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THE BALLAD OF KING BO AND THE QUEST FOR A RIVAL

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Nebraska just can't seem to find a rival: This time with rhymes!

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Once upon a time, in the land of Nebraska
A land where the fans proclaimed they were greatest
There was a king named Bo, though his rule had been short
His reign was not the first, but only the latest

Things were great in Nebraska in the mid 90s
Theirs were conquering heroes and champions of war
Their football team was the best one around
They won the title over Florida by some absurd score

Yet three short years later, their King, then named Tom
Gave up the throne to a Prince they called Frank
And while Frank did much good maintaining the program
The Greatest Fans hollered that his teams all stank

The Greatest Fans had one rival, they always proclaimed
The rest of the league was just in their shadow
"We're better than Kansas State, better than Mizzou"
They ignored the rivalry calls from Colorado

"Oklahoma's our rival," the Greatest Fans shouted
"Colorado is nothing but a bunch of fat hicks."
And when Nebraska met the Buffs in cold late November
Colorado beat them down by twenty-six

"Doesn't matter the least," Nebraska declared
"We have just one rival, we have no need for plurals"
And old Colorado just sort of imploded
With a new king who said that this ain't intramurals

Still the Sooners got better while Nebraska got worse
And the Greatest Fans felt they were trailing their rival
So they got rid of Frank, they paid off his buyout
And exiled him to Athens, Ohio

The Greatest Fans wanted action, they wanted adventure
And they wanted to throw the football the most
So they hired King Bill and all got excited
Because King Bill brought an offense from the West Coast

Dark days followed, as Nebraska went nowhere
The running was gone, the passes were late
And while King Frank had been fired after a three-loss campaign
King Bill routinely won four and lost eight

"The Sooners are still our rival," the Greatest Fans claimed
"Oklahoma and Nebraska, the whole world demands us."
But the Sooners had moved on to feuding with Texas
And Nebraska was losing by 30 to Kansas

Bill was sacked and King Bo was summoned to Lincoln
The savior had come to bring championship glory
But Bo couldn't hang with rival OU
Hell, most years he lost by 25 to Missouri

In 2009, a championship within grasp
Duke DeLoss added time and stole Nebraska's title
"We've had enough," Nebraska said. "You've taken our glory"
"And we don't even have a natural rival"

"We'll go north!" the Greatest Fans proclaimed from on high
"The Big Ten title is ripe for the taking!"
So they cut loose from the Big 12, left Dan Beebe crying
For championships and rivals of their own making

Nebraska arrived in their newfangled conference
Trusting they'd go to the Rose Bowl for the next hundred years
But OU remained in the Big 12, and Nebraska struggled
To find a rival worthy of receiving their jeers

Iowa failed their test, even though it was near
No matter the outcome, no matter the score
"So what if we haven't been to a BCS game in 13 seasons
Don't they remember how awesome we were in 1994?"

King Bo wanted the Hawkeyes, though, and the trophy they carried
Some Hy-Vee concoction called the Heroes Game
So he took the Greatest Fans and he went into Iowa
To take back the trophy with the grocery store's name

They marched up to Kinnick, they yelled for attention
They demaded that Iowa give up the prize
But Nebraska forgot what everyone knows:
History don't mean shit to Iowa Hawkeyes

King Bo, he retreated, he was forced to turn east
But Wisconsin wouldn't have them, the Badgers had rivals
They played the Gophers each year for over a century
And their series with Iowa was set for revival

Illinois had Northwestern and Northwestern had books
And Minnesota hates Iowa, and not the Cornhuskers
"We have no titles and we have no rivals"
The Greatest Fans lamented with all they could muster

The Huskers appealed to Emperor Delany
"We should go independent like those BYU Mormons
Since we're not good enough to win our division
And our rivals are prepping for Texas in Norman"

Delany thought briefly, then raised up his head
He said, "I know exactly what it is you should do"
Then he picked up his pen and signed the following proclamation:

Nebraska, Your Most Hated Rival is Purdue