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  1. 2010 Jun 10

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

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    By HuskerLocker

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    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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