Columinst Berry Tramel of The Daily Oklahoman writes in today’s edition that the Nebraska Cornhuskers have morphed from one of the classiest groups of fans in the country into a “bunch of kooks” who see black helicopters circling overhead and ill intentions everywhere.
The conspiracy theory coming out of Big Red Nation goes that commissioner Dan Beebe and the rest of the Big 12 are so butt hurt over NU lighting out for the Big Ten that the ‘Huskers have become marked men. In its last year as a member of the league, Nebraska is getting the royal screw job, courtesy of King Beebe.
Let’s think about this for a second.
BCS bids mean big money. If a conference can get multiple teams into the show, the revenue-sharing agreements mean everyone in the conference stands to gain.
A school with the tradition and rabid following of Nebraska makes for an ideal BCS at-large team. As such, Beebe and the Big 12 would have a financial incentive to get NU eligible for a big money bowl game.
At this point, though, the Big 12 won’t get two bids from the BCS. The winner of Oklahoma-Nebraska will be the conference’s lone representative.
If Beebe and Co. wanted to have their cake and eat it too, why not wait until the conference championship game to give NU the shaft? By putting NU in position to get an at-large big no matter the outcome of Saturday’s game, the Big 12 schools could have squeezed every last nickel they could out of NU.
Obviously, when the Nebraska administration decided last summer to bolt for the Big Ten, it was going to leave plenty of hurt feelings around the Big 12. Splits like this one rarely end amicably.
However, we all know that the prospect of a massive payday can make for some strained bedfellows. I’m more likely to bet on money over pride.