visitors’ Center on campus, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany - wearing a candy-cane tie and a block red “N” pin - made a surprise appearance welcoming Nebraska to the league. He called the league a “small company” and “family” whose chancellors and presidents had “great enthusiasm” for this “historic moment.” It’s the first time the Big Ten has added a member since Penn State in 1990.

    “Nebraska will be a great member of the Big Ten,” Delany said. “We’re stronger today than we were yesterday.”


    “The things that are important to you are important to us,” Delany said.

    Said UNL chancellor Harvey Perlman at the Board of Regents meeting: “We are, as an institution, more closely aligned in culture, competitive conditions, athletic budgets and academic aspirations with the Big Ten. On the academic side particularly.”

    Athletic director Tom Osborne said the Big Ten would “enhance many of our sports” and that the coaches of all Husker teams - many of whom were assembled at the Visitors’ Center - had unanimously agreed, in two different votes, to make the move

    In athletics, Nebraska is scheduled to become a member July 1, 2011. It may owe a hefty buyout penalty - paid in terms of lost revenue - to the Big 12 Conference, although Perlman deemed it “inappropriate” because of the potential collapse of the league and confusing Big 12 bylaws, which he said could be construed four different ways.

    Said Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe, who called Nebraska’s departure “disappointing:” “That’s contrary to our bylaws to me. I’m curious as to what their piece is for that.”

    Penalty or not - Nebraska’s making the leap in just under one calendar year, which is sure to rankle Big 12 members already accusing NU with the destruction of the league.

    “It may not be a real easy year on the athletic field,” Osborne said. He meant it in more than one way; Nebraska must transition quickly and figure out scheduling, but is also likely to be branded a villain for its quick movement to the Big Ten.

    That’s part of why head football coach Bo Pelini, an Ohio State graduate who grew up on Big Ten athletics, would “concentrate on the task at hand.”

    “I’m not a real emotional guy,” Pelini seemed to say seriously, then, gauging the relative disbelief of the media, jokingly.

    “You would gotten the same response if we had joined the NFL,” Perlman joked.

    Delany committed to putting Nebraska athletics on the Big Ten Network in 2010. The Network - a massive profit-generating engine that makes its money almost solely off of cable-subscriber fees - often runs university programming that highlights a school’s academic advantages right alongside sporting events. Right before the BTN aired NU’s press conference, for example, it presented an program from Indiana University about an aquatics expert who doused his body in paraffin for a long, experimental dip in the sea.

    The BTN is a good chunk of the $20.1 million in television revenue each league school received last year, a figure that outpaces, on average, any other conference. In order to join Big Ten, Nebraska had to assign its TV rights in all its sports to the conference, something that other league candidates, such as Texas and Notre Dame, seem unwilling to do.

    “The Big Ten Network will help recruiting,” Osborne said. “One thing parents want to know is “will I be able to see my student-athlete compete?”

    At the Regents’ meeting, Perlman intimated that the absence of such a network in the Big 12 - Texas preferred to develop its own Longhorns Sports Network - was, in a sense, the first domino in NU’s departure.

    Beebe agreed.

    “That would have prevented any of the institutions from leaving,” Beebe said.

    Nebraska will not get a full share of revenue immediately, although it will receive at least much as it would in the Big 12. Big Ten members will receive no less than their usual share.

    “This will not be a windfall,” Osborne said.

    At “some point” in the future, Perlman said, NU would be made “fully whole.”

    How long will that take?

    “It’s not public information,” Delany said.

    Divisions - if indeed there will be divisions - have not been decided, Delany said. A common-sense approach would have Nebraska on the same “western” side as Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Northwestern and Illinois, but the Big Ten can prefer atypical solutions. Having 11 teams, and thus eschewing a conference title game, is one of them.

    Rivalries -such as the ones between Michigan-Ohio State and Indiana-Purdue - will be considered.

    “But not all rivalries are equal,” Delany said.

    The Big Ten may not be finished expanding, either; Delany said the Big Ten will “pause for a moment,” but that pause could be months, years - or the time you take between breaths.

    “We’re going to be open and aware to what’s going on around the country,” Delany said. “We’re going to continue the study process.”

    Academic integration into the Council of Institutional Cooperation - that’s the current Big Ten and the University of Chicago - begins immediately. The CIC is an organizational giant in nabbing federal research dollars - $6.4 billion last year alone - that should considerably boost Nebraska’s academic profile, plus student recruiting efforts in cities such as Chicago and Minneapolis, Perlman said.

    In his comments, Delany seemed most intent on executing this part of the integration as quickly and effectively as possible. The Big Ten would learn the university culture and increase its visibility in population centers such as Omaha and Lincoln.

    “We want to put a lot of emphasis on early integration,” Delany said.

    Nebraska’s underrated academic profile played a key role in the Big Ten’s courtship. NU is a member of the American Association of Universities - “considerable importance when you recruit faculty,” Perlman said - has revamped its research facilities over the last decade, improved its rankings in just about every publication and, now that the State Fair moved to Grand Island, has procured the Fairgrounds to develop Innovation Campus.

    “We have a similar institutional vision,” Delany said.

    Even so - Nebraska’s ascendancy to the Big Ten was swift and unexpected.

    At a dramatic Regents meeting that sent ripple waves across college athletics, Perlman indicated that NU wasn’t considering a move until Missouri and Colorado started speaking openly about leaving to the Big Ten and Pac-10, respectively.

    “We thought Nebraska was in a very vulnerable position,” Perlman said.

    So Perlman and Osborne sought an informal meeting “three or four weeks ago” with Delany and the Big Ten and found that Nebraska’s goals and values aligned well with the league.

    “But that’s all we walked away with,” Perlman said.

    NU’s candidacy shot to the top of the pile when, at Big 12 meetings held in early June, Texas forced the hands of Nebraska, Missouri and Colorado by announcing it had a blockbuster offer from the Pac-10, which intended to invite six teams from the Big 12 to join a super conference.

    The Big 12 issued an ultimatum: Commit to us by June 15, or risk watching the Texas Six bolt for the West Coast. Perlman relayed his timetable to Delany.

    “I also told him that was my problem, not his,” Perlman said.

    The clock ticked. Perlman said he asked Texas to relinquish its rights to football and basketball to the Big 12 - thus, in effect, creating a Big 12 Network. UT declined. Perlman said he also asked Texas President Bill Powers if the Longhorns would stick with the Big 12 even if Mizzou and CU left.

    “They could make no commitment,” Perlman said.

    Wednesday, two days before the move, Perlman got a call from Beebe. The offer was this: An unequivocal commitment to the Big 12. But only until 2016.

    “Neither Tom nor I thought that was a very long-term commitment to the Big 12,” Perlman said.

    That set in motion a move to the Big Ten. The Regents met by conference call on Wednesday to add a resolution to the agenda. By Friday morning, Delany put in the call to Beebe: Nebraska’s applying. We’re accepting.

    Perlman and Osborne spent much of their Regents presentation laying out a compelling case that Texas’ unwillingness to compromise - and its Pac-10 gambit - lie at the roots of Nebraska’s departure and the potential destruction of the Big 12.

    Osborne, subdued and congenial for most of the day, slightly raised his tone and sharpened his inflection for his short-but-damning summation.

    “One school leaving a conference does not break up a conference,” Osborne said. “Two schools leaving a conference does not break up a conference. Six schools leaving a conference breaks up a conference.

    “We have acted independently, we have been transparent, we’ve let people in the Big 12 Conference know what we were thinking, we have not hidden any agenda, we dealt with only one conference and we’ve been straight up with them. We’ve not tried to influence or coerce anyone to go with us or anything else.”

    Later, Osborne extended an olive branch to his former league.

    “I don’t want members of the Big 12 to feel that somehow we look down upon them or we’re glad that we’re gone,” he said. “If some of them end up in unpleasant circumstances we’re sorry about that.”

    For now it does not appear any of them are joining Nebraska in the Big Ten. Beebe said he didn’t believe the league was further interested in any other member school, which would include Missouri, which believed itself a certainty just one month ago.

    The Big Ten, founded in 1896 as the Western Conference - or, in some circles, as simply “The Conference” - is the nation’s oldest Division 1-A athletic conference. It started with seven members - Chicago, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, Northwestern, Purdue and Wisconsin. Iowa and Indiana joined in 1899 and the league renamed itself “The Big Nine.” Ohio State joined in 1912 while the Wolverines had a nine-year hiatus from 1907-1916.

    When UM returned in 1917, a true “Big Ten” was born. Chicago dropped football in 1939 and left the league for good in 1946. Michigan State joined for the 1950 season and Penn State joined in 1990 for academics, and 1993 for athletics.

    The league tried to persuade Notre Dame to join several times in the 1990s, but could not convince ND to abandon its football independence.

    On Dec. 20, 2009, Delany - who’s served as commissioner for the Big Ten since 1989 - announced the league would explore expansion possibilities. Since then, more than a dozen names have been attached to getting invites. Nebraska is the first to join, although Delany has stated that the Big Ten could expand “in phases.”

    The academic boost for Nebraska’s move to the Big Ten could be significant. The league - along with the University of Chicago - has created the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, which pools resources and helps collect research dollars for its member universities. Last year, CIC schools performed $6.4 billion in federally-funded scientific research last year.

    In the latest US News &World Report Best College rankings, the University of Chicago - a key member fo the CIC - is No. 8 nationally. Northwestern is No. 12, Michigan is No. 24, Illinois and Wisconsin are tied for 39th, Penn State is No. 47,

    Athletically, Michigan boasts the most conference titles with 343 - and the most football titles with 11, all but accumulated before 1950 - but Penn State has the most national titles with 38.

    The Big Ten has struggled in its cash cow sport of football from a national title perspective; since 1970, only Michigan (1997) and Ohio State (2002) have crowns, as PSU’s two national titles in 1982 and 1986 were achieved as independents. Penn State went undefeated in 1994, but Nebraska claimed both the AP and Coaches’ poll titles that season.

    Overall, Nebraska is 79-68-10 vs. the Big Ten, but 39-6 since 1962. NU has played Minnesota the most with 51 games, and Purdue only once.

    The overall records:

    Illinois (7-2-1)
    Indiana (7-9-3)
    Iowa (26-12-2)
    Michigan (2-3-1)
    Michigan State (5-0)
    Minnesota (20-29-2)
    Northwestern (3-1)
    Ohio State (0-2)
    Penn State (6-7)
    Purdue (0-1)
    Wisconsin (3-2)

    Tags: big ten expansion, jim delany, tom osborne, harvey perlman, texas, bo pelini, missouri, football

  14. 2010 Jun 11

    NU BIG TEN: Ten Tough Realities of the Big Ten


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    Now that Nebraska’s made the leap to the Big Ten, we examine, off of sheer snap judgment, ten tough realities about the Cornhuskers’ new home. Because, let’s face it - it’s not all rosy, even if there is a run for the Roses.

    *The immediate fallout: What was to be a breakout season for Nebraska football in 2010 still can be - but it’s not going to be easy. It’ll be awful darn hard, in fact, at Manhattan and Ames, where Iowa State fans have typically been pleasant. Not this year. Head coach Bo Pelini never minds a tough road game - in fact, he seems to enjoy them more than ho-hum home games - but he’ll have to keep his senior-laden team focused on the field. Not the politics. As for Doc Sadler and Nebraska basketball - as if he needed more problems, right?

    *The travel: Wagons east! No longer will Western Nebraska have a “home game” in Boulder every other year, and NU’s terrific alumni bases in Colorado, Texas and Kansas will no longer be able to turn games in Boulder, Waco and Lawrence blood red. While Nebraska fans in Big Ten country just got the Christmas present of, well, their Husker life - Indiana and Illinois better hold on to their hats - fans in Nebraska will have to make longer, tougher road trips, often through the giant traffic jam that is Chicago.

    *A loss of the culture that was: Nebraska left behind partners that lasted our parents’ entire lives. How that must hurt a guy like Tom Osborne. The Big 12 was too dysfunctional to truly last - and Texas just seemed…out of control…in these last months - but there will be times when Husker nation yearns for just a simple, three-hour trip to Lawrence for a football road game. The door has closed. NU isn’t ever play those teams again, most likely. We doubt those teams will ever want to play NU. A stunning divorce.

    *New kid on the block: You’re not hearing much yet. But you will. Nebraska is going to have to earn its credibility in every arena of the Big Ten. And it’ll be easier on the football than some other places. While none of schools possess the kind of political greed Texas did, some of them have a different kind of arrogance that NU fans may find frustrating at first. And the league is, shall we say, more liberal.

    *The gathering storm: No going back now. The major conferences have put their cards on the table, and it’s going to be ultra-competitive - fueled by millions and millions of dollars - from this point forward. Nebraska fans hoping for a quaint notion of the “old days” will not find them. It’s no time to be wistful. From here on, college athletics is serious business, and while NU isn’t solely to blame - or even hardly to blame - it bears some of the responsibility.

    *A football reputation to fix: Ohio State has held up its end of the bargain, and Iowa, generally, meets or exceeds expectations. The rest of the league has some explaining to do. That’s part of why Nebraska’s here - to lend its name and five national championships to a league that’s won just two national titles since 1970 (If you don’t count Penn State’s crowns in 1982 and 1986, which were won outside the Big Ten). The Huskers used to make relentless fun of this league. Now, it has to be part of the solution.

    *The student-athlete experience: Nebraska’s football team will play on the weekend - the Big Ten doesn’t exactly “do” Thursday night - fly on chartered, private planes and miss a minimum of class. It’s not going to be so easy for the volleyball team. Or the softball team. Longer hours. More homework on the bus. More missed class. Less time with friends.

    *Baseball struggles: This could be a strength for Nebraska, which will walk into the Big Ten a with stronger recent history than any other team in the league. NU no longer will have to compete with teams like Texas and Baylor, which practice outside for months before the Huskers can. However, it could be harder for Nebraska to recruit to what’s considered a fairly awful baseball league. And playing a three-game series in Michigan in late March in front of 130 fans? Not exactly big-time.

    *One tough basketball league: Physically and proverbially. During the last decade, Michigan State has been every bit the power Kansas is in the Big 12. Defense isn’t a specialty - it’s the norm. It’s a bigger, rougher league than the Big 12. And teams don’t typically rely on junior college players. Sadler will have to adjust his recruiting philosophy - again - as he acclimates to a league with which he’d had very little contact.

    *Pam Ward: Maybe you don’t know her. You will. She’s the ESPN announcer who often calls the early Saturday Big Ten game. She’s, well, pretty darn awful - and no, it’s not because she’s a woman. It’s because she’s about four seconds behind every play, and typically inaccurate when she finally catches up. The queen of delayed touchdown calls and seemingly confused comments during downtime. Well, there’s always an early-morning drinking game to devise around her work. Not that we’re suggesting that.

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    Tags: big ten expansion

  15. 2010 Jun 11

    NU BIG TEN: Ten Strengths of the Big Ten


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    Now that Nebraska’s made the leap to the Big Ten, we examine, off of sheer snap judgment, ten strengths about the Cornhuskers’ new home.

    *It’s not the Big 12: And that’s no small thing. The Big Ten may not excel in everything, and sometimes gives off the whiff stewing in its money despite its general lack of football competitiveness, but the league holds together well, isn’t a leaky ship and, perhaps most importantly, its territory isn’t so obsessed with college athletics so as to squeeze the fun out of it. As the last two weeks shows: Some Big 12 members hate each other. While that made for great competition, it eroded the pleasure we take from winning, too.

    *Big Ten Network/TV packages: Duh, right? Not only will the BTN funnel considerably more cash into NU’s coffers over time, it’ll be a better home for the Huskers’ non-revenue sports. Better yet, the BTN broadcasts enough games that Husker fans may never need to purchase another pay-per-view game again (after NU plays South Dakota State, of course). Want proof? The BTN broadcasted Wisconsin vs. Wofford, for goodness sakes. And Michigan vs. Delaware State. Every Nebraska game that isn’t picked up by ESPN or ABC is sure to make the BTN cut. Even better: Nebraska can finish a few conference games before, you know, midnight.

    *The academic boost: Big Ten schools typically vie for more federal research dollars and their reputation will help Nebraska improve, as well. NU recruiters - for whiz-kids - should find that the Big Ten brand helps keep a few kids at home that might otherwise have headed elsewhere. The impact won’t be immediate but, a decade from now, you’ll see the difference.

    *Great Stadiums: No offense to the rest of the Big 12, but the Big Ten wins easily wins this debate. The Big House. The Horseshoe. Happy Valley. Camp Randall. Nile Kinnick. Illinois’ version of Memorial Stadium, which drips with history. And Minnesota just built a brand new palace that’s among the best stadiums in college football for sight lines.

    *Even better bowl games: Presuming they last, of course. For the short term, you can’t argue with the Rose Bowl as a main prize, with the Citrus, Outback and Holiday lined up as consolation games. Lots of games in Florida and California. Yeah, that’ll help national recruiting, won’t it.

    *A new rivalry with Iowa: The Hawkeyes’ home, Iowa City, has always been far enough away that both programs can comfortably inhabit their own space with getting too much on each other’s nerves. Hawk fans know how to tailgate, play a classy brand of Midwestern football and resist the urge to puff out their chests Plus: Iowa’s pretty darn good, too and, because of the Big Ten’s wonky, unbalanced schedule lacking a true rival outside of Wisconsin and Minnesota, who don’t fit the bill. Nebraska can.

    *Bo vs. Ohio State: When the man steps back into The Horseshoe to coach against his alma mater, two things will happen: 1. It’ll be cool and 2. It’ll reduce, with each returning visit, the likelihood that Pelini will head back to OSU once Jim Tressel retires (presuming Pelini’s a candidate for the job). If you go back to your roots just enough to satisfy your appetite, you’re more comfortable making a go of it somewhere else.

    *Better hoops recruiting: Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee, Indianapolis…the quality of basketball in those areas easily surpasses that of the Big 12 regions. Look for Doc Sadler to nab a guy with big-city connections.

    *A great women’s rivalry: Nebraska vs. Penn State in volleyball. The Nittany Lions have become the gold standard in the sport, snatching the thunder away from the West Coast, Nebraska and Texas. John Cook and his team will relish the challenge of toppling one of college athletics’ great emerging dynasties.

    *Wrestling: It’s a minor perk - but a great perk nonetheless. Iowa remains the national standout, of course, but Nebraska will get to enjoy a full league of opponents and new recruiting markets in some of nation’s choicest wrestling hotbeds. If NU ever wins a Big Ten Championship among these titans, it will have been well-earned.

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    Tags: big ten expansion, wrestling, big ten network

  16. 2010 Jun 11

    BIG TEN EXPANSION: Live from the Nebraska Regents Meeting (Updated 1:00)


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    We're here live at the Nebraska Board of Regents meeting at Varner Hall on the University of Nebraska's East Campus, and we'll be offering live updates as NU moves toward the monumental decision to move to the Big Ten Conference.

    Tom Osborne and Harvey Perlman's presentation should begin around 1 p.m. Before then, we'll attempt to set the scene for thousands of people who can't be here.

    1:53: Perlman implicates Missouri as starting the debate to leave the Big 12. Wow. In fact, he says that's why NU reached out to the Big Ten.

    1:51 Perlman asks Regents to ratify Big Ten membership application.

    1:49 The Regents are back.

    1:45 Still in closed session....

    1:30: The Omaha World-Herald is reporting Nebraska has accepted a bid to join the Big Ten but the executive session is still in session. The Big Ten called Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe this morning to confirm the Big Ten had accepted NU's bid to join the league.

    1:05: Closed session motion passes, and the Nebraska Board of Regents are in closed session.

    1:02: Tom Osborne is sitting in the front row...here comes the public comments, if there are any.

    1:00 The meeting has begun. Expect a few formalities with a shift directly in closed session.

    12:52: We'll kick back into a closed session real soon here, which may take some time. The Regents, Osborne and Perlman will head upstairs to talk contracts and brandy snifters, we're sure.

    12:48: Tom Osborne is back in the building.

    12:46: We're back, Jack, and here comes the crush of peeps.

    12:39: Regents, coming back fat'n'happy from a grilled lunch.

    12:36: Perlman is back.

    12:35: About 20 TV cameras here right now...and more coming. ESPN is set up outside off the corner of Varner Hall with a camera and three of those green folding chairs you take to Little League baseball games and fireworks shows.

    12:25: A good story told to me by Huskers Illustrated writer and football historian Mike Babcock: In 1905, the Daily Nebraskan reported that Nebraska was hoping to make a strong case for entering the Big Ten by beating Illinois. In that season, NU lost to Michigan and Minnesota. The Huskers were likely never closer to a bid (before today) than at that time. The Big Ten chose instead not to add anyone until Ohio State in 1912.

    Second good story: Bob Devaney, back when he started as athletic director in the mid 1970s, would not have minded a move to the Big Ten. But there was no interest at that time.

    12:15 Before one of the most monumental decisions in recent university history, the Nebraska Board of Regents ate an outdoor lunch of grilled hamburgers and hot dogs under a grove of low-hanging trees, just outside the UNL Dairy Store. Nebraska, folks, Nebraska.

    12:00 The Board of Regents will now adjourn for lunch, walking across the street to eat a barbecue lunch outside. At 12:45, they'll take some picture. At 1:00, there will be an executive session. Oh by the way - Harvey Perlman's here, too.

    11:50 Tom Osborne is in the building. He's taken a seat in the audience - always the modest man - next to Huskers Illustrated reporter Mike Babcock, who doubles as NU's foremost football historian. Osborne is not wearing red. He's wearing a brown jacket and blue shirt.

    11:40: Ferlic and Hawks holding court on NU budget/tuition issue. They sit next to each other, which is fitting. Their comments today will be the most interesting and salient of the bunch. Remember that Hawks has funded NU's Championship Center and has the baseball field named after him.

    11:30: NU is discussing a 6% tuition increase. The media is filing in. We'll see just how regional/national media is here today. I pity their parking scenario. There is none. They'll have to find spots on the neighborhood streets surrounding Varner Hall, which have more odd, No Parking rules than any other place in, well, all of the Nebraska. Off-campus students looking to skimp on parking park there and they fill up the spots quick - even in the summer.

    11:15 a.m. Let's set the scene, shall we?

    Varner Hall is across the street from the main hub of the University of Nebraska campus. It's smallish and rectangular, designed in the Bauhaus style, a monochromatic look of giant white slats budding from dark-tinted windowns, with a giant university seal adorns both the front and back of its facade. The parking, on the back side of the building, is packed, surrounded by tall, old cottonwoods chewed up by storms and big-leafed weed trees that are typical in Lincoln.

    The Regents meet in the basement. The Board itself is arrayed in a long semicircle that faces a podium. The news cameras are off to their right, while the print media, for today, is tucked into a corner near the back left. There's a ton here already; it's going to be tight later this afternoon.

    There are eight voting regents and four student regents. All of them, at least this year, are men. They are:

    District 1: Tim Clare, elected in 2008, out of Lincoln. He's a lawyer. He's the son of Pat Clare, an orthopedic surgeon who often works on Nebraska athletes. He's also the Regents' representative on the new Haymarket Arena joint agency.

    District 2: Howard Hawks, elected in 2002, out of Omaha. Big-time booster of NU athletics (and Creighton, for that matter) Hawks is probably the most influential member on the board.

    District 3: Chuck Hassebroek, elected in 1994, out of Lyons. He's considered, by many, a go-to guy on agriculture issues. Courtly and genteel.

    District 4: Bob Whitehouse, elected in 2006, out of Papillion. He's the vice-chairman.

    District 5: Jim McClurg, appointed in 2002, elected in 2006, out of Lincoln. He's a doctor. It was his controversial vote that refused to limit the University of Nebraska Medical Center's ability to continue to conduct stem-cell embryonic research.

    District 6: Kent Schroeder, elected in 1998, twice chairman in 2002 and 2009, out of Kearney. He's a retired judge.

    District 7: Bob Phares, elected in 2006, chariman now, out of North Platte. He's a lawyer.

    District 8: Randy Ferlic, elected in 2000, out of Omaha. He's a doctor and professor. Along with Hawks, he's also influential, although his bid to get a former Strategic Air Command general as NU President fell apart in 2004 when that general withdrew his name amidst questions of his academic credentials.

    The NU president is J.B. Milliken, a tall, sharp-looking man who looks like he could be in politics. He graduated from UNL, got his law degree at NYU, practiced on Wall Street, returned to Nebraska, rose to vice president, held a similar role at the University of North Carolina, then returned to become NU's president, beating out a large field of varied accomplishments and qualifications.

    Today, Ferlic and McClurg are dressed in red coats with red candy-cane ties. Milliken is wearing a similar tie with an expensive pinstripe jacket. Clare is wearing a similar tie and a Nebraska pin.

    Right now, the discussion is on NU's budget. Nebraska will be suggesting a hike in tuition, though not as large as recent years.

    Tags: big ten expansion

  17. 2010 Jun 11

    Podcast 6/11: Husker Track at NCAAs


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    Please enable Javascript, or download the podcast here.

    Tags: podcasts, football, big ten expansion, track and field

  18. 2010 Jun 11

    Husker Heartbeat 6/11: The Calm Before The Triumph


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    Welcome to Husker Heartbeat - a sampling of links and quick wit to start your morning! Keep checking each morning, Monday-Friday, for new links! We look for the offbeat as well as the straightforward - so don’t just think of us as a typical link farm!

    A quick abbreviation key FYI: OWH=Omaha World-Herald, LJS=Lincoln Journal-Star, CN=Corn Nation, BRN=Big Red Network, HI=Huskers Illustrated, BRR=Big Red Report. If we need to add more - we will. Others, like ESPN, are self-explanatory.

    Cool? Cool!

    All right, let’s do a roundup as we head into a historic day at NU.

    *LJS Sipple contends Nebraska made a big rally over the last three months to get this Big Ten invite.

    *A Big 12 lawsuit? Yeah, not likely. An ugly divorce? Most definitely.

    *Nebraska recruit Jamal Turner was in town for the Husker camp this week. Just happened to be in the middle of a storm, too.

    *Texas fans are ticked at NU…aw.

    *Colorado continues insanity as it pertains to non-conference scheduling and remains open to still playing the Huskers. Does CU ever learn?

    *Possibly too late, Oklahoma tries to patch together the Big 12.

    *Former USC coach Pete Carroll denies knowing Reggie Bush got thousands of dollars during his time with the Trojans. Here’s Dr. Saturday’s breakdown of all the violations.

    *Don’t expect any Cinderellas in the this year’s College World Series - except for, perhaps, Coastal Carolina, which at 55-8 is hardly a Cinderella. Here’s the latest CWS bracket as super regionals begin.

    Tags: husker heartbeat, big ten expansion, harvey perlman, tom osborne, sipple, texas, usc, pete carroll

  19. 2010 Jun 11

    BIG TEN EXPANSION: No Regrets, Nebraska


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    Don’t look back, Nebraska. Don’t regret this moment for a second. You’re on the edge of a decision that will benefit this state in more ways than a football fan or a sportswriter, thinking about that last trip to Allen Fieldhouse, can appreciate.

    It’s going to be tempting, especially over the next year, the get wistful. To proverbially go hat in hand, as NU teams go on the road to some of these Big 12 North schools not named Colorado. To protest being cast as a villain.

    Ignore the cat calls. Forge ahead.

    NU knows what it’s done in positioning itself for the Big Ten, and while it won’t be easy - what in college sports and academic politics ever is? - you’ll look back in a decade and know every slur and insult thrown your way by the league’s fans - programmed to listen to some glory-hound, “super-sourced” reporter’s version of the events, codified by ESPN - was minor in the face of the rewards that await. Even if it doesn’t work out on the playing field - even if college football shatters into a million little pieces one day, with the IRS crawling up the game’s nose to tax and investigate - you’ll be better shielded from the glass in the Big Ten than you ever would have been in the Big 12.

    NU athletic director Tom Osborne and UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman delivered this days. Kudos. They worked the backrooms and their solid reputation counted when it mattered. They were fine negotiators for moving Nebraska out of a toxic, dying league.

    Perlman is the most influential NU administrator, well - can we easily put a timeframe on it?

    Osborne, meanwhile, had one last touchdown drive in him. If the Big Ten accepts Nebraska today, he pulled this off like a 13-play, 84-yard march of nothing but fullback traps and short-side toss plays.

    But Osborne wouldn’t be perfect trudging through what Nebraska football is about to face over the next year or two. Osborne is courtly, stately, dignified. He hates being cast as insensitive, much less a villain. Nebraska’s glorious 1995 season proved that, when Osborne appeared to enjoy his finest team - indeed, the greatest college team in history - less than most.

    He would have turned what’s about to come into a farewell tour. He would try to mend fences that schools like Kansas and Iowa State, for now, have no interest in mending. He’d try to explain, where no explanation would work. Apologize where no apology would be accepted.

    That’s not Bo Pelini. He’ll be the perfect, grim-faced, angry, we’ll-show-em nut that the Big 12 can’t crack. Pelini isn't above creating his own adversity, a little friction to coach against. But he’ll have it created for him now.

    If Osborne and Perlman’s measured, pleasant confidence was the M.O. that got Nebraska to this moment, it’s Pelini’s defiant chin that must define NU’s mindset from here on.

    Nebraska’s not just back and here to stay - it’s here to leave and take all the loot on its way out the door.

    Harsh? Oh, you betcha. But it's going to get harsh for NU.

    Bo’s Huskers will be a lightning rod for every negative emotion the Big 12 can muster against this school and this state. Expect it to be considerable. Manhattan on a Thursday night? Kansas State might as well sell seats to dingoes, that’s how whipped up its crowd will be. Texas A&M and Oklahoma State’s crowds won’t be kind, either.

    You might as well gird for now, Nebraska. You’re in for a winter of the Big 12’s discontent, rage and bile. Texas will not be kind on its way to wherever the hell it’s going. It will keep its hand-picked media fat and happy, and they will try to sever NU’s hard-won recruiting ties in the Lone-Star State. A Horn Scorned will quickly become the Bull in the Big Red shop. And the Blackshirts will be the Black Hats as the Big 12 comes crashing down.

    Don’t even try to flip the script. Forgive your Big 12 North brothers, Husker fans, for they know not what they do. Then watch NU send them into purgatory without a parting gift. Such tough talk doesn’t suit most Nebraskans. But it suits Bo. And it’ll suit his team, too. The good cops delivered the Big Ten to Nebraska. The Bo cops will send the Big 12 to its shallow, unmarked grave.

    Tags: big ten expansion, tom osborne, harvey perlman, bo pelini

  20. 2010 Jun 10

    BIG TEN EXPANSION: Quiet Day for NU - But Not Anywhere Else


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    Nothing appeared to change on Nebraska’s Big Ten dance card Thursday.

    But it’s unclear which teams - if any - are getting invited to the league’s summer prom along with the Cornhuskers, which should ratify their decision to move to the Big Ten at Friday’s Board of Regents meeting in Lincoln.

    The old standbys to join NU - Notre Dame, Rutgers and Missouri - took a back seat Thursday while a Kansas City television station reported that Texas and Texas A&M were pondering a move to the Big Ten and apparently severing its ties with Texas Tech, the aforementioned “problem” when the Big Ten courted the Longhorns back in April.

    But TTU Chancellor Kent Hance strongly refuted that report Thursday afternoon.

    “I have been assured by UT and A&M it is not true,” Hance told a Lubbock, Texas television station.

    Later, a report from Rivals.com suggested - via “sources,” of course - that Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State were headed for certain to the Pac-10 - which officially added Colorado to its roster Thursday morning - once Nebraska announced its move to the Big Ten. This same report contended A&M athletic director Bill Byrne was still weighing an offer from the SEC. In that case, a spot to the Pac-10 might open to perhaps Baylor or Kansas, whose sterling basketball program improves the Pac-10’s overall profile.

    But the Waco Herald-Tribune - citing its own “source” - reported that Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds was trying to sell the Pac-10 to UT football coach Mack Brown, who preferred to stay in the Big 12.

    And before either of those reports, TMZ.com - the Hollywood paparazzi Internet outfit that covers the death of starlets and the illicit affairs of professional golfers - claimed Oklahoma State had accepted the Pac-10’s invite to the league. OSU strongly refuted the story with this statement: “The report circulating about an immediate announcement today concerning Oklahoma State University and conference realignment is without merit.”

    Meanwhile, Missouri’s Board of Curators met Thursday, and what was originally meant to be a coronation of the Tigers’ move to the Big Ten instead turned into a pledge of loyalty to the Big 12.

    “Mizzou is very proud with what we’ve done in the Big 12,” Chancellor Brady Deaton told assembled reporters from the Tigers’ media pool “We’ve said that all along. And we continue to be. We’re working hard to preserve that and strengthen it and move forward.”

    There is little rumbling on the Notre Dame and Rutgers front. The Irish are apparently inscrutable and impossible to read, well-practiced as they are at flirting with the Big Ten for the last 20 years. The Scarlet Knights, whose academic faculty is typically proud of its open disdain for athletics, lack a dedicated group of toadies and insiders to stir up rumors and beam them out over the Interwebs, so its officials are, presumably, doing whatever it is they do until and if the Big Ten calls them from the bullpen.

    Kansas State and Iowa State couldn’t buy half of a stool at the poker table, and thus await the decisions of others before determining their own. KU could be in this boat as well, but basketball coach Bill Self has conducted several interviews in the last 24 hours in a play at visibility for his university, which also announced athletic director and fitness-equipment-blackmail victim Lew Perkins was retiring in 2011 after the Jayhawks figure where they’ll land.

    Up to speed?

    The next big move: Friday’s Nebraska Board of Regents meeting, 1 p.m. at Varner Hall, the old, venerable, rectangular building that may see its largest audience in recent history.

    Tags: big ten expansion, texas, texas tech, texas am, oklahoma, oklahoma state, kansas, bill self, missouri, notre dame, rutgers

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