Big 12 expansion has been a huge topic of discussion around the internet lately. Not these parts, of course, because we don’t usually pay any mind to inferior football conferences that don’t play defense and have to make up new rules to play championship games. But just about everywhere else you look, you’re sure to find think pieces about why Houston is the perfect school to join the Big 12 or who the newest school to not make it to the next round of their realignment is.
What you’re not hearing about, though? It’s how there’s a dark horse in the race to join the Big 12. Not just join, either - they’re the favorite to rejoin the conference. That school is the University of Nebraska.
Look, I know what you’re thinking. “But Max, why would they go back to the Big 12? They’re making so much money in the Big Ten, they’d be crazy to go back.” Yeah, I thought so too! So I decided to investigate, and the first group of people I reached out to were our friends at Corn Nation.
First, I started out simple: I tried to empathize with them after they had a player ejected from their contest against Fresno State the other night.
They didn’t respond, but I’m not normally one to jump to any conclusions, because I’m a rational human being. As we all are, because we’re Iowa fans, and we never overreact to anything, right? So I waited a couple days, as any normal person would do as to not seem too desperate.
Then opportunity struck! Corn Nation published this pretty good blog post about the targeting rules in football! Their football program did a really cool thing for their late punter! I thought it was the perfect chance to sneak back into their mentions and write about them without looking suspicious, so I promoted their post and complimented Nebraska on a job well done.
And once again, I didn’t get a response. Not even a measly like or a thank you (not that I should have expected as much from a Nebraskan, they’re not nice like Iowans). I was starting to become quite wary of this rumor I had been hearing so much about. I’ve never been a fan of Nebraska, but would they really consider leaving US for that dumpster fire called the Big 12? I was starting to feel really, really insecure about our relationship with those neighbors to the west, like that one acquaintance you have that you don’t really care for, but once you find out they feel the same about you, it bothers you to no end. Especially after I saw this:
Could it really be? The folks at Nebraska’s SB Nation site wouldn’t return my tweets, but instead were communicating with their old Big 12 foes at Texas? It couldn’t be. They wouldn’t leave the Big Ten, I continued to tell myself even though I wasn’t sure if I even believed it at this point. I became desperate for answers. I couldn’t sleep without finding out the truth. I gave it one last shot.
The result was surprising. Instead of hearing back from the gentlemen at Corn Nation, I received this intriguing correspondence from a rather goofy looking character, Cobby.
Representing his client (or maybe her client? I just don’t know what I believe anymore) Corn Nation couldn’t even be bothered to speak to a fellow Big Ten blog at this point, and instead has to have its clumsy looking representative reach out to comment? Is this like when my middle school girlfriend broke up with me and sent her friends to tell me? I now had the answer that I was looking for, even if I couldn’t believe it at first.
Nebraska has to be leaving the Big Ten. There’s no other way to see it. My many failed attempts to reach out are only part of it. Why else would Cornhuskers ignore a Hawkeye? They use every opportunity to talk trash to Iowans, right? They must not want the truth to be known. I wouldn’t want the truth to be known yet if I were them, either. Think of all the ridicule they’d have to face if they admitted that their Big Ten experiment was a failure.
And it makes sense that they’d leave the conference for greener pastures, too. Think about it this way: Nebraska has never won the Big Ten. Come to think of it, they hadn’t won the Big 12 since 1999 anyway (maybe Y2K really did exist for Nebraska). The only time Nebraska reached the Big Ten Championship Game, they were absolutely shellacked by the Badgers. Maybe it’s time for a change. They could be at the top of a Big 12 North division that features Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, West Virginia, and I dunno, maybe Cincinnati or something. Wouldn’t the Huskers own that division? They’d get a shot at a conference championship virtually every year!
Take this into consideration, too: People from Nebraska hate Iowans. It’s in their blood. Since joining the Big Ten, Nebraska is 3-2 against the Hawkeyes, and two of their three victories have been tightly contested. Imagine, if say, the Cornhuskers got to take out their hatred on a team from Iowa every year and were able to feel the satisfaction of victory every single time? Well, that’s pretty much the argument for why Nebraska would rather face Iowa State than face the University of Iowa every season. Nebraska is 86-17-2 all-time against the Cyclones, and 17-4 against them since 1990, which is the timeframe most Cornhusker fans prefer to live in, anyway.
Plus, Texas (who might be back but it’s still yet to be determined) isn’t what they used to be! Oklahoma is good, but probably not early-2000s good! It’s the perfect time to sneak back in there and try to win those conference championships that Nebraska fans crave so much! Those teams don’t play defense. Tommy Armpunt might actually turn into Tommy Armstrong in that conference! Nebraska might have a better defense than those teams! They might be a basketball school after being in the nation’s premiere basketball conference!
Okay, before I get carried away, I’ll just say this: Maybe the rumors are true. Maybe Nebraska is rejoining the Big 12 after this year. While they’re at it, maybe they’ll go back to the triple-option and maybe bring back parachute pants. I mean, it only makes sense.
*Disclaimer: I had a dream and in this dream, Nebraska left the Big Ten. This is the end result. I’m so sorry.