5 Year Member
I understand, people like the familiar. But stop and think, did you like playing KU and ISU because they are close and we have so much in common with them, or because we always beat them? When I hear we need to "return to the Big XII" I can't help but wonder if people don't really miss being a big fish in a little pond.
I think this is a big part of it. It doesn't matter that ISU is pretty good right now. Most Nebraska fans memories of the old Big 8 is pounding 6 of the teams in it on a yearly basis, and that was fun. It was fun to drive down to Lawrence or Manhattan with 25000 fans, drink all the bars out of beer and pound the other school by 35. Then drive home. I know for me that was a big part of it and I only caught the tail end of the era when I was old enough to do that.
It was close and we always won. Its not nearly as fun to travel a long ways and get your arse kicked.
The SCHOOLS in the B1G are heavily liberal-leaning elitist group of schools.
The STATES (and the people in those states) of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Indiana, Ohio and even Michigan are much more similar culturally than Texas and Oklahoma. Midwestern, blue-collar, loyal, singularly devoted and hard-working people.
UNL doesn't necessarily fit with Michigan or Northwestern ... who view themselves more akin to Harvard/Stanford ... but the state of Wisconsin is heavily "Nebraska-like" in so many regards.
The closest fit to any of the schools in the B1G academically, culturally and size wise is Iowa and then probably Illinois. Most of the B1G schools are huge. They have upwards of 40-50 thousand students except for NW. The rest of the schools in the B1G think of themselves as just a half a step below an Ivy League school at the least and some think of themselves as being equal to an Ivy League School.
The people of these states may think a lot like people in Nebraska, but they send there sons and daughters to B1G schools to become "civilized" like people on the East Coast. I grew up in SW Iowa. Closer to Lincoln than to Iowa City. Two girls in my class that I was very good friends with went to Iowa to school. I went to Nebraska Wesleyan then Northwest Missouri State. I went and visited them in early November of our freshman year and to go to a FB game. It was amazing to me how much they had changed in that short of time. They were "Big 10" students. Go over to any of the boards from other B1G schools and they just ooze the feeling of superiority. I don't know if students at Nebraska are getting this way or not, but I would think they will eventually.
Nebraska is new to the B1G and will be treated like the new kid for a long time. PSU has been a member for almost 30 years and is just now being treated as an equal.
With all that being said I don't want to go back to the Big 12. It will never be the same. Things have changed. Winning will help may us feel more at home in the B1G.