Thursday, May 13, 2010

Talking Nebraska in the Big Ten

Recent reports about Nebraska linkage to the Big Ten is interesting. If offered, the Huskers would probably accept in a heartbeat.

Nebraska doesn't seem to have real ties to the Big 12 Conference these days. The Nebraska-Oklahoma game was the marque match up in the old Big 8 Conference. Now with the schools placed in a different divisions, the game has lost much luster.

Nebraska doesn't have a big rival anymore. In football, Nebraska played some tight, national type games with Colorado, but no longer. The Huskers haven't been able to compete with Kansas in basketball. Frankly, the Big 12 North is not that competitive in either football or basketball. The Big 12 South is far and away the best division year-in-and-year out. So what really would Nebraska lose if it jumped?

There are signs of life in returning to the national spotlight in football. But would the Huskers still be considered below Texas and Oklahoma in the Big 12 football power rankings even with consistent winning?

Nebraska offers the Big 10 a sound academic institution. The Huskers also bring a rich football tradition. Their women's basketball and volleyball teams are top-notch.

Nebraska doesn't bring huge population or mega media outlets, but a clean, solid university that the Big Ten would find appealing.

It could also develop new rivalries. The Huskers now play Iowa State. Just down the road in Iowa City, the Iowa Hawkeyes feature a solid football program. Maybe Nebraska could learn to dislike another neighbor in Minnesota. Okay, maybe that is a stretch since in football the Gophers are lacking.

But I think Nebraska could be a strong competitor in Big Ten football. Basketball would be on the level of Penn State. Not good.

But all things considered, Nebraska should depart if invited.

Are there any reasons Nebraska should remain in the Big 12?

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