Of course, that’s not the only story. In fact, Nebraska isn’t the only story out of the Big 12… and isn’t the only team getting out of the Big 12. Colorado has left to join the Pac 10, diluting up what was otherwise a very coherent conference. Colorado may not be the only addition. A “Pac 16″ is rumored to form, with the Pac 10 swallowing up the Oklahoma schools and the major players from the Texas delegation. In short, the Big 12 is on the verge of being disemboweled. A conference that had hitched its wagon on a premise of disproportionate revenue to Texas may soon be left holding on to a basketball school getting heavy scrutiny from the FBI and IRS, Kansas State, Missouri (who is apparently now be on the outside looking in) and Iowa State, a program so relevant that some in the conference don’t even know what it’s called2. Meanwhile, Boise State finally jumped on the offer to join Brigham Young, Utah and Texas Christian in the Mountain West. A realignment of the BCS seems sure to follow.
Not to be outdone, USC’s uppance finally came by way of severe NCAA sanctions, including the loss of 30 scholarships over the course of the next three years (starting after this one) and a two year postseason ban. The Trojans were apparently very close to being taken off television as well. Per NCAA policy, upperclassmen are now free to leave USC without penalty. If similar NCAA bitchmakings of Auburn in the 1990s and Alabama at the turn of the century are any indication, then USC can probably expect to sit this next decade out.
Lastly, Sparty fans are probably at DEFCON-4. Tom Izzo, fresh off his second consecutive Final Four appearance in a coaching tenure with multiple finals appearances, is on the shortlist for the Cleveland Cavaliers job. The probability that he takes the job is very high, at least to the point that Sparty fans are thinking about the worst case scenario.
Are you disappointed that no one is talking about Ohio State? Hell, I wouldn’t be disappointed. Minus a few positive recruiting news, there has not been a peep coming from the WHAC. This is perfect. The chaos in the college landscape underscores how many programs have uncertain futures. No, programs like Nebraska and Colorado are not on the verge of destruction, but they are necessarily taking something approximating a leap into the unknown. Their move, almost by definition, comes from a strong dissatisfaction with their present condition to the point they would let go of their bird in the hand. The glory years of Surfer Pete-era USC football have come to pass, probably leaving Trojan fans a little bitter about how it went down and worried about how long it will take before USC can return to the lofty status it had before. Michigan State fans are having to think about life post-Izzo sooner than they would like. In Buckeye news? We have a new video tower.
And that’s pretty cool.
The cool part about taking in Nebraska is that their fanblogs are very good. They were in another conference that I never paid too much attention to, so I can’t claim to be a regular, yearlong reader. Regardless, Big Red Network and Corn Nation have always put out great stuff, even if they were operating on different frequences from me for the years before. Add them to your RSS feed if you have not already. Also, check out my post about the mutual connections between our two programs.
It’s fun to read the reaction from the Nebraska blogs and the Big Ten blogs, where everyone has been very cordial about the move and everyone seems very excited about the future. The display is one of those events that makes having a blog like this very rewarding. Of course, I guess I have to be the one to bring this up. Ohio State clearly has a pretty good thing going. We’ve won the conference title for the past five years. We’re all excited about Nebraska. But, so much as think about taking the crown from us and we’ll put you in a microwave. Serious.