Adding Nebraska has been the Big Ten's worst mistake in its history

MplsGopher

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Mentioned this in the Week 5 other games thread, but want to state it more forcefully, and see if anyone cares to comment (agree, disagree, bring up other facts or opinions, tell me I'm an idiot, and such). So without further ado:


I grow more firm in my conviction that adding Nebraska was the worst mistake in Big Ten history.

Never was a worthy academic/research school. Tiny market. Maryland and Rutgers have these in spades, at least.

They were supposed to deliver an Ohio St level football program, and have absolutely failed. The conditions that allowed them to succeed 15-20 years ago are gone and are never coming back. I believe its ceiling on the football field is somewhere in the spectrum of NW to Iowa. I don't think it can achieve Wisconsin levels of success. Zero chance at achieving Ohio St levels.
 

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Mentioned this in the Week 5 other games thread, but want to state it more forcefully, and see if anyone cares to comment (agree, disagree, bring up other facts or opinions, tell me I'm an idiot, and such). So without further ado:


I grow more firm in my conviction that adding Nebraska was the worst mistake in Big Ten history.

Never was a worthy academic/research school. Tiny market. Maryland and Rutgers have these in spades, at least.

They were supposed to deliver an Ohio St level football program, and have absolutely failed. The conditions that allowed them to succeed 15-20 years ago are gone and are never coming back. I believe its ceiling on the football field is somewhere in the spectrum of NW to Iowa. I don't think it can achieve Wisconsin levels of success. Zero chance at achieving Ohio St levels.
Worse than adding Rutgers?

I'd gladly swap out Rutgers (or even Nebraska) for Missouri.
 

MplsGopher

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For fun: at the time Nebraska was added, and assuming the Big Ten *had* to expand to 12 to keep pace, split into divisions, create a televised championship game, who would've been a better add??

Possible options would have been:
- Missouri (AAU, rivalry with Illinois)
- Kansas (AAU, major basketball program, wouldn't have been contiguous to Big Ten states at that time (if you believe that matters), but only barely)
- Iowa State (AAU, not great programs at the time, but have improved greatly, rivalry with Iowa)

Could've looked at Big East and ACC options as well. Pitt would've been a great option in my opinion.
 

Vandy

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I recall the thought to bring in Rutgers and Maryland was for the east coast exposure (money)???

I don't recall what the thought on bringing Nebraska in was for at all. Perhaps the same reason. TV money?.
 

MplsGopher

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Worse than adding Rutgers?

I'd gladly swap out Rutgers (or even Nebraska) for Missouri.
Rutgers brings a huge market (potential), another eastern program for Penn St (it strongly desired), and major research. Nebraska has brought none of that.
 

WriterGoph

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I don't think it's anywhere close to Rutgers. Nebraska has a great environment and fan base. Going to games there is very fun. Just because they don't live up to the hype, I don't think its been a huge mistake.
 

LesBolstad

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Nebraska and Rutgers were terrible B10 adds. Maryland a fair addition other than location.
 

MplsGopher

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I recall the thought to bring in Rutgers and Maryland was for the east coast exposure (money)???

I don't recall what the thought on bringing Nebraska in was for at all. Perhaps the same reason. TV money.
At the time, you needed 12 teams to split into divisions and hold a championship game. The rules have since changed, but that was the rule at the time. They wanted the extra money and exposure of the championship game, to keep up with the SEC.

Missouri openly lobbied to be included, but ultimately Nebraska won out. Nebraska wanted to join the Big Ten way back at the beginning, but were rejected. I think Nebraska was tired of losing to the Texas schools that were added to the Big 8 when it merged with the Southwest conference.
 

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As long as they're in our division, I have no problem with Nebraska being in the B1G. :D

JTG
 

MNVCGUY

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Mentioned this in the Week 5 other games thread, but want to state it more forcefully, and see if anyone cares to comment (agree, disagree, bring up other facts or opinions, tell me I'm an idiot, and such). So without further ado:


I grow more firm in my conviction that adding Nebraska was the worst mistake in Big Ten history.

Never was a worthy academic/research school. Tiny market. Maryland and Rutgers have these in spades, at least.

They were supposed to deliver an Ohio St level football program, and have absolutely failed. The conditions that allowed them to succeed 15-20 years ago are gone and are never coming back. I believe its ceiling on the football field is somewhere in the spectrum of NW to Iowa. I don't think it can achieve Wisconsin levels of success. Zero chance at achieving Ohio St levels.
Not going to debate the merits of expansion but the decision to add them was not just about football. And I don't think many expected them to be on the level with Ohio State because they hadn't been that program for a while even before joining the BIG.
 

MplsGopher

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Not going to debate the merits of expansion but the decision to add them was not just about football. And I don't think many expected them to be on the level with Ohio State because they hadn't been that program for a while even before joining the BIG.
Then what other merits did Nebraska get selected on????

At the time it was AAU, sure. But it was a lousy research school, and it later would get kicked out of the AAU for that very reason.

Tiny market. Missouri would be much larger, for example.
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

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Neb was a great addition.

They fit in nicely.


Can't add TV markets for marketing sake all the time, that would be stupid.

Play it like the NFL and next thing you know you are cutting teams and traditions, you are competing with the NFL and College Football is dead.
 

MplsGopher

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Neb was a great addition.

They fit in nicely.


Can't add TV markets for marketing sake all the time, that would be stupid.

Play it like the NFL and next thing you know you are cutting teams and traditions, you are competing with the NFL and College Football is dead.
Sure .... but didn't we already have Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Purdue, Indiana, Michigan ..... do I need to name the rest? Really, Minnesota and NW were the only Big Ten teams at the time located in NFL markets.
 

touchdownvikings

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Let's cut them some slack. Unlike the other teams that have been mentioned in this thread, the Nebraska citizenry are absolutely committed to bringing an Ohio State level program to the B1G. I agree that the conditions that prevailed in the 80's and mid-90's do not and will not prevail now or again. That said, they are adapting and remaining committed and focused. I'd give them time.

Agreed about academics/research. They need to step up their game there. At the time the B1G took them in, there was no mistake that they did not fit in from that aspect - they are a few steps behind. Pressure needs to be applied to have them catch up in terms of becoming a high quality academic and research institute.

Finally, the people of Nebraska are high quality. Best around. Minnesota Nice, one might say. No qualms there. Nebraskans fit right in and improve the culture when compared to the fans of some other (unnamed) programs!
 

Bob_Loblaw

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Then what other merits did Nebraska get selected on????

At the time it was AAU, sure. But it was a lousy research school, and it later would get kicked out of the AAU for that very reason.

Tiny market. Missouri would be much larger, for example.
The idea of Rutgers bringing in a market is silly. There are likely more people in NYC that are Nebraska football fans than Rutgers. Nebraska certainly brings in more more viewers to the BTN.

You do not need to live in a city that has a Big 10 team to get a lot of subscriptions to the BTN.
 

West Fargo Gopher Fan

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They misspelled Rutgers.

I dont care about the #1 media market talk. Nobody on the east coast watches Rutgers football either.
 

MplsGopher

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The idea of Rutgers bringing in a market is silly. There are likely more people in NYC that are Nebraska football fans than Rutgers. Nebraska certainly brings in more more viewers to the BTN.

You do not need to live in a city that has a Big 10 team to get a lot of subscriptions to the BTN.
That's not how it worked, though.

Adding Rutgers enabled BTN to be on every cable system in the state of New Jersey. That's a lot of cable subscribers. Still is, even though the numbers are going down.

How many cable subscribers were in the state of Nebraska? Doesn't matter if you went to undergrad in Lincoln and then moved to NYC, the cable system there won't add BTN for you just because you did.
 

Pompous Elitist

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Mentioned this in the Week 5 other games thread, but want to state it more forcefully, and see if anyone cares to comment (agree, disagree, bring up other facts or opinions, tell me I'm an idiot, and such). So without further ado:


I grow more firm in my conviction that adding Nebraska was the worst mistake in Big Ten history.

Never was a worthy academic/research school. Tiny market. Maryland and Rutgers have these in spades, at least.

They were supposed to deliver an Ohio St level football program, and have absolutely failed. The conditions that allowed them to succeed 15-20 years ago are gone and are never coming back. I believe its ceiling on the football field is somewhere in the spectrum of NW to Iowa. I don't think it can achieve Wisconsin levels of success. Zero chance at achieving Ohio St levels.
I see this continually brought up but not sure it matters that much for...sports.

Wisconsin was smoked by Ohio State 59-0 a few years ago and hasn’t really been competitive on a national level in terms of CFP. They can stay?

These things ie program success are cyclical. Nebraska dumped a pretty good coach, brought in Mr Rogers and are still recovering. Michigan is still recovering from the RichRod and Hoke eras. Ohio State will (probably) not always be the top team in the conference. Look at FSU, Florida, Clemson, USC...things change, worsen, improve.

Nebraska is bad right now but may not be bad forever. Fair to hate their coach and program.
 

Bob_Loblaw

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That's not how it worked, though.

Adding Rutgers enabled BTN to be on every cable system in the state of New Jersey. That's a lot of cable subscribers. Still is, even though the numbers are going down.

How many cable subscribers were in the state of Nebraska? Doesn't matter if you went to undergrad in Lincoln and then moved to NYC, the cable system there won't add BTN for you just because you did.
To the best of my knowledge, and I've lived all over the country, BTN is part of every just normal sports package. It doesn't matter where I live. I have an apartment in PA, and basic cable does not include BTN, but the sports package includes BTN. It's the EXACT same way in California. It's been that exact same way in every other place I've lived.

Also, more people probably watched last night's game (at least the first couple quarters) than all of the Rutgers games combined. Nebraska has generated more big games than Rutgers has and it's not even close.
 

Face The Facts

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The OP is wrong.

Nebraska was a great add to further bolster the Big Ten's national brand.
It was necessary and has paid great dividends.

Nebraska fans are passionate, but more importantly, they are dispersed through several large markets including Chicago. In the building of the BTN, passionate fans like Nebraska were needed to get the larger, nationwide exposure.

Rutgers can be ripped on for many reasons, but getting on all the TV's in NJ and maybe more in NY has definitely paid off, as has MD in the DC area.

The Big Ten is the largest national brand of any college conference despite the football not being of the level of the SEC, or the basketball being equal to the ACC.
But adding Nebraska was needed greatly to provide more western and central / southern exposure.

Nebraska coming to the Big Ten got the entire Big 12 country watching Big Ten football because Nebraska was either loved or hated. Just like if OSU or Michigan changed conferences now, the rest of the Big Ten would watch to hope they sucked.
 

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I have no problem with Nebraska. Great atmosphere but they are never going to be what they were. We have so many advantages over them. We should beat them on a consistent level.
 

Face The Facts

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To the best of my knowledge, and I've lived all over the country, BTN is part of every just normal sports package. It doesn't matter where I live. I have an apartment in PA, and basic cable does not include BTN, but the sports package includes BTN. It's the EXACT same way in California. It's been that exact same way in every other place I've lived.

Also, more people probably watched last night's game (at least the first couple quarters) than all of the Rutgers games combined. Nebraska has generated more big games than Rutgers has and it's not even close.
The number of "Big Games" it provides is meaningless.

The battle BTN had up front was getting on the right number of cable sports packages as necessary to make BTN happen.

Does the West Coast care about the original Big 10 teams? Not enough to include on a sport package.
Add Penn St... okay, getting close.
Add Nebraska... okay, now we're getting phone calls that it needs to be an option. They had to get that percentage high enough in all of these non-Big Ten areas to make it a national brand, and adding Nebraska did that.
 

Spoofin

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Worse than adding Rutgers?

I'd gladly swap out Rutgers (or even Nebraska) for Missouri.
I haven’t read anything but the thread title, but my thoughts exactly. Adding Rutgers and Maryland both was a joke.


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Coburn

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At the time I wanted Missouri and Kansas instead of Maryland and Rutgers, and I still do!
 

maroonfive

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At the time I wanted Missouri and Kansas instead of Maryland and Rutgers, and I still do!
Maybe. The divisions would be different but they would make great easy road trips. I really have no desire to go to New Jersey or Maryland.
 

Spoofin

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At the time I wanted Missouri and Kansas instead of Maryland and Rutgers, and I still do!
Kansas would be fun for basketball, but in no other way is a good fit, IMO.


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hungan1

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Missouri would have been my pick. Nebraska is within our geographical neighborhood.

Nebraska fans travel well. Let them bring all that moolah to spread around town. The Twin Cities must be a favorite destination. I would not be surprised if a lot of Cornhusker alumni settled here in the Twin Cities.
 

mkAz

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I don't have any issues with Nebraska being added. A bigger mistake was dividing the conference into 2 divisions.
 

MplsGopher

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I see this continually brought up but not sure it matters that much for...sports.

Wisconsin was smoked by Ohio State 59-0 a few years ago and hasn’t really been competitive on a national level in terms of CFP. They can stay?

These things ie program success are cyclical. Nebraska dumped a pretty good coach, brought in Mr Rogers and are still recovering. Michigan is still recovering from the RichRod and Hoke eras. Ohio State will (probably) not always be the top team in the conference. Look at FSU, Florida, Clemson, USC...things change, worsen, improve.

Nebraska is bad right now but may not be bad forever. Fair to hate their coach and program.
My argument is that being as good as Iowa would not be good enough for the Big Ten to add them. They would've been rejected. They added them because they thought it was going to be Ohio St level of program.

The Big Ten says research and academics matters when selecting schools. Nebraska superficially met the bar, on the surface, because they were in the AAU at the time.

Now if the Big Ten one day adds a school like Oklahoma, we'll know that academics/research mean absolutely jack ___ to the conference "brand".
 
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