In one of the most surprising moves Wednesday, a source close to the Board of Regents at the University of Nebraska says that the school has informally agreed to leave the Big 12 and enter the Big Ten conference.
While the official work will not come until Friday, this move has created quite the shakeup in college football. The main reason, if Nebraska does decide to leave for the Big Ten, the Big 12 is effectively dead in the water, and will most likely be dismantled.
Nebraska really had no choice with all the rumors surrounding the teams leaving the Big 12 for the Pac-10. By deciding to leave, they took a step to create their own destination and future for the program rather than have to wait and see what schools like Texas and Oklahoma decided to do. With the Cornhuskers leaving, this will almost guarantee that we see those schools invited to the Pac -10 accept their invitations. That could mean that six other current Big 12 teams will be moving to the west coast conference creating a super conference.
Those teams making up the 6 are Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, and Colorado (which is now official). The Big 12 has given each team until June 14 to make their decision to leave or pledge their allegiance to the Big 12. However, if Nebraska does leave the conference is most likely dead.
That leaves the Big 12 with five teams looking for a home in college football: Missouri, Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, and Kansas State. Though there was some big time lobbying for Baylor to be sent along with Texas, it looks like the Pac-10 has firmly said Baylor is not wanted. Missouri, once a potential conference jumper, is going to be looking for a home in the Big Ten and will most likely end up there. As for the others left in limbo, they should find homes if needed whether in the Big Ten as well or other conferences such as the Mountain West or Conference USA.
Should all the moves go down, what does that mean for college football? Well, the "Pac-16," I guess it might be called, will be home to some of the most powerful teams in the game, and will have a couple of teams challenge for a national championship each year. Also, with the required 12 teams for a conference championship, there should be some great Rose Bowls in the future.
The same goes for the Big Ten; we will finally have a Big Ten challenger for the national title that has won a conference championship, which has been one of the main arguments come BCS time for why the Big Ten team shouldn’t play in the big game. That leaves the ACC and SEC who up until now have been discussing some changes within their ranks but have taken a wait and see mentality, and now that teams have made their moves, the rumor mills should start right back up again.