Nebraska and the Big 12?

Ian Boyd

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You are assuming we will be in the XII for the next TV deal, but if so I agree it would sweeten the pot. OK would drool over playing them again, it was a great game for both schools, much like Texas and Arkansas, a real family against family affair.
I think the "let's join the Pac-12!" crowd is starting to lose some steam right about now. The commitment to football on the west side of the country has been pretty lacking. I think the "what if the B12 cannibalized the P12?" notion is starting to look stronger.

Texas is benefitting right now from being in a position where they can call the shots.

Totally agree that Arkansas and Nebraska in the B12 would be the most fun, ideally more decisions would be made like that.
 

hojutx

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Someone asked earlier why Nebraska fell out with Texas so much. I'm speculating a little here, but I believe a major underlying reason is that, while the Texas and Oklahoma schools looked at forming the Big 12 as a business opportunity (among a handful of potential options), Nebraska felt like they were "saving" the SWC schools, or at the very least, doing us a favor.

Given that fundamental attitude, they then felt that a bunch of Big 12 decisions were a "slap in the face," took them away from the course that the Big 8 had followed, and potentially undermined the success they had built over the previous 25 years. For example:
  • The Big 8 office had been in Kansas City, while the SWC office had been in Dallas. The new Big 12 office was in Dallas.
  • The SWC Commissioner became the Big 12 Commissioner
  • The Big 12 essentially adopted the SWC "partial-qualifier" rules (this really irritated Nebraska, and to them, I think Texas came across as sanctimonious about it.
  • The Big 12 non-division schedule ended the Nebraksa-Oklahoma rivalry. Looking back, this was dumb in terms of TV revenue for the conference, but it did not make Nebraska happy. Of course Texas' rivalries with OU and A&M were presevred!
  • The Big 12 adopted an uneven TV-money distribution plan, which is a concept that was championed by UT (although Nebraska benefitted from it)
  • The wildly popular Big 8 basketball trounament had always been played in Kansas City. No more, as it would alternate between KC and somewhere in Texas (despite the SWC Tourney having never been a big draw)
  • Once the new Dallas Cowboys' stadium was built, the Big 12 basically signed a long-term deal to never play any more football championship games outside of Texas. Again, Nebraska wasn't thrilled.
  • Texas finding new ways to beat Nebraska every time we played did not help their mood.
In the end, Nebraska to the Big 10 was a good decision in terms of long-term financial stability. However, I think they lost out on what made them so unique. (In the Big 12, they had one of the biggest stadiums, best crowds, etc. In the Big 10, they're just "Iowa 2.0.") More importantly, I think Arkansas and A&M have learned this as well: College football is all about rivalries, who you play, joining in the conversation "at the water cooler" whene everyone is talking about who their team is playing this Saturday. I think Nebraska fans lost some of that joy by moving conferences.
 

Ian Boyd

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Someone asked earlier why Nebraska fell out with Texas so much. I'm speculating a little here, but I believe a major underlying reason is that, while the Texas and Oklahoma schools looked at forming the Big 12 as a business opportunity (among a handful of potential options), Nebraska felt like they were "saving" the SWC schools, or at the very least, doing us a favor.

Given that fundamental attitude, they then felt that a bunch of Big 12 decisions were a "slap in the face," took them away from the course that the Big 8 had followed, and potentially undermined the success they had built over the previous 25 years. For example:
  • The Big 8 office had been in Kansas City, while the SWC office had been in Dallas. The new Big 12 office was in Dallas.
  • The SWC Commissioner became the Big 12 Commissioner
  • The Big 12 essentially adopted the SWC "partial-qualifier" rules (this really irritated Nebraska, and to them, I think Texas came across as sanctimonious about it.
  • The Big 12 non-division schedule ended the Nebraksa-Oklahoma rivalry. Looking back, this was dumb in terms of TV revenue for the conference, but it did not make Nebraska happy. Of course Texas' rivalries with OU and A&M were presevred!
  • The Big 12 adopted an uneven TV-money distribution plan, which is a concept that was championed by UT (although Nebraska benefitted from it)
  • The wildly popular Big 8 basketball trounament had always been played in Kansas City. No more, as it would alternate between KC and somewhere in Texas (despite the SWC Tourney having never been a big draw)
  • Once the new Dallas Cowboys' stadium was built, the Big 12 basically signed a long-term deal to never play any more football championship games outside of Texas. Again, Nebraska wasn't thrilled.
  • Texas finding new ways to beat Nebraska every time we played did not help their mood.
In the end, Nebraska to the Big 10 was a good decision in terms of long-term financial stability. However, I think they lost out on what made them so unique. (In the Big 12, they had one of the biggest stadiums, best crowds, etc. In the Big 10, they're just "Iowa 2.0.") More importantly, I think Arkansas and A&M have learned this as well: College football is all about rivalries, who you play, joining in the conversation "at the water cooler" whene everyone is talking about who their team is playing this Saturday. I think Nebraska fans lost some of that joy by moving conferences.
Yup. Although I think Nebraska recognized that they were giving Texas a big seat at the table and did so because the money angle was so important.

For all that people complain about the limited demographics in the Big 12 landscape, they were considerably worse in the Big 8 without Texas. Brutal for the era of TV contracts.
 

palmettohorn

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Way down upon the Suwannee River...
Amen, @hojutx and Ian.

While no one would fault Arkansas for jumping from the sinking ship that was the SWC to the SEC (financially at least), it also, for all intents..., severed its recruiting umbilical cord and any consistent connection to Texas recruits.

Nebraska likewise (even if unknowingly) doomed itself by agreeing to Texas' enhanced academic requirements, especially no partial qualifiers (so long to any future Lawrence Phillipses). Also, improved drug-testing science and stricter testing standards sent Nub's vaunted LOS advantages the way of the buffalo. Husker faithful, especially "Dr. Tom", can flatter themselves to their broken hearts' content; but make no mistake -- Nebraska craved all that the dollars, TV sets, and recruiting exposure playing Texas and Texas-based schools could bring and would've auctioned St. Bob Devaney's remains, if necessary, to make the merger happen.

DKR used to warn Mack: "Don't schedule Arkansas." Sometimes that proved prophetic, other times passe. Regardless, if the Hogs ever want to come back (as remote a chance as that is), let'em. But especially if a somewhat humbled Nebraska comes knocking, let them back in too.

Rivalries and the history they bring matter(ed) more than most realized.

And 1996-2010 seems an eternity ago.
 
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toranfiddes

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I hate to see TCU and Baylor get screwed like that. Their dedication to football is much higher than Cal’s. It bothers me that “religious” schools get shut out by the state schools (not very American, IMHO).
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Agree about TCU; Baylor, er Rape & Murder U, not so much. Baylor only got into the Big 12 because Ma Richards was an alum. Shouldn't have happened.
 
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UTGrad91

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Amen, @hojutx and Ian.

While no one would fault Arkansas for jumping from the sinking ship that was the SWC to the SEC (financially at least), it also, for all intents..., severed its recruiting umbilical cord and any consistent connection to Texas recruits.

Nebraska likewise (even if unknowingly) doomed itself by agreeing to Texas' enhanced academic requirements, especially no partial qualifiers (so long to any future Lawrence Phillipses). Also, improved drug-testing science and stricter testing standards sent Nub's vaunted LOS advantages the way of the buffalo. Husker faithful, especially "Dr. Tom", can flatter themselves to their broken hearts' content; but make no mistake -- Nebraska craved all that the dollars, TV sets, and recruiting exposure playing Texas and Texas-based schools could bring and would've auctioned St. Bob Devaney's remains, if necessary, to make the merger happen.

DKR used to warn Mack: "Don't schedule Arkansas." Sometimes that proved prophetic, other times passe. Regardless, if the Hogs ever want to come back (as remote a chance as that is), let'em. But especially if a somewhat humbled Nebraska comes knocking, let them back in too.

Rivalries and the history they bring matter(ed) more than most realized.

And 1996-2010 seems an eternity ago.
I agree that Arky probably wouldn't come back to the Big 12, but if their goal is to win championships they should. 28 seasons without winning the SEC shows they can't compete there.

Nebraska back to the Big 12 is a little more likely. They left the Big 12 in a tiff and now that a decade has passed maybe they'd let bygones be by bygones. They've never really fit in the Big 10 and coming back to the Big 12 would bring them back to their roots and traditional rivals.
 
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jb8083

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Ending partial qualifiers and beating them several times at the tail end of their run of dominance. Texas upset them in the first ever B12 title game, ended two different long-running home game winning streaks, and then there was the 2009 deal.

They put :01 second (or two? I don't remember) back on the clock at the end of the 2009 B12 title game and Texas snatched victory from the jaws of defeat with a last minute field goal. Also notable: Nebraska kicked the ball out of bounds on the kickoff and then horse-collared Shipley, giving Texas basically all the yardage they needed in like a minute to kick that field goal and steal the win.

For the next offseason, Nebraska planned to move on to the Big 10 and had this massive run up to their home game with Texas that was all about ending on a high note by handing Texas an L on the way out. Seriously, their website was selling season tickets with that promotion and it was a big thing to finally pay back Texas before leaving the league. Texas was terrible that year and went into Nebraska major underdogs. But Mack got his team to take things seriously for a week, dropped some spread QB run game, and stunned them for a final L.

I think that mostly covers it.
The hard-on against Texas was more about the brass than the fan. Specifically money, shocker. No group of fans, home or away, treated Texas fans with more respect, hospitality and genuine kindness. I attended every Texas Nebraska contests during the B12 era. Best football fans in college. Hell, best fans in the world in my book. Hookem.
 

coolhorn

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I think the "let's join the Pac-12!" crowd is starting to lose some steam right about now. The commitment to football on the west side of the country has been pretty lacking. I think the "what if the B12 cannibalized the P12?" notion is starting to look stronger.

Texas is benefitting right now from being in a position where they can call the shots.

Totally agree that Arkansas and Nebraska in the B12 would be the most fun, ideally more decisions would be made like that.
UT to the Pac is dead in the water. Several members of the Pac to the B-12 is picking up steam. Amazing how the roles have reversed in just a few years.
 

coolhorn

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Agree about TCU; Baylor, er Rape & Murder U, not so much. Baylor only got into the Big 12 because Ma Richards was an alum. Shouldn't have happened.
The reality of big time college football is that the Baylors and TCUs aren't likely to have a place at the table in the next round of realignment. Provision might be made for them to have access to the playoffs by expanding the playoffs to eight teams...that's almost certain to happen anyway. I can see Arizona, Arizona State, and Nebraska coming in to the B-12 replacing Baylor and TCU and bringing the conference back to twelve teams. If it goes to sixteen teams, almost assuredly they will come from existing members of the Pac that want out.
 

Zona Horn

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There’s no argument for “Nebraska benefitted from local players” that makes a lick of sense by modern standards.

How is it an advantage to have much of your roster come from a state with 2 million (less at the time) people?
They won for a lot of the same reasons Permian won back in the 80s, which can be summarized as “elite football culture.” It’s how Army damn near beat OU two years ago.

Detractors want to chalk it up to other things (which often happens when underdogs overachieve), but their unique culture — character, effort, selflessness, coachability, passion, etc — was their secret ingredient.
 
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Ian Boyd

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They won for a lot of the same reasons Permian won back in the 80s, which can be summarized as “elite football culture.” It’s how Army damn near beat OU two years ago.

Detractors want to chalk it up to other things (which often happens when underdogs overachieve), but their unique culture — character, effort, selflessness, coachability, passion, etc — was their secret ingredient.
Definitely a major factor. Osborne and his staff were also really good, but no doubt that the state was giving it their all.
 
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rmannucci

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All this talk about adding and kicking teams out has me wondering. Can a conference really kick a school out?
Could the BIG12 really throw Baylor or WVU out of the conference? Because I don't see Baylor or TCU leaving the conference willingly.
All this to say that if there was a BIG12/PAC merger it would have to include the small religious schools, unless they just went ahead and started a new conference with the big/state schools from each conference.
 

Justin Wells

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All this talk about adding and kicking teams out has me wondering. Can a conference really kick a school out?
Could the BIG12 really throw Baylor or WVU out of the conference? Because I don't see Baylor or TCU leaving the conference willingly.
All this to say that if there was a BIG12/PAC merger it would have to include the small religious schools, unless they just went ahead and started a new conference with the big/state schools from each conference.
Realignment talk? No, thanks.
 

timeontarget

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Nebraska always seemed a great fit for the Big 12. I was surprised and sorry they left--seemed at that point that Texas and Oklahoma were its biggest rivalries.

Hope they come back.
 

fox 520

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I disagree with part of your statement. The minimum NCAA academic requirements for recruits are tougher now than they were back then. However they still aren't tough. Actually it wasn't easier at Nebraska than elsewhere. Nebraska just signed more partial qualifiers, and ones better at football, than anyone else. Also they were as good as anyone keeping them eligible which was the key to partial qualifiers. Texas and a number of other schools tended to shy away from partial qualifiers because of the difficulty of keeping them eligible if you really expected them to be a student.

IIRC the actual agreement at the formation of the Big 12 was that you were limited to signing one partial qualifier per recruiting class. This still hurt Nebraska significantly when you consider that it has been reported that 8 of their 1995 starters were partial qualifiers. Later the NCAA eliminated the partial qualifier provision. I believe this was in the early 2000s.
Texas made it particularly hard on itself. In 1984, the UT Faculty Senate passed academic requirements for athletes that made the program uncompetitive for years. UT's elgibility standards weren't moderated until 1997 when a more football-conscious board of regents forced adoption of the Gateway Program to assist students with less developed academic skills. The Gateway Program allowed Texas and Mack Brown to recruit the full spectrum of elite players that had been closed since 1984.
 
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coolhorn

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All this talk about adding and kicking teams out has me wondering. Can a conference really kick a school out?
Could the BIG12 really throw Baylor or WVU out of the conference? Because I don't see Baylor or TCU leaving the conference willingly.
All this to say that if there was a BIG12/PAC merger it would have to include the small religious schools, unless they just went ahead and started a new conference with the big/state schools from each conference.
When it gets time for serious realignment talks in a couple of years, yes, conferences will be able to include or exclude whoever they want. Even more important, the costs of staying in the big four conferences will go up and the financial advantages of dropping down to a Mountain West, a C-USA, or a AAC conference will become appealing to the Baylors and TCUs. I look for the playoffs to expand to eight teams, with one spot set aside for the group of 5 schools, so Baylor, TCU, UH, SMU and the like will still have a shot at the playoffs. I look for the big four power conferences to be made up of fourteen to sixteen teams in two divisions.
 
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