Pitchin with Pritch: Pick yourself up, and get back in the game

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Well, Saturday came and went and Nebraska didn’t play Wisconsin or anyone else. The Big 10 had ruled earlier that due to Covid-19 and the problems it has caused that this season the Big 10 would only play games with teams in the conference. 

Then the schedule was rearranged and Nebraska still pretty much had the same teams on the schedule that was originally given them but this time the arrangement of the teams was without a doubt a little more difficult with the first four games being four of the better teams in the conference. 

That led to some people thinking and saying that the Big 10 was picking on Nebraska. It also led to some the national media saying Nebraska was just a crybaby and probably didn’t belong in the Big 10 to begin with because one, the University didn’t put as much importance on scholastics, etc. as the other Big 10 schools did and a bunch of other garbage. 

Sports Illustrated said that “Nebraska Keeps Defying the Big Ten.” Others wrote that Nebraska and the Big 10 were like an “Unhappy Marriage” that neither knew how to end. 

Then came the Covid-19 monster that hit the Wisconsin team. 

Their top two quarterbacks tested positive, along with a number of other players, their head coach and a number of other staff. 

Wisconsin cancelled the game. Probably a decision. Later in the week, even more players tested positive. Nebraska found another team that would come to Lincoln and play the missed hope opener, but the Big 10 said NO you won’t. 

It is my understanding there wasn’t a vote on that or anything, the commissioner of the Big 10 just said “No,” it had been decided earlier that there would be no non-Big 10 teams playing this year. 

Nebraska first checked with other teams and found Tennessee-Chattanooga wanting a game, and Nebraska asked for an exemption and ended up being pretty much vilified by some national media for doing so. 

I think I read that one writer said Nebraska was “willfully belligerent,” and another said that Nebraska “remains a difficult philosophical fit for the league.” I know that Steve Sipple, sports writer at the Lincoln Journal stated that if that is the case, Nebraska perhaps should wear it as a badge of honor.

I wonder what would happen if Ohio State would have a couple of teams on their schedule that couldn’t play their scheduled games, and Ohio State would not get in enough games to qualify for the football playoffs this year. 

Would it be okay for them to pick up a couple of games since they are the team that probably has the best chance of doing well in the playoffs this year? 

I would almost bet exceptions would be made. Honestly if that happened, I would think that would be the correct thing to do.

In Nebraska’s case, it certainly would help if they would win some football games in the conference or outside of the conference or somewhere. Bill Moos, Athletic Director at Nebraska, made the comment that, “What we need to do at Nebraska is, we need to win, you don’t see John Cook complaining.” 

Mr. Moos has a point. Coach Cook is 148-32 in Big 10 play since 2011 and had two NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS as a Big 10 member. 

Football is 40-38 in Big 10 play and hasn’t been close to winning the conference, or getting into the championship game. In the one they did make in 2012, they got beat by Wisconsin 70-31. 

I think Moos was pretty clear when he also stated that Nebraska is a member of the Big 10, so let’s be competitive. These are trying times for all of us and we have been thrown a couple of tough-luck pieces. 

“Pick yourself up and get back in the game.” Pretty good advice, I think!


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