No lunch links today, but I wanted to pass along an interesting story in The Columbus Dispatch, which obtained some interesting e-mail correspondence between Ohio State and the Big Ten regarding expansion.
There aren't a ton of details available, but Ohio State president Gordon Gee e-mailed Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany in April and confirmed that he had spoken with University of Texas president William Powers.
"I did speak with Bill Powers at Texas, who would welcome a call to say they have a 'Tech' problem," Gee wrote in an e-mail that was among several obtained by The Dispatch through a public-records request for documents and correspondence related to Big Ten expansion proposals.
Texas Tech is one of Texas' rivals in the Big 12 conference. Ohio State officials declined a Dispatch request to explain the "Tech" problem.
"Public record laws do not require us to provide further clarification on meaning," OSU spokeswoman Amy Murray said in an e-mail. "While a few of the e-mails are cryptic, we aren't obliged to provide additional explanation."
In a previous e-mail to Delany, Gee wrote that the Big Ten controls its own destiny in expansion but, "the window will soon close on us. Agility and swiftness of foot is our friend." That statement seems to have proven prophetic with the recent news about the Big 12 and the Pac-10.
It's fun to try and decode the language in these e-mails. What do you think Delany meant by this sentence to Gee?
"Finally double chess # of moving parts including not harming brand as we executy."
Bottom line: the Big Ten is still thinking big with its expansion push, and as I wrote last month, Texas remains in play. But landing Texas isn't simple, especially because of its links to Texas A&M and Texas Tech. As The Dispatch's Bill Rabinowitz points out, both Texas and Texas A&M are AAU members, while Texas Tech is not.
Delany and the league are going to fight to land a big fish. Whether they reel one in remains to be seen.