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Nebraska Cornhuskers Football: Does Playing In The Big Ten Help Or Hurt Nebraska's Image?


In part four of our seven part series, we look at the outside perspective of Nebraska Cornhuskers football. Today we look at The Big Ten Conference and if it helps or hurts the image of The Huskers. Seven writers who cover other teams throughout the nation answer the question, “Does Nebraska playing in the Big Ten help or hurt the perception of Nebraska football?

We will start with Steve Pesek of

Steve: The Big Ten is a strong football conference and top-to-bottom probably better than the current state of the Big 12. Geographically it makes sense for the program to line up and play teams in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. The upper-Midwest mentality of life helps drive a community feel among teams in the region. 

Additionally, for sports outside of football, it was a good move for the school as a whole. The Nebraska volleyball program is elite and playing competition like Illinois, Minnesota, and Penn State in conference will only continue to make the program better. When the Big Ten expands to fourteen teams next season, the east and west divisions line up in favor of the Cornhuskers. If the Huskers stay at or improve upon their current success, they will be finding themselves consistently in the Big Ten Championship game.

With Steve covering The Minnesota Gophers, he has an inside view of the conference. No doubt The Big Ten does make sense for Nebraska geographically. He is also right in how the new divisions will favor The Huskers and give them a better chance of competing for a conference championship often.

Next we get the view from editor Chris Flanagan.

Chris: I don’t know if it helps or hurts. Giving up 70 points to a 7-5 Wisconsin team doesn’t help at all. The Big 12 gave them a very fertile recruiting ground in Texas. The Big 10 does have Ohio and Michigan,but over 400 Texas prospects receive college scholarships to Division 1 schools every year. Texas is where you found Rex Burkhead. It’s very important for the survival of Nebraska.

Obviously Chris leans towards Nebraska playing in The Big Ten as harmful to the program. Nebraska might not play in Texas twice a year anymore, but just by looking at the group of incoming freshman, Nebraska still has a pipeline that reaches Texas recruits.

Mitch Harper of thinks Nebraska’s move to The Big Ten is a positive.

Mitch: In my opinion it definitely helps. Of all the realignment moves in the past few years, Nebraska to The Big Ten has been the best. The Big XII just was not a good fit for them anymore. They weren’t playing their old Big 8 Rivals in Oklahoma every season, and were at the mercy of Texas when it came to league decisions. Natural fit for Nebraska in The Big Ten. 

The thought of where Nebraska’s program would be if they were still in The Big XII crosses my mind frequently. Then again, it’s so much different with so many teams gone and no championship game. The Big Ten does seem to be a better home for The Huskers.

Cam Newton of thinks the Huskers are better off in The Big Ten.

Cam: I think it helps because of the weight the name “Big Ten” carries.  The Big Ten is a football powerhouse, but sadly based more around history than current power.  Honestly, I think the Big Ten may be the only conference that could put forward a team that could beat the SEC (with the exception of Oregon in the PAC-12).

A traditional power like Nebraska is in good company with the likes of Michigan, Penn State, and Ohio State in The Big Ten.

Joe Micik from chimes in next.

Joe: It doesn’t seem to do either for me personally.  I liked a lot of the matchups Nebraska had in the Big 12, but I don’t think they necessarily downgraded in terms of conference affiliation.  It’s a changing college football world and we as fans just have to expect that teams are going to change conferences these days.

I think a lot of Husker fans miss the Nebraska vs Texas and Nebraska vs Oklahoma games, but taking on Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Michigan makes up for it.

Dave Thoman, who covers Kansas State at thinks greed sent Nebraska to The Big Ten.

Dave: It definitely fuels the perception that it’s all about money, fair or not. The Big 10 has not had the quality of the Big 12 the past couple of years, and Nebraska is now playing in a weaker league.

Nebraska is making more money in The Big Ten, and why wouldn’t a program jump at the chance to increase revenue. More importantly, Nebraska is an equal partner with the other teams in the conference. Again, can’t blame Nebraska for wanting to be equals. Texas and Oklahoma were bringing home more bacon than the other teams in The Big XII. A real argument can be made about playing in a weaker league as well. I am pretty sure Ohio State, Nebraska, Michigan, and Wisconsin can line up and compete with Oklahoma, Texas, Oklahoma State, and K State.

Our final respondent is Tony Orlando, editor at

Tony: That depends on whether you’re a B1G fan or not. There’s certainly an SEC backlash going on in the rest of the country, and the Big Ten can certainly capitalize on that if a Nebraska or Ohio State makes a run to the BCS title. Above all, winning cures a lot of issues.

I like how Tony ended his answer. winning cures a lot of issues. It doesn’t matter what conference you play in if you are winning. Check back in tomorrow for part five of our seven part series on how others see Nebraska Football.


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