Joining the Big Ten: revisited

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Boy, how time flies.
Ten years ago, June 11, 2010, the day Husker Nation officially became a member of the fabled Big Ten Conference.
Good-bye Big 12 -- don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
Looking back, I can’t lie. To say I’m having mixed emotions right now would be an understatement.
With all of this COVID stuff, the lack of live sporting events, I’ve been watching a lot of old Husker football clips and games via YouTube. Some Oklahoma States, Oklahomas, K-States. Even some Colorados.
Do I miss Pistol Pete, Willie the Wildcat, the Sooner Schooner and the occasional Buffalo?
Heck yes I do.
Do I wish we could go back in time, a do-over if you will, with the University of Nebraska Board of Regents voting “no” that June 11 morning, sticking with the Big 12, sticking with Texas politics, and sticking with tradition?
That one is still up for discussion.
What I wrote back then came from the heart, and my heart must have wanted a brand new conference, brand new teams, and to begin a few brand new traditions because I stated, “Life moves forward for those who take it. Those who don’t? They’re simply called Jayhawks or Wildcats.”
I continued, “Suddenly, Texas isn’t in control and they simply can’t stand it. They’re not the major power broker in this deal. And unlike December’s conference championship football game in Dallas, there’s no resetting the clock after time expires. Because my clock finally shows midnight. And Nebraska wins.”
But did we?
In football, 39 wins and 35 losses against Big Ten teams to date isn’t exactly what I call success. In fact, obviously, it’s been very hard to stomach. At times, it’s been like watching a car wreck happening again and again, only in slow motion.
As for other sports on the Lincoln campus, volleyball hasn’t missed a beat despite the fact that the Big Ten is a gauntlet each and every season. In fact, it might have elevated John Cook’s teams just a little, if that’s possible. Baseball has had its up and downs but now looks promising with Will Bolt. Both basketball teams likewise, with energetic young coaches.
But as we all know, football runs the show, and we’re now going on 21 years without a conference championship.
Somebody wake me up.
Looking back and reading what Tom Osborne had to say on the subject, the Huskers jumped ship to a new conference because of two things: money and Texas
More money. Less Texas.
Money, in the fact that the school would receive millions of dollars more revenue in the Big Ten, and Texas, as in the Longhorns dictating policies, venues, meetings and I’m sure much more that no one will ever know about.
One more nugget from 10 years ago: I wondered how the Huskers, specifically football, would be viewed nationally, now that they were to become a member of the prestigious Big Ten Conference. Would it change how we are perceived, our traditions, our make up, our very essence of fabric? And now, can Scott Frost bring the program back to Top 10 status?
Strangely enough, I’m not sure those questions have yet been answered.
DAVE BRADLEY can be reached at


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