Nebraska’s Big Ten Initiation
Yesterday, my colleague Brandon wrote about Nebraska's last day on the plains. Today, Nebraska is part of the Big Ten. So, while you say goodbye I say hello. Obviously Brandon is one hellava writer. Rather than try to match is prose, I took a different approach. I asked the new neighbors for help. I asked the Big Ten blogging community to offer some thoughts on Nebraska entering the conference. I sort of expected it to be a frat-style initiation or a smack talk gauntlet run. Instead it turned in to a bit of a group hug. Don't worry, it didn't get weird or anything. Read on to hear from some B1G bloggers.
From Fight for Iowa -- Today's the B1G day. You're moving on up from the Big 12 North to become a Legend in the Big Ten. I'm sure you're a little scared, but yet excited to start this new adventure. You have big dreams of Rose Bowls and conference championships. But let me issue this warning: the Big Ten is not the patsy Big 12 North and your going to have to deal with the Hawkeyes if you want to fulfill your aspirations. So bring it on Nebraska. We'll see you on Black (and gold) Friday.
Response - Thanks Hawkeyes. We're looking for it. I have some fond memories of the last time Nebraska "brought it" to Iowa. Seriously though, Husker fans should keep an eye on the Hawkeyes by checking Fight for Iowa regularly.
From Black Heart Gold Pants - As an Iowa fan who grew up surrounded by Big Red partisans in northwest Iowa, there was no team I was rooting for the Big Ten to add more than Nebraska last summer. Over the last decade, there's no non-conference foe that I wanted to appear on Iowa's schedule more than Nebraska. In the '00s, as Iowa's fortunes rose in the and Nebraska's fortunes sank, it always stung a little that I could only enjoy Nebraska's struggles vicariously -- I never got to see Iowa kick any dirt on the grave. I never got a chance to shove an Iowa victory back in the face of any of the obnoxious Nebraska fans I'd grown up with or met over the years. (And, no, that doesn't describe every Nebraska fan I've ever met... but it does describe enough of them.) Not anymore. Now I'll get to see Iowa and Nebraska tangle every year and the question of "who's better" or "who would win" won't just be a hypothetical bar argument -- there will be an actual game every year, with huge, excited crowds and a national television spotlight. Most of the pieces were already in place for this to be a truly excellent rivalry -- proximity, animosity, even a smidgen of history -- and regular on-field encounters should prove to be the final missing piece. Welcome to the Big Ten, Nebraska.
Response - We think alike. The overlap of fanbases, the geography, the years of lustful speculation all make this a potentially great rivalry. Let it begin. Let. It. Begin!
From MGoBlog - Welcome. Michigan looks forward to proving once and for all that the
1997 Nebraska team couldn't hold a candle to Charles Woodson and
company. Please try to blend in when you overwhelm our stadium.
Response - Nebraska fans would have rather seen that title decided on the field rather than split it. Since you brought it up... the 1997 Nebraska team demolished Peyton Manning and a loaded Tennessee team in their bowl game while Michigan was in a tough game with Ryan Leaf and rather ordinary squad from Washington State. I'm not saying...but I'm just saying.
1997 aside, smart readers know MGoBlog is required reading for those who want to know about Michigan sports.
From MVictors -- Welcome. Nebraska and Michigan share many things historically of course: a deep running tradition of excellence, the 1997 national championship and Fielding Yost. Our teams even shared the outcome of the game when we met 100 years ago this fall in Lincoln - a 6-6 tie. On that trip the Michigan team, students and fans who traveled to the game were treated like royalty. After the game the Nebraska officials invited the entire contingent to the postgame banquet, and the Nebraska band even learned 'The Victors' for the occasion. Good luck this season.
Response - Wow, dropping great historical knowledge is always respected. Folks, MVictors has a serious history focus and they know what they are doing.
From Gopher Hole - Fans of Big Ten teams across the country should welcome Nebraska with open arms and excitement into the greatest conference in the nation. Nebraska football is a capstone program and one that the Big Ten will take pride in. There are natural rivalries that will develop quickly and a national fan base that the Big Ten will benefit from. All that being said, there are still many bitter Gopher fans with open flesh wounds from the infamous 1983 beat down and there will be many references to this when Jerry Kill goes 1-0 lifetime vs. the famed Black Shirts this year at TCF Bank Stadium
Response - Awe, that's nice. Thanks. I'm going to age myself, but I was a grade schooler in 1983. I remember thinking the score was a mistake when I first read it in the paper. We'll see about that 1-0 record when the time comes, but when we want to know about the Gophers we'll drop by the Gopher Hole.
From Lake the Posts - Welcome to the Big Time UNL. Here's to you, the smarty-pants Academic All-American kings coming up with some originality. Congrats on being
the 3rd Memorial Stadium, the third Big Red in our conference and the
second NU. We remember the Alamo and will see you in November in
Lincoln. Seriously, we're excited to have you aboard and can't wait to
begin a new rivalry.
Response - BRN and fine folks at Lake the Posts are already pretty well acquainted. Many Husker fans are already looking forward to the trip to see NU vs NU over the years. Can we get in on that sailgate?
From Sippin on Purple -- Okay, Nebraska, I'm sure you're expecting me to welcome you with open arms, but GUESS WHAT: we already have beef: Northwestern University: NU. Get it? Because the first letters of "Northwestern University" is NU? As opposed to "University of Nebraska", whose first letters are not NU. I bet you think that just because Nebraska has a better football team, has pretty much always had a better football team, has more fans, a bigger stadium, makes more money, somehow has made more NCAA tournaments than we have even though nobody in Nebraska has ever paid attention to basketball, you can take our abbreviation, huh? I guess that sounds reasonable.
Response - Thanks, Sippin on Purple. Like I told Lake the Posts, Husker fans are fairly attached to NU. But they may be more angered by your association with Gary Barnett than anything else.
From Eleven Warriors -- Welcome to the Big Ten! The rules up here are pretty simple: embrace rust, slow-footedness and boring road games at the wind tunnel that is Memorial Stadium in Champaign.
Luckily, you don't consider "maize" a color and your state isn't dying from acute arrogance, so you already have a leg up on at least one other member of the conference.
Oh, and keep Lil' Red away from small children.
Response - Thanks much. We've been on our share of boring wind-filled road games, but thanks for the warning about Illinois. Oh, and Lil' Red is used to terrorize and indoctrinate little Husker fans. Makes 'em tougher.
From Linebacker U - For Penn State fans, there is hardly a better newest member of Big Ten football than Big Red. Though both teams have only faced off on the field 13 times, the intense rivalry between Penn State and Nebraska runs much deeper than simply 52 quarters of football. These two programs participated in what could be considered one of the biggest watershed moments in college football history, yet never played a down of football on the same field in the process. Yup, it's 2011, and Nittany Lions fans are still seething about 1994. Just as Huskers fans are quick to scream back "1982!" But that's why this series has been a special one, and will continue to be special for years to come.
Response - Yep. 1982. 1994. Obviously I agree that this one could become something special.
From Hammer & Rails - Welcome to the Big Ten, you guys. Purdue fans only ask for a few things. Beat Indiana in basketball and don't call us Purdon't or Purwho. It wasn't the funny the first time we heard it decades ago. Respect us and we'll respect you. That means we'll get along fine. Also, please don't hurt Robbie Hummel's knee this year when you come to Mackey Arena.
Response - I can't make any promises about basketball. Nebraska fans are generally very respectful so we'll get along fine. Frankly, "Purwho" is just a bit to on the nose for me. I might prefer the ironic, derivative variable "Purwhat". No? No.
From Boiled Sports - It'll be nice having a program worthy of the Big Ten with red in their color scheme (oooh, in your FACE, Indiana and Ohio State!). We could write something haughty and cocky with basketball season in mind... or something self-depricating and humble with football in mind. But instead we'll just say we're happy to have you and we think Nebraska has some of the best assets and qualities that we look for in a university and a fan base. As Jim Nantz would say... Welcome, friends.
Response - Hey, this is a family site! Seriously though, Boiled Sports went the cheesecake route and may have just won the day. It's obvious, but it works every time.
From Bucky's 5th Quarter - Welcome to the Big Ten! We're kind of sad we won't have an annual rivalry with you guys. Apparently Barry Alvarez's pull isn't as strong as we thought. We're still excited to host your first ever Big Ten game though. Be prepared for a rude awakening in Madison.
Response - Big respect to Alvarez. Nebraska fans would have liked an annual game too. But, hey, we can't have a rivalry game with everyone can we? We're looking forward to coming to Madison. Good times! Expect to see lots of red and white in the stadium. Er, uh, wait. That doesn't work. Look for the "N" logos I guess.