The end-game for Nebraska in defecting from its old conference was escaping the alleged injustices of the Big 12 while joining the considerably deeper revenue pool of the Big Ten.
But the ultimate goal, as it relates to football, remains reaching a BCS bowl game. Of course, winning out is the most logical path, however unrealistic it may be, but the makeup and structure of the conference can dictate that path just as much.
That said, did Nebraska tempt its BCS fate by leaving the Big 12? Think about it.
As it stands now, even if Nebraska navigates its schedule unscathed, it still faces the very real possibility of losing the Big Ten title game to an Ohio State, Penn State, or Wisconsin. As we have seen before, a season-ending loss is potentially dooming, particularly to BCS hopes.
If Nebraska swallows its pride and remains in the Big 12, because Colorado bolts for the Pac-10, it’s entirely possible the conference still turns to a division-less format, void of a conference championship.
A streamlined 11-team Big 12 would be no less strong than it was with Colorado as a 12th member, and an undefeated season, more often than not, would include wins over Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech.
Under that scenario, if you run through the Big 12, nothing short of an undefeated SEC team keeps you out of the national title game. And there’s no pesky conference championship to worry about.