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Berry Tramel

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Conference realignment: Does Nebraska stay or go?

by Berry Tramel Modified: March 27, 2013 at 3:20 pm •  Published: June 9, 2010

I heard Tuesday afternoon that one Big 12 president was optimistic Nebraska would stay in the Big 12. By Tuesday night, the Omaha World-Herald, which ought to know as much as anybody about the fate of the Huskers, reported that the Huskers could be gone to the Big Ten by Friday.

So who knows? It”s one gigantic mess, with some people talking and others not.

I called Arizona football coach Mike Stoops on Sunday, and he talked about a possible expansion involving Big 12 schools. Sometime Sunday, Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott issued a gag order on his league concerning expansion. I guess Mike Stoops hadn’t heard the mandate.

University of Nebraska interim Athletic Director Tom Osborne announces the firing of college football coach Bill Callahan, at a news conference, in Lincoln, Neb., Saturday, Nov. 24, 2007. Osborne announced the dismissal one day after the Cornhuskers ended the season at 5-7 following a 65-51 loss at University of  Colorado. They squandered an 11-point halftime lead by allowing 34 consecutive points. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik) ORG XMIT: NENH102
University of Nebraska interim Athletic Director Tom Osborne announces the firing of college football coach Bill Callahan, at a news conference, in Lincoln, Neb., Saturday, Nov. 24, 2007. Osborne announced the dismissal one day after the Cornhuskers ended the season at 5-7 following a 65-51 loss at University of Colorado. They squandered an 11-point halftime lead by allowing 34 consecutive points. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik) ORG XMIT: NENH102

Tuesday night, I chatted with Arizona AD Greg Byrne during the Women’s College World Series. I told him I chatted with his football coach, and Byrne smiled and said I must have gotten to Mike before the order came down.

Now the Big 12 is not talking, which is a huge mistake. No one has been bashed like commissioner Dan Beebe — undeservedly so, I say — and Beebe ought to come to the defense of himself and his league.

We tried to talk to OU and OSU coaches this week. We got several Sooner coaches. Bob Stoops, Sherri Coale and Sunny Golloway all were interesting. But OSU says its coaches shouldn’t talk.

I thought we might have hit a home run Tuesday when I heard that Scott, the Pac-10 commissioner, was going to be at Hall of Fame Stadium for the softball championship game. But turns out he didn’t make the trip to see two of his schools, UCLA and Arizona, play for the title.

It’s really unlike any story I’ve ever covered. Things change daily. Or maybe they don’t change at all. Who would actually know?

Here’s what I think. I think the Big Ten was slowly paddling the river, trying to reach an expansion destination. And the Pac-10 rented a speedboat and came zooming past. And now the ACC and SEC are busy back on shore, trying to get boats in the water.

This thing is accelerating far faster than anyone thought.

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by Berry Tramel
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Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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