Nebraska Football: Is the Cornhuskers' Big 12 Divorce Finalized?

Brandon Cavanaugh@ IDecember 11, 2010

LINCOLN, NE  - JUNE 11: University of Nebraska Athletic Director Tom Osbourne informs members of the media that the University of Nebraska has been accepted into the Big Ten conference  June 11, 2010 in Lincoln, Nebraska.  The university will begin integration immediately and start athletic competition as soon as 2011. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
Eric Francis/Getty Images

There were bitter words, angry kids and plenty of lawyers involved.

That certainly sounds like a split between two upset parties.

For Nebraska fans, there is no real reason to look back now. Sure, there will be jokes about Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe for a few years.

Plenty of Cornhuskers will delight in every speed bump that the University of Texas runs into.

The Big 12 Conference, with only 10 teams starting in 2011, may not even last long.

Nebraska weathered a roller coaster season during its 14th and final year in the conference. Talk of conspiracy, rumors of dissent from the starting quarterback and even the head coach melting down on national television made the ride all the more stressful.

Now is the time for acceptance and release, Cornhusker fans. The Big 12 Conference would like its money for Nebraska’s departure. It wouldn’t be surprising if many in the University of Nebraska’s administration feel the same way that its fans likely do in regards to that transaction.

“Here’s your money. Catch you on the flip!”

The Cornhuskers walk away from a marriage that saw the Texas Longhorns waltz in and tell the rest of the conference how it was going to be. Even the Oklahoma Sooners themselves shot down their classic series with Nebraska. Et tu, Crimson and Cream?

We’re all well aware of what happened next. The "Conference Apocalypse" began. Smaller schools are scrambling for relevance and potential automatic BCS berths. The Big Ten had other plans from the start.

The Big Eight Conference threw the sinking Southwestern Conference a life raft. This ushered in a union of convenience. Likely, most eventual member schools didn’t see the poor television deals, their lack of political clout or the weight that Texas would bring to throw around.

For Nebraska, it’s not their problem anymore. The Big Ten immediately offers what the Big 12 will never be able to provide. There are always games playing on the Big Ten Network, if not ABC or ESPN. Cornhusker fans likely won’t have to pay $50 dollars for a pay-per-view again.

They join the oldest and arguably most tradition-rich conference in collegiate athletics. With Nebraska's inclusion, three teams in the Big Ten have won more than 800 football games.

The “new” Big Ten essentially steals the Big 12 Conference's championship game, which only adds more legitimacy to BCS berths. There’s that money issue to be considered, too. Nebraska looks to acquire far more funds than they did in the Big 12.

According to, “The Big Ten Schools received $22 million each during the last reported year in revenue sharing from the conference.”

“Some estimates suggest that Big Ten revenue from television could potentially double by 2016. This would imply that each school could receive upwards of $40 million per year for their membership in the conference.”

Several fans of opposing schools have prophesied that Nebraska will fare poorly in their new conference.

Sour grapes? We'll soon find out.

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