No, the Big 12 is not interested in bringing back Nebraska

Nebraska Cornhuskers. (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)
Nebraska Cornhuskers. (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images) /

Nebraska thinks it has way more leverage than it actually does.

Ever since the Big Ten officially announced its decision to postpone all fall athletics, including football, the Nebraska Cornhuskers have been ready to go rogue. The team originally said it would compete against any non-conference team that would play them, but Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren shut that down quickly, threatening to kick the Cornhuskers out of the conference if they played.

The Big 12 announced today that they plan to go ahead with football, but the league clearly has no intention of giving Nebraska a new home to play this season. Nebraska was previously a member of the Big 12 until leaving for the Big Ten in 2011, and their former conference is in no hurry to welcome them back.

Nebraska seems to think it’s holding all of the cards, but conferences are calling the bluff.  If a team like Ohio State or Penn State were threatening to leave the Big Ten, the conference would be far more concerned about keeping them, but Nebraska hasn’t even made a bowl game for the past three seasons, and they compete in the perpetually-underwhelming Western Division.  For the same reason, the Big 12 doesn’t need to go through the hassle of adding a new member to the conference in the middle of an already-chaotic year.

Going to the Big 12 would cause more problems than it would solve. For the conference, it would mean another team’s worth of testing, more athletes to regulate and changes to any schedule planning that has already occurred. Nebraska would end up trying to work out a transition, which would mean creating a plan for other fall sports besides football as well. It would also lose the big money of the Big Ten Network.

The COVID-19 pandemic is serious, and the Big Ten wouldn’t cancel football lightly. No one is happy to see the season slowly falling apart, but at this point, Nebraska needs to accept the decision of its conference. The Big 12 doesn’t want the Cornhuskers back and there’s nothing they can do about it.

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