Big Ten Countdown - 13: Triskaidekaphobia

Husker fans are well aware of Tom Osborne's resistance to the Big 12 establishing a championship game when the conference was formed. His view - it would make getting to a national championship game that much more difficult - panned out over the years of the conference. Osborne's prediction was correct - several Big 12 teams failed to reach national championship games because of the title game.

First was '96 Nebraska, struck down 37-27 by Texas and James Brown on a fourth down roll left play. In 1998 Kansas State came into the game undefeated, poised for the greatest season in their school's history, only to be upset by Texas A&M 36-33 in double overtime. 2001 saw Texas lose to Colorado 39-37 as Chris Simms stunk up the first half, throwing four interceptions. Texas' national title chances went out the window.

In 2007, it was Missouri's turn. The Tigers brought a #1 BCS ranking into the game, then had their dreams smashed in a 38-17 loss to Oklahoma.

The only one to escape a loss in the 13th game with their season intact was 2003 Oklahoma, who got blasted 35-7 by Kansas State, then went on to play in a national title game against LSU, which they lost, 21-14.

It's ironic that with the addition of Nebraska, the Big Ten will feature a championship game while the Big 12 will not. The path to a national title has been made doubly easier for teams like Oklahoma - not having to play the conference title game (or Nebraska) while the Big Ten's path has become more difficult.

The years of shared Big Ten titles are gone, not so much because of 12, but because of 13. Is it unlucky? Is it to be feared? Or will it ultimately make the conference stronger, resulting in jumping over potential Big 12 teams in the BCS calculations at the end of the season? 

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