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A Most Unhappy Holiday (Bowl)

Washington hosted Nebraska in September. The Cornhuskers return the favor next September. In between, the two will meet in next week’s Holiday Bowl. Three games in a calendar year? I suppose there’s reason for each program to be upset about this development, though one — Nebraska — has a bigger gripe than the other. Washington wants another shot at the Cornhuskers; the Cornhuskers just want to get to the Big Ten, sooner rather than the later, putting the final chapter in a messy divorce behind them.

Now, from Washington’s point of view: the Huskies were run through by Nebraska in September, with the Taylor Martinez-led Cornhuskers storming out to a sizable halftime lead before cruising to a 35-point win. Washington has improved, but this team still struggles against premier competition.

A three-game winning streak to end the season — which helped U.W. finish 6-6 — came against U.C.L.A., California and Washington State. Prior to that stretch, Washington lost to three straight ranked teams — Arizona, Stanford and Oregon — by the combined score of 138-30. So work remains to be done, though one important point remains to be made: despite the up-and-down play, Steve Sarkisian has nevertheless led Washington from 0-12 to bowl play in the span of two seasons. Nice job.

So in the big picture, Washington is happy to be here, happy to be at any bowl, Holiday or otherwise. A closer look, however, would certainly reveal that U.W. would have preferred a different opponent. Yes, Nebraska grants the Huskies another shot at a top-notch opponent, but little more.

Will Sarkisian play things closer to the vest offensively, knowing that his team heads to Lincoln next fall? Not a chance. Should he? Still, no. Yet you could see why he’d want to — Bo Pelini and the Nebraska coaching staff might have enough tape on U.W. to predict each play Sarkisian will call next in September.

Nebraska’s argument stems from the fact that the team fared better than this bowl slot indicates: the Cornhuskers believe, and rightfully so, that they should have gone to the Insight Bowl over Missouri. Nebraska beat Missouri during the regular season, after all, and won the Big 12 North ahead of the Tigers.

No more arguments about a Big 12 bias — those days are over. You could see why the conference wouldn’t want one Big Ten team, Iowa, playing another program soon to join the Big Ten, Nebraska, in what should be a Big 12 showcase. If the fact that Nebraska was passed over isn’t fair, it is logical.

That means nothing to Nebraska, which can’t wait to switch leagues. The loyal fan base can’t be blamed for not heading west in droves, as seems to be the case. The Cornhuskers played in last season’s Holiday Bowl, so you can’t blame a number of fans for not making the same trip twice.

What Nebraska fan really wants to pay for a second trip to San Diego in 12 months? What fan wants to drop money for airfare, hotels and tickets to see the same Washington team the Cornhuskers faced in September — the same team, by and large, that’s coming to Nebraska next season?

So the big loser here, when taking that into account, is the Holiday Bowl itself: less out-of-town fans, less overnight stays, less money for San Diego, less draw, less cachet, lighter pockets. Is anyone happy about this season’s Holiday Bowl?

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Comments

  1. KSU4TC says:

    Dear NU:

    You leave us for what you believe to be a better situation and you want to be treated as if you are still in the conference? Have fun in the Holiday Bowl and best of luck in the “Legends” or “Leaders” or whatever side of the Big 10 conference you are in.

    Sincerely,
    The Big XII

  2. wildcat6 says:

    Nebraska is in the “Legends Division” but don’t expect those division names to stand.

    Here is the Cornhuskers” 2011 Big Ten schedule:

    at Wisconsin
    Ohio State
    at Minnesota
    Michigan State
    Northwestern
    at Penn State
    at Michigan
    Iowa

    All 2010 bowl teams, except for the Gophers. I’m not sure why Nebraska can’t wait to join the Big Ten after perusing that schedule. And it’ll be the same opponents in 2012.

  3. schedule nit says:

    Well, the Big 10 is unlikely to add a second to allow a winning figgie in the Conference Championship Game, for one. Also they share the money.

  4. Uberd says:

    the most over-hyped college qb(locker) versus the most over-hyped college coach(pelini), take 2. take your diapers with you to the “big nothing” nebraska. nobody wants to watch that aborted fetus you call a football team.

  5. schedule nit says:

    Been meaning to ask; What’s the deal with you Texans and abortions? I mean practically every football criticism has either abortions or AIDS as a descriptive these days.

  6. Dr. Klahn says:

    To me the only reason to watch this game is to see if the UW and Jake Locker can show signs of improvement. I don’t think the outcome is going to be that much different since UW will have 3 healthy DTs, one being a freshman and another a converted DE that is a bit undersized.
    Paul, any idea what Jim Narby thinks about this game? I have a special place in my heart for his insight into all things Nebraska.

    Paul: It’s been so long since I’ve heard from Jim Narby. Hope he’s OK. We’d all love to read his thoughts on this game.

  7. oregonhusker says:

    Schedule NIT: I have noticed the references to Fetus’ and AIDS also… makes you wonder what they are teaching kids in Sex Education in Texas…
    But, on to more important comments – We, the Husker Fan Base, are glad to leave the Big 12 because of the continued hatred and unmitigated bias against us as fans and, more importantly, our football team. This bias is not just this year. Texass and the rest of the South (excluding Oklahoma) have an attitude of Superiority that is just sickening. So – have you cake and eat it too, we are leaving, you can have you own little sister conference and both conferences are happier. Bring on the tougher schedule! Win every or lose every game makes no difference! We will no longer have to listen to Mack “ESPN ass – kissing” Brown say that he “respects our program” and that “this was a tough team and a tough game” when he and the rest of the nation KNOW that he was handed at least four of the wins over the Huskers. Let him go play hungry hippos on any network he wants, and then have a bowl – less season – what a classy guy!

  8. PurpleDrank says:

    UW is ready to party in SD! Yes, this is a rematch of previous blowout, but I still think it is a hell of a lot more enticing than about 60% of the other bowl match ups this year. Here’s to a better game in Round 2. Go Dawgs!

  9. LexLonghorn says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Washington wins this game. They will certainly be much more motivated than Nebraska.

    oregonhusker: Handed wins by whom? The Huskers own poor play, seems to me.

    And why hate on Mac Brown? He’s always treated the Nebraska program with the utmost respect.

    You Husker fans seem to have some sort of inferiority complex. You are not hated. You are just ignored.

  10. Uberd says:

    oregonhusker, you live in oregon and you can’t even pretend to be a front-runner fan? jump on the oregon wagon now and we’ll all look the other way, otherwise, please spare us all the conspiracy bs and the step-child attitude. nit, the inability to draw the appropriate social comparisons to nebraska football is exactly what makes a husker fan…a husker fan. bastard child of ou in the big 8, step-child of texas in the big 12 and future orphan of the big 10.

  11. Chris says:

    For those NU fans who don’t want to go to a second Holdiay bowl, they could buy a ticket and donate it to service members stationed near San Diego: Huskers for Heroes.

  12. the manatee says:

    Chris ;;; ticket idea is the best of the season I hope the Idea catches on.I think the game will be one of the best of the Holidays to watch.

  13. Burnt Orange says:

    @ schedule nit and oregonhusker – I am fairly certain Uberd is a Tennessee fan. ( a very knowledgable one at that )

    Thus I am afraid that your criticisms of the Texas educational system and our opinions with respect to AIDS and abortion are unfounded.

    The vast majority of Texans that I associate with rarely mention those social topics – we are much more interested in securing our borders- from illegal immigrants plus drug trafficking to the South and from OU and SEC recruiters to the North and East.

    Oregonhusker- thanks for setting me straight. I thought Texas won nine out of ten games against Nebraska during the Big 12 years. I didn’t know that some unidentified party “handed” four of them to Texas. Thanks for recognizing the other five wins – much appreciated.

    Wildcat6, you and the other Big 10 fans ( other than the clairvoyant Narby) do not realize what you have gotten yourself into with Nebraska. It’s like starting to date a really great looking woman, only to slowly realize that she is crazy and hopelessly unhappy. The widespread bitching by Husker fans about the fact that only one Husker ( Rimington ) had one of the new Big 10 awards named after him is a preview of things to come. I cannot believe I was upset about their leaving the Big 12. Good luck and good riddance.

  14. the manatee says:

    As I continue to read these and other blogs the more I come to realize of what little importance facts are.

    Paul: The facts in this post and others are incontrovertible.

  15. oregonhusker says:

    Typical Texas fan comments. Sorry to offend “Y’ALL”. It’s going to be fine – you have the biggest state, the biggest fan base, the biggest football television contract in the “Big” 12, I just forgot to bow down and kiss your big boots on the way out. Sorry. Hopefully we will meet again someday in a bowl. But for now, I must admit that you are bigger and better than anyone else. I am sorry. I hope you have a nice off season.

  16. GBR4EVA says:

    its kidna funny that only a handful of fans actually blog but yet we are all lumped into one sum. Everyfan base has their diehards, stat freaks, crazies….ect. Everyone took a slice of humble pie in the B12 this year except maybe oklahoma but they will probably lose to conn for overlooking them. ?lol? Nothing wrong with people seperating ties if they are not like minded anymore. Get in where you fit in. GBR

  17. Dtown Sker says:

    I will not make any comments towards the Burnt Orange fan base as Nebraska hasn’t been able to figure out “Y’all” recently. Trust me, I know it sux when your team has to sit out during bowl season. Very frustrating…The BC years created alot of animosity in our fan base and quite frankly I’m over all the bickering with “Y’all”. After watching the PonyExcess the other night I’m hoping their program has a resurgence. That way “Y’all” can eventually form your own network/conference, and play amongst yourselves once again. I do think Tejas High School football is a class of their own but I really am OK if “Y’all” leave the union and start over as a fly over country between the US and Mexico. JK, my uncle lives down there and I don’t want to get a passport to come visit. In all sincerity, this is a worthless bowl matchup and the Big 12 is doing a great job of giving us the ole #1 on the way out the door…

    War Oregon in the NC game and Cam Newton giving back his Heisman in 5 years.

    GBR no matter what “Y’all” banter back with…

    PS: The Big Ten needs to lose the nose candy and figure out a more reasonable logo and division names.

    I’m out

  18. Victor says:

    The Big 12′s demise will begin to unfold this spring. Texas’ side deal on TV rights will suck value from the main Big 12 TV deal. Beebe won’t be able to come up with the $$$ he promised. Only Texas will be happy. Missouri will be the first to bail, maybe next year, maybe in 2012, and after that it all becomes pretty unpredictable.

  19. Brad says:

    Yep it sucks going to the Holiday bowl versus Washington. It sucks worse going to the I have a dream bowl that Texas is in this year!

  20. deznuts says:

    Lets see Nebraska “GONE” Colorado “GONE” Soon Kansas, KSU, ISU, and Mizzo will leave MARK MY WORDS. Leaving what??? The SWC + OK & OK LIGHT. Have fun with that. Gonna enjoy watching either USC, Floride, Alabama or LSU spank Texas in the years to come. And Husker fans are the way they are becuase unlike every other fan base “it’s the only game in town” Unlike oh say Texas. Horns, cowgirls, cougars, aggies, red raiders, horned frogs, astro, mavs, spurs, miners, texans, rangers, throw in a few hockey teams and the ones i left off. Huskers are 24/7 365 to a majority of their fans.

  21. DaU!!!!!!!!!!! says:

    I really thought that Nebraska was going to make some noise and run through the big 10(big 12) in their final year and show Texas whose boss. I guess that would have been the story book ending. It will be fun to see Nebraska play at the big house and university park. Who knows, maybe Nebraska can run through the big 12(big 10) next year…..mmmm nahhh

  22. Dan says:

    In about 5 years when Nebraska is fully vested in the Big-10 and maybe preparing for a Rose Bowl trip, and Texas decides to take its ball and head for greener pastures, I want you mouth-breathers that hate Nebraska so much to remember that we told you so.

    Doing the right thing may not always be popular, but it is still the right thing to do.

    Big-10 here we come!

    Washington? I like Sark, hell of a coach. He just drew a tough hand, but you have to like the fact that he embraces it.

  23. Stan says:

    I am a Husker backer. Been one all my life, but those Big Red fans still bickering over the reasons to leave the conference really need to move on. There is no reason to defend yourself! Who cares if KSU, TX, and other Big 12 fans don’t like us??? They didn’t before, why would they now? You’d be on here blogging the same trash at them if they were leaving (maybe minus the AIDS & Abortion stuff). Just accept it and move ON! Why look back? The Big 10 is not going to be perfect. It will have many of the same hurdles. Let’s embrace it and let the Big 12 be.

    TX game -lost b/c couldn’t catch a pass (NU’s fault)
    ATM -lost b/c Bo cdn’t calm his team or self down (NU’s fault)
    B12CG – lost b/c of horrible offensive decisions (NU’s fault)

    Sincerely,

    97% of Husker Nation

  24. sinc79 says:

    Why did NU leave for the Big Ten? Because playing in East Lansing and State College is more exciting and challenging than Lubbock or Manhattan or Stillwater or Ames (sorry, Big Ten towns are better). Because more money will be oozing from basically everywhere you turn. Because Lincoln is closer to Chicago than Dallas, in more ways than one. Because Madison and Ann Arbor are doable and attractive, while Austin is the classic ‘senator’s son’ and Lawrence has short guy syndrome.

  25. Bob says:

    Mac Brown is a nice guy. Way over-rated as a coach…but a nice guy none the less. Texas fans are an absolute riot. It is no coincidence that the verifiably, absolutely worst president in the history of this country calls Little Mexico home. Maybe Texas could leave the Union, elect Bush as it’s supreme ruler, and call it North Korea East. Somehow; Bush reminds me of North Korea’s Li’l Kim and I’m guessin with him in charge..the rest of the world would take Texas about as seriously as they deserve to be taken. LOL. I can just picture Bush’s first speech as supreme ruler of Lexus Texus; We gotta fight ‘em up there so we don’t haveta fight ‘em down here. They hate us for our freedom! LOL. Have I gone off topic? Sorry…just spiffballin…

  26. huskerOK says:

    I’ve said this all year long. If you truly don’t care that Nebraska is leaving the Big XII, why are you even talking about it?

    I haven’t heard one thing said about Colorado and it’s fan base leaving the conference. That’s because you really DON’T care about them leaving. Obviously Nebraska DID bring something to the Big XII otherwise you wouldn’t be talking about as if you truly didn’t care. If you don’t care we’re leaving than quit leaving comments about how we won’t be missed. People who leave ridiculous comments like that are about as transparent as glass. We left for the Big 10 because it benefited us at our University more so than anything the Big XII could offer. Why would you turn down that much more money? The only logical reason I’ve heard is because your sacrificing traditional matchups. Ok, well when it’s going to cost you millions year in and year out to keep tradition, then maybe it’s time to build new traditions.

    The people other than Texas fans that are leaving comments about Nebraska make me laugh everytime I read them. Do you realize that the team that is going to be running the “conference” and making unbelievably more money than you finished at the bottom of the barrel this year in their top revenue generating sport? They didn’t even sell out most of their home games and they are not going to a Bowl game this year yet they are going to make a heck of a lot more than you in $$. Nebraska saw something wrong with that picture, unfortuntely for you and your schools, your AD’s did not. To be honest, everytime I get on message boards and read the completely uneducated comments about us leaving, it makes me all the happier that we are. Here’s to the Big 10!

  27. vahusker says:

    Hey kstate fan:
    Sorry we left a sinking ship and didn’t want to take a more solid conference with more money n less bs. Sorry that we didn’t sit on the sidelines and wait n watch as texas was pulling its favorites from the big12 into the pac10. Were nebraska werenot gonna wait to get left behind in a lame duck conferences that would have been gobbled up by the mwc…….

    Sorry signed by univ. Of nebraska

    Ps have fun joining the MWC in 5 years when the big12 falls apart. Ksu vs boise st sounds exciting………..

  28. jake says:

    Wow Uberd
    You are alot sick and quite juvenile.

    UT fans- come one why the jealously?
    Nebraska will be in the Big 10 next year and maybe Texas will have a winning season but I not sure because of losing so many coaches.

  29. vahusker says:

    And to texas fans enjoy your offseason………I find it funny some of the texas fans say were not loyal and are happy that we are gone. Sorry we didn’t sit on the sideline cheering go big12 when u went to the pac10 only to get mad that they didn’t lie down for you…

    In five years there will be several teams that will be saying “dang huskerfans were right.” If the ship is leaking n sinking it doesn’t mean stay on the ship it means its time to get of the boat

  30. jake says:

    Uberd and Burnt Orange
    Sounds like you are still very upset about Nebraska leaving you in the dust.
    Typical Texas –you don’t take any responsibility for your actions
    Texas was ready to leave for the Pac 10 but whine now that your actions resulted in the demise of the big 12.
    Texas, you have no one to blame but yourselves for the end of the Big 12.
    I doubt the Pac 10 will want you in two years after all academics is important to the Pac 10, with Stanford, UC Berk., UCLA and USC- they need to uphold the academic standards and can’t risk it by taking in Texas.

  31. Dale Denton says:

    I think this will be a tough game but we’re (Nebraska) just better than UW right now. Bigger, stronger, and faster…it’s going to be a good game but Nebraska wins going away in the fourth quarter.

    Go Big Red!

  32. JG says:

    IMO-NU will be a vastly improved team come next year. Martinez with 2 years in the system and 1 year as starter under his belt will be a much more confident and decisive QB, he will be in the Heisman race. There is a ton of talent on the o-line coming back and there should be plenty of depth. I have heard and of course am hoping that Crick, David and Dennard are all coming back which will mean future all Americans on the D-line, linebacker and DB position. Those are just a few reasons why in my humble opinion NU improves.

  33. GBR says:

    RE: Texas Fans

    The whole abortion and AIDS fetish the Texas fans have is just a way to seem ‘edgy’ by using words that were taboos 20 years ago. Because don’t you know Texas fans are much ‘cooler’ and ‘edgier’ than us hicks up north.

    Congrats to Texas for beating us 9 out of 10 times. It’s too bad that our biggest down cycle in 40 years came at the same time as your biggest up cycle in 40 years. It was bound to happen at some point with all the advantages you guys have (population, weather, money, athletes, etc.) even a blind squirrel should find a few nuts in that environment.

    Nebraska fans may whine, but that’s only because they love college football more than anything else and they care. If you want to see the true difference between Texas and Nebraska fans just look at this year. When Nebraska went 5-6 during the Callahan years, the stadium was still full and people still cared. This year when Texas goes 5-6 a year after going to the National Title game? Empty stadium and fans jumping off ship faster than you can say ‘abortion’.

    Have fun playing in the Little 12 with all the passionate fan bases of Kansas, KSU, ISU, Baylor, TTech, OSU, and Mizzou every year. We’ll see if any else even cares in 5 years.

  34. Stan says:

    I am a Husker backer. Been one all my life, but those Big Red fans still bickering over the reasons to leave the conference really need to move on. There is no reason to defend yourself! Who cares if KSU, TX, and other Big 12 fans don’t like us??? They didn’t before, why would they now? You’d be on here blogging the same trash at them if they were leaving (maybe minus the AIDS & Abortion stuff). Just accept it and move ON! Why look back? The Big 10 is not going to be perfect. It will have many of the same hurdles. Let’s embrace it and let the Big 12 be.

    TX game -lost b/c couldn’t catch a pass (NU’s fault)
    ATM -lost b/c Bo cdn’t calm his team or self down (NU’s fault)
    B12CG – lost b/c of horrible offensive decisions (NU’s fault)

    Sincerely,

    97% of Husker Nation

  35. wildcat6 says:

    Nebraska fans, welcome to the Big Ten!

    One thing you’ll need to get used to, though, is that there is already an NU in your division – Northwestern University. So you’ll need to get used to your University of Nebraska being known as UN or UNL rather than NU.

  36. VB Husker says:

    If UW fans need tickets, I will be glad to supply any number they need for exactly $235, the same jacked-up price I had to pay for “obstructed view” seats at UW in September.

  37. schedule nit says:

    What this bowl needs is a play-along drinking game;
    Announcer refers to previous blowout, a shot.
    Announcer says “Rose Bowl” shot
    Announcer says “Texas” double shot

    But seriously use a designated driver.

  38. Jeremy says:

    I’m not sure how the comments on an article about the Holiday Bowl turned into the Bash Nebraska page, but this only serves to prove Nebraska fans’ point about the hatred directed at them from other members of the Big XII, especially Texas fans.

    Grow up.

  39. tom says:

    Well written Stan. I too am one of the 97%.

  40. Burnt Orange says:

    @Jeremy- well it’s kind of like this – a Kansas State guy led off and took some shots at the Huskers. Then, a Tennessee guy took some shots at your team and made an abortion reference and the next thing you know one of your buddies chimes in slamming Texas fans for their obsession with abortion, AIDS, our alleged lack of education etc. Bear in mind that at that point not a single Texas fan had posted. He goes on to add that someone ( I gather the refs )had handed the Longhorns four wins against the Huskers in recent years.

    I have posted more than once this season in support of the Husker’s positions on various issues plus I genuinely like some of the Husker regulars on here like JC. However, I had had enough and fired back along with one other Horn fan.

    I guess Husker Nation went to Level 5 Red Alert at that point and there have been a few dozen of your buddies weigh in since that time. We are now up to about 38 posts – only five of which are Cornhusker negative. Two Texas fans have participated counting me. Only in Lincoln does this constitute a Bash Nebraska Page. You guys ( I dare not use the phrase Ya’ll so as not to offend) have been hanging around Bo and Carl too long. Have a beer and watch the Poinsettia Bowl. Better yet, tell me where the Nebraska fans meet in the Arligton area and I will buy you a couple of cases for the Holiday Bowl.

  41. Burnt Orange says:

    Arlington, Texas – area.

  42. V says:

    Arlington, that would be the Cool River Cafe in the Grapevine area, a Top-Shelf steak house/night club/sports bar, owned by an NU – that’s right, NU! – alum. Northwestern will NEVER be the real NU. Sorry kitty lover. All NU games are on 90% of their screens, it’s an experience, enjoy! Anybody talkin’ smack about Nebraska is either classless (whorns fans), or a very poor loser (everybody else) – since we probably kicked your butts on a regular basis for the last 110 years. GBR!!!

  43. DMK says:

    My conclusion after reading this string is as follows:

    Boise’s still a fraud.

  44. nizerdone says:

    Dear Bob,

    I appreciate your political rhetoric about as much watching my wife, sister, and mom gang raped by a flange of baboons. You are an abortion. Get worse.

    Nizerdone

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