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ESPN's Jake Trotter: Nebraska Should Move Back To The Big 12 Conference

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Need clicks? Just wrangle up realignment things.

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So, as you're going about your Thursday afternoon, Jake Trotter of ESPN's Big 12 Conference beat decides to kick a hornets nest with the Nebraska Cornhuskers fan base.

Boren's comments yesterday about wanting the Big 12 to go back to it's namesake of 12 teams were the talk of the College Football landscape. However, something that was not really noticed until today was a team on the bottom of the piece. Not the BYU's or Boise's or such joining the league. No, Trotter thinks that Nebraska, yes your Nebraska, would like to come back to where they once were before they split (by choice, mind you) to the Big Ten Conference.

3. Least likely: Get the band back together

Put a truth serum in many Nebraska fans, and they would probably admit their realignment to the Big Ten hasn’t been what they hoped it would be.

The Huskers have fallen into second-tier status in the Big Ten. They're in the division opposite Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State, which reduces their number of marquee games.

Nebraska once played one of college football's most storied rivalry games against Oklahoma. Today, Nebraska's big rival is Iowa, which barely moves the needle in Lincoln, much less the rest of the country.

Nebraska left the Big 12 primarily over its frustrations with the leadership at Texas. But since Nebraska's exit, the Longhorns have hired a president, a new athletic director and a new football coach.

If the Huskers completely soured on their Big Ten experience, maybe they would be open to reconciliation. One thing is for sure: The Big 12 would welcome them back with open arms.

I'm trying to figure out this whole statement, so it's best to break it down into sections and comment about it.

Put a truth serum in many Nebraska fans, and they would probably admit their realignment to the Big Ten hasn’t been what they hoped it would be.

The Huskers have fallen into second-tier status in the Big Ten. They're in the division opposite Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State, which reduces their number of marquee games.

The interesting thing about this statement is that Trotter (as well as others that talk realignment) seem to forget that it's more than just Nebraska Football, although it's obvious that football is the BIG DEAL.

Nebraska, while not being in a loaded Big Ten East, is in the top level of the West with a Wisconsin team that has been pretty good, but not unbeatable (except for a Jet Sweep and handoff left, handoff right).

If you're blaming Geography for Nebraska not being in the better division now, how about then when Nebraska was the most Northern team in the B12, keeping them from playing Oklahoma & Texas every year? Or does the argument not matter now?

Nebraska once played one of college football's most storied rivalry games against Oklahoma. Today, Nebraska's big rival is Iowa, which barely moves the needle in Lincoln, much less the rest of the country.

With due respect to the Hawkeyes, the reason it's a big "rivalry" is that the winner gets a trophy from Hy-Vee. But, at least we can say that we play our "rival" every year in the Big 10, unlike seeing Oklahoma for 2 years and out for 2 years. But again, revisionist history, correct?

One thing you can say about the Nebraska/Iowa game is that both teams want to make their season and beat the other. Or Wisconsin/Nebraska. Hell, the Minnesota/Nebraska game is getting to that point.

Nebraska left the Big 12 primarily over its frustrations with the leadership at Texas. But since Nebraska's exit, the Longhorns have hired a president, a new athletic director and a new football coach.

This is like saying you didn't like a restaurant because you didn't like the head chef, owner, and GM. They may all change, but at the same time, the eatery still serves the same dishes and gives you the service you hated. So what really changed?

I'm trying to figure out what's different in the Big Ten that was not the case in the Big 12 off of what Trotter said. And, to be honest, I can't think of one thing that says "ya know, he's right".

Nebraska left the Big 12 cause it wanted fair. Plus, they will be rolling in the money with the 13 other schools when Jim Delany dictates the next TV deal. Granted, Nebraska will be getting as much as each school did in the Big 12, but there's that whole Longhorn Network thing. How much more is the LHN worth for Texas that not every other school gets in the conference?

That's a lot, and I would imagine that Nebraska's third tier would be around Oklahoma. You can say that Nebraska would be at a full share in the B12, and that's a fair argument. However, the Nebraska AD is more than content to share the wealth AND the vote.

If the Huskers completely soured on their Big Ten experience, maybe they would be open to reconciliation. One thing is for sure: The Big 12 would welcome them back with open arms.

You know who would welcome Nebraska back with open arms? Iowa St., the Kansas schools, and maybe, just maybe Texas. ABC and Fox Midwest PPV would love Nebraska back. AD's of Northern schools that can't sell out their stadiums w/o Nebraska being there would welcome them back.

But the whole conference? I doubt that one. Ask Colorado if they miss Nebraska on Thanksgiving Day.

Does Nebraska miss the Big 12? There are those that do, but that number seems to get smaller as the days go by.