University of Nebraska Football Joins Big 10: Big 12 Depleted
NCAA Moves: Nebraska Cornhuskers Leave Big 12, Boise State Leaves Western Athletic Conference (WAC), Joins Mountain West Conference (MWC)
The NCAA is going through its biggest realignment in history as more Division One teams moved conferences. On Friday the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers announced they were leaving the Big 12 Conference and joining the Big 10 Conference.
On Thursday, the University of Colorado Buffaloes also left the Big 12, joining the Pac 10.
Now, Boise State is leaving the Western Athletic Conference and is moving to the Mountain West Conference.
The realignment is occurring mainly because of money. Both the PAC 10 and the Big 10 have lucrative television contracts which generate millions of dollars in revenue for the conferences and the colleges in those conferences.
When Nebraska saw a chance to double its television revenue, eventually — from a reported $9.1 million in the 2007-08 school year to an estimated $20 million, minimum, as a part of the Big Ten — it jumped at the chance. The Cornhuskers are also planning on building new basketball arena in downtown Lincoln.
The teams remaining in the Big 12 are Iowa, Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, and Missouri.
The question now is how long can the Big 12 last?
That move set off a wave of jockeying by other schools and conferences, with Missouri considered among the top Big Ten prospects thanks to its geographic proximity, academic profile and existing rivalry with conference member Illinois.
Athletics director Mike Alden, who met with curators for more than three hours Friday, suggested that Missouri is not interested in the Big Ten, or any league other than its own.
"We aren't looking at any other conference," he said.
The next team that may jump the Big 12 ship is Texas Longhorns. University regents in Texas meet Tuesday to decide if the school should stay in the Big 12.