So, Dan Beebe put on his dog and pony show Saturday night and smiled and said all the “right things” and claimed he wouldn’t have an issue handing over the Big 12 trophy to Nebraska and all the while the scheming little man had one more big surprise for the University of Nebraska.
Nebraska vs. Washington – a rematch and the second of three within 12 months – in the Holiday Bowl – for the second year in a row.
Merry Christmas, from your friends at the Southwest Conference.
Let’s be honest and frank, the Southwest (let’s call a spade a spade) Conference owes nothing to Nebraska. They are still in charge. They still have the bowl contracts. It was Nebraska who left them and helped erase the need for the use of the literal name “Big 12.” We always knew the resentment and anger was lurking underneath the surface and the phony smiles and veiled words were only hiding the real feelings that they wanted to show. Sunday, they strong-armed their “bowl partners” and revealed the ugliness that lurks within.
They hate Nebraska with every fiber of their being and they’ll do whatever they can to keeping taunting everything in scarlet on the way to the finalization of the divorce.
But while Beebe and his minions in Dallas are chuckling over this recent development, high-fiving each other while toasting their deed with Diet Dr. Peppers as they get a one-up on NU, they might try and consider what public relations nightmare they are creating for themselves.
You can conveniently explain away one bad officiating night in College Station to an undisciplined team with a hot-headed coach. You can justify to the world the suspension of Eric Martin during the height of the helmet-to-helmet panic. But this treachery cannot be hidden. It is blatant, it is raw and it is as plain as the arrogant smirk on Dan Beebe’s face. There will be no way to spin this move and make it believable to anyone with a half-dozen brain cells and it is so small-minded.
For a couple of weeks, the Big 12 actually held the moral high ground. Nebraska was frustrated into losing its cool and becoming a spectacle in the wake of the Texas A&M fiasco and Bo Pelini was forced to swallow his pride publicly. But rather than let that lie, the Big 12 decided that one more jab at NU was warranted and this time they are using their “partners” to do it.
How must the people at the Insight Bowl be feeling right now, forced to be the patsy in Beebe’s childish switcheroo? The folks in Arizona were dying to greet invading Nebraskans and Iowans with open arms, now they get bullied into taking a Missouri team that might not bring 10,000 people to their fledgling game rather than at least twice that number of Nebraskans not to mention the thousands of folks in Arizona and surrounding states who once claimed Nebraska home.
Then there’s the Holiday Bowl, who even after falling down the conference pecking order, might be excited on the surface to host Nebraska again, but have to be nervous that NU fans will not make the return trip. With partners like this league, who needs enemies?
Both of these bowls are being used like children of separating parents. Rather than try to comfort and maintain some semblance of normalcy, they are drug into the dispute and forced to pledge loyalty to one side or another. It’s pathetic and don’t think future SWC “partners”, whether they be sponsors, television or bowl games aren’t paying attention.
The justification will be that the Southwest Conference doesn’t want the Insight Bowl to be a four hour infomercial for the Big Ten Conference by featuring a game between future rivals Nebraska and Iowa.
Sure, that will be an interesting storyline, but I’m sure the massive television audience for a game that kicks off at 10pm Eastern time on a Tuesday night won’t be awake enough to notice or care. As a sports broadcaster, I am comfortable in saying that whichever announce crew is on the game isn’t going to dwell on that. They’ll be fighting off Mr. Sandman and wondering what ESPN promo to read next. But in the delusional mind of Dan Beebe, I’m sure he had an Insight Bowl broadcast dream that went something like this.
“Dave, that was a heck of a play by Amukamara. I’m sure Big Ten offensive coordinators are reaching for the bourbon right now just thinking of having to scheme against that.”
“Well, Bill, it’s a good thing that Amukamara is graduating and won’t be with the Cornhuskers next season.”
“Oh, wow. How silly of me. I got so caught up in Big Ten fever and admiring Jim Delany’s tie that I didn’t realize Amukamara was a senior.”
“That’s okay partner. I got your back. Now back to the game……..Big Ten, Big Ten, Big Ten, Big Ten. Oh how I love thee Big Ten. You are the sunlight of my life.”
Then Beebe awakens after DeLoss Dodds realizes “those aren’t pillows.”
Sadly, there is not much Nebraska can do but grit its collective teeth and bear it. Hopefully Husker fans won’t avoid Southern California in protest, but if they don’t show up because they’ve “been-there-done-that” it might be explained by the national press as a defiant middle finger by Middle America. Thus, it’s another trap for Nebraska and its fans. React negatively and you are seen as whiners who lose another merit badge on their Greatest Fans In College Football scout uniform. But this time, you must fight the urge to let Beebe get your goat. You cannot lose your cool. This time, let the conference’s pettiness take centerstage and shine brightly like the red light on a whorehouse.
The ethics of the South (west Conference) rise again!