Bantering Sports: Nebraska To Join The Big Ten; Big-12 To Dissolve?

This morning's big sports news is easy. It's college football. That's right. Not the Chicago Blackhawks winning a thrilling overtime game six to win the Stanley Cup. Not the upcoming game four NBA playoff game. It's not Joe Morgan sitting with Pete Rose at the Reds game. No.

According to ESPN, Nebraska is going to make the move to the Big Ten.

A source close to the Nebraska program told ESPN's Chris Mortensen that athletic director Tom Osborne informed some staff members within the past 24 hours the Cornhuskers were going to make the move to the Big Ten conference.

A source with knowledge of the Big Ten's plans confirmed to ESPN.com that Nebraska will join the Big Ten by the end of the week or early next week. The source said the formal process of accepting a candidate either has started or would be under way shortly, as Nebraska must formally apply for admission to the Big Ten.

This would finally give the Big Ten an even number of schools again, allowing them to have a post-season playoff to determine the conference champions. In other words, the Ohio State University Buckeyes will have to play one more game a year to dominate the conference. I'm fine with that.

That's not all. The Pac-10 has invited six Big 12 schools -- Colorado, Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech -- and if they leave, along with Nebraska, the Big 12 essentially dissolves. Teams like Iowa State, Kansas and Kansas State would be without a conference and some suspect they could move to the Mountain West. That is if the Big Ten doesn't want to increase their total to 16.

The age of the new Super Conference could be here soon. Do you like it? Do you dislike it? Or are you indifferent?

DON'T EXPECT ROOKIE SIGNINGS? Jason Garrison touched on this Wednesday night. Joe Reedy writes that fans shouldn't expect the Bengals to sign any of their rookies anytime soon, "with possibly no signings until after July."

We charted the signings from last year and indeed, the first signing was Morgan Trent's four-year deal on June 16. Freddie Brown, Bernard Scott and Clinton McDonald signed within a week. After Fui Vakapuna signing in early July, the Bengals sealed everyone else, save for Andre Smith, within 12 days. All players, save for Andre Smith, were signed by July 28 -- a few days before training camp kicked off.

REDS ARE BACK IN SOLE POSSESSION OF FIRST. With the Reds 6-3 win over the San Francisco Giants Wednesday, Cincinnati retakes sole possession of first place after the St. Louis Cardinals lost 3-4 in Los Angeles.

Scott Rolen is a stud, going 3-3 with two doubles and two runs batted in. Jonny Gomes is a maniac, knocking three runners in, giving the Reds a ton of breathing room in the seventh. Orlando Cabrera had four hits (three of which were doubles) and three runs. Aaron Harang had a decent night, going seven innings and giving up only two earned runs.

Cincinnati completes a four-game series with the Giants today at 12:35 pm. Kansas City comes in this weekend for a three-game series.

+ University of Southern California, according to a source telling ESPN, will "receive a two-year postseason ban, a reduction in scholarships and a forfeiture of wins from at least the 2004 season when the NCAA releases its sanctions on Thursday." Does that mean Oklahoma will be awarded the 2004 BCS and California is awarded the 2004 Pac-10 championship?

+ With several members of his staff, the Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis will jump out of a perfectly good airplane to kickoff a day to celebrate the U.S. Army's 235th anniversary.

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