Exactly how Long was a Move to Big 10 a Possibility?

OK, maybe I’m a psychotic conspiracy theorist who has a little much time on his hands. But have you ever wondered how long Nebraska’s move to the Big 10 was in the works?

Moving from one conference to another doesn’t come about on a whim, but it is a major decision that goes far beyond the bounds of football and other athletics.

Such a move can have profound and lasting effects on an entire state, especially somewhere like Nebraska where much of what we do centers on the University of Nebraska.

Just follow me for a minute.

For starters, Nebraska’s dislike of Texas goes back from the beginning of the Big 12.

In the eyes of fans, however, the all-out hatred of the Longhorns hit a pinnacle in the 2009 Big 12 championship game. Had not so much been riding on the BCS for Texas and the conference, those officials would have never taken a second look at Colt McCoy’s incomplete pass out of bounds. In any other game that would have been the last play of the game.

But it’s Texas, and there was huge money on the line.

So follow me. The point is, Nebraska’s move to the Big 10 has clearly been in the works for some time.

For the first time in 100 years Lincoln did little to fight to keep the Nebraska state fair in town. With little fanfare Lincoln officials let the state fair move to Grand Island — largely because NU wanted the state fair property to house a technology park.

A technology park can draw industry to move to Lincoln, which means more jobs and research dollars available to NU. As we’ve seen since Nebraska’s move to the Big 10, there have been many discussions about how the Big 10’s accumen is a big part of why NU made the move.

So maybe there’s much more to the technology park idea than first met the eye. Was it done with the knowledge that Nebraska could someday soon be making the move to the Big 10? Perhaps.

Second, there was a significant push to build a new basketball arena in downtown Lincoln, providing what will be a sweet venue for Nebraska basketball. Tom Osborne as well as former NU athletes, city officials and others got on board the pro-arena campaign. The pro-arena crowd was better organized, better funded and in the end voters approved the arena.

It easily will be the cream of the crop as arenas go in the Big 10, and again, seems to have been planned with some bigger goal in mind. Or, maybe it’s just me.

In addition, we’ve seen the University of Nebraska facing significant budget cuts because of the economy. So it brings into question just how far the budget can be cut before it starts hurting the university.

A move to the Big 10 will undoubtedly improve NU’s budget situation, as it can be expected that students from across the Big 10 region will consider Nebraska as a college choice — because it is in the Big 10.

And in this day and age of dwindling population in rural America, Nebraska’s move to the Big 10 could significantly slow brain drain in this state.

So, is it reasonable to think that Nebraska was just ticked off at Texas’ demands in the recent conference meetings, and decided to take its ball and play somewhere else? All in reaction to Texas snobbery?

Not hardly. The writing is on the wall — this was a carefully measured move that has been in the works for some time.

Why else would the NU Board of Regents just put a rubber stamp on this? It appears that even the board knew a lot more than the public on this.

The decision was much bigger than football, and the move was made with significant comfort by everyone involved.

But, maybe it’s just me.

Posted on June 26, 2010, in Nebraska Big 10. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Casey Landkamer

    I must say I do indeed find it peculiar that the university started making plans for it’s technology park a few years ago, which, by the way comes in very handy for a school looking to join an exclusive group of universities working together in research. Very peculiar indeed. Also very interesting that Osborne did not want to wait very long for the city to make up its mind on the Haymarket arena –since when did Osborne became short on patience? After all, we’re talking basketball here, not exactly a sport that’s a high priority despite it’s being the second highest, albeit a distant second–revenue generating sport for the athletic department. And now the athletic department is in the beginning stages of evaluating the potential number of additional fans interested in season tickets to determine the feasibility of expanding Memorial Stadium at this time. Feedback so far seems to indicate it’s now a matter of whether we’ll wind up adding in the 5,000 range, or closer to the 10,000 range. Hmmmmmmmm……..very interesting indeed!

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