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Doug's Dugout: The Big Ten blunder

Doug's Dugout: The Big Ten blunder


Every time the Big Ten conference big wigs have a chance to totally redeem themselves, they hit into a triple play to end the inning.

As football was being played in the ACC, SEC and BIG 12 conferences this past weekend, the BIG 10 and PAC 12 teams were watching.. The Power 5 conferences had officially dropped to the Power 3 and the Powerless 2. 

The states in the PAC-12 conference have more restrictions than anywhere else on the planet. Ah… blue states at their finest. It isn’t surprising to see them sitting out the fall sports seasons because of the restrictions and a lack of government leadership.

But the weak state of affairs in the Big 10 conference are unexplainable. Just listen to Big Ten commissioner Steve Warren and that fact is obvious. There are no real answers or explanations, simply more and more excuses or no news at all.

The league made Nebraska the punching bag of the conference with threats of lawsuits and warnings about moving back to the Big 12. The chic thing to do was to attack the Huskers, Scott Frost then to mock and chastise both.

All it took to remove the scorching heat from the Husker camp was for Ohio State to come forward with, basically, the same feelings. Of course, Ohio State was not punched in the gut at all the way that Nebraska was.

I applaud both schools for standing up and asking the simple question, “WHY?” Why aren’t games being played when thousands of high schools across the country, hundreds of college teams and all of the professional teams decided that it is safe enough to play the games?

The Big Ten has painted itself into a corner and, instead of admitting a mistake and that the fall seasons should open in early or mid-October, the conference has opted to hold Zoom meetings and pretend there's some sort of agreement on the way. The reality is, the league is still unable to make a decision. Much of it is fear that changing now would put earlier decisions, and the individuals who made those decisions, in a bad light.

A return to the Big 12 conference probably won’t ever happen as UNL is firmly entrenched in the Big Ten. But it certainly would be refreshing to go back to a league where the conference leadership is not afraid to make a decision with the best interests of the student athletes in mind.

Maybe if Bo had been just a little nicer ...sorry, the mind tends to wander when thinking about what once was, what could have been, and what should be happening in the Big Ten today.

Football in January? Think of the unique tailgating that could bring to Lincoln on a Saturday afternoon. Then again, that would require an intelligent decision. We may never know.

Doug Phillips is a freelance writer for The Schuyler Sun. Reach him via email at


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