Your big-picture question this morning: Is Tom Osborne’s legacy as AD mostly finished? Or just starting to solidify?
In 2007, Osborne stepped in for Steve Pederson and put the athletic department back together again. He has since overseen the construction of major facilities. And of course, he helped drive Nebraska to the Big Ten, one of the most important moves in the university’s history.
Pretty solid work.
But one of the chief roles of an athletic director is hiring and firing coaches. And if Osborne relieves Doc Sadler of his duties — which he should — Osborne will make his third major hire in a span of 4 1/2 years.
Bo Pelini was the first, of course. Darin Erstad was No. 2. Neither, at this point, can be judged a success or a failure. It’s too soon. I would make the same argument for Osborne’s reign as AD.
So far, his work deserves a positive review. But the longer Osborne stays, the more his AD legacy is shaped by the people he hires.
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>> The latest conference realignment story made me think of Creighton.
On Monday, Conference USA and the Mountain West announced a merger. The new league will have 16 teams and stretch from East Carolina to Hawaii.
This is a football move, like everything else in conference realignment. But for one league, I hope basketball eventually drives the bus.
As you know, the Big East has already announced the addition of Boise State, San Diego State and Navy for football. Memphis will join Central Florida, Houston and SMU as full-fledged members.
That includes basketball, the Big East’s flagship sport.
Syracuse, Pittsburgh, West Virginia (and maybe Louisville) saying goodbye is bad enough. But adding UCF, Houston and SMU? That’s sacrilege for East Coast basketball fans.
Sooner than later, I think the non-football Big East schools will break away and form their own league. That’s Georgetown, Villanova, St. John’s, Providence, Seton Hall, Marquette, DePaul, maybe even Notre Dame.
Here’s where the vision gets interesting locally.
What if Creighton — a like-minded, private, Catholic, basketball school — maneuvered its way into that new league?
It might take some sweet talk — and a few Sweet 16 appearances — to make it happen. But it’s not impossible, especially if you throw in schools like Xavier, Dayton, St. Louis and St. Joseph’s, which fit the same profile.
I know the Jays have history with the Valley. They have rivals there. But Creighton is too good for most Valley schools.
What do you think, Bluejay fans. Would you willingly ditch the Valley if offered that scenario?
And if the Big East thing didn’t happen, what about a fallback plan. A league consisting of private, urban, Midwestern schools: Xavier, Dayton, Butler, Saint Louis, Drake, Duquesne and Detroit.
Creighton’s basketball program is making news nationally. But a conference promotion would help take the Jays to a new level.
>> Hilarious. A Valentine’s Day love song to Denard Robinson.
>> The new Big 12 football schedule is finally public. It includes West Virginia. Highlights include Thanksgiving weekend, when OU plays OSU and Texas faces TCU.
>> Despite movement among athletic directors and conference commissioners, Harvey Perlman is still opposed to a college football playoff. He talked about this morning on KLIN in Lincoln.
>> Urban Meyer and Bret Bielema are neck-and-neck in an ESPN poll. The topic: most disliked coach in the Big Ten.
>> A Maine high school coach resigned after accidentally posting a naked picture of himself on Facebook. Oh c’mon, who hasn’t done that!
>> The Oakland A’s actually spent some money! In the same article, Yahoo! Sports projects the MLB payrolls for 2013. Guess where the Royals are? How ‘bout fourth-to-last.
>> The New York Times spends four days with the Butler basketball team. Love these kinds of stories.
>> Baseball America doesn’t expect Darin Erstad to win the Big Ten. Purdue, they say, will get the Big Ten’s sole NCAA bid.