Countdown To 2012: Rivals Rival Everywhere But Here!

This photo has nothing to do with Big Ten rivalries other than - they played for a pig, a jug, a bucket, a spittoon, but they never played for women?

Sticking with our theme of "What I Learned In Our First Year of the B1G"....

Before Nebraska arrived, I didn't realize how many Big Ten teams had rivals, and how many permutations of those rivals there were. I'm not going to list B1G rivalries and trophies here, it's too complex, and too elaborate, and you don't care anyway, do you? It's just safest to assume that everyone is a rival with everyone else and the intensity of that rivalry being dependent upon how egregious the act was that created it in the first place.

Did you know that in Iowa and Minnesota, pigs were incredibly valuable years ago? The same goes for brown jugs, spittoons and oaken buckets - practically worthless now, except those extremely few pieces that were preserved. One wonders why they didn't play for an old mattress, a worn out shoe, a shotgun, and Fielding Yost's hat.

Nebraska has zero rivals now. Oh, Iowa, sure. Penn State was designated as a rival, a designation which now has become resentment for a fair amount of Husker fans because of what happened over there in Happy Valley. I'm sure a few would rather someone else were carrying that burden, but to do that you'd have to give it to someone else, which means we'd have to break up another long-established Big Ten tradition someone else owns. That's not very new-guyish, is it?

The lack of a rival is nothing new, really. It's just a matter of how thick a head you have. Most Husker fans would count Oklahoma as a rival, but the Sooners haven't been a rival since the Big 12 was formed. Missouri, Kansas State and Colorado were much closer to being rivalries than Oklahoma, but, alas, just like Minnesota fans can sometimes talk about all those championships they won back before '39, Nebraska fans tend to get hung up on the past.

One thing is certain. You cannot wish someone a rival any more than you can make someone fall in love with you.

If you want to get someone to fall in love with you, you generally have to be a giving person. I have zero interest in giving our opponents anything but pain. I hope that Iowa and Penn State are as much rivals as Missouri was in the 80s and 90s. The same goes for the rest. I hope they come to hate us as much as they've hated each other over the years.

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