Monday, May 31, 2010

Monday Night Beer: Wouldn't You Like to be a Fly On the Wall at the Big XII Meetings?

I have to admit it might be kind of fun to sit in on part of the Big XII meetings in Kansas City this week. But at the same time, if anybody gets mad at Nebraska and/or Missouri, the question would be "why?" The short answer is, of course, jealousy. Any Big XII North school would seriously consider jumping to the Big Ten if the interest were there. Nebraska and Missouri merely make more sense for the Big Ten than Iowa State, Kansas, or Kansas State. Even some of the southern teams would consider it, though the travel costs would make it prohibitive for them...but if the SEC were to come a-calling, they'd be jumping too.

The Daily Oklahoman's Barry Tramel pretty much nailed this yesterday.  The Big XII is hog-tied by geography and by population. If the Big XII doesn't fit into the future of conference expansion, it's time to negotiate an orderly breakup for the conference.

While some athletic directors and school presidents will probably sing and dance and hide behind weasel-words, I don't see Tom Osborne being anything but forthright with his colleagues if he's asked about Nebraska's motives.  In fact, I'd suggest that Osborne quote his old colleague Senator John McCain: "Elections have consequences." When Big XII North schools continually vote with Texas and against Nebraska on conference matters (such as holding the Big XII championship football game in Dallas on a permanent basis), a message is being sent to Lincoln, and being set strongly.  The rest of the Big XII shouldn't be surprised if Nebraska considers a better offer. If the rest of the Big XII is really concerned about keeping Nebraska in the Big XII...make the Big XII a better conference for Nebraska.

I'm sure Gary Pinkel (and perhaps Bill Snyder as well) will cut out this quote from Osborne and keep it for the bulletin board:
“If it's the will of the group to play in Arlington the next three years, we'll go down there and play as hard as we can. It isn't like we're going to pout."
While Nebraska is likely to be the consensus favorite to win the North this season, it's by no means assured. In any event, I'm not used to see quotes like that from Osborne. Usually T.O. slips in something about "if we get the opportunity" or some other quote that makes it clear that he's not dismissing the rest of the conference.

Another entertaining Stanley Cup Final game tonight in game 2. I never used to be a big Mike Emrick fan, but he has a way with his call to make a big game seem even bigger...whether it's the gold medal game in the Olympics or the Cup.

I had to be out driving Saturday night, so I didn't get to watch the end of game 1.  I did manage to pick up the Blackhawks radio broadcast on WGN-720 AM out of Chicago once the sun went down. Interesting that it turns out that WGN-TV also carries a handful of Blackhawks games...but they're blacked out on the national WGN satellite feed.  That's something the Blackhawks and the NHL should try to change. Any additional exposure for the game would be good for the game.

Well, the cost of the Sarpy County Boondoggle are up $5 million over budget so far. No surprise here.  Sarpy County was told two years ago it would cost $40 million, and even with the recession, I still think that the current $31 million budget is still going to come up short.  My guess is that even with cutting corners and lower costs due to the the current economic downturn, it'll eventually come in around $35 million. The one surprise is reading the quote from Sarpy County Board Chairwoman Joni Jones:
“I am very hopeful that it (economic development along 370) will, but if it does not, then we've made a grave mistake.”
 The stadium is just now beginning actual construction, and already the seeds of regret?  Wow.

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