TB over at Bring On the Cats is a Nebraska native that went to Kansas State. I don't understand how that happened just like I don't understand how people become Democrats.
Nebraskans have this issue about rivalries. We see Oklahoma as our true rival, but we don't play them yearly any more. We do play Kansas State and Colorado on a yearly basis, and the TV powers that be forced Colorado on us because they wanted that game the day after Thanksgiving.
I asked TB to make the case for Kansas State being Nebraska's rival. I think he does it pretty well. Here you are.....
"Why should Nebraskans view Kansas State as our rival?"
"Because we are. The days of the yearly matchup against Oklahoma are gone, long gone. I went to a few of those games as a kid. I remember the feeling. But it just isn't the same when you don't get together every year.
K-State and Nebraska get together every year. For most of the first 11 years of this conference, those matchups had a lot to do with who won the North title.
- 1998: K-State defeats Nebraska for the first time since the Magna Carta was written. Coincidentally, the Cats also won the North.
- 2000: K-State defeats Nebraska, wins the North.
- 2003: K-State wins in Lincoln for the first time since Jesus walked the Earth, wins the North, eventually wins first conference championship since the time when World War I was just "the Big War."
- 1996: Nebraska beats up K-State, wins the first Big 12 North championship.
- 1997: Nebraska beats K-State, wins the North.
- 1999: Nebraska beats K-State, wins the North.
- 2006: Nebraska snaps eight-year losing streak in Manhattan, wins the North.
So just looking at that, the two teams have dominated Big 12 North football over the life of the conference. We have crowned 11 North champions, seven of them were either K-State or Nebraska. And yes, I know that Colorado has four North titles, but one of them they didn't deserve (70-3, anyone?) and they've only beaten Nebraska three times since the Big 12 was formed.
If that isn't enough, since the conference started K-State is 5-6 against Nebraska. The combined record of the other North schools against Nebraska in that time is a whopping 10-37. You have two conference titles, we have one.
Moving from the stats-oriented reasons to the more intangible reasons, K-State is the team that first began to pierce the Husker armor. When the winning streak fell in 1998, the Wildcats were the first team among the North foes to end long losing streaks to mighty Nebraska (outside of Colorado's little run toward the end of the Big 8 days). It continued in 2000 and, while helped by Colorado in 2001, ultimately culminated in 2003 when the Cats ended the centuries-long drought in Lincoln and, with it, Nebraska football as we knew it. Frank Solich and all the other longtime Huskers were fired, and a bunch of carpetbagging outsiders were brought in.
On an even more intangible level, there was always a certain feeling about the K-State/Nebraska game. It's kind of that feeling that goes along with every big game, but it was more than that. K-Staters lived under the thumb of the red scourge for so long that they were very, uhh, enthusiastic when the hex was broken. On the other side, a lot of Nebraska fans didn't like that uppity little school to the south getting out of its rightful place in the world. Not to mention, they did it the 'wrong way' with cupcake schedules and junior college transfers. So multiple nicknames for the budding purple powerhouse were formed, such as "K-Sucks/K-Stank/Gay-State (very intelligent)" among others. I haven't seen Nebraska fans demonstrate such outright hostility to anyone, other than maaaybe Colorado, although I did see a few "Methzou" comments thrown around on message boards before things really went south for the Huskers this year.
So in conclusion, we are your rival because, well, we are. A lot of your fans will never admit it, because they will never be able to bring themselves to think that K-State is on a competitive level with Nebraska, and that's fine. I've had to try and make the same adjustment with KU this year, and it's been a struggle (oh my, has it been a struggle). Nebraska fans, you may not want us to be your rival, but rest assured that as long as Ron Prince is here, his "Bold and Inconsistent" strategy will keep us competing with you for third place in the North.
And on a personal note, it's a big rivalry for me because I'm from Nebraska and my entire family lives in Nebraska and will never forgive me for going to K-State and turning purple. Ask my family if it's a rivalry when Christmas rolls around and they have to stare at that purple shirt with the Powercat on it when I show up."
CN: Man. If he was wearing a Purple Powercat shirt when he came to MY house for Christmas, I'd be feeding him some of that special eggnog.