Pros and Cons of the Nebraska Cornhuskers Joining the Big Ten
According to reports, Nebraska has informally agreed to leave the Big 12 for the Big Ten, with an official announcement to come on Friday.
This has major implications for both conferences, especially since the Big Ten seems poised to incorporate additional schools in the weeks to come.
While most Big Ten fans have been pushing for expansion for years, adding Nebraska is not entirely beneficial. Read on to find out the pros and cons of adding the Cornhuskers to the Big Ten.
Pro No. 1: Football Tradition
Nebraska has a rich football history nearly unparalleled by any current Big Ten school.
From 1970-2000, the Cornhuskers accumulated more than 300 wins while losing just 56 times, resulting in three decades of an 80 percent win percentage.
Nebraska has also been National Champions five times.
Adding Nebraska to traditional Big Ten powerhouses like Ohio State and Penn State will make the Big Ten more formidable overall.
Pro No. 2: Big Ten Championship Game
Nearly all the major BCS conferences have a conference championship game to end the regular season.
The Big Ten is one of them that doesn't.
Big Ten schools often end their season before Thanksgiving, leaving them with more than a month layoff before taking the field for a bowl game.
With additional teams like Nebraska, the conference will finally be able to host a championship game to determine who plays in which bowl game.
Pro No. 3: Midwestern Roots
Nebraska allows the Big Ten to maintain its image of a Midwest conference.
That's something that would be diminished if Syracuse or Rutgers entered the league.
More than just the image, it minimizes the amount of travel the teams have to do for road games. Unless the Big Ten adds eastern teams in addition to Nebraska, teams like Iowa, Illinois, and Northwestern will continue to benefit from being in the heart of Big Ten country.
It will also help the Big Ten Network to avoid overextending itself.
Pro No. 4: Member of the AAU
Aside from athletics, every member of the Big Ten is also in the Association of American Universities, which is a highly selective non-profit organization of 62 leading research universities.
This keeps the prestige of the conference's academics while also adding a school known for its strong athletics.
Con No. 1: Basketball
Maybe it's the tough competition of the Big 12. Or maybe it's the lack of legitimacy.
But whatever it is, the Cornhuskers are not the cream of the crop in men's basketball. Last season they failed to qualify for postseason play, and the year before, they were ousted in the first round of the NIT.
Nebraska will have an equally difficult challenge in the Big Ten, where teams such as Northwestern and Indiana are gaining ground in the standings.
It's possible Nebraska could finish near the bottom of the conference upon entering. It's also possible that they could stay there for a while.