If last week's hotness in the Big Ten expansion rumor department was "OMG Texas!!!", things are a bit more sane this week. According to Adam Rittenberg of ESPN.com, Nebraska would listen to Big 10's offers thanks to the ongoing decline of the Big 12 North and their declining television revenues under their agreement with the Big 12.
The Big Ten does have a big chip to throw around the bargaining table: its revenue sharing from the Big Ten Network, which it owns lock, stock, and barrel. While their small range of advertisers might be the likes of Barbasol and Ro-Tel (whose commercials, while unavailable online, are the stuff of legend among Big Ten viewers), the revenue goes exclusively to them. It's a big stick they can swing around in negotiations, even if it's funded entirely by your grandfather's shaving cream and the makers of heart-stopping cheese dip.