The Big Ten Conference has extended initial offers to join the league to four universities including Missouri and Nebraska from the Big 12, according to multiple sources close to the negotiations.
While nothing can be approved until the Big Ten presidents and chancellors meet the first week of June in Chicago, the league has informed the two Big 12 schools, Notre Dame and Rutgers that it would like to have them join. It is not yet clear whether the Big Ten will expand to 14 or 16 teams but sources indicated Missouri and Nebraska are invited in either scenario. Notre Dame has repeatedly declined the opportunity to join the Big Ten. If Notre Dame remains independent, Rutgers would be the 14th team. The Big Ten would then decide whether to stop at 14 or extend offers to two other schools. If Notre Dame joins, sources say an offer will be extended to one other school making it a 16-team league.
Again, I won’t comment on expansion stuff except to say that I’m in support of it, and landing Mizzou and Nebraska (and, obviously, Notre Dame, if they finally cave to the conference’s overtures) would be a coup for the Big Ten, at least when it comes to football. We’ll see if this picks up any steam in the coming days, or if this is simply more hot air from an unconfirmed source.