Thanks to the Big 12, the hottest and most frequently discussed topic across college sports has been conference expansion. It seems like everybody has an opinion on who should go where, which conferences should try to expand, and why school administrators have gotten it all wrong.
The Big Ten certainly hasn’t been immune from this chatter. Since adding Nebraska in 2011 and Maryland and Rutgers in 2014, a recurrent theme has been speculating as to which schools could and/or should be next. Everybody seems convinced that at some point, the Big Ten will make a move again and add more teams.
Of course, much of that speculation has been . . . well, speculation.
But now, the rumor mills are starting again. On Wednesday afternoon, radio host Tim Montemayor started posting on Twitter that Nebraska could be interested in leaving the Big Ten to join the Big 12.
Here are some of his tweets:
There’s no debating that most conference realignment discussions and decisions occur behind closed doors. It’s not like athletic directors and school presidents are holding public meetings to decide on whether to move to a new conference. However, this is so far out of left field that it comes with basically no confirming information.
So, let’s just debunk this theory now.
Nebraska’s not going back to the Big 12.
Maybe certain sectors of the Nebraska fanbase yearn for the days of the past when the Huskers were members of the Big 12, but this isn’t just a nostalgia move to appease the fanbase. This is speculation as to a major, major decision that would have huge ramifications for decades on Nebraska’s programs.
This isn’t the type of decision that gets made overnight.
And frankly, it would make absolutely no sense.
Even if you accept Montemayor’s statements at face value, his statements and suggestions don’t add up. For example, he suggested that Nebraska wants to leave the Big Ten for interest in making money alongside Texas and others. However, the Big Ten literally just finished signing the biggest TV deal ever.
The biggest TV deal by any conference.
That’s about as simple as it gets. Even if one believes the Big 12 is about to “cash in” thanks to conference expansion, the Big 12 isn’t even going to be in the same stratosphere as the Big Ten.
For crying out loud, the Big 12 doesn’t even have a TV network! Yet they’re going to have money to interest Nebraska? Plus, Nebraska hasn’t even been getting its full share as a Big Ten member. You mean they waited all that time to get the money and then would just leave before they collect?
To even get close to the Big Ten’s money, the Big 12 would have to assemble “The Dream Team” of lawyers to negotiate the deal and convince all the network executives of ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC to send incompetent boobs in their place. And even then, they probably wouldn’t get close to the Big Ten’s money.
This move would basically be like a 35-year-old believing he could make more money by moving out of his house, quitting his job as an accountant, and moving in with a bunch of 23-year-old college kids to work at a gas station. It’s such an insane proposition that even contemplating this move is ridiculous.
Nebraska fans probably do miss some things about the Big 12. Namely the rivalries, the road trips, and the close proximity of other member schools. However, returning to its former conference only makes sense if the conferences are comparable.
Rejoining wouldn’t even just be a bad decision for Nebraska. It would be so reckless that Husker fans would probably need to remove every administrator immediately. It would be a devastating financial decision and Nebraska would go from the nearly unparalleled stability of the Big Ten (outside of the SEC) to join what has done its best to look like a conference of unparalleled chaos.
So no, Nebraska is not leaving the Big Ten to rejoin the Big 12.
You can calm down now.