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Imagine Mick Jagger joining the Beatles.  Imagine comedian Adam Carolla becoming a member of The View.  Imagine starting each day by pouring orange juice over your Cheerios.

That’s where I’ll be at mentally come July 1st, as the Nebraska Cornhuskers officially join the Big 10 Conference.

When it comes to college football I’m a traditionalist.  I still haven’t completely adjusted to the fact that the annual winners of the Pac-10 and Big 10 aren’t squaring off in the Rose Bowl every year (since the BCS often throws a monkey wrench into the match ups).

Nebraska football, to me, is Turner Gill and Mike Rozier playing for national championship.  It’s Tom Osborne pacing the sidelines dressed in red.  It’s Tommie Frasier and the dynasty of the mid 1990s, rolling up colossal yardage and multiple national championships.

And as a fan of the Huskies, it’s Washington knocking off the Cornhuskers in 1991, 1992 and in the 2010 Holiday Bowl.

In a sense, Nebraska is synonymous with Oklahoma and Texas.  It’s that Southwestern flavor that stems back to the days of the Big 8.

Now that Nebraska is leaving the Big 12 to join the Big 10, the definition of each conference is forever altered.

Among Cornhusker fans, it seems there’s a split between those in favor and those against.

As the Washington Huskies travel to Lincoln this September, it’ll feel odd to be taking on a team that’s linked arm-in-arm with the likes of Michigan, Ohio State and Purdue.

 

Very interesting discussion led by the late Tom Snyder– who was one of the best interviewers I’ve ever heard.  And Hitchcock certainly comes across as not only an insightful guy with an ugly mug, but also exceedingly serene.

Last week I received several emails and texts of people basically saying: “Did you hear what Softy said?  He twice dismissed your blog article as not worth responding to!”  That article pointed out that UW’s inability to raise funds would lead them to move to Qwest, and that Sarkisian should never have been hired as head football coach due to inexperience.  So when the emails and texts regarding Softy rolled in, I just shrugged because I don’t understand why his opinion merits listening to in the first place.

There was a time when Softy’s opinion meant a lot to me.  From 2000-2007, his Husky Honks Show with Dick Baird and Hugh Millen was one of the highlights of my week.  Every Wednesday morning, I scheduled time around it so I could hang onto every word.  I love Husky football and am a fan.

Then came November/December of 2007.  Those were the days when Tyrone Willingham was under fire as coach.  Everyone should have been able to see that he was destroying the program and needed to be let go.  But I can still hear Softy angrily calling out loyal boosters like Bill Fleenor for calling for a coaching change.  And I vividly remember Softy saying that Willingham deserved to be given a fourth year and that real fans should forget the past and unite behind Willingham and the team.

Of course, a mere ten months later, and six games into an inglorious 0-12 season, there was Softy throwing an on-air tantrum about how Willingham was completely destroying the team and that he needed to be fired and removed immediately. So much for getting behind the team and being a true fan.  Now while it’s true that people make mistakes and there’s no crime in doing so, Softy’s complicity in the winless season is profound.  His public support for Willingham fostered the environment that influenced President Emmert’s decision to give Willingham the fourth year.  The winless season that resulted will be a blight upon Husky Football’s landscape for the next 30 years– the flip side of the coin to how the 1991 National Championship team is recalled.

But now let’s look at last week.  When Softy says he “started to hear horror stories 1.5 years into” Willingham’s time at Washington, it begs a question:  Why, Softy, did you support giving Willingham the fourth year if you had been hearing horror stories?

Softy’s decision to shill for the athletic department back then casts doubt on anything he says now.  During this 2010 football season, as some people question the Sarkisian hire, Softy angrily denounces them as being disloyal and stupid.  When people like myself speculate aloud that a move to Qwest is imminent, Softy is dismissive.

To which I say, “That’s fine and so what?  Everyone’s got an opinion.  Why pay heed to UW’s mouthpiece?”