With Nebraska Cornhuskers in Big 10, All “NU” Rivalry with Northwestern Developing?


northwestern wildcats

There’s a new college football team which simply has a “N” on it’s helmet in the Big Ten this year. This year, the addition of the Nebraska Cornhuskers means we have a new NU in the league. Contrary to popular practice/belief, the Northwestern Wildcats are NU, not NWU or NW as you’ll sometimes hear/see on ESPN. The school chant is “Go U, NU!”

The Cats and Cornhuskers haven’t played all that much, so they don’t have much of a rivalry and obviously, the two programs are at opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to winning tradition- 5 national titles on one side, versus zero bowl wins this past half-century). But they did meet in the 2000 Alamo Bowl.

The Huskers were obviously mad about being left out of the Bowl Championship Series that night, as #8 Nebraska set a bowl record for points in a 66-17 victory over #19 Northwestern. It was a better match-up on paper, as no one expected a fun-to-watch Big Ten championship spread-option team gets slaughtered by Eric Crouch and company. Nevertheless, they’ll meet again in Lincoln on November 5th.

Yesterday, Northwestern Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald talks about what new Big Ten member Nebraska brings to the conference:

“Obviously the tradition, the history, their incredibly loyal fan base; a lot of things off the field that come with Nebraska. On the field, I’ve got the utmost respect for coach (Bill) Pelini and his staff and the job that they’ve done. You look at their talent, from when we did our offseason study. They’ve got weapons across the board on offense, changing coordinators.

Carl Pelini does a great job with their defense, and the kicking game has explosive athletes across the board. Am I looking forward to it?

Not really. I mean it’s going to be a huge challenge for us. But I think it’s great for the conference, and obviously makes us now go into divisional play, into a championship. The championship game in (Indianapolis), if you win that, you’re probably going to be playing for the national championship, it’s going to be hard not to be. So it’s going to be a fun challenge.”

Wildcats safety Brian Peters talked about the new NU in the league as well:

“We’ve heard nothing but good things about their stadium, and their atmosphere. We’ve been pretty successful on the road in my career at Northwestern, so it’s going to be exciting and fun to compete against a new opponent,” Peters said.

Peters’ teammate CB Jordan Mabin, has an uncle Wes Mabin, who won a national title under Tom Osborne at Nebraska in the 1970s. Peters has met Wes Mabin, and took notice of his championship ring. (For more on Mabin go here) Peters is aware of how much the conference has improved with the addition of Nebraska.

“With a storied program like that,everyone’s excited to play them and we talked to a few people at the Big Ten conference and everyone is looking forward to taking a shot at another national power.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site that generates millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports 

He does regular weekly radio spots in Chicago and Cleveland and has appeared on live shows all across the world from Houston to New Zealand. You can follow him on Twitter

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  1. Larry Brown says

    You left out one key difference, Paul. The “N” on Nebraska’s helmet stands for knowledge.

  2. Did you make that up all on your own?!?! It’s an honor to have your creative genius grace us with your comments, Larry.

  3. Jeff Prose says

    You forgot that Nebraska has the most ever Academic All-Americans in NCAA history! Thats pretty good “N”owledge

  4. Not to get specific but if Wes Mabin won a National Title at Nebraska in the 1970’s then it was under Coach Devaney, but Osborne was on the staff

  5. Bob Peters says

    Ummmm….. That’s Coach (Bo) Pelini….

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