This weekend is college football's rivalry week.
Notre Dame vs. USC. Florida vs. Florida State. The Iron Bowl. The Dual in the Desert. The Civil War. The Battle of the Palmetto State. The Game.
Such rivalries beg the question, who is Nebraska's rival? Currently, Nebraska has none, and I won't attempt to guess at the future. Rivalries aren't about the future; they are about the past. Memorable moments. Triumphs and defeats that are burned into the memory of both schools. With this in mind, let's look back at Nebraska's rival, and it's "rivals."
Nebraska once had the greatest rivalry in all of college football. Every time you hear "game of the century" because #1 is playing #2, it's merely in homage to the real Game of the Century, between Nebraska and Oklahoma. Nebraska vs. Oklahoma was often played for the Big 8 Championship, and often determined who would play for the National Championship. Then Oklahoma left us. They became our "Great White Buffalo," that girl you lost, never to have again. When the Big 12 was formed, Oklahoma was down. Way down. And Nebraska was up. Way up. Greatest-4-year-span-in-college-football-history up. They decided it wouldn't be a good idea to play Nebraska every year, and things were never the same for the Big Red.
When Oklahoma left us, our Great White Buffalo was replaced by a literal Buffalo. Colorado took Oklahoma's place on the schedule for our annual Black Friday game, and like Professor Chaos, declared that they were our new rival.
However, rivalries aren't started or declared. They grow naturally from a mutual animosity and frequent, meaningful clashes. Colorado was never tough enough to be our rival.
The loss of the Great White Buffalo made it easier to leave the Big 12 when the Big 10 opened its doors. Nebraska's exit started a domino effect, killing more rivalries. Texas vs. Texas A&M. Kansas vs. Missouri. Pitt vs. West Virginia. Utah vs. BYU. All huge rivalries, all fell victim to the realignment initiated by Nebraska's move to the Big Ten. A move that was only made possible by the end of OU/NU.
Iowa took Colorado's place as our rebound school from the OU break-up. But the Hawkeyes don't want a rivalry with Nebraska. And Nebraska is to consistently good to have a rivalry with the Hawks.
So like all single people on Valentines Day, Nebraska attends rivalry week alone.
Nebraska is unrivaled.