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Friday, July 1, 2011

Nebraska Officially Joins the Big Ten

Approximately a half hour ago Nebraska officially became a member of the Big Ten Conference. They bring a lot to the conference, specifically in football. They are only one of six teams in Division I-A to win at least 800 games. On top of this they claim 5 national championships and 43 conference championships.

Though many, including myself, point to Michigan's program as more historically successful, Nebraska's football and athletic history can't be denied.

Obviously, the biggest change with Nebraska's addition is the new football conference championship game starting at the end of next season with the winners of the Leaders and Legends divisions (yes, I guess we all have to deal with these names now! haha). This is probably the best chance since Big Ten football will now be able to avoid have co-champions on a yearly basis.

As a student, Nebraska's academic standing did provide some concern. They are ranked #96 in the nation in terms of overall academics. No other Big Ten school was ranked below #71 by US News. So bringing in Nebraska did weaken the Big Ten's academic standing, but there is hope of improvement, especially with the addition to the Big Ten. Being academically compared to Michigan and Northwestern is a lot better than with Texas and Oklahoma.

So bottom line, this is a great pick-up for the Big Ten athletically and in national perception, but questionable academically. Luckily, the Big Ten Conference is an athletic conference so academics isn't the most important priority, but I do think it's important to note. Simply adding teams can have negative side-effects (although these are sure to be minimal if present at all).

I look forward to Nebraska and potentially a new rivalry,

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