I haven't seen any latest version of the "Don't Let The Door Hit You On Your Way Out, Nebraska" story that has become a staple of Big XII region columnists this week. All week, newspapers throughout the Big XII region have featured their own revision of the "Nebraska: Good Riddance" story that seems plagarize AJ the Huskerh8er's old blog more than have any original thoughts.
If you've read one, you've read them all for the most part: Nebraska fans aren't perfect, Bo Pelini yells too much, Nebraska tried to destroy the Big XII Conference, and Nebraska thinks they are the Harvard of the Great Plains.
Blah blah blah. Of course, Nebraska fans aren't perfect. Sure, we don't shower visiting fans with urine and we actually show up at games at home, on the road, and at bowl games. (Glancing southeast towards Columbia.) But Husker fans go overboard at times, especially in expressing their displeasure at Dan Beebe towards his conduct over the last couple of months. Husker fans got a little validation this week when UNO hockey coach Dean Blais said that UNO received similar treatment from the CCHA last season before jumping to the WCHA this year.
Dan Beebe played the victim last week, claiming that Big Red fans were out of control. And the media outside of Nebraska ate it up, taking Dan Beebe at his word because he never exaggerates things (oh, like television contracts). The Nebraska media took the time to try and verify Beebe's claims, and found that the authorities essentially gave up trying to substantiate any threats to the Big XII Commissioner. Vile-mouthed? Yep. But Beebe's failure to send someone to Lincoln last week had zero to do with safety and everything to do with sending Tom Osborne and Nebraska a message
Does Bo Pelini yell too much during games? Yep. He even admits that he went too far against Texas A&M. He's learning how to be a head coach as well too.
But the rest? Pure bitterness, and easily understood (and dismissed). The dynamics of Nebraska leaving the Big XII almost ensured it. You've got schools like Missouri, Kansas, and Kansas State who faced an uncertain future with the best options looking like the Mountain West or the Big East. You've got schools like Oklahoma and Texas A&M who weren't exactly enamored with their options either. And of course, you've got Texas holding the remaining nine other schools hostage to their every whim. Some of these writers admit their envy, suggesting that if their school had an interest from the Big Ten, they'd do exactly the same thing Nebraska did.
No, the N doesn't stand for Nowledge. (Ha!!! That was so clever the first billion times I read it!) Nebraska has improved their academics in recent years, and the Big Ten opens new opportunities that aren't available in the Big XII. Academics in the Big XII are good...but they're better in the Big Ten. It's a real reason for Nebraska to make the move, especially considering the instability of the Big XII. The money will eventually be better in the Big Ten, but for now, it's a breakeven proposition for the Huskers.
This is what it is: an ugly divorce. Totally to be expected. Nebraska fans are feeling a little uppity, especially with the perceptions of the actions of some in the conference and looking forward to new rivalries and new opportunities. The rest of the conference is defensive, disappointed that their school is still a "proud member" of something that will be less than what it once was. Some will write "just leave", which is simplistic at best. (Like Nebraska could have switched leagues immediately and began play in the Big Ten this year.)
Both sides need to step back and take the high road. Down the line, both sides will wish they had acted differently this year.