It's a simple word; one that points to institutions that are strong, enduring and dependable. Stability was what Nebraska was looking for in 2010, and the university wasn't finding it in the Big 12 conference.
I can still remember what I was doing the day the Nebraska Board of Regents met to discuss conference change. It was June 11, 2010 and I was living in Kansas and working for a collegiate baseball league that summer. Despite being late for work, I remained perched on my bed and so I could watch the live stream of the Board of Regents meeting on the web while my sister peered over my shoulder. We, along with the rest of Husker Nation, watched with bated breath as Tom Osborne and Harvey Perlman laid out the simple facts of why it was time to go--and why the Big Ten was the right landing place for NU.
It seemed like a no-brainer. Top-tier academics. Strong athletic competition. Equality and respect among member schools. For NU's regents and the Big Ten, it was a logical decision indeed. Nebraska became an official member of the Big Ten on July 1, 2011.
It's been nearly 16 months since the day Big Ten accepted Nebraska, and instability has continued to reign supreme in nearly all of the BCS conferences--all, that is, except the Big Ten. While the rest of the college football world grappled in an uncertain state of flux this summer, Nebraska was able to look on from the distance and know they made the right decision.
Now, as the Huskers bring their 21 varsity sports to the Big Ten arena, the competition is finally beginning to ramp up. There's something poetic about hearing the roll of schools in the conference: Ohio State. Michigan. Michigan State. Wisconsin. Penn State. Iowa. Purdue. Illinois. Northwestern. Indiana. Minnesota. And now, Nebraska.
They are names that carry a certain weight to them; names that invoke visions of pageantry, tradition, history, excellence and class.
The transition has not only been about introducing Nebraska to the Big Ten. So with that, I would like to say it: Big Ten fans, meet Nebraska.
We sure are happy to be here.