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So, wait. You refuse to call Colorado a rival, but you’re still carrying a grudge against Texas? A school that, really, couldn’t care less about Nebraska as a program? What gives?
Let me explain. Sherman, set the Way-Back Machine to 2009.
The Big Ten had announced that it was exploring the possibility of adding a 12th member. With the conference realignment, tectonic plates beginning to shift, Colorado saw its chance and bolted for the Pac-10.
The Big 12, down to 11, knew that Missouri and Nebraska were uncomfortable with the oversized power Texas wielded in the conference. Nebraska had been on the losing end of a number of power struggles with Texas, from issues like the location of the conference tournaments to the eligibility of athletes.
So the marker was laid down. Texas came to Missouri and Nebraska and demanded a declaration of loyalty to the Big 12, according to the The Oklahoman. If it didn’t receive that declaration, Texas would take itself and three other schools (including Oklahoma) and form the Pac-16, leaving Nebraska and Missouri in a significantly weakened—and perhaps no longer automatic BCS—conference.
Nebraska responded by obtaining an invitation to the Big Ten, which forced an incredibly acrimonious “farewell season” through the Big 12 in 2010 for NU. Texas, of course, did not follow through on its threat, later seeing Texas A&M and Missouri defect to the SEC before the addition of TCU and West Virginia stabilized the Big 12 at 10 members.
But Nebraska fans have never forgotten the feelings of that summer, where the frustrations of Texas’s decade of dominance (on and off the football field) culminated in a significant threat to Nebraska being left out in the cold with regard to major conference athletics.
Add on the understandable, but laughable conspiracy theories about the Big 12 being “out to get” Nebraska in its final season, and you have a lot of venom built up in the Children of the Corn against those in burnt orange.