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It’s official: Nebraska Cornhuskers to join Big Ten

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SB Nation and many other sources are reporting that the University of Nebraska Board of Regents voted to apply for Big Ten membership.  Of course, Nebraska would not be applying if it had not received assurance that the application would be accepted.  The Cornhuskers expect to begin Big Ten play in 2011-12, apparently in all sports.  This is a substantially accelerated schedule compared to the Big Ten’s addition of Penn State.  Penn State’s addition was announced in December 1989, but the Nittany Lions did not join the conference for nearly three years after that and did not join for football until 1993.

Nebraska is an excellent fit academically, athletically, and culturally.  I’ve had the chance to attend a Nebraska road game, and allow me to make two observations: 1) Nebraska fans travel really, really well.  They make Ohio State fans look disinterested; and 2) they are the nicest people in the world.  I’ve been to a lot of college football games where the road team was well-represented (insert IU football joke, but on other campuses as well) and these are the classiest, most respectful visiting fans imaginable.  And yes, Boilers, I know this will give us another great opportunity for an aerial photo of the stadium.  

The only misgiving I have about this move is that like the Penn State addition, this move does nothing much for Big Ten basketball.  It’s a bad sign when a college sports junkie like me has to resort to Google to find out who the Huskers’ basketball coach is.  On the other hand, with the collapse of the Big 12 and the construction of the new, er, Haymarket Arena, perhaps the Huskers are in a position to make a move in basketball recruiting.

And the very, very best part?  IU fans take quite a bit of grief from the rest of the Big Ten because we have a losing record in football against every other Big Ten program.  They can’t say that anymore.  IU’s all-time record against Nebraska is 9-7-3.  It may not last long, but I’m going to enjoy it while I can.  

Welcome, Huskers.