Do you remember some time around 2001-2002, Nebraska went through a uniform change? They changed the pants, if I remember correctly. Put stripes on them that weren't there for most of the 90s when the pants were pure red. Or maybe they had one stripe, then changed it to two. Or they added a couple of stripes to the jersey instead of the pants.
I'll be honest, I never followed it that closely. As long as the helmet stays white with the red "N" (that stands for knowledge, hyuk!), I'm fine. But that wasn't true for everyone. Husker fans got freaky about it. They loved the stripes, hated the stripes. It didn't matter what it was, people were complaining, although pretty much everyone hated the all white uniforms.
I'm bringing this up because it's always struck me how crazy people get when anything changes in the football program. This year I doubt anyone is really worried about the uniforms. With all the talk about conference expansion and whether the Big 12 can survive, worrying about uniforms seems a bit silly.
Harvey Perlman and Tom Osborne may have to worry about things the bottom line, academic fit, and the affects a conference change might have on the other 21 sports besides football, but you and I don't. The biggest barrier to Nebraska moving to another conference is emotional. It's an attachment, a familiarity in playing Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State and Missouri every season (is anyone really attached to Colorado?). It's in looking forward to going back to a favorite restaurant or bar in Ames every two years because you've been there so many times before.
Knowing how crazy fans can get about something as simple as uniforms, you'd think that Osborne would have one helluva sales job in convincing the fan base that the move is a good one if the decision were made to join another conference. Thing is, he might not have to do a sales job at all. If the change comes, the Husker fan base might have already talked themselves into it.
The timing couldn't be any better. That second put back on the clock came against Texas, a school that's already drawn the ire of Nebraskans by stacking the Big 12 conference in their favor. The yearly rivalry with Oklahoma has been gone for years, leaving Nebraska without a true rival. There's a continual move towards Texas - the conference headquarters and the talk of Dallas hosting the Big 12 title game every season - that might give Husker fans the idea that the people who are running the conference don't give a damn about anyone else but Texas.
Even the coverage of the sport has changed to the point that college football fans want to consume it year round, despite there not being a whole bunch going on during the offseason. That alone could affect the attitude of the fans, as they might have resolved themselves and accepted the change before it even happens.
Bottom line - If the change to another conference happens, are you ready for it? Or will you miss going to Lawrence or Manhattan every other year? Is there a whole lot about the Big 12 you'd really miss, or are you ready to leave it all behind?