10,000 scenarios aside, at some point you have to latch on to something you believe is real. There are two things I believe are real right now:
- Ohio State's president E. Gordon Gee is the biggest fool in this game.
And don't kid yourself, this is a huge game. We could be looking at changes that shape college football for years to come, and in Nebraska's case, throwing away decades of tradition. To say that's huge is a massive understatement.
Public figures know (or at least they should) that their emails are subject to Freedom of Information Act requests - requests from newspapers (media) that allow them access to information. If Gee is so obtuse that he'd use email to send messages about what's going on in this giant game, then he's the biggest fool around. These are the kind of conversations that people in power have on the phone, or in person so there is no paper trail.
You might think it's part of a Texas conspiracy, but, really, do they have as much power as they think they do? They're stuck with Texas A&M, Texas Tech, and possibly Baylor. It's not like they have carte blanche to do whatever they want. Perhaps we have Gee to thank for reminding us of that fact.
- I believe what Chip Brown is saying is the closest thing to the truth I've seen - that the Big 12's fate pretty much belongs in the hands of Nebraska.
I have to admit that earlier in this game I thought it was pretty much up to Missouri, but I believe now I wrong. (It's okay, after 20 years of marriage I can say that and still feel good about myself. In fact, every morning, I wake up and say "You're right, I'm sorry", just to get it out of the way.)
Nebraska has always been about doing things the right way. We provide an education to our athletes. Our graduation rates are always high, and the number of Academic All-Americans we have in sports are second to none. We haven't had a real NCAA scandal... ever? The closest thing we've had to wrongdoing was Tom Osborne not throwing Lawrence Phillips off the team, despite it being the easiest thing he could have done.
Nebraska has an athletic director that's making around $250k per year. He's the epitome of the words "public servant" when few seem to fit that bill. Compare that to Kansas Athletic Director Lew Perkins, who made $4.4M last year, is the subject of blackmail (‘cause apparently he was too broke to lease or just buy the workout equipment? Wait... what did I say about Gee? ), and disavowed all knowledge of a ticket scam that happened under his watch. You've got Texas, giving Mack Brown a raise to $5M.1 a year, despite the University of Texas cutting academic budgets.
If we abandon the Big 12, what happens to Iowa State, Kansas, and Kansas State? Forget for a moment your disgust over whether or not Texas controls the Big 12. I'd like (naively, I admit) to believe that college athletics is supposed to be about the student-athlete, about fair competition, and I'd like to think that members of congress believe that too. If tradition means nothing to universities, perhaps the feds can step in and remind them that they're supposed to be working for a higher cause.
With regards to Texas, well, Nebraska is 1-8 against Texas since the formation of the Big 12. Six of those losses are within four points or less. You can take that as a negative, but think about this for a second - four of those losses came when we've been at the worst we've been in years. If we leave the Big 12 now, we won't have the chance to set that record straight.
We're RISING. We're getting better. We're taking steps to be back amongst the best teams in the nation. Don't you think we should stick around and get Texas back for all the heartache they've caused us over the past ten years?
Brown is wrong about one thing, though. Does anyone really think we'd dump the Big 12 without knowing that there's an invite already available to the Big 10?
One more thing I'll point out that'll make your week start on a good note. Aren't you glad that it's Tom Osborne helping in this decision process, and not Steve Pederson? There. No, go ahead and have a good week no matter what happens.