Dear Nebraska, Welcome to the Big Ten

It's time to officially welcome Nebraska to the Big Ten, and OTE has decided to take on this awesome responsibility ourselves.  Over the course of the next couple of weeks, we'd like to give the mighty Cornhusker fanbase a one stop shop, if you will, on Big Ten teams, traditions, and some insight to the different venues in the conference.  Our goal is to make your transition to the Greatest Conference In All Of College Football as smooth as possible, and most importantly, we want you to feel welcome and at home when you travel to our stadiums to watch your team get their ass kicked as you make the rounds through Big Ten country.

 

Today we'll kick it off with your new employee official welcome/orientation letter, and in the coming days, an OTE blogger representing each school will write a post to give you the lay of the land.  But for now, just enjoy being in the Big Ten, and don't worry about the 2011 schedule.  That will take care of itself.

Dear Nebraska:

We'd like to welcome you to The Big Ten Conference, where you will be our, uh, 12th school.  Semantics, don't worry about it.  We are excited that you have accepted our offer and agreed upon your start date. I trust that this letter finds you mutually excited about your new employment with us.

As mentioned during the interviews, your acceptance means we will split the conference into two divisions, the Legends and Leaders.  Yeah, those names are pretty unpopular, but you should've seen what happened when we told the Big Ten alumni groups in Cairo and Madison.  Holy Shit, that so did not go as planned.  We think we'll change those sooner rather than later, but for 2011, it is what it is.  Right now, you're a ‘Legend', but each of us will play a role to ensure your successful integration into the conference.  We'd like to let you know about the conference, and we hope this orientation letter will help to answer any questions you might have about your new organization.  Before you start, we'd like to give you a little bit of info about your new conference members, and we'll start with the Legends division. 

Michigan will probably saddle up to you and start bragging about how awesome they are.  If this was 1911, they would be, but it's 2011, so the straw hat and raccoon coats really aren't that impressive anymore.  They really were the gold standard for a long time, but their work has really slipped.  Oh, ditto Minnesota.  The Gophers will tell you that you guys have a lot in common.  They'll mention that they have played you more than any other Big ten team, and then will quickly mention that they have a winning record over you.  Which is true, but most of those wins occurred before Nebraska was awarded statehood.  Your grandpa or great grandpa might remember those wins, but virtually no one else does.  Anyway, they fight over something called the Little Brown Jug, but it's a relatively one-sided affair.  Your desk will be right next to Iowa, and although your first impression of them might be forgettable, don't underestimate them--they're a pretty solid team in all facets of work.  They make the most of what they have, and they'll give you a run for your money week in and week out.  Very solid employee, those Hawkeyes, and they are one of the strongest teams in your department.  They hate Northwestern, although they veil that hate with a casual indifference.  For years, Iowa was just flat out better than the Wildcats, like they usually are with most of the conference; they knew it and Northwestern knew it.  But Northwestern got themselves a gym membership and took some wizardry classes at night, and lately, their work has just been flat out better. 

The aforementioned Minnesota sits on the other side of Iowa's desk, and that has bred a lot of contempt over the years.  Minnesota seems to think that everyone hates Iowa, when it's really only them, and it's kind of a mutual thing.  Minnesota and Iowa battle over a bronze pig named Floyd, which is an improvement over the days when it was a real live pig.  Again, only Minnesota can remember that far back, though.  And don't bring up the latest battle to Iowa...pretty sore subject.  Finally, next to Michigan is Michigan State, and quite frankly, I don't know what to make of them.  Their work has picked up dramatically in the last couple years, or at least I thought it had.  They really worked hard and got noticed this past year, so the boss gave them an end of year bonus and sent them to Florida...and they promptly got busted for trying to pick up a tranny hooker, and when the cops arrested them they had more pot and blow on them than they than you would find in Charlie Sheen's hooker house.  They'll run around and say how they were framed and that it wasn't that bad and they'll learn from their mistakes and make up for it next year...but it was that bad.  Maybe they're just having a hard time dealing with newfound success, I don't know.      

Now, over in the ‘Leaders' department, you won't see them on a daily basis, but you will see a lot of them every year.  Illinois is a lot like your fun loving, crazy ass uncle, and they're currently on medication for bipolar disorder.  One day they'll be great, the next day...well, not so much.  Really tough to gage what Illinois team you'll get day in and day out, but if they're on their meds, they're a great employee.  Indiana is our bell curve correction, though.  Ol' loveable Indiana.  Whenever you're having a bad day, at least you can look over to their desk and think to yourself, "well, at least we're not Indiana football".  Although their body of work has been as disappointing as everything Kevin Costner has done over the last 15 years, they did attend a Kevin Wilson motivational camp, and they think he has all the answers.  Above their desk they have an old poster of Antwaan Randle-El, which is about the only decoration they own.  Oh, wait.  They do have an Old Oaken Bucket that they fight Purdue with every year.  Ahhh, Purdue.  Their desk is on the other side of Indiana, but out of a possible 225 work days, Purdue was out sick on 175 of them.  They've got some serious knee problems, and have had approximately 3,702 ACL's replaced over the last three years.  When they are healthy, they're a pretty good worker, but you wonder if they'll ever be healthy again. 

Penn State sits at the easternmost end of the room, and after a few years of subpar work, they've really picked it up lately, although they slipped somewhat this last season.  They'll be back, though, as they always are.  When they found out you were joining the team, they decided they wanted a piece of you every year, so Penn State will be the one team over here in the ‘Leaders' that you are guaranteed to see every year.  Uh, what did you do to piss them off?  Over here is Wisconsin's desk.  They really had problems getting along with Iowa and Minnesota, so we decided to move them over here, which really doesn't make any sense to anyone, but whatever.  Wisconsin is one of the better teams in this conference, and they really are well thought of by just about everyone, except maybe Ohio State, as they seem to be the only team that can beat them with any amount of regularity.  Anyways, Wisky is good people, but they jump up and down quite a bit towards the end of the day.  Oh, and they drink.  A lot.  And the boss really thought they deserved the grand prize sweepstakes this past season, so they got to go to the Rose Bowl, where they were such nice and polite Midwestern visitors they let TCU win.  Finally, that leaves Ohio State.  No one else in the conference really likes them at all, but out of earshot, they'll give Ohio State some begrudging credit.  They've been named employee of the year the last 6 years, and their body of work over the last decade is pretty impressive.  Now, this last season they cut a few corners and got caught, but the ends justify the means in big boy football, right?  Right?  Again, they really don't care, and they don't care whether you care or not.  What Ohio State cares about is beating your ass, which they do with ruthless efficiency and regularity to just about everyone save Wisconsin and the SEC in a bowl game.  Except Arkansas.  They own them.  Anyway, if you want to win employee of the year, Ohio State is the team you need to beat. 

We've heard a lot about you, Nebraska, so we're welcoming you to our little corner of the world with a pretty tough work schedule the first month or so.  We want to see what you're made of, and we also want to make sure this is where you really want to be.

But that said, we really think you'll like it here.  We heard about problems in your last conference, and we can assure you that Dan Beebe won't get in the front door here.  Neither will Iowa State and Missouri, but just to let you know, we kind of let them think that we'd like them to join our club from time to time.  It's always worth a good laugh over some Bushmills and cigars.  Don't tell them that, though.  That's our little secret.

Again, welcome to the team. If you have questions prior to your start date, please blog at any time, or send email if that is more convenient. We look forward to having you come onboard.

Regards,

Off Tackle Empire

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