B1G 2011 // Keeping the Enemy Close: Like Mosquitoes to a Bug Zapper, A Red Swarm Descends on the Big 10

Since Nebraska doesn't have a B1G rival yet, we asked TB from the outstanding Kansas State blog, Bring on the Cats, to give us a warning of what we're in for. He graciously helped out. Much thanks, TB.

I tried to warn you guys.

One year ago, Nebraska and the Big 10 were sitting on the beach in Cancun, sipping Mai Tais, enjoying their honeymoon. Ohio State and Penn State and Michigan fans raved about how great it was to have another tradition-rich program in the conference. Fans of the other schools welcomed the Cornhuskers because they were asked to do so. I think only Iowa fans, forced by proximity to deal with Nebraska fans on a semi-regular basis, had any inkling of what was in store.

But now, only weeks before Nebraska officially joins your conference, you're starting to see what awaits.

Of course, like a Greek leading you to believe there's nothing inside the huge wooden horse, Aaron Musfeldt came along the other day and acted all rational-like. You've also met Cheeseandcorn, a likable and level-headed fellow. But go back to the first link and read all the way through the 515 comments. These guys are not the norm.

Learn this simple truth about Husker fans, and learn it early: they really, truly believe they are better fans than you. They put it on every gate of their football stadium. They put 80,000 in the stadium for a meaningless spring scrimmage where the first-team mauls the second-team. They clap for opponents, unless those opponents have beaten them too much.

More insidious, however, will be their early road trips in the Big 10 Conference. Nebraska fans will overrun your college towns because, let's face it, the largest town in Nebraska is Omaha, which is basically a slightly nicer version of Wichita. When your football stadium becomes the third-largest city in the state on game days, you know there isn't a whole lot going on at home. As I've written before, all your college towns qualify as "not Nebraska," making them attractive road destinations, especially if you don't sell them out and it's easy for Nebraska fans to get tickets. Also, the fact that they like to get out of their home state shows that they're better fans than you.

Musfeldt also told you what an outstanding gameday experience awaits you in Lincoln, Neb. So long as your team follows the script and shows up, meekly takes a loss from the Huskers, and respectfully leaves the stadium, their fans will probably give your team a round of applause. It may seem condescending, but they don't intend it that way. However, should your team pull out a victory, or perhaps string together two or three wins in a row over Nebraska, rest assured the reception will not be so warm.

This leads into another fact about Nebraska that you need to know, and that is that Nebraska has no rival. The lack of a rival is not necessarily due to the fact that there is no in-state competition, although that's part of it, but rather the fact that Nebraska fans view themselves and their team as unrivaled. They'll bitch about how the Big 12 destroyed their one true rivalry (Oklahoma) and act like nobody else is worthy of their animosity. That is patently false. As a kid growing up in Aurora, Neb., I saw firsthand the ire of Husker fans directed first at Colorado in the early 1990s, then at K-State in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and finally at Missouri in about the last five or 10 years. Basically, anybody who has the audacity to challenge Nebraska's birthright to winning division titles will be viewed as scum. Minnesota and Michigan State fans, should your teams be in this position, prepare yourselves accordingly.

If you have any training in a field that requires you to make an argument, then you need to adjust your approach to dealing with Nebraska fans. Normally, saying something like "our team just beat your team 38-9 on your home field," or "our team has defeated your team for three consecutive years," or pointing out any general statement of fact ("80,000 people attended the spring game? Wow, y'all must be really bored") would be the end of any shit talking. This will not be the case with Nebraska fans. As fans of schools that have not played Nebraska for 100 years, you are fortunate in that you won't hear the all-time series record quoted as some sort of claim to superiority. In the post I wrote last year, the all-time series record was quoted at least nine times as a sign that Nebraska fans are superior, and one guy went so far as to create a user name that consisted of the all-time record for the K-State/Nebraska series. Never mind the fact that the point of the post was "your fans are fracking insane" not "K-State beats Nebraska all the time," and they really did nothing more than prove the point that they are, in fact, insane.

Of course, this doesn't mean you will be immune from such a plague. Nebraska has won five national championships*. By my calculation, only Michigan and Ohio State have more national titles than Nebraska. Sorry, Illinois, Minnesota and Michigan State, but they probably don't recognize ancient titles such as yours. As such, the phrase "we have five national titles" will be considered a perfectly valid answer to anything negative you say about Nebraska, even if it leaves you with a blank look on your face, wondering what the hell that has to do with anything.

*I would imagine Michigan and Penn State may have something to say about that total.

You may have noticed that I've written almost 900 words now and have not mentioned anything other than football. That's because, just like the people in Texas who they HATE -- there really isn't enough I can do to properly emphasize that word -- Nebraska cares only about football. Don't bother talking basketball smack to them, because they simply don't care. They will randomly care about other sports for a while when they're good at them, with volleyball and baseball being good examples, but football is all they really care about. Toward that end, I'm really curious to see which Big 10 basketball program they latch onto. Being the frontrunners that they are, they chose KU in the Big 12. This led to the most absurd spectacle I've seen at a basketball game, when they chanted "Can't beat Kansas" at K-State...during a game where K-State beat Nebraska in the Devaney Center* in 2010.

*In case you were curious, the answer is yes, Nebraska's basketball arena is named after a former football coach.

Finally, given the way Nebraska left the Big 12, I found it entertaining that Musfeldt claimed that Nebraska didn't know what it felt like to be little brother. While it's true that they're not on the extremely short end of any of their all-time series like K-State is to them, they trail their "historical rival," Oklahoma, in both national titles and the all-time series. More importantly, for conference realignment purposes, they were Texas' bitch from the first day of the Big 12 through their bitter exit last June. Texas didn't want partial qualifiers. Nebraska did. Texas won. Texas wanted a conference championship game. Nebraska didn't. Texas won. Interestingly, Nebraska now moves to the Big 10, where it will not get partial qualifiers and will have a championship game forced upon it.

Anyway, then Texas beat Nebraska a lot, rose like a phoenix from the ashes while Nebraska hired first Frank Solich, then Bill Callahan, and spiraled into mediocrity and beyond, and Nebraska took the first road out of town when an opportunity presented itself. Don't get me wrong, Texas is greedy and arrogant on a scale almost unimaginable to non-Texans, but Nebraska's primary concern was that it wasn't the bully anymore, and it didn't like it. Right now, they love you guys because you treat everyone equally and nobody has tried to bully them. But if 2014 or 2015 rolls around and they haven't won a conference championship, they will see conspiracies everywhere. 

That's probably enough. I will leave off here, and allow the comments to begin. Everything I've just said is probably a vicious lie told by a bitter and butthurt K-State fan, and I'm probably functionally retarded because I went to a school that recruits a lot of junior college football players. And don't forget that Nebraska's all-time record against K-State is 78-15-2. But I take comfort in knowing that some of those Nebraska fans who will berate me got a non-AAU degree, just like I did.

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