It's not a done deal yet, but the indications are strong:
A source close to the Nebraska Board of Regents told Orangebloods.com the regents met informally Wednesday and have agreed to move to the Big Ten and that a formal announcement Nebraska is leaving will come Friday.
Sources close to Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech have suggested to Orangebloods.com over the last week that if Nebraska leaves, the Big 12 can't be saved.
A Fox television report out of Ohio said Nebraska now has an invitation from the Big Ten.
One of the reasons given for Nebraska's importance to the league is because the relationship between Missouri and the rest of the Big 12 has soured beyond repair.
And to complicate matters for Missouri, the Tigers appear to be falling down the list of priorities for the Big Ten.
An athletic director with knowledge of the Big Ten said, "Missouri is getting cold shoulder from Big Ten."
Joe Schad of ESPN reported Wednesday that the Big Ten list of interest for expansion goes like this: 1) Notre Dame 2) Nebraska 3) Rutgers and/or Maryland.
Chip Brown, FWIW, has been on the money throughout this developing story. He added via Twitter:
Orangebloods.com: Texas AD and President gathered coaches at 2 p.m. to tell them they did all they could to save B12 but were unsuccessful.
(If you're interested in this stuff, you definitely should follow Brown on Twitter.)
A source close to the Nebraska program told ESPN's Chris Mortensen that athletic director Tom Osborne informed athletic staff members within the past 24 hours that the Cornhuskers were going to make the move to the Big Ten conference.
So here we go. Assuming these reports about Nebraska are accurate, the Big XII is almost certainly toast, though representatives from Texas and Texas A&M are meeting on Thursday to discuss the situation and make sure they're on the same page. Maybe things change after that meeting--Texas has been trying to preserve the conference--but at this point it seems that the league is beyond salvaging. During an appearance on Sportscenter earlier this evening, Brown declared the conference dead. He also said that Texas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Colorado are Pac-10 bound.
(Update: apparently A&M is the only one of the six not on board with moving to the Pac-10.)
(Update II: All six schools are expected to accept P10 invite.)
If Nebraska has an offer from the Big Ten, it doesn't necessarily mean that Jim Delaney has given up on Notre Dame, but it probably does mean he isn't going to stop at 12. I had been under the impression that the ACC wouldn't have to worry about scouting new members unless the SEC busted out its poachin' stick. But if Joe Schad's report is accurate, if the Big Ten really is interested in Maryland (sounds too good to be true), we may be in crisis mode a lot sooner than I thought. The worst-case scenario for the ACC--which would leave the conference looking decidedly Big Eastish--would be losing Maryland to the Big Ten and four other schools to a reactionary SEC.
I sure hope it never gets that far. We'll have to see how the SEC responds to all of this.