Courteous Comments with Kirt Manion

Kirt Manion
Nebraska City News-Press

Big 10 turmoil, again!

How would you like to be Kansas State or Iowa State right now? How about West Virginia or TCU for crying out loud?

Texas and Oklahoma are once again tearing at the very fibers connecting teams in the Big 12 Conference.

The Longhorns and Sooners pulled the same stunt 10 years ago, a power play with conversations around to other conferrences, like the PAC and the SEC. 

Four conference schools pulled out because of it. Colorado to the PAC. Texas A&M and Missouri to the SEC. Nebraska to the Big 10.

The teams that left were targets of at least mild criticism for leaving while Texas and Oklahoma stayed.

Had the four conference schools stayed and the two others left, the four schools that stayed would have been the losers in the deal for sure. Texas and Oklahoma had the clout. They had the success and the recruits and the championship titles.

Nebraska’s position in the Big 12 North was considered weak because neither of those teams resided in the North.

Had Oklahoma went to the PAC, as some rumors had it, and Texas to the SEC, the remaining schools would have struggled to find relevance.

Nebraska over Texas A&M for the Big 12 tite? Missouri over Oklahoma State? The winner would face blasts that they hadn’t played anyone.

And who would the Big 12 have brought in to replace Texas and Oklahoma? Who would have come in and carried the same swagger with them?

Nobody. That’s a rock solid certainty.

We know that because, despite keeping Texas and Oklahoma, the Big 12 could only entice TCU and West Virginia to join up. The Big 12 is still at 10 teams some 10 years later.

If Oklahoma and Texas leave to the SEC, as current rumors indicate, the remaining eight teams will either have to move to another conference, or accept a junior status that’s just about the same as a Group of Five league.

All of this happens during the, pretty much continual, talk and longing for Big 12 normalcy for Nebraska. The Big 10 still seems foreign 10 years in and Husker fans want to see the Wildcats of Kansas State at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln instead of the Wildcats from Northwestern.

This is why Nebraska should be happy with the Northwestern option. It’s no offense to Kansas State at all. They are a good program and seem to have a good coach at this point. And it’s no offense to Northwestern. Heck, that’s probably been the best series for Nebraska. Both teams have earned wins in the series and there’s been all kinds of nail-biters in there.

The problem for Nebraska is that, even though some folks want the Big 12 back, all fans realize it can’t be trusted. It might blow up.

The Big 10 is not going anywhere. And Nebraska shouldn’t go either.

For our old friends back in that other league, we send our empathy. 

If you guys have other options, better start looking at them now. 

Kirt Manion