It's Championship Weekend! On one hand, I would obviously have loved for my team to have been playing this weekend, but as you all predicted so wisely here on OTE, as well as almost every single B1G SBNation Blog that you frequent, Nebraska had some *ahem* issues at times while traversing through their first slate of Big Ten games. As the new guy, I have not had a lot to offer this year as far as advice. After all, what do I know about all of the traditions, stadiums, and practices that make up the B1G? Not a lot.
What I do have, however, is a little bit of experience on the ins and outs of this Conference Championship Game business. Coming from the Big XII has taught me a few things about losing the big game. To repay all the kindness the B1G fans have shown us Huskers, I am here to offer some advice. I mean, let's face it, Nebraska has had its fair share of CCG losses, and if there is something I can offer, it's how to lose the game as a fan with style. So, Badger and Spartan fans, I give you KennardHusker's Fan Guide to Losing the Conference Championship Game.
Step One: Prepare Yourself Ahead of Time
- They say that survival starts with preparation. With that in mind, make sure you are prepared for the worst. As Bama pointed out earlier, the loser of this game is probably going to hate their postseason situation. Is it fair that Spa... I mean, the loser of the CCG gets picked fourth in the pecking order? Nope, that pretty much sucks. Still, that's what you get for losing the game in the first place. I presented this theory early on when I started writing for OTE. Losing the CCG is worst than not going at all if you're still in a position to make a BCS bowl.
Historical Context: Remember that one time Missouri beat Kansas, made the Championship game and the right to get worked by Oklahoma. As a reward for that, they watched their rival go to a BCS game. Ask them about it, I'm sure they're still pleased.
- Another part of surviving is the part after you've lost and everyone you talked trash to asks for you to answer for those comments. I recommend having excuses prepared now.
If you're a Spartan fan, remember this phrase: "It's really hard to beat the same team twice in one season." Repeat that with me, "IT'S REALLY HARD TO BEAT THE SAME TEAM TWICE IN ONE SEASON." I myself have used this time and time again, and it is hard to refute. I mean, it really IS difficult to beat the same team twice in one season. Spartan fans might also start gearing up the, "If this were the old Big Ten, we would have won this season outright," defense. I'm not the biggest fan of that one, but hey, it works.
As for Badger fans? Well, just remember that Michigan State are a bunch of injury-faking cheaters, right? If all else fails, just blame the officials. Nebraska knows that one well.
Historical Context: 00:01... damn refs*
*not really, it was the right call... still.
Step Two: Look at the Bright Side
- Look, I know that nobody is giving Sparty a chance under the sun except for MSU alums, those who hate Wisconsin and cannot choose them in a picks contest, and that guy in the van down by the river... Still, look at the bright side, nobody generally chose Nebraska to win the CCG the last two years they were in the Big XII, and that wasn't such a bad thing. Oh wait, Nebraska lost both of those games. Who likes these stupid postseason games anyways? Let's move on.
Historical Context: I'm sure there are a bunch of times an underachieving ACC or Big East team rises up to take down the heavy favorite in the Conference Championship Game. Let me be perfectly honest and point out that I really don't care about the ACC or Big East Championship Games, and honestly, neither do the ACC or Big East usually.
- Badger fans, I know that you were really excited about this being a special year. 11 wins, and a Rose Bowl berth would still be pretty awesome. Don't lose hope. I mean, nothing bad ever happens to the Badgers when they're heavily favored and in a big game, right?
Step Three: Embrace the Five Stages of Grief
- Okay, we all know this is only a game, but I have always found that having a month until you play the next game after a bitter loss to a conference foe is always best experienced if you go through all five stages of grief. Oh, and yes, I've nested stages inside of my steps. Deal with it. Here is a sample format:
1. Denial - "I cannot believe they lost this game. Unbelievable."
2. Anger - "No, seriously, how the hell did they lose this game?!?!"
3. Bargaining - [insert hail mary joke here]
4. Depression - "The Insight Bowl? Why bother. Obviously we don't belong in a bowl after losing."
5. Acceptance - "I guess we'll be okay. At least we're not Illinois."