Wetzel: Nebraska's messy marriage with Big Ten getting uglier every day

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Walk On
Nov 22, 2019
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Nebraska's messy marriage with Big Ten getting uglier every day
On a Thursday morning conference call, Big Ten presidents discussed an exemption request from Nebraska to allow the Cornhuskers to replace Saturday’s canceled football game against Wisconsin with a non-league opponent, the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga.

It got zero traction, league sources told Yahoo Sports. There was no need for even a show of hands, let alone an actual vote. No one was in favor of granting it. The league’s previously agreed-upon rules — conference games only — was reaffirmed.

Also reaffirmed was the belief around the Big Ten that Nebraska, even after nine years of membership, remains a difficult philosophical fit for the league. The Huskers’ request was met with knowing eye-rolls … of course it would be Nebraska that is already trying to rewrite the protocols everyone agreed to just last month in an effort to get a 2020 season played.

Even worse, rather than simply obeying the rules or even just asking for permission in the first place, Nebraska had gone out and negotiated a potential deal with Chattanooga. Then they took it to the league and basically made the presidents say, “No.”

There is some suspicion that it was done to purposely create headlines and signal how football is more important to Nebraska than the other schools. The Huskers say it was an honest argument.

“We believe the flexibility to play non-conference games could have been beneficial not only for Nebraska, but other Big Ten teams who may be in a similar position as the season progresses,” said Nebraska chancellor Ronnie Green and athletic director Bill Moos in a joint statement. “Ultimately, the Big Ten Conference did not approve our request, and we respect their decision.”

This is the state of affairs between the Big Ten and Nebraska, a partnership borne of equal-parts desperation and money that has turned into misreads and mistrust.

“It’s like an unhappy marriage,” one Big Ten source said. “It doesn’t work. It doesn’t fit. Yet no one can afford or figure out how to divorce. So nothing is going to change.”

There was nothing inherently wrong with Nebraska contemplating adding a new opponent, of course.

It wasn’t the Huskers’ fault that Saturday’s game was canceled — Wisconsin pulled the plug as its COVID testing approached (but did not exceed) the league’s mandated numbers. While that decision is allowed under the Big Ten’s rules, it hasn’t stopped speculation across the league that the Badgers were motivated to avoid playing without head coach Paul Chryst and some of their key players, all reportedly out with COVID.

If Wisconsin couldn’t play, then why shouldn’t Nebraska change gears on the fly and try to get a game in? After all, who knows if the Cornhuskers will be hit by COVID and have to cancel additional games. Might as well get as much of a season in as possible while you can.

Again, it’s not an argument without merit.

What it is, however, is an argument made to the wrong entity. There was simply no way the Big Ten was going to grant it. Even asking spoke to a complete lack of understanding about how the venerable league operates and what it values.

The Big Ten is about unity. It’s about following the rules everyone previously accepted. It’s about erring on the side of safety and precaution. It’s about not rocking the boat. Right, wrong or ridiculous, it is what has worked for well over a century.

It’s why despite the quarterback depth chart red flag, Wisconsin will get the benefit of the doubt for canceling the game earlier rather than later. And it’s why trying to play a non-conference opponent with unknown or unsupervised testing requirements won’t.

The Big Ten isn’t alone in this. The SEC has similar conference-only standards this season. And when, say, an outbreak at Florida caused its game against Missouri to be postponed, leaving Mizzou with an open date, the Tigers didn’t go out and try to schedule a fill-in. Missouri stayed in line and didn't play. So why did Nebraska think it was special?

“This might fly in the Big 12,” another Big Ten source said of Nebraska. “But they aren’t in the Big 12 anymore.”

Maybe they should go back.

To be clear, there is no movement to kick Nebraska out of the league and there is no known movement for Nebraska to leave. But as the COVID crisis has shown, there is a clear gap between the two entities' ways of doing and thinking about business.

It was June of 2010 when Nebraska accepted the Big Ten’s membership offer. The Huskers were eager to leave the Big 12, which they felt was overly influenced by the University of Texas and on the verge of collapse. Due to geography, there weren’t a lot of options. Joining a safe, stable and very wealthy conference to the east made a lot of sense.

The Big Ten, meanwhile, was seeking a then-12th member (it’s now at 14). A border state school with a huge football brand (it won three national titles in the 1990s) was appealing.

The belief that the Nebraska name would deliver strong television ratings, despite having such a small population, overrode the concerns that the university as a whole wasn’t as committed to academics as the rest of the league.

What seemed like a potential fit, however, hasn’t been.

Nebraska football has struggled in the Big Ten, failing to find new recruiting turf to make up for the pipeline of Texas talent the Big 12 offered. Since 2014, it’s under .500 in league play. It’s shown no ability to contend for championships. Its national brand, meanwhile, continues to grow weaker with high school talent and television viewers alike. And its sparse population adds little to nothing for other schools to recruit (both in terms of football talent and potential students, the way Rutgers and Maryland do).

Meanwhile, in 2011, Nebraska lost its membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities, of which every other Big Ten school belongs.

In the meantime, Nebraska continues to operate in a way that is sometimes foreign to many in the conference. The mentality and experience that makes the school think it is doing the right thing just isn’t prevalent elsewhere in the conference.

It’s unlikely any other Big Ten school would have even considered adding a Chattanooga to the schedule.

Nebraska doesn’t have any (or many) options of course to change leagues. Its football team’s mediocrity only weakens its hand even if it wanted to leave. Meanwhile, the Big Ten is loath to do anything other than grumble privately. It’s way too even-keeled to boot some school out.

So this carries on, like a lot of nuptials. Neither side is happy, or even sure they know who exactly they married in the first place.
 
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SLOHusker

Sophomore
Aug 7, 2001
1,262
532
113
Nebraska's messy marriage with Big Ten getting uglier every day
On a Thursday morning conference call, Big Ten presidents discussed an exemption request from Nebraska to allow the Cornhuskers to replace Saturday’s canceled football game against Wisconsin with a non-league opponent, the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga.

It got zero traction, league sources told Yahoo Sports. There was no need for even a show of hands, let alone an actual vote. No one was in favor of granting it. The league’s previously agreed-upon rules — conference games only — was reaffirmed.

Also reaffirmed was the belief around the Big Ten that Nebraska, even after nine years of membership, remains a difficult philosophical fit for the league. The Huskers’ request was met with knowing eye-rolls … of course it would be Nebraska that is already trying to rewrite the protocols everyone agreed to just last month in an effort to get a 2020 season played.

Even worse, rather than simply obeying the rules or even just asking for permission in the first place, Nebraska had gone out and negotiated a potential deal with Chattanooga. Then they took it to the league and basically made the presidents say, “No.”

There is some suspicion that it was done to purposely create headlines and signal how football is more important to Nebraska than the other schools. The Huskers say it was an honest argument.

“We believe the flexibility to play non-conference games could have been beneficial not only for Nebraska, but other Big Ten teams who may be in a similar position as the season progresses,” said Nebraska chancellor Ronnie Green and athletic director Bill Moos in a joint statement. “Ultimately, the Big Ten Conference did not approve our request, and we respect their decision.”

This is the state of affairs between the Big Ten and Nebraska, a partnership borne of equal-parts desperation and money that has turned into misreads and mistrust.

“It’s like an unhappy marriage,” one Big Ten source said. “It doesn’t work. It doesn’t fit. Yet no one can afford or figure out how to divorce. So nothing is going to change.”

There was nothing inherently wrong with Nebraska contemplating adding a new opponent, of course.

It wasn’t the Huskers’ fault that Saturday’s game was canceled — Wisconsin pulled the plug as its COVID testing approached (but did not exceed) the league’s mandated numbers. While that decision is allowed under the Big Ten’s rules, it hasn’t stopped speculation across the league that the Badgers were motivated to avoid playing without head coach Paul Chryst and some of their key players, all reportedly out with COVID.

If Wisconsin couldn’t play, then why shouldn’t Nebraska change gears on the fly and try to get a game in? After all, who knows if the Cornhuskers will be hit by COVID and have to cancel additional games. Might as well get as much of a season in as possible while you can.

Again, it’s not an argument without merit.

What it is, however, is an argument made to the wrong entity. There was simply no way the Big Ten was going to grant it. Even asking spoke to a complete lack of understanding about how the venerable league operates and what it values.

The Big Ten is about unity. It’s about following the rules everyone previously accepted. It’s about erring on the side of safety and precaution. It’s about not rocking the boat. Right, wrong or ridiculous, it is what has worked for well over a century.

It’s why despite the quarterback depth chart red flag, Wisconsin will get the benefit of the doubt for canceling the game earlier rather than later. And it’s why trying to play a non-conference opponent with unknown or unsupervised testing requirements won’t.

The Big Ten isn’t alone in this. The SEC has similar conference-only standards this season. And when, say, an outbreak at Florida caused its game against Missouri to be postponed, leaving Mizzou with an open date, the Tigers didn’t go out and try to schedule a fill-in. Missouri stayed in line and didn't play. So why did Nebraska think it was special?

“This might fly in the Big 12,” another Big Ten source said of Nebraska. “But they aren’t in the Big 12 anymore.”

Maybe they should go back.

To be clear, there is no movement to kick Nebraska out of the league and there is no known movement for Nebraska to leave. But as the COVID crisis has shown, there is a clear gap between the two entities' ways of doing and thinking about business.

It was June of 2010 when Nebraska accepted the Big Ten’s membership offer. The Huskers were eager to leave the Big 12, which they felt was overly influenced by the University of Texas and on the verge of collapse. Due to geography, there weren’t a lot of options. Joining a safe, stable and very wealthy conference to the east made a lot of sense.

The Big Ten, meanwhile, was seeking a then-12th member (it’s now at 14). A border state school with a huge football brand (it won three national titles in the 1990s) was appealing.

The belief that the Nebraska name would deliver strong television ratings, despite having such a small population, overrode the concerns that the university as a whole wasn’t as committed to academics as the rest of the league.

What seemed like a potential fit, however, hasn’t been.

Nebraska football has struggled in the Big Ten, failing to find new recruiting turf to make up for the pipeline of Texas talent the Big 12 offered. Since 2014, it’s under .500 in league play. It’s shown no ability to contend for championships. Its national brand, meanwhile, continues to grow weaker with high school talent and television viewers alike. And its sparse population adds little to nothing for other schools to recruit (both in terms of football talent and potential students, the way Rutgers and Maryland do).

Meanwhile, in 2011, Nebraska lost its membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities, of which every other Big Ten school belongs.

In the meantime, Nebraska continues to operate in a way that is sometimes foreign to many in the conference. The mentality and experience that makes the school think it is doing the right thing just isn’t prevalent elsewhere in the conference.

It’s unlikely any other Big Ten school would have even considered adding a Chattanooga to the schedule.

Nebraska doesn’t have any (or many) options of course to change leagues. Its football team’s mediocrity only weakens its hand even if it wanted to leave. Meanwhile, the Big Ten is loath to do anything other than grumble privately. It’s way too even-keeled to boot some school out.

So this carries on, like a lot of nuptials. Neither side is happy, or even sure they know who exactly they married in the first place.
I'm tired of the political nature of the league. I think I understand why Notre Dame never joined. You have to do what you are told, not what makes the most sense.
 

red scowl

Senior
May 19, 2018
2,387
1,760
113
Nebraska's messy marriage with Big Ten getting uglier every day
On a Thursday morning conference call, Big Ten presidents discussed an exemption request from Nebraska to allow the Cornhuskers to replace Saturday’s canceled football game against Wisconsin with a non-league opponent, the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga.

It got zero traction, league sources told Yahoo Sports. There was no need for even a show of hands, let alone an actual vote. No one was in favor of granting it. The league’s previously agreed-upon rules — conference games only — was reaffirmed.

Also reaffirmed was the belief around the Big Ten that Nebraska, even after nine years of membership, remains a difficult philosophical fit for the league. The Huskers’ request was met with knowing eye-rolls … of course it would be Nebraska that is already trying to rewrite the protocols everyone agreed to just last month in an effort to get a 2020 season played.

Even worse, rather than simply obeying the rules or even just asking for permission in the first place, Nebraska had gone out and negotiated a potential deal with Chattanooga. Then they took it to the league and basically made the presidents say, “No.”

There is some suspicion that it was done to purposely create headlines and signal how football is more important to Nebraska than the other schools. The Huskers say it was an honest argument.

“We believe the flexibility to play non-conference games could have been beneficial not only for Nebraska, but other Big Ten teams who may be in a similar position as the season progresses,” said Nebraska chancellor Ronnie Green and athletic director Bill Moos in a joint statement. “Ultimately, the Big Ten Conference did not approve our request, and we respect their decision.”

This is the state of affairs between the Big Ten and Nebraska, a partnership borne of equal-parts desperation and money that has turned into misreads and mistrust.

“It’s like an unhappy marriage,” one Big Ten source said. “It doesn’t work. It doesn’t fit. Yet no one can afford or figure out how to divorce. So nothing is going to change.”

There was nothing inherently wrong with Nebraska contemplating adding a new opponent, of course.

It wasn’t the Huskers’ fault that Saturday’s game was canceled — Wisconsin pulled the plug as its COVID testing approached (but did not exceed) the league’s mandated numbers. While that decision is allowed under the Big Ten’s rules, it hasn’t stopped speculation across the league that the Badgers were motivated to avoid playing without head coach Paul Chryst and some of their key players, all reportedly out with COVID.

If Wisconsin couldn’t play, then why shouldn’t Nebraska change gears on the fly and try to get a game in? After all, who knows if the Cornhuskers will be hit by COVID and have to cancel additional games. Might as well get as much of a season in as possible while you can.

Again, it’s not an argument without merit.

What it is, however, is an argument made to the wrong entity. There was simply no way the Big Ten was going to grant it. Even asking spoke to a complete lack of understanding about how the venerable league operates and what it values.

The Big Ten is about unity. It’s about following the rules everyone previously accepted. It’s about erring on the side of safety and precaution. It’s about not rocking the boat. Right, wrong or ridiculous, it is what has worked for well over a century.

It’s why despite the quarterback depth chart red flag, Wisconsin will get the benefit of the doubt for canceling the game earlier rather than later. And it’s why trying to play a non-conference opponent with unknown or unsupervised testing requirements won’t.

The Big Ten isn’t alone in this. The SEC has similar conference-only standards this season. And when, say, an outbreak at Florida caused its game against Missouri to be postponed, leaving Mizzou with an open date, the Tigers didn’t go out and try to schedule a fill-in. Missouri stayed in line and didn't play. So why did Nebraska think it was special?

“This might fly in the Big 12,” another Big Ten source said of Nebraska. “But they aren’t in the Big 12 anymore.”

Maybe they should go back.

To be clear, there is no movement to kick Nebraska out of the league and there is no known movement for Nebraska to leave. But as the COVID crisis has shown, there is a clear gap between the two entities' ways of doing and thinking about business.

It was June of 2010 when Nebraska accepted the Big Ten’s membership offer. The Huskers were eager to leave the Big 12, which they felt was overly influenced by the University of Texas and on the verge of collapse. Due to geography, there weren’t a lot of options. Joining a safe, stable and very wealthy conference to the east made a lot of sense.

The Big Ten, meanwhile, was seeking a then-12th member (it’s now at 14). A border state school with a huge football brand (it won three national titles in the 1990s) was appealing.

The belief that the Nebraska name would deliver strong television ratings, despite having such a small population, overrode the concerns that the university as a whole wasn’t as committed to academics as the rest of the league.

What seemed like a potential fit, however, hasn’t been.

Nebraska football has struggled in the Big Ten, failing to find new recruiting turf to make up for the pipeline of Texas talent the Big 12 offered. Since 2014, it’s under .500 in league play. It’s shown no ability to contend for championships. Its national brand, meanwhile, continues to grow weaker with high school talent and television viewers alike. And its sparse population adds little to nothing for other schools to recruit (both in terms of football talent and potential students, the way Rutgers and Maryland do).

Meanwhile, in 2011, Nebraska lost its membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities, of which every other Big Ten school belongs.

In the meantime, Nebraska continues to operate in a way that is sometimes foreign to many in the conference. The mentality and experience that makes the school think it is doing the right thing just isn’t prevalent elsewhere in the conference.

It’s unlikely any other Big Ten school would have even considered adding a Chattanooga to the schedule.

Nebraska doesn’t have any (or many) options of course to change leagues. Its football team’s mediocrity only weakens its hand even if it wanted to leave. Meanwhile, the Big Ten is loath to do anything other than grumble privately. It’s way too even-keeled to boot some school out.

So this carries on, like a lot of nuptials. Neither side is happy, or even sure they know who exactly they married in the first place.
 

HVHusker

Junior
Gold Member
Sep 7, 2006
1,625
1,194
113
Everyone of our Big 10 games in the future, that is televised by the Big 10 Network, we should ditch the "Husker...Power" chant and substitute "Big 10...Sucks"
 

TMC1271

Senior
Gold Member
Sep 9, 2010
2,243
1,879
113
The author should realize there is a big difference between a postponement and a cancellation when comparing Nebraska’s situation to other conferences. He also doesnt mention how Wisky will likely ask for rule changes to avoid a 21 day hold out for their players. The same set of rules already agreed upon by the conference members... I wonder whether that will be criticized as well...
 

davidmboyer

Newbie
Gold Member
Sep 25, 2020
5
10
3
Nebraska's messy marriage with Big Ten getting uglier every day
On a Thursday morning conference call, Big Ten presidents discussed an exemption request from Nebraska to allow the Cornhuskers to replace Saturday’s canceled football game against Wisconsin with a non-league opponent, the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga.

It got zero traction, league sources told Yahoo Sports. There was no need for even a show of hands, let alone an actual vote. No one was in favor of granting it. The league’s previously agreed-upon rules — conference games only — was reaffirmed.

Also reaffirmed was the belief around the Big Ten that Nebraska, even after nine years of membership, remains a difficult philosophical fit for the league. The Huskers’ request was met with knowing eye-rolls … of course it would be Nebraska that is already trying to rewrite the protocols everyone agreed to just last month in an effort to get a 2020 season played.

Even worse, rather than simply obeying the rules or even just asking for permission in the first place, Nebraska had gone out and negotiated a potential deal with Chattanooga. Then they took it to the league and basically made the presidents say, “No.”

There is some suspicion that it was done to purposely create headlines and signal how football is more important to Nebraska than the other schools. The Huskers say it was an honest argument.

“We believe the flexibility to play non-conference games could have been beneficial not only for Nebraska, but other Big Ten teams who may be in a similar position as the season progresses,” said Nebraska chancellor Ronnie Green and athletic director Bill Moos in a joint statement. “Ultimately, the Big Ten Conference did not approve our request, and we respect their decision.”

This is the state of affairs between the Big Ten and Nebraska, a partnership borne of equal-parts desperation and money that has turned into misreads and mistrust.

“It’s like an unhappy marriage,” one Big Ten source said. “It doesn’t work. It doesn’t fit. Yet no one can afford or figure out how to divorce. So nothing is going to change.”

There was nothing inherently wrong with Nebraska contemplating adding a new opponent, of course.

It wasn’t the Huskers’ fault that Saturday’s game was canceled — Wisconsin pulled the plug as its COVID testing approached (but did not exceed) the league’s mandated numbers. While that decision is allowed under the Big Ten’s rules, it hasn’t stopped speculation across the league that the Badgers were motivated to avoid playing without head coach Paul Chryst and some of their key players, all reportedly out with COVID.

If Wisconsin couldn’t play, then why shouldn’t Nebraska change gears on the fly and try to get a game in? After all, who knows if the Cornhuskers will be hit by COVID and have to cancel additional games. Might as well get as much of a season in as possible while you can.

Again, it’s not an argument without merit.

What it is, however, is an argument made to the wrong entity. There was simply no way the Big Ten was going to grant it. Even asking spoke to a complete lack of understanding about how the venerable league operates and what it values.

The Big Ten is about unity. It’s about following the rules everyone previously accepted. It’s about erring on the side of safety and precaution. It’s about not rocking the boat. Right, wrong or ridiculous, it is what has worked for well over a century.

It’s why despite the quarterback depth chart red flag, Wisconsin will get the benefit of the doubt for canceling the game earlier rather than later. And it’s why trying to play a non-conference opponent with unknown or unsupervised testing requirements won’t.

The Big Ten isn’t alone in this. The SEC has similar conference-only standards this season. And when, say, an outbreak at Florida caused its game against Missouri to be postponed, leaving Mizzou with an open date, the Tigers didn’t go out and try to schedule a fill-in. Missouri stayed in line and didn't play. So why did Nebraska think it was special?

“This might fly in the Big 12,” another Big Ten source said of Nebraska. “But they aren’t in the Big 12 anymore.”

Maybe they should go back.

To be clear, there is no movement to kick Nebraska out of the league and there is no known movement for Nebraska to leave. But as the COVID crisis has shown, there is a clear gap between the two entities' ways of doing and thinking about business.

It was June of 2010 when Nebraska accepted the Big Ten’s membership offer. The Huskers were eager to leave the Big 12, which they felt was overly influenced by the University of Texas and on the verge of collapse. Due to geography, there weren’t a lot of options. Joining a safe, stable and very wealthy conference to the east made a lot of sense.

The Big Ten, meanwhile, was seeking a then-12th member (it’s now at 14). A border state school with a huge football brand (it won three national titles in the 1990s) was appealing.

The belief that the Nebraska name would deliver strong television ratings, despite having such a small population, overrode the concerns that the university as a whole wasn’t as committed to academics as the rest of the league.

What seemed like a potential fit, however, hasn’t been.

Nebraska football has struggled in the Big Ten, failing to find new recruiting turf to make up for the pipeline of Texas talent the Big 12 offered. Since 2014, it’s under .500 in league play. It’s shown no ability to contend for championships. Its national brand, meanwhile, continues to grow weaker with high school talent and television viewers alike. And its sparse population adds little to nothing for other schools to recruit (both in terms of football talent and potential students, the way Rutgers and Maryland do).

Meanwhile, in 2011, Nebraska lost its membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities, of which every other Big Ten school belongs.

In the meantime, Nebraska continues to operate in a way that is sometimes foreign to many in the conference. The mentality and experience that makes the school think it is doing the right thing just isn’t prevalent elsewhere in the conference.

It’s unlikely any other Big Ten school would have even considered adding a Chattanooga to the schedule.

Nebraska doesn’t have any (or many) options of course to change leagues. Its football team’s mediocrity only weakens its hand even if it wanted to leave. Meanwhile, the Big Ten is loath to do anything other than grumble privately. It’s way too even-keeled to boot some school out.

So this carries on, like a lot of nuptials. Neither side is happy, or even sure they know who exactly they married in the first place.
2 things in response.
1. Alvarez is trying to change the 21 day rule. How is this different and why are you not debasing them?
2. We recruit better then everyone except the big 3! That does not sound like a brand or football program that is down or will be for long.
 

TampaBaySkers

Junior
Oct 30, 2010
1,691
2,193
113
Nebraska's messy marriage with Big Ten getting uglier every day
On a Thursday morning conference call, Big Ten presidents discussed an exemption request from Nebraska to allow the Cornhuskers to replace Saturday’s canceled football game against Wisconsin with a non-league opponent, the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga.

It got zero traction, league sources told Yahoo Sports. There was no need for even a show of hands, let alone an actual vote. No one was in favor of granting it. The league’s previously agreed-upon rules — conference games only — was reaffirmed.

Also reaffirmed was the belief around the Big Ten that Nebraska, even after nine years of membership, remains a difficult philosophical fit for the league. The Huskers’ request was met with knowing eye-rolls … of course it would be Nebraska that is already trying to rewrite the protocols everyone agreed to just last month in an effort to get a 2020 season played.

Even worse, rather than simply obeying the rules or even just asking for permission in the first place, Nebraska had gone out and negotiated a potential deal with Chattanooga. Then they took it to the league and basically made the presidents say, “No.”

There is some suspicion that it was done to purposely create headlines and signal how football is more important to Nebraska than the other schools. The Huskers say it was an honest argument.

“We believe the flexibility to play non-conference games could have been beneficial not only for Nebraska, but other Big Ten teams who may be in a similar position as the season progresses,” said Nebraska chancellor Ronnie Green and athletic director Bill Moos in a joint statement. “Ultimately, the Big Ten Conference did not approve our request, and we respect their decision.”

This is the state of affairs between the Big Ten and Nebraska, a partnership borne of equal-parts desperation and money that has turned into misreads and mistrust.

“It’s like an unhappy marriage,” one Big Ten source said. “It doesn’t work. It doesn’t fit. Yet no one can afford or figure out how to divorce. So nothing is going to change.”

There was nothing inherently wrong with Nebraska contemplating adding a new opponent, of course.

It wasn’t the Huskers’ fault that Saturday’s game was canceled — Wisconsin pulled the plug as its COVID testing approached (but did not exceed) the league’s mandated numbers. While that decision is allowed under the Big Ten’s rules, it hasn’t stopped speculation across the league that the Badgers were motivated to avoid playing without head coach Paul Chryst and some of their key players, all reportedly out with COVID.

If Wisconsin couldn’t play, then why shouldn’t Nebraska change gears on the fly and try to get a game in? After all, who knows if the Cornhuskers will be hit by COVID and have to cancel additional games. Might as well get as much of a season in as possible while you can.

Again, it’s not an argument without merit.

What it is, however, is an argument made to the wrong entity. There was simply no way the Big Ten was going to grant it. Even asking spoke to a complete lack of understanding about how the venerable league operates and what it values.

The Big Ten is about unity. It’s about following the rules everyone previously accepted. It’s about erring on the side of safety and precaution. It’s about not rocking the boat. Right, wrong or ridiculous, it is what has worked for well over a century.

It’s why despite the quarterback depth chart red flag, Wisconsin will get the benefit of the doubt for canceling the game earlier rather than later. And it’s why trying to play a non-conference opponent with unknown or unsupervised testing requirements won’t.

The Big Ten isn’t alone in this. The SEC has similar conference-only standards this season. And when, say, an outbreak at Florida caused its game against Missouri to be postponed, leaving Mizzou with an open date, the Tigers didn’t go out and try to schedule a fill-in. Missouri stayed in line and didn't play. So why did Nebraska think it was special?

“This might fly in the Big 12,” another Big Ten source said of Nebraska. “But they aren’t in the Big 12 anymore.”

Maybe they should go back.

To be clear, there is no movement to kick Nebraska out of the league and there is no known movement for Nebraska to leave. But as the COVID crisis has shown, there is a clear gap between the two entities' ways of doing and thinking about business.

It was June of 2010 when Nebraska accepted the Big Ten’s membership offer. The Huskers were eager to leave the Big 12, which they felt was overly influenced by the University of Texas and on the verge of collapse. Due to geography, there weren’t a lot of options. Joining a safe, stable and very wealthy conference to the east made a lot of sense.

The Big Ten, meanwhile, was seeking a then-12th member (it’s now at 14). A border state school with a huge football brand (it won three national titles in the 1990s) was appealing.

The belief that the Nebraska name would deliver strong television ratings, despite having such a small population, overrode the concerns that the university as a whole wasn’t as committed to academics as the rest of the league.

What seemed like a potential fit, however, hasn’t been.

Nebraska football has struggled in the Big Ten, failing to find new recruiting turf to make up for the pipeline of Texas talent the Big 12 offered. Since 2014, it’s under .500 in league play. It’s shown no ability to contend for championships. Its national brand, meanwhile, continues to grow weaker with high school talent and television viewers alike. And its sparse population adds little to nothing for other schools to recruit (both in terms of football talent and potential students, the way Rutgers and Maryland do).

Meanwhile, in 2011, Nebraska lost its membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities, of which every other Big Ten school belongs.

In the meantime, Nebraska continues to operate in a way that is sometimes foreign to many in the conference. The mentality and experience that makes the school think it is doing the right thing just isn’t prevalent elsewhere in the conference.

It’s unlikely any other Big Ten school would have even considered adding a Chattanooga to the schedule.

Nebraska doesn’t have any (or many) options of course to change leagues. Its football team’s mediocrity only weakens its hand even if it wanted to leave. Meanwhile, the Big Ten is loath to do anything other than grumble privately. It’s way too even-keeled to boot some school out.

So this carries on, like a lot of nuptials. Neither side is happy, or even sure they know who exactly they married in the first place.
Was this written by a jr high student?
 
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rcnut223

Redshirt Freshman
Apr 22, 2004
990
185
43
2 things in response.
1. Alvarez is trying to change the 21 day rule. How is this different and why are you not debasing them?
2. We recruit better then everyone except the big 3! That does not sound like a brand or football program that is down or will be for long.
Winning would change the landscape. We are just a bad football team right now, unfortunatley, as a result this gives us little leverage with the Big or in Leaving the league.
 

TampaBaySkers

Junior
Oct 30, 2010
1,691
2,193
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And Mizzou (or any other SEC school) didn’t/doesn’t have to find replacement a game because they have built-in flexibility with an earlier start date, unlike the thumb-up-their-ass BIG 10. If common sense prevailed, there’d be no need for an OOC game.
Exactly. The author used a POSTPONED game as his apples to apples comparison. Poorly written article all around.
 

donahues17

Graduate Assistant
Nov 5, 2005
5,608
866
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If Nebraska ever starts winning games and starts being dominant like we all though they would be, the scheduling will be even more of a nightmare for Nebraska. We would be playing at OSU, Michigan and PSU every year if the B1G could find a way to do it. B1G has always hated Nebraska and was after money just like TO and Nebraska was. Was never a good fit.
 

Wyldcard

All-American
Gold Member
Feb 12, 2018
4,996
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That guy is somewhat right. I wish he would have mentioned that many big schools voted to kick NU out of the AAU. So much for unity. Plus they've hamstrung us from day one. Thought maybe it would get better after becoming fully vested but it hasn't
It was Shitchicken and Sconnie that got us booted from the AAU
 

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