Let's start off with a disclaimer. Unless this is your first time visiting B5Q, you know I fully support the addition of Nebraska to the Big Ten. For more on that, you can click here.
But that doesn't mean there aren't any negatives to this huge development. Let's take a look at some of those:
Why does no one seem to care that the Big 12 is about to be destroyed?
Over the last few seasons -- in both football and basketball -- the Big 12 was one of the most competitive and entertaining conferences in the country. I mean, I was watching a Texas Tech-Oklahoma State football game like I was Ben Rothlisberger taking a look at the "menu" at a bar (although I might have had that over in that game... we'll have to check).
But out of all the conferences I would have liked to see go "bye-bye", the Big 12 would have been second-to-last on my list behind only the Big Ten. This isn't just a conference getting destroyed. We're talking about the possible disappearance of Oklahoma-Texas (they would have to continue the series during the non-conference season, right?), Oklahoma-Oklahoma State, Kansas-Missouri, e.t.c. Even if all these teams play each other in non-conference contests, it's not the same when the conference title is on the line. Hopefully they will all stay together in whatever super-conference they might go to, but what's wrong with the Big 12? Even if Nebraska and Colorado left, why can't it remain with just 10 teams?
And here's a question no one is thinking about: What the hell is going to happen with Kansas basketball if the Jayhawks get left out of one of the major conferences? Are they just Memphis, then?
Half of the Big Ten just said to themselves, "Great, now we'll never win the Big Ten"
I don't get the feeling that any fans at Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, Iowa and Wisconsin are really worried about the Cornhuskers, but what about the rest of the Big Ten? It's great to add a football program like Nebraska to the conference (and it was a unanimous vote), but if you're Northwestern, didn't your chances of ever returning to the Rose Bowl just get severely damaged?
Nebraska basketball: The bottom-feeder of the Big Ten
I talked to one Big Ten basketball player in the hours after the Nebraska news broke and I said to him, "Well, there's two more 'W's' for you every season."
He responded: "Yeah, no kidding"
Nebraska immediately comes into the Big Ten rivaling Northwestern for the title of worst basketball program in the conference. Doc Sadler took the Huskers to the NIT last year and is supposedly improving a historically horrible program, but moving into the Big Ten wasn't exactly the best move if he was trying to do that. Unlike the Big 12, there are few teams in the Big Ten you can pick on to grab a couple extra wins every season.
One Nebraska alum told me yesterday: "The crowd at my high school was better than at Husker basketball games."
Getting to Lincoln won't be easy for fans
Wisconsin is already trying to start a trophy game with Nebraska and considering it is one of the closest Big Ten schools to Lincoln, Neb. it seems like a good fit, but we are still talking about a 7.5 hour drive.
Only Minnesota and Iowa are closer to Nebraska than Wisconsin is, but that means eight other schools are even farther away. Fans at Northwestern, Illinois and Purdue could probably pull off the drive, but once we start talking about Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Penn State, we're talking about plane tickets.
Nebraska fans have to hate this, right?
I keep trying to put myself in the shoes of a Cornhusker fan right now and I'm struggling to think of positives from their point of view. Sure, the Big Ten is a major step up from the Big 12 North, but when you consider all the great football programs in the Big 12 South, it's pretty much a wash with the Big Ten.
So with the increased travel to places like Ohio State and Penn State, is it worth it? If you're a Cornhusker fan, your closest trip is to Iowa City, which is about a 4.5 hour drive. That's already a step up than your usual trips to Kansas, Kansas State and Iowa State.
On top of that you are leaving behind decades of great games with Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, e.t.c and you're killing the progress of your basketball program.
On the plus side, Nebraska baseball has to be the best team in the Big Ten, right?
Just a few things to think about. I hope I wasn't a total buzz kill. We still love Nebraska.