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Berry Tramel: We're going to miss Nebraska in the Big 12

The Cornhuskers have moved to the Big Ten, and here are 11 things we'll miss now that they're gone.
by Berry Tramel Published: June 30, 2011

The sun rose Friday with an NBA lockout. Which is only the second-biggest bummer of the day.

The biggest? Nebraska now, officially, is in the Big Ten.

The Big 12 Conference stems from the Big Eight, which stemmed from the Big Seven, which stemmed from the Big Six, which was born in 1907 as the Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association with Nebraska as a charter member.

Oklahoma came aboard in 1921. So for 90 years, Husker teams have been crossing the Cimarron to play ballgames.

They will cross it no more. At least not in the foreseeable future. The Huskers are Big Ten-embedded, and after a year of bickering from both sides, maybe some have the wrong idea.

This is not a good thing. At least not for the Big 12. Maybe not for Nebraska, which will reap financial rewards but has lost its roots and its status as the big dog in an easy division. Things might work out for all parties, but no way will it be a good thing for the Big 12. You don't lose a brand like Nebraska and be the better for it.

Nobody south of the Nebraska City will miss the Husker complaining. From their once-classy fans to Tom Osborne, Nebraska's we've-been-wronged attitude has grown wearisome.

But this is not the day for that. This is a day to remember what we liked about Nebraska. What made the Huskers valuable neighbors for almost a century.

In honor of Nebraska's exit, here are a few things we'll miss about the Huskers. Since the Big 12 now has 10 teams, and the Big Ten has 12 teams, let's compromise and go with 11 things we'll miss about sharing a league with the Corn Kingdom:

1. The uniforms. Gotta love Nebraska's uniforms. Especially the road whites. With the red pants and the white helmet with the simple N, the Huskers were dressed elegantly as they proceeded to try to smash your face, often successfully.

2. The tunnel. It's one of college football's great traditions, Nebraska fans surrounding the visiting team underneath Memorial Stadium, applauding the enemy as it leaves the field after the game. Win or lose. That's the snapshot to remember. Not the knuckleheads who have taken over the fan base the last year.

3. Bo Pelini. Rats. This was going to be fun, a Youngstown rivalry, a Bob Stoops-Pelini battle in the Big 12 title game a good many Decembers. Pelini was the best kind of opposing coach. A guy you could work up a good hate for and a good respect for. Sort of like Stoops.

4. Old-fashioned offense. Texas eventually abandoned the option. So did Alabama. Finally, Oklahoma. But Nebraska clung to it into the 21st century; won a national title as recently as 1997 running option and played for a national title as recently as 2001 doing the same. The Huskers don't run the old option anymore, but now that Bill Callahan is gone, Nebraska has returned to smashmouth football. Not enough of that in the college game.

Tramel: Nebraska fans are happy

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by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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