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Corn Flakes: The Annual "Who's Your Rival?" Bit

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It's time once again for the annual "Who's Your Rival" column where I ask you,

Hey, who's YOUR rival?

If you answer "Oklahoma", you'd damned well better be over 60. I mean it.

Otherwise, there is no excuse for hanging on to Oklahoma as a rival. They jilted us for Texas when the Big 12 was formed in 1994. That was 21 years ago. If you cannot get past Oklahoma not longer being our rival I have to guess the you have serious long-term relationship problems in the rest your life.

If you answer "Wisconsin", I have to wonder if you're saying that because of Barry Alvarez. I get it, Barry Alvarez to Barry Switzer, kind of like finding another boy/girl just like the one that just dumped you because change is really scary.

Maybe it's because they're red. Maybe it's because they are known for running the ball. Maybe it's because they like beer, cheese and sausages. Maybe it's because they're in our division and we'll play them every season.

All of those would be valid reasons for picking Wisconsin.

If you answer "Northwestern", congratulations! You've probably pick the closest thing to a real rival that we have now in the Big Ten. We're 3-2 against the Wildcats since joining the Big Ten, with four of the five games being within three points.

Northwestern is the university, academically, that Nebraska would most like to emulate, and I can guess that their debate team would like to kick our asses. Northwestern and Nebraska are the only two FBS schools who have yet to win an NCAA tourney game in basketball.

It's like we're brothers.

If you answer Minnesota, you must really like history.

If you answer Iowa, what you congratulations, you've just chosen the dreaded MANUFACTURED RIVALRY, which because it is a MANUFACTURED RIVALRY means that it can't be a rivalry at all... at least, according to some people.

Contrarians. That's who does that kind of stuff, thinks that way, I ought to know because I'm one of them. Even a contrarian should take a look at their own views once in a while and determine whether or not they're right, to determine whether or not they're healthy, and if they're not, throw them away.

In this case it doesn't matter if Iowa is a manufactured rivalry.

Who doesn't hate Iowa?

They're stinky. They're black and gold just like some formal rivals from a past life who were also stinky; all of you who have problems with change might find some comfort in that.

Here we are with a shot at spoiling Iowa's best season in their school history with our worst team in more than a lifetime. You can live off that a long time if you're a Nebraska fan living around Iowa fans.

If you answered All Of The Above, congratulations! You chosen the most correct answer of them all!

I don't understand the concept of only having a single rival. This isn't a marriage. There is no requirement we have a single rival, although you do have to narrow it down a little to make some teams special.*

Teams in the Big Ten have multiple rivals. Minnesota plays Michigan for the Little Brown Jug, Iowa for Floyd of Rosedale and Wisconsin for Paul Bunyan's Axe. Indiana plays Purdue for the Old Oaken Bucket and Michigan State for the Old Brass Spittoon.

We've always been so stuffy about this, as if we're giving away something so special by declaring someone a rival. It's not that big a deal, is it?

Iowa a rival?

Damned straight they are, especially this year.

*Recall the following conversation from The Incredibles:

Helen: Everyone's special, Dash.

Dash: [muttering] Which is another way of saying no one is.

Stuff

Wisconsin football: Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez pens letters to football season ticket holders - Bucky's 5th Quarter
A message from Alvarez about fans' conduct during Saturday's loss.

Wisconsin football: Paul Chryst addresses Big Ten ruling on Jazz Peavy catch, preparation for Minnesota - Bucky's 5th Quarter
It's Axe Week, and UW's head coach talks about the rivalry.

Know Your Foe, Week 13: Michigan State Spartans - Black Shoe Diaries
Sparty is playing for a trip to Indianapolis. Can Penn State get in their way?

Les Miles' biggest problem is obvious: he isn't Nick Saban. - SBNation.com
What do the numbers say? Not about the excellent job Miles has done in his entire time at LSU, but the job he is doing now?

The case for Les Miles as Maryland's next head football coach - Testudo Times
Is this happening? Nope. Would it be absolutely incredible if it did? Yes, so let's have some fun.

No. 1 ranking in sight for Maryland men's basketball - Testudo Times
Maryland men's basketball's first-ever No. 1 ranking is within their grasp after Northern Iowa's upset win over UNC.

Rutgers Falls To Creighton 85-75 - On the Banks
The Scarlet Knights ran out of gas last night in Vegas.

Big Ten Football: Chaos, & So Much To Say - Off Tackle Empire
B1G Talking Points, Oh My!

A guide to not giving a damn for the whole state of Michigan - Land-Grant Holy Land
Are you doing your part in the war against That State Up North?

Indiana at Purdue Bucket Game - Game Day Vitals - Hammer and Rails
IU is poised to win the Bucket for the 3rd year in a row.

Minnesota Football vs Wisconsin: AXE WEEK IS HERE!!! - The Daily Gopher
Paul Bunyan's Axe is on the line as the Gophers close out the season(?) against their hated border rival, the Wisconsin Badgers.

Indiana Hoosiers bowl forecast: Pinstripe, Gator Bowls possible landing spots at 6-6, good chance to reach bowl game at 5-7 - The Crimson Quarry
After six near-misses in a row, Indiana needs two wins in a row over the Big Ten's basement to reach a bowl game. Or maybe not.

Ezekiel Elliott was right. Ohio State should have given him the dang ball - SBNation.com
Ohio State's star running back nailed it. The Buckeyes saw a 20-plus game win streak end because they failed to use their strengths and failed to attack Michigan State's weaknesses.

Iowa State's coaching hire should be outside-the-box. We recommend Bob Stitt. - SBNation.com
The Cyclones need someone different, and Bob Stitt sure is different.

Scott Shafer reportedly fired as Syracuse coach - SBNation.com
Shafer's team is 3-8 this year.

Paul Rhoads: A Cyclone to the Very End - Wide Right & Natty Lite
The Paul Rhoads era will ultimately come to a disappointing close, but the now-former Iowa State head coach should be remembered for the highs during his tenure, as well as his enduring character.

Former Wall Street CEO Joe Moglia is the kind of football coach Syracuse should hire - SBNation.com
The Orange need to try something new.

Big Ten Network hits the NYC jackpot worth tens of millions of dollars
When the Big Ten added Rutgers and Maryland, the college sports world scratched their collective heads.  Here were two schools that had little to no previous connection to the conference, a mediocre athletic resume (especially where it counts in football), and a distant geographic relationship with the other Big Ten schools.

Nebraska

Brown: No. 3 Iowa awaits CFP fate, Black Friday game
IOWA CITY, Ia. — There are two undefeated Football Bowl Subdivision teams remaining. Iowa is one of them. Imagine predicting that when fall camp started in August.

Healthy Huskers' Linebackers Look Forward to Friday
It's going to be a linebacker sorta game on Friday, just the way the Huskers' Michael Rose-Ivey likes it.

Then There's This

Our Ugly Christmas Shirts are now a reality. Crewneck Sweatshirts along with t-shirts!