Friday, July 1, 2011
Huskers, Buffs are (officially) gone
By ESPN.com staff
We said our goodbyes on the blog in February, but today is officially the day: Nebraska is no longer a member of the Big 12 and joins the Big Ten.
Colorado, meanwhile, leaves the Big 12 for the Pac-12, joining fellow new member Utah.
We said goodbye before basketball and baseball seasons and school years were finished, but the official move goes down today.
We won't have any sort of fireworks around these parts, but Brian and Adam over on the Big Ten blog will be welcoming Nebraska, and Ted will be commemorating the official birth of the Pac-12 on the ... Pac-12 blog.
Anyway, now seems like a good time to take a look back at our tearful goodbyes to the Buffs and Huskers before spring ball, if you missed it.
Here's all the Goodbye, Nebraska, coverage in one place.
And all the Goodbye, Colorado, coverage.
And a few highlights, if you'd like:
What I'll miss about Nebraska
The fans. Easily No. 1 on my list. Huskers fans are everywhere. Home and away, I can't go anywhere on campus on a game weekend without running into Huskers fans. They email endlessly. They know and love their team. As a group, they're what every fan base should aspire to be. ...
Rittenberg vs. Ubben: Blog debate on Nebraska's move
Throwing the bones. It's an individual celebration, but at the same time, a nod to all the greats that came before them. It's great to see any time a Blackshirt throws them in a game after a big play.
Rittenberg: How contentious did things get at the end with Nebraska and the Big 12?
Q&A on Nebraska's departure
Ubben: "Quite" probably doesn't do it justice, but suffice it to say, Nebraska welcomed the end of the Big 12 era. Ever since the Big 8 became the Big 12, Nebraska hasn't quite been as happy with the Texas-centric nature of the league. The league offices moved from Kansas City to Dallas and the Big 12 Championship was set to be played at Cowboys Stadium for the next three years before Colorado and Nebraska left. That's not why Nebraska is leaving, but it didn't help establish much good faith toward the Huskers. It's a mischaracterization to say they're running "from" the Big 12, but rather they're running "to" the Big Ten.
The action on the field didn't help ease the transition. Nebraska was the only team that had a player suspended for a helmet-to-helmet hit all season, and there were plenty of controversial calls in the Huskers' second loss of the season, on the road against Texas A&M. Their final two losses were mostly free of controversy, but like I said, Nebraska's bags are packed and it's definitely excited about the future.
DU: Nebraska's biggest asset is its fan base. People like to knock Huskers fans for being a bit full of themselves, but they have reason to be. They're going to rival any team in the Big Ten when it comes to traveling for road games. Prepare yourselves for a sea of red in your stadiums when Nebraska comes.
One big reason? It might be tougher to get a ticket to see the Huskers in Lincoln. Every single home game has been sold out since Nov. 3, 1962, a streak of 311 games. That's an NCAA record, of course. The ones who do make it into Memorial Stadium on fall Saturdays enter under permanent signs that read "Through these gates pass the Greatest Fans in College Football."
Is it obnoxious? Yes. Will it turn off a few opposing fans? Most definitely.
But I would argue that it's not inaccurate.
What I'll miss about Colorado
The view. I live in Dallas, which, if you've ever been, is not the most mountainous of terrains. Colorado's campus, however, sits at the base of a Rocky Mountains peak, and you see plenty more mountains to your west just about everywhere you go in the city. It's easily the most picturesque campus in the Big 12.
Ralphie. Give me the big buff in a death match between any Big 12 mascots. Before every game, Ralphie romps around Folsom Field with the help of his trainers, who keep him from getting too out of hand. Bevo down in Austin might get the press these days, but Ralphie's game-day run is one of the best pregame traditions in college football.