Chip Brown of some Texas television station discounts the idea of Texas or Nebraska moving from the Big XII to the Big Ten. Chip makes some good points:
Foremost, Texas is one of the haves in a league that operates with unequal revenue sharing. If Texas is on national TV for football, it gets an appearance fee from the Big 12 that it doesn't have to share with havenots such as Iowa State and Baylor.
It will take a super majority of nine votes in the league to change that formula. Texas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas A&M stand to reap the most benefit and thus have no reason to change things.
Second, countless trips to West Lafayette, Ind., and Ann Arbor, Mich., from Austin are great if you're getting frequent flyer miles. But those trips, sometimes twice in the same week, would result in more missed class time and more costs for charters and jet fuel than any school outside of the WAC.
It's easy to lose sight of everything but football and basketball when considering conference expansion. Joining the Big Ten would be a nightmare for Texas's non-revenue sports. Not that such sports matter, but most university presidents feel obligated to pretend that they do. Chip doesn't dismiss the idea that Missouri might join, however, and even speculates that Arkansas might be interested in filling the Tigers' spot.
Of course, there also are political concerns that make it unlikely that Texas would join even if the UT administration so desired. Here's a fascinating article about the political machinations behind how Baylor ended up in the Big XII as opposed to TCU or any other former SWC team. The popular myth has always been that then-governor Ann Richards, a Baylor grad, engineering the Bears' place in the conference. The linked article suggests that it was then-lieutenant governor Bob Bullock who greased the skids. The point? However powerful UT alumni might be, my uneducated guess is that there are enough A&M, Texas Tech, and Baylor grads with power in Texas to prevent the Longhorns from ever going their own way. I'm not sure that I agree with mgoblog that Texas joining would be bigger than Notre Dame, but Texas would be an even bigger long shot.