As the Big 12 Conference explores the idea of expanding from 10 teams, one legendary coach of the league wishes a former member would come back from the Big Ten.
Longtime Kansas State coach Bill Snyder made the call back to Nebraska at Big 12 media days this week. He stated that he “most certainly” missed the Wildcats’ rivalry with the Cornhuskers and speculated about how happy they were in their new home in the Big Ten.
“When push comes to shove, I don’t want to speak for anybody, but I’m not so sure they’re pleased with the decision they made,” Snyder said Wednesday.
Snyder also said he knew of two former Big 12 schools that wanted back in the conference, although he wouldn’t specify which teams. Nebraska left in 2011 along with Colorado, who went to what would become the PAC-12. The next year, Missouri and Texas A&M left to join the SEC.
Nebraska is 25-15 in Big Ten play since joining the league. It has reached the Big Ten championship game only once, in 2012, when it went 7-1 in league play before suffering a 70-31 loss to Wisconsin.
On the whole, the success Nebraska has had in the Big Ten hasn’t been much different than what it did in the Big 12 in its final years. In its last three years in that conference, all under Bo Pelini, Nebraska won 17 of 24 league games and took home three division titles but went 0-2 in conference championship games.
A common theme for the Cornhuskers in both leagues has been an inability to win games against top competition. In the Big Ten, they are just 6-9 against conference heavyweights Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin. In those final three years in the Big 12, they were 1-5 against Texas and Oklahoma.