The University of Nebraska's chancellor, Harvey Perlman, just announced at the school's Board of Regents meeting that the Cornhuskers will apply to join the Big Ten. At this point it sounds like the move to leave the Big 12 for the Big Ten is all but official, with the necessary paperwork being the only thing keeping both conferences at 11 teams for right now. It is believed that the move will quickly become official, meaning Penn State will soon no longer be the new kid on the block.
The plan for Nebraska's transition to the Big Ten is for the Cornhuskers to start athletic play in the 2011-12 season, and become an academic member much sooner. What this means for Nebraska's athletic teams is that they will play one more season in the Big 12 if everything goes according to plan. That is definitely going to be an interesting storyline to follow throughout the season, especially since it is expected that six other teams will end up leaving for the Pac-10 when all is said and done.
Nebraska made sure to point out that they should not be blamed for the breakup of the Big 12. They wanted a commitment from all schools that nobody would bolt, but that was just not feasible in the end. As a result, Nebraska decided that the best move for its future was to join the Big Ten, giving them stability both in the athletic and academic world. As Nebraska president J.B. Milliken said, "The Big Ten is the premiere athletic and academic conference in the country."
My initial reaction, aside from the fact that I'm stunned this day has finally arrived, is that I can't wait for the Cornhuskers' arrival. They seem like a perfect fit for the conference and will definitely bring in a lot of intrigue to the Big Ten going forward.
On a personal note, I'm really hoping that Nebraska's schedule includes a game at Michigan Stadium in 2011, when I will be a senior at U-M. Who knows if that will happen since divisions need to be formed and the conference could still further be expanded, but I look forward to the first conference meeting between the Cornhuskers and Wolverines.