Can Nebraska help Big Ten's rep this year?

Nebraska is known for its passionate fans, and I've heard from plenty of them since the Big Ten admitted the Huskers on June 11.

Although the Huskers still have to play one final season in the Big 12, many of their supporters are in full Big Ten mode, which is cool to see.

I've been asked to include Nebraska in any Big Ten recruiting updates, as recruits who commit for 2011 will play their entire careers in the Big Ten. As the Big Ten preseason player rankings wind down, I've been asked where Huskers stars like Jared Crick, Prince Amukamara and Roy Helu Jr. would stack up. Some folks wondered why I left Nebraska out of my Revolving Door series.

While I'd encourage Husker fans not to abandon colleague David Ubben and the Big 12 blog just yet, it can't hurt to weigh in on some of these questions.

Like this one from Jlewis from Lincoln, Neb:

Hey Adam, Don't you need to include Nebraska's successess and/or failures this year in your 5 games that will help determine the respect for our league in the future? Whatever happens THIS YEAR to Nebraska is carried over to the Big Ten...not the Big 12.

I see your point, but I'm not totally sure how transitioning teams like Nebraska, Colorado, Utah and Boise State will be perceived this season. Will their successes or failures this season impact their current leagues or future leagues? We might not know the answer for quite some time.

If Nebraska wins a national title, will the Big 12 or Big Ten benefit more? Obviously, the Big Ten won't benefit if Nebraska beats, say, Ohio State, in the BCS championship game in Glendale, Ariz. But if Nebraska beats Alabama, the Big Ten certainly would benefit from having the reigning national champ entering its league.

Then again, leagues seem to be solely judged by national titles, and the Big 12 would still get credit if the Huskers win the crown.


Beyond beating the dreaded SEC in a bowl game, I'm not sure if Nebraska's performance will have a major impact on the Big Ten's reputation one way or another. I guess there could be a little less enthusiasm for the Big Red if they take a step back and miss a bowl game this fall. Another 10-4 season with a bowl win certainly wouldn't hurt the Big Ten's rep, unless that bowl win came against Iowa or Wisconsin or another Big Ten member. Would it help?

I'm a little torn on this one, but I'm interested to hear your thoughts.