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.

Ohio State
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.

Penn State
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.

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Comments 18 comments so far

In the MVictors section, last graph. Should be they’re in “they know what they’re doing”.

JStO - So noted and corrected. Thanks. I’m frustrated because that is one of my own pet peeves. Got in too big of a hurry writing my responses.

I have to agree with Eleven Warriors. Keep lil Red away from the children. Hell, keep him away from the stadium.

Kudos to the bloggers for the kind words. I hope they all get the warm reception that they deserve on thier visits to Lincoln.



Oddly enough, the college who was road tripped to Camp Randall most often is not UNL, but Nebraska Wesleyan.  I suggest walking across the street from the stadium trying a “gold fish” shot at a fraternity house that will go un-named.  Too bad we were not in the B10 during those years.  Could have been even crazier.  Ah…...Glory Days

Living in Des Moines, Ia and raised in Omaha, NE it has been hard to listen to all the Hawkeye fans about how they are going give us a whooping.  I don’t say much because I will just wait and smile coming back to work on Monday after Black Friday Game.  Oh I just wanted to clearify something, I really don’t think there will be much Black and Gold in Lincoln as Fight for Iowa had stated in his comments.  One thing is for sure It will be a fun rivalary!  Very happy to be a part of the B1G 10 and its rich tradition.

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.

Yay, Iowa education!

On the other hand, we didn’t need an illegally (my story and I’m sticking to it) kicked ball, and overtime, to beat Missouri.  And you only beat Colorado by three, which is less than the 24-point spanking U-M administered to them.

At any rate, a hearty welcome to the Big Ten.  I always said that if the Big Ten were to expand to 12 and Notre Dame was still being their snooty selves, Nebraska’s the team I’d want.  Never thought you could be pried from the Big 12, but here you are.  Can’t wait for the Michigan-Nebraska series to start.

I can see why Ohio St’ers hate michigan so much, in 2 sentences you’ve managed to show just how obnoxious you really are. First off michigan played colorado at the beginning of the year, Nebraska played them at the end of the year. Secondly, Colorado circles the Nebraska game as THE GAME. It’s called a rivalry. Lets not add to the fact that Nebraska played 1 more game than Michigan called a Conference Championship game. Not 1 team that michigan played won a bowl game while 2 of Nebraska’s did, 1 being washington who spanked michigan st the othe a 1 loss KSU team.  Lastly don’t let the likes of e. mich and w. mich beat you, oh wait, they’re division 1.

Ooo, the sensitive, touchy sort.  I thought they made ‘em thicker-skinned out on the plains.  That’s cool, but since you like Buckeyes so much I’m gonna have to ask that you take the back door to the Big Ten, which goes through Columbus.  You’ll find that they hate Michigan largely because “it’s called a rivalry” but you probably won’t enjoy the smell of poop emanating from the coolers after a tailgate, which is literally what’s been known to happen at OSU games.  Choose your sides carefully and avoid non-sequiturs (because I think you’ve got Michigan confused with MSU, as it’s the Spartans that traditionally lose to Directional Michigan.  Otherwise I don’t know what the hell the Eastern Michigan reference is for.)  Welcome to the rest of Husker Nation, the part that can handle a needle.

As an avid husker fan, I would like to thank the bloggers mentioned in this article for the welcome.  I hope you enjoy your time in Lincoln as I hope Husker fans enjoy their time at your home.  Best of luck to all your teams.  I am looking forward to this new relationship.

Evidently, all the academic talk refers to the rest of the big 10 and not michigan.  App St. or how about toledo. Nebraska may have been down but at least we never lost to cream puffs.

Gosh, Rover, Michigan let those cream puffs win just to be gracious hosts. Welcome to the Big Ten! Maybe you’ll be the lucky cream puffs we let win this year, you never know.

And for goodness’ sake, get a copy of the US News annual college rankings. See where Michigan stands and where UNL comes in. Then we’ll talk academics.


Only had to get to year two to find this stat…....

In my mind still takes nothing away from the great OU tradition.

Seems Husker4Life is correct. Both teams counted wins against high school teams. What a sham that is.
Got me there, fair and square.
I am a person who can admit when he is wrong and not have to make personal attacks.

Any comment on why Nebraska has to play more home games than not in previous seasons?
I have always wondered why that is?


OU played 6 home games in ‘10, while Nebraska played 7.  Because the Red River Rivalry was and is always in Dallas.  Not sure how the revenue is split, but we need 7 home games for the money.  Pure economics, simple as that.

Referring to the OU-Texas football game, what I read is the ticket sales are split even every year, it seems. Can’t say for sure but TV should be an even split as well.

Yea, we all could use more money but thanks for the explanation.

Hey there Nebraska—Welcome to the party that never stops, except when it snows, which is November through April. But other than that we’ll be off the hook. Except construction. That’s like May through August or September. Anyway, welcome to the Big Ten, where the party never stops from mid-September through November, except on Monday through Thursday—and I guess Sundays too because gotta get those papers written—‘cause we care about academics a lot, not counting learning to count to Ten.

I think you’re gonna like it here!

P.S. If you’re gonna be in this conference, better get used to OSU and Michigan fans picking at each other on your boards, plus the occasional Purdue or MSU fan stopping by to complain that they don’t get enough respect, or that rare, treasured Northwestern fan with the really witty comment.

Also get used to run-on sentences.


Get ready to change your user name to OU8times.  I truly believe this is the year for OU football.  Coming from a Nebraska fan with lots of respect and love for the Sooners football program/history/tradition.  Cornhuskers fans also wish the people of OK a speedy recovery from the tragic outcome of the tornadoes this Spring, and we’re keeping you in our prayers.

GO BIG RED!  (Whatever shade that may be - Scarlet or Crimson!)

-Cincinnati Husker

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