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The North Bend Eagle


Others wising up to Texas' game

"From the Banks of the Maple Creek" column by Nathan Arneal
Published 8/24/11

Another college football season is upon us, but those are more than just autumn winds mussing up our flowing locks. Them’s the winds of change blowing.


Not more than a year ago we were watching as the college football landscape was about to explode. Instead, we got just two moves as Colorado and Nebraska fled to more stable ground.

One summer later and we’re back at it again as it looks like Texas A&M is poised to jump the sinking ship that is the Big 12.

It looks more and more like Nebraska was smart to get out when we did, and most of the rest of the Big 12 is starting to see that now. However, some of our former brethren still like to give us grief.

Many of them like to say that we left the Big 12 simply because we couldn’t beat Texas in football, a wholly ridiculous notion.

At one point, Tom Osborne was 4-13 against Oklahoma, but no one was calling for Nebraska to leave the Big 8. No one leaves a conference because they can’t beat one team.

Yes, Nebraska has had a morbid 1-9 record against Texas in the Big 12 era, but the Longhorns didn’t exactly dominate NU during that stretch. The Longhorns’ average victory margin during that span was 3.4 points. Of UT’s nine wins, six of them were by four points or less. Does that sound like something to run away from? A series of 2 and 3-point “thrashings”?

If we’re running away from anyone with our tails between our legs, wouldn’t it have been Oklahoma? Since 2000, the Sooners are 5-1 against Nebraska with an average victory margin of 13 points. Oh, and OU has won seven Big 12 titles in that stretch. Texas won three. (By the way, NU, OU and UT are tied with one national title each during the Big 12 era.)

Maybe we are running away from Texas Tech, who has a four game winning streak against Nebraska with an average victory margin of 22.5 points, which includes the worst defeat in school history, the 70-10 beatdown in 2004.

So why do people like to tease us by saying we left the Big 12 because we couldn’t beat Texas? Maybe because they are from Texas and it’s a great ego stroke to think people are fleeing you out of fear.

Another reason might be because they are from a former Big 12 North team and it makes us look like babies who took our toys home because we couldn’t win, even if they don’t actually believe it.

I’m not saying Texas had nothing to do with us leaving the Big 12. They had a great deal to do with it. I am just saying we didn’t leave because they pulled out a series of close wins and upsets against us.

I also won’t deny that Nebraska has some odd fixation with Texas.

No sports fan likes to see a team meet with repeated success unless it’s their own team.

That’s why you either love or hate the Yankees, Lakers, Celtics or Patriots. That’s why Notre Dame has so many anti-fans, because they had such a run of success (you know, back in the 80s, when they used to be good at football) and have been overrated ever since.

But this doesn’t really explain our distaste for all things burnt orange. Texas isn’t the Yankees or Celtics or Patriots. Heck, they’re not even the Houston Rockets or Florida Marlins. The Horns have won exactly one (1) national championship in the past 40 years.

The real problem is that Texas, a team that won five games last year, thinks it is college football’s Yankees, and they’ll let you know it.

One person joked last week that if every Big 12 team that had better options left, the conference would consist of three teams: Texas, Baylor and Iowa State.
Someone else pointed out that Texas would have finished dead last in that conference last year.

When the Big 12 formed in 1996, Texas engineered the rules in its favor (after all, Texas didn’t need partial qualifiers when it had more blue-chip talent within 100 miles of its campus than the entire Big 12 north combined). The rest of the league went along, because they wanted to knock Nebraska off its pedestal.

Now, these schools are left to deal with the mess they helped create. Texas, now with ESPN in its back pocket, continues to splatter longhorn dung on its conference mates in its quest for more money.

...and a chance to someday equal the recent wave of success of the Florida Marlins.

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