Like the Piedmont and Northern freight train crawling up the backside of the Appalachian Mountains in some long ago Faulknerian epic, it appears judgment day for the Big 10 expansion movement will finally arrive.
Whether compared to the little engine that could, or the big pot boiler on the "Old 97" that strained to make its run on time, the Big 10 has finally accomplished what it set out to do–improve the conference geographically, academically, and numerically.
The idea the league would exponentially enlarge its influence among the college football world with a legendarily powerhouse program comes as the cherry on top.
The addition of Nebraska allows the Big 10 to look the SEC square in the eye with 12 teams and sets the table for a conference championship battle each December: one with a potential viewing audience that could dwarf all of the other league title games.
How did this happen and what does it mean to the future of college football as we know it?
Let us start with what has been learned to this point.