Nebraska Football. A program full of history, tradition and winning.
However, in the recent events of COVID-19, is it time for Nebraska to consider playing football as an Independent?
I ask this because the Nebraska Football Program just tried to schedule a game replacement game with Chattanooga given the specific plan the Big Ten laid out for how the football season would be conducted. The policy for games that could not be played was for the game to be canceled and not postponed/rescheduled.
So Nebraska went rogue…once again.
Earlier in the pandemic, Scott Frost and the football program were very outspoken about their belief for football to be played. While some supported that belief there were those who did not support the belief to play. In the Big Ten Conference, a number of schools were against the season being played. And this stance had Nebraska in a unique spot.
Nebraska left the Big 12 because they felt they had outgrown the Big 12 and would be better in a different conference. They went to the Big Ten and it has just been weird with them in the conference. They feel like a team that could play or should look into playing as an Independent that way they can call all their own shots and not have to worry about conference commissioners and the thoughts of other universities. It gets boiled down to its most simplistic form: Do you want to play or not?
Given the location of Nebraska, there are plenty of colleges in the surrounding states that offer the Cornhuskers the chance to play a competitive schedule that would create a potential College Football Playoff appearance. Notre Dame has gotten to the BCS Championship as an Independent in recent history. While Notre Dame isn’t the ordinary example it is a model to follow.
The biggest hurdle for Nebraska would be TV exposure. Notre Dame has been shown exclusively on NBC for so long it is a generational family tradition in some houses to watch Notre Dame on Saturday on NBC. Notre Dame games are shown all over the country because of its TV agreement with NBC.
Could Nebraska strike an exclusive deal like what Notre Dame has?
I doubt Nebraska could get something as big-time as NBC but what about an agreement with ESPN2? Something where all Nebraska home games will be shown on ESPN2. So ESPN2 would become the home of Nebraska Football. I’m not sure if it works or not but it is a thought. There a many alternate channels that could be put in place of ESPN2 as well.
While Nebraska going Independent probably doesn’t happen it is something they should explore because they don’t seem to fit in the Big Ten.
I have created a hypothetical 13 game schedule:
- Iowa Hawkeyes
- Iowa State Cyclones
- Colorado Buffaloes
- Wyoming Cowboys
- Kansas Jayhawks
- Kansas State Wildcats
- Minnesota Golden Gophers
- Missouri Tigers
- Oklahoma Sooners
- Oklahoma State Cowboys
- Tulsa Golden Hurricanes
- Texas Longhorns
- Arkansas Razorbacks