Here at OTE, I find myself comparing college football happenings to relationships all the damn time. Why? I'm not sure, but it makes for great analogies. Consider this one, where I compared Lane Kiffin to a crazy ex-girlfriend who forced you to move locations and then dumped your ass:
Dragged Tennessee fans onto his bandwagon in the name of improving the program and then tossed them aside unceremoniously. Let me give you an analogy - Say you had some wonderful girlfriends in the past and for whatever reason, it didn't work out. So you start dating a new girl who hates your family and wants to control your life. She's hot, so you go along. Then she says, we can't be together unless you quit your job and move to my city. So you quit that nice job and move to her city. After a couple months of bliss, she decides it's not going to work and breaks up with you. So you're left alone in a crap city, eating Lucky Charms in your boxers, thinking about your wonderful ex's and ruing the day you met this girl. That's Kiffin and Tennessee.
There is such defeat in those Lucky Charms. All these relationship analogies came flooding back when I considered the Big Ten's newest acquisition, the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Right now we're metaphorically buying flowers for no reason and leaving googly-eyed notes around the apartment. And dammit, it's deserved. Nebraska is bringing some exciting football players, a top-level defense, and a passionate fan base to the Big Ten.
Which brings me to an intriguing question: Knowing what you know about Nebraska now, knowing how the fans are...Would you take Nebraska in the Big Ten over Notre Dame? Or are the Domers still the ultimate prize?
I passed the question onto our writers and got a couple pretty clear responses.
1) No. ND is still the ultimate prize. Geographically? Fits. Rivalries? Built in, with awesome ones to start up (OSU, PSU). Recruiting battles? You bet. Academic excellence? Yup.
2) Nebraska brings something different to the table; new matchups that will be must see TV for the first few years, a new college town to play and drink in, a new fanbase to get to know. Also - the teams that care about beating ND already play the Irish regularly, at least for now.
I've got two thoughts. First, there are few things in life as satisfying as defeating Notre Dame at football. I realize the luster has worn off of late, but the end zone still has slanted lines, the helmets are still gold, etc. And if you're telling me, as a Michigan/MSU/Purdue fan, that I can still play ND on a regular basis while also getting additional conference title game revenue and adding a sexy new program...well it seems like the best of both worlds. ND is basically a Big Ten team already. So as long as the three aforementioned Big Ten teams can continue there rivalries, I have no problem with only adding Nebraska.
Second, the Nebraska fanbase is rabidly dedicated, extremely interested in drinking, and sports an amazing college town which I will be visiting as soon as work allows. That's 400% better than the ND fans who got called out last year for creating a weak home field atmosphere. That's 500% better than the Irish douchebags who call your school a community college and act like Sack Lodge.
In conclusion, I'll post Ted's words, but I'll be interested in your responses.
For the B1G, it's a win-win. The conference still keeps their rivalry games with ND, at least for a few years, and they add a premier football program that is already creating excitement about historic football games that are still 6 months away.