I posted this last year during all the conference re-alignment buzz, but I thought I would re-post it again today in honor of Nebraska's 1st day in the B1G.
(It turns out I was a little off on Iowa and Wisconsin. There's more true Iowa hate there than I realized. The Wisconsin hate was ruined a ltiile bit by the B1G by putting them IN THE WRONG DIVISION.)
Anyway . . .
Nebraska fans: Who you'll hate in the Big 10 and why.
You will instantly hate Ohio State. Everyone always does. You will find their fans ignorant, crass, and crude. You will wonder why there are not jail cells in Ohio Stadium like there are in the Pros. Of all of the Big 10 schools, Ohio State will remind you the most of a Big 12 South school.
You will find Michigan fans arrogant with a sense of entitlement, but for no justifiable reason. They will be knowledgeable and friendly when you visit their house, but they will talk about you behind your back. You will get so sick of hearing about the split 1997 National Championship that you will gladly give them the crystal trophy from your half of the title, just to shut them up. Of all of the Big 10 teams, Michigan fans will treat you like a guest in "their" conference the longest.
Penn State will be assigned to you as one of your designated rivals. You will not be asked your opinion about this. It will be for the Big 10's convenience, not yours. You will try to play along, but you won't actually hate Penn State. You will find their constant whining about the refs, the scheduling, the weather, the whatever, to be pathetic. You'll pity them more than hate them.
You will not hate Michigan State at first. Until they finally beat you. Then you will hate Michigan State. That one win is all you'll hear about until your ears bleed. It won't matter if you beat them the next 9 years in a row, that one win is all you'll hear about. Nobody gets more mileage out of one win per decade than Michigan State.
You will feel compelled to hate Iowa because of proximity. The rivalry will be intense and passionate, but as long as you win your fair share, it will never quite digress into true pure hatred. You will be a little disappointed by this.
This will be your biggest rival. When you look in the mirror, you will see Wisconsin. Everything you like about yourself you will see in Wisconsin. Everything you don't like about yourself you will see in Wisconsin. You both currently occupy the position of kings of honest, in-your-face, power football. The Big 10 town won't be big enough for the both of you.
Illinois will annoy the hell out of you. They will show up once a year and declare themselves your biggest rival, even though you'll have no recollection of actually losing to them. After your game with them, you will completely forget all about them until next year when they will remind you again.
You will dread playing Minnesota. Not because of the hatred of a bitter rivalry, but because there is just nothing to gain. If you win, it was what you were supposed to do. If you lose, it will always be in the back of your mind: We just lost to Minnesota. Is this the inflection point of a lousy season? Ask Penn State about this.
You will admire and respect Northwestern for how, against the odds of being a small private academic school, they still field some competitive winning teams. You will show your admiration and respect by beating the crap out of them.
Indiana and Purdue:
You won't care at all about Indiana and Purdue. You will feel bad about this. But you still won't care.