Since the B1G announced on Tuesday that there would be no fall sports, including football, played this year Nebraska has really gone and shown their entire ass to the college football world. Program “savior” and head coach Scott Frost started mouthing off earlier this week about the Cornhuskers looking to play football this fall regardless of what the B1G decided as a conference.
Frost opens the door for pursuing an independent schedule: "We want to play a Big Ten schedule. I think our University is committed to playing football regardless of what anyone else does."— Parker Gabriel (@HuskerExtraPG) August 10, 2020
Then the Nebraska media started churning out article after article after article about how the Huskers might be leaving the B1G and how they’d probably be better off if they did and how the B1G just “didn’t get” Nebraska and what makes them so special. At least the leadership above Frost who can see the bigger picture of cancelling the season had some sens...oh, what’s that? They ALSO put out a statement saying Nebraska should be abe to play football?
A statement from Nebraska leadership. pic.twitter.com/tFMlYSfnWe— Mitch Sherman (@mitchsherman) August 11, 2020
Holy shit, they also seem to be implying that if there is no football season then they won’t take care of their football players! Many other schools in the B1G, including Wisconsin, made sure to mention that just because the season was cancelled didn’t men that their athletes would stop receiving the benefits of being a major college athlete like “testing procedures” and “the structure and support provided by Husker Athletics.”
Of course these corn fetishists backtracked before the week was over because, as you’ll see below, they had no other options and also there are a bunch of contracts that say they can’t. The B1G pays Nebraska an awful lot of money to be completely useless in every sport that isn’t volleyball and the Huskers should, quite frankly, just cash the check and pipe down.
Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby on adding temporary members: "It's not in any of our plans at the present time."— Scott Dochterman (@ScottDochterman) August 12, 2020
Do you remember Nebraska’s first B1G game? It was all the way back in October of 2011 and it just so happened to take place in Madison, Wisconsin against the Badgers. Nebraska came into the game at 4-0 and ranked No. 8 in the country, however the Badgers had the exact same record and were actually ranked one spot higher at No. 7. You wouldn’t know that from talking to any of the thousands of Nebraska fans that invaded Madison that weekend though.
While they were ostensibly pleasant, there was a definite air of superiority amongst the Husker fans on Friday night and Saturday morning before the game. Now, don’t get me wrong, the Nebraska fans I talked to at the Silver Dollar on Friday WERE nice. They invited me to their tailgate in Lincoln for the return game in 2012, but they definitely thought they’d be the ones winning both of those games.
Anyways, after Nebraska scored first to take a 7-0 lead and the hordes of black-clad Huskers fans assumed the rout was on, Wisconsin went on to take a 27-14 lead at halftime before running away with the game in the second half and winning 48-17.
Nebraska did go on to win the regular season game in 2012 before getting steamrolled in the B1G Title Game by UW and then losing the next six in a row after that. Mighty Nebraska who was going to come in and dominate the B1G is 1-8 against Wisconsin since joining the conference.
Anyway, all of this is a long-winded way of saying: what would the B1G do if Nebraska left, which they can’t/won’t? Let’s take a look at some possible scenarios anyways!
A little-known Big Ten bylaw is that if Nebraska leaves the conference, Rutger must also leave in a package deal— crimson quarry (@crimsonquarry) August 12, 2020
Really makes you think
Scenario 1: Just Nebraska leaves
Alright, the Huskers have gone rogue and are now playing a barnstorming schedule around the Midwest and the Great Plains. The B1G kicks them out. Who do they get to replace the Huskers in the B1G West?
I say we get weird with it and invite the North Dakota State Bison to the party. The FCS power, that no one wants to play, is perfect for the conference. They recruit players in the B1G footprint, they don’t mind playing in blizzards and they’ll be so excited to be an FBS team that they might take it easy on the division for the first couple of years (fingers crossed).
The Bison could easily replace the Huskers in the Quadrangle of Hate with Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota and, to be quite honest, would probably win more games than Nebraska had been doing in those rivalry match ups.
Scenario 2: Nebraska leaves and the B1G uses that as a catalyst to kick Rutgers and Maryland out too
Look, no one in the B1G has been happy with either of the past three additions to the conference. Hell, a lot of older B1G fans are still mad that Penn State is involved so this isn’t just a dislike that will go away any time soon. Rutgers sucks at everything and is also in New Jersey which makes me, a Pennsylvanian, want to puke. Maryland is almost as bad, but at least they bring soft shelled crab to the table.
Let’s give the B1G a do-over on conference realignment since their “TV market” strategy made everyone, outside of the accountants, mad. Alright, that leaves us with three spots in the conference to fill so that the divisions are even. In the B1G West it still comes down to NDSU, or maybe Iowa State so that El Assico becomes a conference affair.
When looking at the B1G East there are a few teams that have potential to fill in the two open slots vacated by Maryland and Rutgers, namely: West Virginia (who has never fit in with the Big XII), Syracuse (who has never fit in with the ACC), Cincinnati (who may be looking for a step up in competition) and Pitt (because, well, they need to play somewhere).
I think that West Virginia and Cincinnati would be great additions to the conference and bring more national cachet in football and men’s basketball than Rutgers and Maryland. Win, win.
Scenario 3: Nebraska leaves and NOTRE DAME JOINS THE B1G!
Sure, they’re basically in the ACC now but why wouldn’t they be eager to join the B1G which aligns with them better geographically and historically? JOIN A CONFERENCE FOR REAL YOU COWARDS!
This was a fun exercise but Nebraska ain’t going anywhere and, honestly, that’s probably good for the Badgers.
If this is the end of Nebraska's illustrious Big Ten tenure, then they would exit having given up an average of 319 yards and 3.8 touchdowns on 43 rushes per game to Wisconsin running backs over nine meetings.— Curt Hogg (@CyrtHogg) August 12, 2020
You will be missed, Nebraska.