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  1. 2010 Jun 09

    Reports: Big Ten Offer Assured

    739 views

    By HuskerLocker

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    At the elaborate, ritzy nightclub that is the Big Ten Conference, Nebraska has reportedly gained admission, according to the Chicago Tribune, citing sources involved in the expansion talks. A comprehensive - albeit somewhat convoluted - report compiled by ESPN confirmed it.

    NU’s Board of Regents Wednesday placed a resolution on its agenda to discuss conference realignment at Friday’s meeting. The Lincoln Journal-Star reported that four members of the executive board met in a conference call Wednesday afternoon.

    Those are the two known facts as it pertains the Cornhuskers. Some of Wednesday was spent wringing hands over what appeared to be known but was later debunked.

    First, just an hour after the conference call began, a Texas reporter from Rivals.com claimed to already know that the executive board had to decided to go to the Big Ten. Except the conference hadn’t ended yet and, what’s more, the Board of Regents doesn’t have to “approve” anything for NU to move to the Big Ten.

    “Legally, there isn’t anything for us to do,” Regent Chairman Bob Phares told Statepaper on Monday. “If anything, we ratify” the decisions made by UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman and NU athletic director Tom Osborne.

    Phares said to ESPN on Wednesday: “"The board could decide that they choose to do nothing and simply sit on the corner and watch the parade.”

    Later Wednesday night, the Regents released a statement: "At its meeting on Friday, the Board will be briefed on UNL athletic conference alignment and consider a resolution. No action was taken during today's conference call, and none will be taken prior to Friday's meeting."

    Also on Wednesday, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen - whose beat is typically the NFL and whatever Brett Favre happens to be doing - reported that Osborne had informed his staff NU was moving to the Big Ten. His “report” was folded into ESPN’s larger story of NU heading to the Big Ten.

    Just who might be joining? Maybe no other teams. Notre Dame, Rutgers, Syracuse and Missouri all appear in one report or another - few of them worth considering truly legitimate - while reports out of Texas suggest that UT, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Colorado could be headed to the Pac-10 by this weekend.

    Tags: big ten expansion, tom osborne, harvey perlman

  2. 2010 Jun 09

    Recruiting in the Big Ten, Part 2

    428 views

    By HuskerLocker

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    In part two of his analysis on Nebraska potential recruiting in the Big Ten, Samuel McKewon explains the style of football played in the Rust Belt, how NU might have to alter its expectations, and an overall workable plan for the future. Check it out!

    Tags: big ten expansion, recruiting

  3. 2010 Jun 08

    Big Ten Expansion: Osborne Speaks

    792 views

    By HuskerLocker

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    Although Nebraska athletic director Tom Osborne kept NU’s poker cards faced downward Tuesday night, it appears the Big Ten could be just around the bend.

    “There’s a lot of information that we really don’t have right now,” Osborne said during his appearance on the Husker Sports Network. But the Omaha World-Herald reported Tuesday night that one Big 12 administrator expects to see NU in the Big Ten as early as Friday.

    That jibes with Osborne's hoped-for timetable of "the next few days.”

    “Before too long - and I don’t know exactly what that timeframe is - we’ll be able to put this thing to bed,” Osborne said. “Because I’m getting tired of it…the fans are getting tired of it.”

    Friday also coincides with the University of Nebraska's monthly Board of Regents meeting, starting Friday in Lincoln. Board of Regents chairman Bob Phares told Statepaper Monday that he anticipated a briefing Friday, and saw "potentially two obvious advantages, maybe three" to joining the Big Ten.

    "It seems to be the more stable conference than the Big 12, in total," Phares said. "There doesn't seem to be the agitation that exists from time to time in the Big 12."

    If Big Ten revenue figures are accurate, Phares said, "there's certainly some economic advantage.

    And: "I think there's some educational prestige that might be there in the Big Ten that's not in the Big 12."

    Considered the epicenter of what could be massive conference realignment in college football, Osborne declined to comment much on recent reports - there’s been, oh, almost one hundred now - that have NU going anywhere from a full revenue share as the lone invitee to the Big Ten to scrambling for a spot in the Mountain West. He added that a report issued last Thursday by Rivals.com - which contended the Pac-10 was about to raid the Big 12 of six teams - was “pure speculation.”

    “But it was taken as being factual by lots of people,” Osborne said. “It’s taken on a life of its own.”

    Since then, some reports have characterized Nebraska’s flirtation toward the Big Ten as Osborne’s desire to leave the Big 12 and Texas, which won crucial concessions at the dawn of the league to the frustration of NU’s winningest football coach.

    Osborne brushed aside the argument, saying he has a good relationship with Texas AD DeLoss Dodds and is “a great admirer of (Texas football coach) Mack Brown.”

    “This decision is not going to be based on animosity, petty jealousy,” Osborne said. “You’re talking about something you can maintain in the next 75-100 years. This is a big deal in terms of the University of Nebraska. It’s a big deal in terms of many other universities. We don’t make decisions based on personal likes, dislikes.”

    Tags: tom osborne, harvey perlman, big 12, big ten expansion

  4. 2010 Jun 08

    Big Ten or Big 12? Stick or Quit?

    1,144 views

    By HuskerLocker

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    Stick or quit.

    Although Cormac McCarthy has written better books than “All The Pretty Horses,” those words, spoken by protagonist John Grady Cole, might be among McCarthy’s most famous lines.

    It’s the choice Harvey Perlman and Tom Osborne face now.

    Well, let’s qualify it with “potentially.” When the Big Ten officially, publicly approves Nebraska for membership - which could come Tuesday or later this week or not at all, although we lean toward Door No. 2 - it’ll truly be time to stick with the Big 12, or quit it for good.

    To stick is safe and even, in some ways, smart. If the Huskers stay, Texas stays, everyone stays, and the league moves onward and upward. The Big 12 is a better geographical home. Nebraska knows its neighbors. The league will negotiate a sweet, if not perfect, TV deal next spring. The Big 12 has been good to Nebraska. Yes, Husker fan, it has. It also stops the clock on massive realignment in college football, which could draw the scrutiny of Congress.

    To quit is to gaze into the horizon, and boldly step into a league that promises more money, total TV exposure and, unquestionably, an academic boost. Husker fans around the nation may never have to buy a Nebraska game on pay-per-view again. NU immediately improves the Big Ten’s sagging football profile. The Huskers will need lessons in a more rugged style of basketball, and baseball in Michigan in March could be…a new experience. But the financial rewards are no small matter.

    To stick is to sacrifice for the sake of the Big 12 North. Folks, there is exactly one notable, truly marketable sports team among them - Kansas basketball - and that’s not enough to sustain the Big 12 if the South Division bolts for the Pac-10. These long-time friends of NU may survive in the Mountain West, or some deformed version of the Big East, but they will suffer. And they’ll never forget. That’s why Kansas is begging Nebraska to stay. It will be a kind of death for a great school.

    To quit is to admit Nebraska did all the things with its football program that Missouri, Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State and Colorado were not consistently willing to do - and reap the rewards for that hard work. NU was ahead of the curve on weight room advancement, walk-ons, offensive philosophy, academic support and staff continuity. The Huskers have earned a promotion to the Big Ten by acting as a pioneer, staying out of relative trouble and improving its academic standing since Perlman took over.

    To stick is to take dead aim on Texas and Big 12 South and thunder it with body blows, and to encourage the rest of the North to do the same. There is a measure of nobility in getting bullied by UT - then flipping the crown off its head. If, of course, the Huskers could do it. It might be a pyrrhic victory.

    To quit is to head to the Big Ten with a faster football team than perhaps any in that league and immediately get to work. Nebraska can subdue the western side of that league in short order. And if Notre Dame joins in? Perfect. NU fans will be elated to compete against that gilded lily - in every sport.

    To stick is to create, in the near future, a Husker Sports Network. And you know what? NU would do it right.

    To quit would mean the Big Ten Network calls those shots for Nebraska. For a long time.

    To stick means a dysfunctional Big 12, where only a few of the poorest athletic schools - Iowa State and Kansas State among them - are really happy to be there. It’ll be toxic, especially for NU, for years during football road games.

    To quit means heading to a Big Ten that, in a pinch, still revolves around the big three of Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State. Nebraska may perhaps galvanize the western half of the league - but it will never seize its sentiment away from the Rust Belt.

    To stick is putting up with one kind of arrogance.

    To quit is signing up for another.

    To stick is a fairly lousy lineup of bowls that, nevertheless, tends to favor Big 12 teams.

    To quit is a fairly awesome lineup of bowls that doesn’t tend to favor Big Ten teams.

    To stick is Cowboys’ Stadium in early December, every year, for the Big 12 Championship. Book it.

    To quit is, well, Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium or Detroit’s Ford Field in early December for the Big Ten Championship. And neither of those are any damn closer than Dallas, really.

    To stick, in a sense, is to quit whining about the raw deal handed to Nebraska by the Big 12.

    To quit, in a sense, is to stick to the northern half of the United States, and shape its game around the weather and the people in it.

    It a choice, really, between two of the state’s strongest impulses: pragmatism and populism. Nebraskans are practical. But they won’t lick anybody’s boots. Nebraskans see charity as wisdom, in that kindness often comes back twofold. But they believe in taking their talents and multiplying them, too.

    In McCarthy’s book, quitting is an undesirable, even amoral choice. Not so for Nebraska. NU’s desires have been often thwarted at the pass. I’d sit here and argue for the Big 12 Championship to be in Dallas every year, but if Nebraska wanted that tiny concession - why couldn’t Texas grant it? Why did UT to blow up the Big 12 meetings by leaking a Pac-10 raid? Why are Oklahoma and Texas A&M so silent? Why does some Baylor lobbyist have the gall to label Nebraska “cornshuckers” in an email he sends out to several public officials? As BU stares down the barrel of what amounts to athletic extinction, one of its own still has the time to pop off? Seriously with this?

    But don’t kid yourself, either: Texas’ strange insistence that the Big 12 house only stand with NU in it means that the Huskers, though not of their own volition, hold the futures of at least four league schools in their hands. Perhaps more. Unless UT is bluffing. Which it could be.

    There is a way for the Big 12 to be good again. So, too, the potential for the Big Ten to go bad. And yet, in this moment, debating in a vacuum, the air appears to flow one way, toward the Windy City, Chicago.

    Stick or quit? I think, in your own mind, you already know.

    But let's your comments below!

    Tags: tom osborne, harvey perlman, big 12, big ten expansion

  5. 2010 Jun 07

    RECRUITING: Recruiting in the Big Ten, Part 1

    1,442 views

    By HuskerLocker

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    In part one of this 30-minute podcast on Nebraska recruiting in the Big Ten, Samuel McKewon explores the many potential advantages - yes advantages - NU might have recruiting in the new conference and lays out how current Husker assistants fit in nicely to the overall Big Ten recruiting picture.

    Tags: recruiting, big ten expansion

  6. 2010 Jun 07

    Husker Heartbeat 6/7: Conference Madness (And More!)

    597 views

    By HuskerLocker

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    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!


    *Tad Stryker argues for Nebraska to stay in the Big 12. Nice paragraph here:

    “This whole issue smacks of salary envy, the type of thing that makes a center fielder who earns $10 million a year start complaining because his buddy in a rival city has a new contract for $12 million a year. They both have more than enough, but it’s all about “How much more money could I be making?” It’s all about yielding to a culture of dissatisfaction, which is bad enough on a personal level, but even worse on an institutional or a conference level.”

    *Tom Shatel sounds like he’ll miss the Big 12, if it ever comes to pass that Nebraska leaves it.

    *Sipple succinctly lays out Nebraska’s three main options. Chilling, well-written bit here:

    “The MWC reportedly is set to invite Boise State to become the league’s 10th member. Perhaps the MWC later could pick up Big 12 schools that potentially could be left out in the cold in massive national realignment. Let’s face it, Nebraska tumbling into the MWC would be a significant letdown for both the school and the state in general, and would shape Osborne’s legacy in ways we might not like to ponder.”

    *Here’s how the current College World Series bracket looks.

    *Will Nebraska baseball recruit Logan Ehlers jump to the Major Leagues?

    *The plot thickens in the Lew Perkins blackmail story. Is it a cover-up?

    *Heisman pundit argues that recruiting sites are overhyping players from the South.

    *A compelling read from Yahoo’s Dan Wetzel, who argues that the real story behind Big Ten expansion is starving out the rest of the leagues and preventing a playoff.

    Wetzel is skilled at argumentation - that much is for sure - but I can’t but think he paints himself into a bit of a corner with this piece. While, yes, the Big Ten opposed the playoff at the time, there is clear motivation from the schools and coaches not to have a playoff, because it de-legitimizes programs that consistently don’t qualify for the playoff. Imagine, just as an example, Tennessee missing the playoffs for 15 straight years. It’s entirely conceivable - even while the Vols might have won 75 percent of their games over that same time. Bowl games become the NIT once a playoff is created; and coaches don’t make $3 million per year for the NIT.

    In other words, there are a ton of reasons the BCS remains in existence. Not just because it destroys college athletics without any of the school knowing it.

    Tags: husker heartbeat, tom shatel, sipple, big ten expansion, dan beebe, lew perkins, logan ehlers, baseball, tad stryker

  7. 2010 Jun 06

    Big Ten Timeline Moves Up - Could Nebraska Get an Invite?

    691 views

    By HuskerLocker

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    The Big Ten’s façade of measured patience on conference realignment cracked a bit Sunday, when league commissioner Jim Delany conceded that recent developments in the Big 12 and Pac-10 could force the venerable Great Lakes Gang to speed up its timeline to invite one or more schools - which could include Nebraska.

    “The timeline could be affected,” Delany told the Chicago Tribune.

    Said Michigan State president Lou Ann K. Simon, chairwoman of the Big Ten Council: "Our announcement in December has caused institutions and conferences to consider their futures, and that has had an impact on our deliberations."

    Simon and Delany agreed Big Ten members would not have to vote to invite a school, although actual membership would require 8 of the 11 schools. The invitations could occur is just about any manner, including via e-mail or over the telephone.

    Simon added that a school’s academic profile was more important than the news media has suggested.

    "Most of the people in the room were provosts before they were presidents," Simon said told the Tribune, "so it's a group that is perfectly capable of making very sophisticated judgments on academics. If anything, we obsess about that."

    Nebraska has long been considered one of many candidates for Big Ten expansion. So, too, has Missouri. Both, according to the Austin-American Statesman - have been given a June 11 or June 15 deadline to reaffirm their commitment to the Big 12.

    The Big Ten’s white whale has been - and probably still is - Notre Dame. A report filed by Rivals.com- citing an “athletic director” - suggests the Big Ten could stop its expansion at 12 teams should the Irish accept. ND administrators - and new football coach Brian Kelly - seem to favor remaining pigskin independent and attached to the Big East for all other sports.

    Other candidates for Big Ten expansion include Rutgers, Pittsburgh, Connecticut, Syracuse and, according to some, schools south of the Mason-Dixon line that improve Big Ten’s visibility in SEC/ACC country.

    The Huskers may need the Big Ten invitation this week to head off a Texas-led exodus to the Pac-10, which Sunday granted authority to commissioner Larry Scott to expand the league as he sees fit. One option is a 16-team behemoth that poaches the entire Big 12 South and affixes it to Arizona and Arizona State to create a western division, while the original “Pac-8” returns to its West Coast roots. The Omaha World-Herald reported this morning that the Pac-10 had made "exploratory visits" to UT and Texas A&M two weeks ago.

    Scott told reporters Sunday the Pac-10 will be quick with its invitation, but not in a hurry.

    "We absolutely could move more quickly if we needed to, but we're under no pressure to decide anything earlier than the end of the year," Scott said.

    The Big 12 deadline - along with the source of the deadline leak, which is square in Austin - leads the horse to this water: Texas and its Big 12 South troupe, will wait until Nebraska (and Missouri) either recommits to the Big 12 or jumps to the Big Ten before they consider Pac-10 offer.

    Which means the clock is on the Big Ten to extend its invitation. Simultaneously, it’s on NU and Mizzou.

    And it’s only Monday.

    Questions still remain, now modified:

    1. What would a “commitment” from Nebraska look like? Simply the “word” of NU Athletic Director Tom Osborne and UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman? Or a legally-binding, signed document?

    2. Now that the Big Ten appears willing to invite teams, will it vie for Notre Dame first? If ND accepts, is the expansion over? Will the Big Ten invite Nebraska now, then make another pass at the Irish later?

    3. Would the Pac-10 seriously pull the trigger on a massive league that could touch off a major shakeup in college athletics, drawing further scrutiny from Congress?

    4. Would UT effectively cut off its nose - the Longhorns’ Network - to spite its face? Or are the Longhorns bluffing?

    5. Is Nebraska comfortable with beginning the domino effect that could leave old Big Eight partners like Iowa State, Kansas State, Kansas, Colorado and Missouri in the cold?

    Tags: big ten expansion, big 12, jim delany, tom osborne, harvey perlman

  8. 2010 Jun 02

    Husker Heartbeat 6/2: Big 12 Meetin Edition

    383 views

    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!


    *Well, we told you not much was going to happen during those Big 12 meetings in Kansas City. And the early returns appear to confirm that reality. Commish Dan Beebe set a hazy date of April 2011 as the moment when the Big 12 needs to know which teams are in the league and which aren’t. LJS Sipple applauds Beebe’s optimism in the face of a tough situation, while Lee B writes up Lew Perkins’ fairly alarmist comments, which are merely designed to draw concern away from KU’s grease fire. In the wake of no news, Tom Shatel works out this postulate:

    “Here's something else we learned on Tuesday: There's nothing the Big 12 can do this week to keep MU or NU — or certainly Texas — if the Big Ten Lottery people knock on their door.”

    We humbly disagree. There’s nothing that would keep Missouri, that’s true. Finally - finally! - Nebraska news outlets are starting to come around to the reality that it really doesn’t matter if Mizzou walks (even though we’ve been dubious all along that the Big Ten, which could have the Tigers for pennies on the Big Ten Network dollar, really wanted those folks from Columbia). But Texas loves its current position, and Nebraska is crucial to holding the league together.

    *Berry Tramel ranked all 96 Big 12 games for the 2010 season, and NU landed two in the top three: vs. Texas and at Texas A&M. The Huskers also had No. 93 (Western Kentucky) and No. 95 (South Dakota State). Huskers at Washington checks in at No. 10

    *Phil Steele’s rundown on the Huskers.

    *The Mike Leach lawsuit is still alive!

    Tags: husker heartbeat, sipple, lee b, tom shatel, big ten expansion, mike leach, phil steele, washington, football

  9. 2010 Jun 01

    Husker Heartbeat 6/1: Barry, Beebe, Bo, Big East, Lew and Turner

    788 views

    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!


    *Why Barry Alvarez became a Husker.

    *Talking Big 12 meetings heah! KC Star points to a Thursday showdown, while the LJS examines why the Big Ten Network is such a cash cow for the league. And even though you’re not that interested in the life story of Big 12 Commish Dan Beebe, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch offers it up anyway.

    *Turner Gill tries to keep Kansas looking forward - not back at the Mark Mangino era.

    *The LJS argues that Nebraska baseball is not alone in its struggles over the last two years, while head coach Mike Anderson explains why life for the southern schools is a little easier. Since Anderson is coming back in 2011, revisiting the failures of the last two years does little more than make excuses where they’re not needed.

    *Bo Pelini wants the Big 12 to keep a north-south rotation for the Big 12 Championship.

    *KU AD Lew Perkins was blackmailed for 7 months.

    *As a football conference, the Big East is hanging on by a thread.

    Tags: husker heartbeat, big ten expansion, dan beebe, bo pelini, barry alvarez, kansas, mike anderson, baseball

  10. 2010 May 30

    KC Drama? Or A Long, Silent Poker Game?

    717 views

    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    So I’m thinking dream scenarios here for those dedicated journalists who will trek down to Kansas City a scant 24 hours after Memorial Day to read the tea leaves of the Big 12 meetings. Here’s the craziest I could imagine:

    Scene: Lobby of some hotel. Ferns or something dying in the recycled air conditioning. You know how hotel air smells. Even good hotel air. Not like some pretty woman, I know that. Anyway, scribes shift their weight from one foot to another, swap old stories, curse some, check out some cute girl’s rear end and swig diet soda. Perhaps a few eat crackers from one those two-saltine packages hotels stash behind the bar.

    The double doors of a conference room burst open. Mizzou athletic director Mike Alden leads the charge. Behind him are Tom Osborne, his face as red as it was at halftime of the 1981 Auburn game, and Harvey Perlman, his usual poker face drawn into a mild frown of “oh dear.”

    The Mizzou media descends on Alden, a balloon ready to pop. But Osborne looks so put-out that a good number of cameras head right to him, too.

    What happened in there?

    “Well, you know, Dan, he, well…” Osborne cannot make a joke. He considers a dadgummit. Or a goshdarnit.

    Perlman interjects: “What Tom’s trying to say is Dan asked us where we stood. Whether we were, you know, on the plane.”

    And?

    Alden turns around, screaming to no one in particular: “We said there is no plane! And if they try to conjure up a plane, we’ll blow up the damn plane!”

    Cue the air marshal who just happened to be staying in the hotel, walking off the elevator, hearing Alden, and triggering an international incident.

    Yeah, so, back to reality.

    The Big 12 meetings are likely to be a dud for the newsboys, and a game of poker inside the meeting room. At least as it pertains to Big Ten expansion. You may get a healthy dose of speculation, rumblings and inside chatter for your enjoyment and message board fodder. A few more papers might sell. A few more eyes on the Internet. Will it be real news? Probably not.

    So what if Missouri’s peeved with the Big 12, Oklahoma’s a little peeved with the Tigers and Nebraska and everybody’s a little wary of Texas? Absent an offer from the Big Ten, there’s no position for Mizzou and NU to disclose.

    The take here: Nebraska and Missouri will merely reaffirm their commitment to making the Big 12 the best it can be.

    The meetings are an opportunity for Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe - the “Dan” from the above imagined anecdote - to present his most persuasive case for the league staying intact. And try to do it without making promises he can’t keep. He’s shot off his mouth now to the appropriate media outlets in Missouri, so he’s likely to play nice in KC. Beebe could push for tougher financial penalties if schools leave the league. Good luck seeing that one get passed by 75 percent, or nine schools, of the league.

    And it could be intriguing to see Big 12 members press UT for concessions on revenue sharing. If Texas is creating its own network anyway, what’s a few million in network TV dollars worth to the Longhorns, right?

    If Texas really wants to keep its dream league as is, athletic director DeLoss Dodds can calm a lot of pitter-pattering hearts. UT has the donor base and chutzpa to go independently rogue if it really wants - it’s senselessly Machiavellian and spiteful toward the fan base, but it’s possible - and Dodds’ charm can go some distance in softening those concerns. And Beebe can project confidence in a Big 12/Pac-10 TV merger that could benefit both parties - plus set up some nifty non-conference matchups.

    If only the Big 12 had a stock listing, you could follow it over the next week, gauging the confidence of its members based on whether shares were bought or sold. You might have a concrete barometer.

    But all readers are likely to get are a few cryptic words. Full of vagaries and platitudes, signifying nothing.

    In a real business world, a meeting like this would be rescheduled. In government, the matter would be tabled. But sports conferences apparently lack such flexibility. And so, the biggest thing to come out of Kansas City this week figures to be the T-bones at dinner.

    Tags: big ten expansion, big 12, tom osborne, harvey perlman, texas, missouri

  11. 2010 May 28

    Husker Heartbeat 5/28: Alvarez, Suh, 1925 and Darlington

    1,139 views

    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!


    *A fun look back at Nebraska’s 1925 game with Washington.

    *Barry Alvarez heads to the College Football Hall of Fame.

    *BRN explores whether NU and OU could meet in the Big 12 Championship.

    *Ndamukong Suh doesn’t want to hold out. Wethinks he will, though.

    *Tad Stryker is back - and we say great! - to question whether Nebraska to the Big Ten is a good thing.

    *Former NU secondary coach George Darlington is back coaching high school football.

    *The Pac 10 heads east to schmooze with ESPN.

    *Bryce Brown still hasn’t found a team. That whole player broker thing really worked out for the kid, huh?

    Tags: husker heartbeat, barry alvarez, big ten expansion, ndamukong suh, bryce brown

  12. 2010 May 24

    Husker Heartbeat 5/24: Baseball, Big Ten, Shock Jocks, Saban and Ships At Sea

    582 views

    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    This photo is from Military Times.

    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!


    *We start, today, with an off-Husker, and somewhat powerful, commentary about the Naval Academy and its willingness to lower recruiting standards just to win football games. Compelling stuff.

    *Baseball roundup! Steve Sipple traces Nebraska baseball’s struggles in 2010 back to negativity from fans and the media. Meanwhile, head coach Mike Anderson suggests fans have a misperception about the NU program as a whole, although he declined to say just what it was. Tom Shatel suggests hiring former Husker and California/Anaheim Angel Darin Erstad. Couldn’t hurt.

    Shatel also argues for reduced expectations for the NU program, based on geography. He writes:

    “There are two sides to this, two good arguments. I lean toward this: as bad as it is, and it's bad, a good year for Nebraska baseball should be if you make the NCAA tournament. Yes, I know Haymarket Park is wonderful. But it's no good when it's full of snow.”

    OK, let’s say that generally true - northern teams struggle. Still - Nebraska’s talent - a result of Anderson’s recruiting - is a lot more than a No. 4 seed in some NCAA regional. It’s top 25 talent. There’s MLB draft picks all over this team. Anderson agrees. And his expectations are different anyway, and the right ones: top three in the Big 12, hosting a NCAA regional.

    *Iowa fans seem ready to embrace Nebraska’s entry into the Big Ten.

    *Matt Hayes talks Big Ten expansion and Nebraska.

    *Oddness in Alabama, as a gubernatorial candidate has to fend off concerns that he’d cut Nick Saban’s $4.1 million salary.

    *A SEC radio jock makes up some crap about the SEC going to 16 teams, citing some anonymous source at CBS - which broadcasts all of, what, 15 SEC games a year?

    Tags: husker heartbeat, tom shatel, steve sipple, baseball, big ten expansion, nick saban, navy

  13. 2010 May 21

    Husker Heartbeat 5/21: Big Ten, Bama and Baseball

    443 views

    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!


    *ESPN’s Pat Forde - a Mizzou grad - still favors Nebraska as that one team the Big Ten should most consider inviting.

    *Nothing of any - and we mean any - import occurred at the Big Ten meetings in Chicago, but OWH’s Tom Shatel still filed a 1,200-word column about his conclusions from it. Our favorite line:

    “It's going to be a long, hot summer of Big Ten speculation. It's probably smart and safer to refrain from speculating. But what fun would that be?”

    Probably not much. But we’re not sure “fun” is the appropriate threshold for whether something newsworthy. (Yes, of course, Shatel is mostly kidding.)

    *BRN reviews the meetings, too. And the LJS crew, too.

    *Alabama focuses on building the offense in the offseason.

    *Husker recruit Tyler Evans looking to finish with a bang in track and field.

    *Nebraska baseball seniors vow to play hard vs. Texas Tech. Boy, howdy!

    *An Iowa State starting offensive lineman was dismissed for violation of team rules.

    Tags: husker heartbeat, big ten expansion, tom shatel, baseball, alabama, tyler evans, iowa state

  14. 2010 May 20

    Husker Heartbeat 5/20: Prince, Crick, Pepin, Sallie, SEC and ACC

    474 views

    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!


    *Gary Pepin, Big 12 track coach of the year. He’s a legend, folks.

    *Phil Steele lists Prince Amukamara and Jared Crick as preseason All-Americans for 2010.

    *Roburt Sallie never played a game for Nebraska. He’s now leaving Memphis, too.

    *Softball’s Heidi Foland does it for the love of the game.

    *Paul Finebaum exhorts the superiority of the SEC over the Big Ten.

    *Dr. Saturday looks back at ACC expansion and why it didn’twork.

    Tags: husker heartbeat, prince amukamara, jared crick, gary pepin, big ten expansion

  15. 2010 May 19

    Husker Heartbeat 5/19: Tails Wagging Dogs, Suh, The Hawk and ACC

    505 views

    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!


    Compared to most news outlets, we’ve sat on the sideline of this Big Ten expansion story. Maybe you figured the big boys had come in to do the real work.

    Hardly. We saw a tail out of Missouri wagging the dog of the media down there. Fine professionals caught up in projecting a story that hadn’t yet materialized.

    So when Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany basically said - as he’s said all along - that no decisions or invitations were imminent at this week’s Big Ten meetings in Chicago, we weren’t surprised in the least. The Big Ten, after all, isn’t going to consult some administrator at Mizzou on timetables.

    Of course, some of the media just couldn’t buy they’d been assembled in Chicago like Geraldo Rivera once was for Al Capone’s tomb, so they ran with Delany’s main chat of the day - on the shifting population demographic to the Sun Belt - as a “twist.” A twist that frustrated a veteran scribe like Tom Shatel:

    “That’s because the longer this story goes on, the more you wonder who is going to pop out from behind the curtain.”

    Except that the Big Ten hasn’t been pushing any story. Delany sticks to his original story. He’s done this over and over. There are no quotes on-the-record that the Big Ten is about to do anything or has done anything. The “sources” - mostly from the Missouri end - have done almost all the speculating and work on this story. And who reports those sources? The media.

    What you’re getting, fine reader, is a lesson in how the media has been taken for a ride in this new digital age. Instead of raw, hard reporting, insisting people show their cards and go on the record, journalists settle for a “Watergate”-style hand-me-down of “follow the money.”

    *Ndamukong Suh heads to one of Detroit’s many offseason minicamps before the main camp.

    *Dan Hawkins is spinning tall tales again. Although - and we’ve said this before - CU is going to be better this year than some expect.

    *ESPN vastly overpays for the rights to ACC football and hoops. There’s a reason for that perhaps we’ll explore sometime.

    *NU baseball rolls Creighton in Rosenblatt finale.

    Tags: husker heartbeat, tom shatel, big ten expansion, dan hawkins, baseball

  16. 2010 May 18

    Husker Heartbeat 5/18: Blatt, Kiffin, Big Ten Expanse

    504 views

    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!


    *So what happened on day one of the Big Ten meetings in Chicago? Oh right - nothing.

    *It’s a slow day and Steve Sipple must not get a vacation, so he ponders potential East Stadium expansion and which kinds of seats might best fit on the “old” side of the stadium.

    *Is the relatively unaccomplished Lane Kiffin worth a $4 million salary? You bet, says Sipple. Eh, we’ll see, won’t we? Kiffin has to win games on the field, not merely talk his way into stories and interviews off of it. The media cannot, unfortunately, call plays for him. We’ll see how he does.

    *Here’s a link to the Lane Kiffin story by HBO Real Sports., by the way. Quite dramatic.

    *Tom Shatel bemoans a boring farewell for Nebraska-Creighton in Rosenblatt.

    *Alex Gordon getting back on track with Omaha in AAA ball.

    Tags: husker heartbeat, tom shatel, steve sipple, big ten expansion, baseball, more kiffin

  17. 2010 May 17

    Husker Heartbeat 5/17: The Big Ten Flood

    418 views

    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!



    Big Ten expansion galore! Remember, newspapers hold Sundays as sacred still, so most of their longer pieces come out then.

    *Lee B looks at the mutual attraction between the Big Ten and NU.

    LJS Sipple does, too - quoting Gary Barnett, who basically left the Big Ten for the Big 12. We gotta stop here to post this quote, because it’s, uh, you know, utter balderdash:

    “In the Big Ten, (Barnett) said, “everybody’s close. You never felt like anybody would or could get away with doing things that weren’t on the up and up. There was just a constant feeling of oversight.”

    How about the time 11 Northwestern players were tapped for gambling on games? Or the unprecedented academic fraud that stripped Minnesota basketball of a trip to the Final Four? Or when Maurice Clarett was in the midst of massively defrauding Ohio State? Or when OSU’s Andy Katzenmoyer was taking a golf and AIDS class to stay eligible? Or when the Fab Five took all kinds of cash and gifts while playing basketball for Michigan? Or when former Ohio State basketball coach Jim O’Brien actually admitted to paying one of his players? Or the recent Michgan mess involving RichRod? Or a bunch of Michigan State football players getting suspended for brawls? Or the Iowa basketball team‘s long rap sheet? Or the Penn State football team’s long rap sheet? Or Bob Knight keeping his job at Indiana despite choking one of his players in practice, only to be fired a handful of months later for physically accosting a kid who yelled at him “Hey Knight!” Or Kelvin Sampson effectively cheating the Indiana basketball program into ruin?

    How much longer do you want the list grow?

    Look, folks, don’t buy that the Big Ten is somehow this squeaky clean, all-for-one, one-for-all vanguard of integrity. It has its warts just like every other league. Yes, of course, there’s only one Dave Bliss, and he coached at Baylor, and he tried to cover up a murder. It’s reasonably hard to top that. But let’s not kid ourselves about Barnett’s comments - and let’s not buy into a cliché that can’t hold up when you travel 15 minutes into the past.

    Meanwhile, Tom Shatel writes what amounts to a thanks and good luck to the Big 12. The LJS considers what a shift to the Big Ten might do to NU recruiting in Texas, while the OWH breaks down the facts of donations, titles and whatnot between NU, Missouri and the rest of the Big Ten. You’ll notice Mizzou pretty much bringing up the rear there.

    *The Oklahoman jumps in feet first with some “not-so-fast!” from Oklahoma, which better move fast if it wants to keep Nebraska in the Big 12. OU’s president, meanwhile, think the Big 12 will stay completely intact.

    *Could a game-day train between Omaha and Lincoln actually work? Sure, but it’ll never exist. The powers-that-be in Lincoln in Omaha would never do something that mutually benefits one another if it isn’t a 2 a.m. closing time on bars.

    Tags: husker heartbeat, big ten expansion, tom shatel, steve sipple, lee b

  18. 2010 May 13

    Husker Heartbeat 5/13: Cook, Crick, Prince, Doc, Dan, Cruise and Cruz

    569 views

    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!


    *Lindy’s makes Jared Crick and Prince Amukamara preseason All-Americans. We can definitely get behind that notion.

    *Steve Sipple and Tom Shatel both write pieces pondering the future of Nebraska basketball in the wake of the Haymarket Arena vote passing. Do not be surprised if Doc Sadler - regardless of how he does next season - gets a healthy amount of patience from both.

    *Now volleyball coach John Cook wants a new arena- not Devaney’s “leftovers.” A bit brazen, don’t you think? Plus, middle blocker Hayley Thramer will miss this year with a torn labrum.

    *Dan Beebe talks to 810 WHB and Kevin Keitzman, saying little to nothing. Keitzman tries to spin it into the story of the day.

    *The Pac 10 hires CAA, the agents of Tom Cruise and Penelope Cruz, to handle its media deal and expansion opportunities.

    *A St. Louis columnist suggests Missouri is a better fitfor the Big Ten than Nebraska.

    Tags: husker heartbeat, tom shatel, steve sipple, john cook, prince amukamara, jared crick, big ten expansion

  19. 2010 May 12

    Husker Heartbeat 5/12: More Big Ten, Schooners, Crowns and Hot Seats

    460 views

    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 Big Ten denies the entire Kevin Keitzman story. Whole enchilada. We’ll see if Keitzman was merely being used by moaning Missouri or if his report had true legs soon enough.

    *The Washington Post weighs in on the Big Ten expansion with a mildly reproachful tone, as if deigning to the topic.

    *What’s next as it pertains to building the Haymarket Arena.

    *Could LSU’s Les Miles and Georgia’s Mark Richt be on the hot seat? Richt, yes. Miles, maybe, but he may have an out plan if Meechigan fires RichRod after this year.

    *The most significant field crown this side of the old Owen Field in Norman - Oregon’s Autzen Stadium - is about to disappear.

    *Will Oklahoma rebound in 2010? Dr. Saturday examines.

    Tags: husker heartbeat, haymarket arena, big ten expansion

  20. 2010 May 11

    Bluff? Fold? Take the Pot? It's Up to NU, Oz and Texas

    1,447 views

    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    Your move, Texas.

    Moaning Missouri made its play Monday, leaking some "informal" invitation from the Big Ten - which reportedly extended an offer to Nebraska, as well - to a powerful Kansas City radio station. The Tigers, giddy over getting out of the Big 12 - where it moaned more than it achieved - are like the girl who spied a certain small box in her boyfriend’s closet and just had to tell the world.

    Since the Missouri media - from newspapers to TV stations to now 810 WHB - has eaten up Mizzou’s sob story since its poor women’s soccer team failed to qualify for the NCAA Tournament in 2009, Monday’s news - whether you define something everyone denies as news - comes as little surprise. If a Big Ten official takes a leak in the Show-Me State, the Tigers seem to know about it. Mizzou is Gatsby, the Big Ten is Daisy.

    Meanwhile Nebraska, just puttering along, hiding its hand, gets caught in the midst of Missouri’s latest premature celebration. Mizzou, for once, wants to be a pal of Big Red (on the condition, of course, than NU is “other” Big 12 school getting invited, while the Tigers bring their 7 million TV sets!)

    I’m sure UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman really appreciated the sudden friendship Monday. One of his spokeswomen, Meg Lauerman, released a tepid, non-committal statement that more or less said: When the Big Ten talks, we’ll let you know if we walk.

    NU now holds a good hand, and knows it. Unlike Mizzou, which is all in, the Huskers can bluff, fold, or try taking the pot. Texas, the de-facto king of the Big 12, is the key. We’re about to see what UT will or won’t do to maintain its little fiefdom.

    Revenue sharing? A fat new TV contract with the Pac 10? A more-equitable rotation for the Big 12 Championship? The Husker Holy Grail of partial non-qualifiers?

    Nebraska should make its list. Texas should check it twice.

    The Longhorns love their current arrangement. Love it. They make more money than any athletic department in America. They walk out their back door to recruit. Probably 75 percent of their football games are in Austin or a few hours away. The league offices are in Dallas.

    Man, you can’t buy that kind of comfort.

    If you think a few extra million from the SEC or the Pac 10 is worth relinquishing total control, think again. When you have all the money you need, what you want to own is the future. Slumming in the SEC West, slugging it out with the nation’s most crooked football programs, is akin to flying in really swank coach seats.

    Now, it’s not likely that any Big 12 team - not Texas, not NU, not even Kansas - can reach Missouri. The Tigers have stars in their eyes. I don’t blame them. The Big Ten won’t come around again, Mizzou’s academic profile had faded behind Nebraska and KU according to some rankings, and the football-basketball combo is as strong as it’s been in 30 years. You may not like Missouri’s petty posturing - from its football coach to its athletic director to the state’s governor - but the Tigers found a captive audience in the media and their “sources” have driven this story right into the mainstream.

    But Mizzou may now have to face the consequences of a raw deal from the Big Ten.

    Nebraska - more accomplished and nationally-known, possessing far better apparel contracts and marketing deals - can sit back and simply see how hard Texas is willing to work. One suspects that NU could have powerful allies in Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Kansas and Oklahoma State in this fight. Missouri can be replaced; its 7 million TV sets! were rarely tuned to Mizzou athletics in the first place. Nebraska, with its impressive cash flow, strong women’s sports and unique national following, is a tougher puzzle piece to find.

    Could UT convince Arkansas to defect from the SEC and replace Mizzou? Could Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds have a spontaneous epiphany about all the complaints NU’s had over the years?

    Perhaps not. Perhaps Texas prefers to roll the dice and replace both Nebraska and Mizzou. Perhaps it believes its own hype, and thinks it can take the SEC by storm.

    If so, Nebraska can make the leap to the Big Ten, and, in the process, actually do Missouri a favor by driving a harder bargain on Big Ten Network revenue-sharing - and other matters - than Mizzou was ever likely to forge on its own.

    Tags: big ten expansion, harvey perlman, tom osborne, texas, missouri

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