The rumor mill is going strong on the Big XII’s fate.
ESPN is reporting that – and somehow you knew this was inevitable – Texas legislators are maneuvering to replace Colorado with Baylor in the event the Pac-10 cherry picks.
“If you’re going to have an exported commodity involved in this, do you think we’re going to allow a school from outside the state of Texas to replace one of our schools in the Big 12 South? I don’t think so. We’re already at work on this,” the site quoted a a high-ranking member of the Texas Legislature as saying.
Meanwhile, the current Big XII membership isn’t asleep at this switch. It’s supposedly delivered an ultimatum to at least one of its schools.
The conference, amid a chorus of story lines that would all significantly change the face of big-league college sports, has imposed a deadline of Friday for Nebraska and Missouri to state their intentions on whether they intend to bolt for the Big Ten, with the possibility of an extension for a decision by next Tuesday, The Austin American-Statesman has reported, citing two sources.
The Big 12’s university presidents decided on imposing the ultimatum, two highly placed officials within two of the conference schools said, according to the newspaper.
“Nebraska has until 5 p.m. on Friday to tell us what they’re going to do,” one school official said, according to the The American-Statesman. “The same deal for Missouri. They have to tell us they’re not going to the Big Ten.”
A Dallas Morning News report also cited a deadline for the Cornhuskers but said it was within two weeks.
If it’s true that the University of Texas’ preference is to keep the Big XII intact the way it is, you’ve got to admire the way it’s playing both sides off against the middle here. It looks like the big question now is whether Nebraska gets that Big Ten offer soon enough.