Conference Realignment: Nebraska, Missouri, Colorado is Addition by Subtraction

Brady DawkinsContributor IJune 10, 2010

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 06:  Head Coach Bob Stoops of the Oklahoma Sooners waves to the crowd after defeating the Missouri Tigers 62-21 to win the Big 12 Championship at Arrowhead Stadium on December 6, 2008 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Nebraska, Missouri, and Colorado want to leave the Big 12! Some say devastation. I say trimming the fat.

Far from a death blow, these three schools have lagged far behind in the revenue sports of football and men's basketball, yet they complain about in-equal revenue sharing. Let's get to the truth.


The 2009 Big 12 championship game was the first time Nebraska was relevant in football since 2001. In the seven years between conference championship games, the Cornhuskers have finished .500 or worse three times and ended the season unranked in the AP poll five of those seven years.

Notre Dame has proved how easy it is for a former northern power to slip and slide into mediocrity. Now those two schools are on top of the wish list for the Big Ten. Ironic?

In men's basketball, over the last five seasons Nebraska is 30-50 in conference play and is 5-13 all time in the conference tournament. They hold the distinction of being one of three men's basketball teams in a BCS conference to have never won an NCAA tournament game. The Big 12 must be excited for the Cornhuskers to begin draining the Big 10 coffers.


In the 14-year history of Big 12 football, Missouri has finished the season over .500 only eight times. They advanced to two conference championship games, not coincidentally while being quarterbacked by a kid from Texas, and lost both. Missouri is 4-4 in bowl games in that span, none of which have been BCS games.

In Men's basketball, the Tigers won zero regular season titles and one conference tournament in 14 seasons.

Overall, Missouri has captured six, yes SIX, conference championships in all sports, men's or women's. Six out of a possible 410.

For as much as Missouri touts its academics as their redeeming value, US News ranks them seventh in the Big 12, tied with Oklahoma. May they be kicked out now?


Colorado could possibly be the most underachieving athletic program in America. They're in a great city and a great market, yet Colorado is currently having financial troubles and so much so that they can't even fire their own football coach .

Colorado football was respectable at the beginning of the Big 12. They actually won a conference title game in 2001, but it was all downhill from there. Since then, the Buffaloes have been over .500 in conference play just twice, lost three out of their four bowl appearances (none of which were BCS games), and finished the season ranked in the AP poll once: 20th in 2002.

Men's basketball has been even worse. Over the last five seasons Colorado is 22-58 in conference play and 7-13 all-time in the conference tournament. Like Nebraska they have never made the conference championship game. The Buffaloes made the NCAA tournament just twice in 14 years.

Overall Colorado has captured 27 conference titles in all sports. That's worse than all Big 12 South schools except Texas Tech.

While Texas gets the brunt of the excuse making as to why these wayward schools are upset, consider this: Oklahoma (six) has twice as many Big 12 football championships as Nebraska (two), Colorado (one), and Missouri (0) combined.

In men's basketball, five schools—Kansas, Iowa State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Texas—all have more basketball championships than the three malcontents combined.

So why does the conference have to explode for losing those three schools? Quite the contrary. It appears the weight is finally lifted.

Grab Central Florida, South Florida, and Louisville, three schools pouring money into their athletic programs, and carry on. Rather than blame others they invited to the party for the terrible time they are having, those three would dance until the sun came up.

What a breath of fresh air.

Plus, the weather is much better in Orlando than it is in Lincoln.