Why Nebraska left the Big XII

Submitted by backusduo on June 24th, 2010 at 2:55 AM

Intersting Post on one of the Big Red Blogs concerning why they left the Big XII.  My friends that are Nebraska fans are pumped to be part of the Big Ten, and forwarded me this as an explanation of why Nebraska Nation overwelmingly approves of this move.  It also explains why Texas is probably never going to be a good fit for the Big Ten.

Why Nebraska Left: Everything You Need To Know

On Wednesday, June 9, 2010 Nebraska became the catalyst of what will turn out to be, one of the most historically monumental decisions in college athletics. The first, and most critical domino has gone horizontal, and those that lie in front of it are about to fall at wildfire pace.

One has to wonder, why now? And why Nebraska? Why would Tom Osborne, a conservative former coach and politician upend the boat? What about tradition? Fear of change? The deciding factor for Nebraska to leave the Big 12 came entirely from within. Osborne knew, way back in ’93, that merging the Big 8 with the four Texas schools from the Southwest Conference would result in a rocky, abusive marriage and inevitable divorce. We were warned. He knew.

And he knows now.

When examined closely, there were many components that went into Nebraska’s decision, most of which were entirely out of its control. Enter, Big 12 Commissioner and Village Idiot, Dan Beebe. Dan has (had) a simple job. Keep the Big 12 thriving and each member happy. To Bebee, this job description transcribed to keep the Big 12 stagnant and Texas happy and was content in becoming Texas Athletic Director Deloss Dodds’ conference mouthpiece/string puppet. Just keep Texas happy. Nebraska ahead 12-10 with 0:00 on the clock in the Big 12 Championship? Not a problem. Ol’ Beebs can add a second. (Aside: Funny how that karmic hammer swings back at you. I think Alabama just scored again.)

He also fell behind in the times when it came to forward-thinking ventures like a conference television network, but it was acceptable for Texas to explore their own “Longhorn Television Network.” And Texas, who has turned out to be the powerful, yet pea-brained oaf in all of this, resorted once again to arrogance and dismissed the 11 other members of the Big 12 as mere minions.

Make no mistake, Nebraska football is a national brand. The elite of the elite. In the same fraternity as Alabama, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Oklahoma. 3rd all-time in wins. Where the rest of the Big 12 were content to be pimped out by Texas and roll over like starving hookers, Nebraska had far more self respect. A conventional, yet notable moment where this was ever-prevalent, was the 11-1 conference vote to keep the Big 12 Championship game in Texas for the foreseeable future. Osborne, not to be pushed around or degraded, was the lone opposing vote. No one else in the Big 12 North bothered to sign up (isn't that ironic now to see KU and KSU begging NU to stay and save them?)

Missouri, who has played a significant, somewhat noble, yet moronic role in all of this, became discontented with the revenue sharing policy of the Big 12. A fair gripe, yes, but the equivalent of Obamacare in college football. Whining for more money/handouts when you’ve accomplished, well, nothing, will only get you so far. And it definitely will not earn you any respect.

The Big 10, sensing an uprising in the Big 12, quickly realized that their desire to expand could come to fruition, with or without holdout Notre Dame. While Missouri governor Jay Nixon was flapping his gums about “deserving” a Big 10 invite, Tom Osborne waited patiently with a much better poker hand. Adding Missouri, without Nebraska, adds little to the Big 10. A bandwagon, ill-behaved fan base along with a bed-wetting sense of entitlement is not an ingredient for conference cohesiveness. Nebraska is the real gem. A rich history of Heisman Trophies, national championships, and conference championships? There’s a program that’s earned their respect. Sign them up.

Beebe then mustered up a solution so insanely idiotic, you have to wonder if there were paint chips in his morning coffee. Give Nebraska an ultimatum. Yup, poke the angry dog even more. Pledge your loyalty to the Big 12 within one week - or else. Or else what? You’ll kick them out, leading to the demise of the Big 12 anyway? And where is Texas’ ultimatum? Good move, moron. If I were Osborne, I’m not sure I could’ve contained my laughter in that room at that very second. And felt I’m sure, immense disappointment knowing that the abuse couldn’t be tolerated any longer. Thank you, Texas. Thank you, Beebe. As much as it pains to leave the beloved traditions and bitter rivalries of Colorado and Oklahoma, you’ve left us no choice but to go - to a much better place.

Osborne didn’t need a week. He acted quickly and precisely, playing his hand with dignified grace. Nebraska wanted out and the Big 10 knew it. The dissolution of a broken marriage and the beginning of an ideal one. And $15,000,000 extra per year in television revenue? Sure, that doesn’t hurt either.

Inevitably, this will cause casualties. Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, and Baylor may be left without a pot to piss in. In Missouri’s case, a strong wind has soaked them in it. Millions of dollars in lost revenue and no conference. Nothing to play for. But Kansas has one of the most elite basketball programs in the nation? Not anymore. Bill Self just hit the employment ads, and hard. And Missouri? Blame your governor and you’re dumbfounded sense of entitlement. In the end, it’s sort of difficult to feel that sorry for them. Just remember, “11-1.” You all sided with Texas on so many issues. You can beg them for mercy now. Leave Nebraska out of it. When the going was tough you sided with the dim wits from the south.

Looking forward, the landscape of college football looks quite different because of a few unintelligent, arrogant miscreants who thought they could ignore, bully, and laugh at Nebraska and Tom Osborne. The result? Utter chaos. The Big 12? Dead. Dan Bebee? Unemployed. Texas-run conference and Longhorn Network? Bye-bye. I can’t help but imagine Osborne in his comfy office chair tilted back with a smile on his face.

Who’s laughing now?



June 24th, 2010 at 9:21 AM ^

...a smart ass, the right way to have do this sort of thing is to link to the item of interest and provide a brief summary of why you think it's interesting and worthy of discussion.  Add in a few quotes from the piece (in blockquote) to pique MGoBlogerati interest, and you're set.  And yes, this should have been posted to the MGoBoard.


June 24th, 2010 at 3:37 AM ^

100% true with everything. Texas is the drama queen of college football. One of the final straws was with the championship game to be moved completely to Dallas instead of the every other year switch between there and at Arrowhead Stadium. The hate towards Texas here is incredible!


June 24th, 2010 at 3:54 AM ^

Great piece, what are the chances NEB-OKL is kept as a bigtime ooc game? I know the rivalry died off a lil when the big 12 formed and they stopped playing every year, but it's hard to imagine it could be done for good.


June 24th, 2010 at 8:20 AM ^

Good post, thanks.

Listening to a local sports radio call-in show.  It amazes me how many people think the Big12 gave Nebraska and Colorado the boot.  When really they saw an opportunity to get out of the BigTexas conference.

Also, the BCS commisioner mentioned that the NCAA is thinking about dropping the 12 team minimum to warrant a CCG. 


June 24th, 2010 at 8:20 AM ^

From what I have read, I think the Pac Ten narrowly missed a disastrous move. If they had taken on Teaxs and the four Texas sycophants, it would have driven a similar rift into the Pac Ten.


June 24th, 2010 at 8:26 AM ^

Eh, I'm not all that impressed by this piece.  First, it's obviously a very biased UNL fan, so everything was seen thru rose-colored glasses.  Second, it was written before the denoument where Beebe actually came out a hero.  Third, it has nothing remotely insider about it -- it's just an outside observer ascribing intent to very public information.  Fourth, he's not even right about the money -- UNL is not getting much additional dinero out of this for some time.  Fifth, he COMPLETELY ignored the academic angle to all of this, which undoubtedly was a driving force for the UNL Board of Regents (or trustees or whatever they have) and faculty (although I have yet to hear what input the faculty had at UNL on this decision).

Clearly an important piece of the story would be the post-PSU expansion in 1991.  I've seen rumors that UNL was calling the BT to join at that time.  So there's got to be some historical roots too to the transaction this year.  The fact that Osborne was the coach back then, and now is the AD, seems to be logically relevant to the story of how this came to be.

In other words, anyone could have written this, and it's obviously not the full story.

But instead of rehashing obvious stuff, I ask a more interesting question:  With the BigXII(minus 2) still intact, does UNL now regret the move to the BigTen(+2)?  I would doubt it but I've never seen that addressed by anyone.


June 24th, 2010 at 9:55 AM ^

I appreciate that this isn't a "behind-the-scenes" explanation, but I think the post had a lot of value.

Nebraska was a founding member of the Big 6/7/8/12 and, although there was some talk of leaving it earlier, it was wildly unpopular.  Something changed the perception of an entire state's worth of football fans to the point where they were thrilled to leave the Big 12.  Even with improved money and academics, I don't think Osborne and the NU regents make the same decision without that dramatic shift in popular opinion.

Texas was that thing that shifted popular opinion in Nebraska, and this gives an explanation of why.  Yes, this was written by a disgruntled NU fan, but the reason that this move is so popular there is that it was a disgruntled fan base, for the reasons given here (I'm comfortable saying that based on conversations with family members from both sides of my extended family who are in Nebraska and are actively engaged with the fan bases there).

To answer your question, the Big 12-2 is still intact, and Nebraska is thrilled to not a part of it anymore.  In fact, I would argue that the way in which the Big 12 remained intact (ceding even more revenue to Texas) would only emphasize how happy Nebraska fans are to be gone.

My mom texted me a bumper sticker she saw in Omaha yesterday: "Honk if you won't miss Texas."


June 24th, 2010 at 5:30 PM ^

I guess if you work in the amount to be dismantled Big "12" offices...or in the Texas Athletic Department. I mean, the rest of the teams got bent over and treated like 2nd class citizens. Which, I guess is better than becoming 3rd class citizens in the MWC, but not quite my definition of heroic.


June 24th, 2010 at 8:38 AM ^

I know this is a Big Red blog, but this is one sided piece of garbage. Just cause Nebraska is joining the Big 10, we don't have to post the filth from its fans. Why Nebraska Left: Everything You Need to Know? My mistake is thinking that this was going to be fair, balanced, or informative. Why don't we start posting stories from MSU blogs or Al Qaeda?

General Patin

June 24th, 2010 at 11:16 AM ^

this is all very interesting stuff, no matter how accurate it is or how slanted the perspective.  The bottom line is this: we now have another big-time national-brand program in the big ten, and the big XII has lost them forever.  Speculating as to how it all went down is fun and interesting, but nobody, probably not even Tom Osbourne himself, can tell you all the reasons why it happened.


June 24th, 2010 at 12:57 PM ^

..but I love the post.  The original writer from Nebraska is a lot like most of us; he cares very deeply about "his" team, and is writing from a biased POV.  But the piece is informative, and I find the writer to be very funny.   I know it isn't a large body of work, but for a thousand words or so, some Nebraska fan found a way to be Dan Jenkins funny. 

I'm pretty sure he won't be writing Dead Solid Perfect or Semi-Tough anytime soon, but that piece was one of the better fan posts I have read.


June 24th, 2010 at 11:56 PM ^

Consider me unimpressed. It was interesting to see how vociferously one allegedly representative fan was ready to get away from the big xii. I raised an eyebrow when he blamed the conference for giving Texas an extra second. I think we here can all attest that such things can happen in the Big~Ten too. In fact it is possible - not saying it's going to happen but possible - that such Nebraksa fans will become just as fed up with Ohio State and Michigan in five or ten years, when BTN is showing The Game a thousand times in the last weeks of the season and the Huskers have become just another Midwest also-ran in the Big Ten Bigger Two.

This marriage is more about academics and shared visions and collecting all the football supremecy of the region in one place, then making a crap ton of money. Once BTN's market research dept realizes scarlet gets more ratings than red, fans like this guy who don't see this as more than an athletic league will get just as ticked at the Big~Ten as Neb got with the BigTexasXII.


June 25th, 2010 at 9:50 AM ^

Pretty much sounds like getting away from TX was the #1 priority, and not because they did not want to play TX but becauseTX had no problem stepping on everyone whenever they wanted something.


June 25th, 2010 at 5:54 PM ^

I just can't imagine the cfb season  w/o this game. Much like UM plays ND and TX and OU met each year when they were in different conferences, I think NU scheduling OU would be much more than the continuation of a great rivalry. I think it would really add to the Big X's prestige. Just the voice of one fan, but I'd hate to see this great rivalry halted due to conference affiliation. 

Mi Sooner

June 26th, 2010 at 11:00 AM ^

Remember, the UMich versus the scum from south bend, numerically, is not that big of a rivalry.  They did not play each other for several decades until restarting in hte late 70's.


OU versus NU is better matched with UM versus OSU not the others.  When those two played in everything, but basketball, the conference championship was usually on the line -- especially football.


June 27th, 2010 at 8:05 AM ^

If OU and NU are smart, they will restore this as an annual game. The only reason it fell off the "every year" schedule is because OU and NU were stuck in different B12 divisions. Now that it no longer will be a conference game, that problem has been eliminated. In fact, with the loss of NU, CO and the B12 championship game, TX and OU should be looking to upgrade their non-conference schedules a little. This is a perfect non-conference game for both OU and NU to play every year (similar to UofM v ND).