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Nebraska's reported move to Big Ten sets stage for Pac-16

June 11, 2010 | 12:35 pm

Several news outlets are reporting that Nebraska has accepted an offer to join the Big Ten Conference, which would lead to the Pac-10 offering five Big 12 schools invitations to join a 16-school super conference.

Colorado on Thursday accepted an offer to join the Pac-10. The additional Big 12 schools that will be invited are Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech. A formal announcement might not come until next week, as Texas is holding a regents meeting Tuesday to discuss the situation.

There also are state politics involved, with Texas A&M reportedly in search of an offer to join the Southeastern Conference. If Texas A&M is not part of the package, the Pac-10 will add a different school, possibly Kansas, according to sources familiar with the negotiations.

In other news, Boise State announced it is leaving the Western Athletic Conference to become the 10th member of the Mountain West Conference. The Mountain West postponed a decision to invite Boise State last Monday, in part to see how the Big 12 situation played out.

It is unclear whether the Mountain West will ultimately look to expand to 12, or possibly 16, schools.

"We made sure we got Boise State in the fold," Commissioner Craig Thompson said.

Thompson does not think the conference shuffling is over and says college football's landscape is going to be radically changed.

"My personal opinion, it does bother me," Thompson said. "I think geographics have gone out of vogue, which is unfortunate. I don't like the fact that natural historical rivalries have been passed over. We seem to have gone quite corporate in chasing the elusive dollar at the expense of what basically might make better sense. And that proverbial ship has sailed."

-- Chris Dufresne

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