Your heart said Oklahoma …
— Nebraska Sweethearts (@NESweethearts) May 21, 2018
— Dave Engel (@DaveEngel9) May 22, 2018
1. Okie 2. Colorado 3. Wiscy 4. I.O.W.A, make it happen people but if not go down the list 😂
— ❄️The Toddfather❄️ (@huskermadman) May 21, 2018
Oklahoma. Plenty of schools play their rival that day/weekend regardless of conference affiliation. pic.twitter.com/WDeD55M8Rz
— Mike (@lxachillesxl) May 21, 2018
— Black41FlashReverse (@Black41Reverse) May 21, 2018
Your head said Wisconsin …
WI. And its not even close (for me)
IA is simply not a national name… WI has only NOW become a national name…. We need 2 play a team worthy of our national name (and WI fits that bill for now)
— Jeff Gambino (@Husker_AustinTX) May 22, 2018
I'd say Wisconsin. Of course, so far we haven't played up to that level, but thar's a new sherrif in town now 😉
— Husker Dave (@Husker_Dave) May 21, 2018
— Sean Miglini (@SMiglini) May 22, 2018
Wisconsin. Iowa will never be consistently in the big 10 race. Make the game worth something
— Old Husker dude (@KumarxKnot) May 22, 2018
… but your votes, well, your votes said something else:
Just like the last two Black Fridays, Iowa won.
And won big.
A few Mondays back, we asked Nebraska fans to vote on which opponent — the Hawkeyes, the Badgers, Minnesota, even old Big 12/Big Eight sparring partners such as the Sooners and Colorado — made the most sense for the Cornhuskers going forward on the day after Thanksgiving.
Iowa, the Big Red’s Black Friday foe since 2011, when the Huskers began Big Ten play, received more than half the vote — topping 933 out of 1,812 ballots, or 51.49 percent.
Wisconsin — cited by many fans as the Huskers’ true red-letter game, given the Badgers’ dominance of the Big Ten West over the last three seasons — wound up second. And a distant second, with 556 votes, or 30.68 percent.
The Sooners are the ones who got the Black Friday tradition off the ground in 1990, but the sentimental choice got only 231 votes, or 12.75 percent. Colorado, which picked up the Black Friday baton when the Big Eight became the Big 12, received 33 votes, or 1.82 percent.
Minnesota, which will close out Nebraska’s regular season in 2020 and 2021 while Iowa and Wisconsin finish with each another, landed just 59 votes, or 3.26 percent.
It’s a small sample size, granted, but it does serve to illustrate one of the few small divides left among a Huskers fan base that’s found unity — and all kinds of mojo — again under new coach Scott Frost.
The idea of embracing Iowa as a rival still feels to some Nebraska faithful like an acquired taste, a shotgun marriage of convenience as opposed to something organic.
Pros: Proximity. Logic. Shared division, shared values, a shared river, and a shared interstate.
Cons: Not much shared history. And like Colorado, it just doesn’t quite move the needle nationally the way Oklahoma did.
Although this is interesting, too: From 1990-95, Nebraska and the Sooners met six times to close out the regular season, and the Huskers were ranked in every meeting, including four times in the top 10. But only twice in that short stretch were both ranked among the AP Top 25 at the time they locked horns.
The 15-year Colorado Black Friday run that followed saw the prestige factor thin out even more, with the Huskers ranked among the Top 25 in nine of those meetings (60 percent), ranked among the top 10 for only five (33.3 percent), and with both being ranked by the AP when they met on just two occasions (1996 and 2001).
Since 2011 with Iowa, Nebraska came into the contest among the Top 25 in three of seven meetings (42.8 percent), but never among the top 10, while Iowa came in as a part of the top 10 once (2015). And we’ve yet to see a tussle, as members of the Big Ten, when both were ranked at the same time.
Nebraska and Wisconsin, on the other hand, have met at least three different times since 2011 while both were ranked in the AP poll. So maybe the Badgers-On-Black Friday movement has a point.
Although the last — and maybe the best — word on the subject goes to our pal Todd Mousel, who offered up a Black Friday take that almost every Nebraska fan could get behind with full voice:
I don’t know, but I damned sure don’t want to see Mike Riley on Black Friday…unless he’s on the other team
— Todd Mousel (@navymousel) May 21, 2018
Touche, brother. Touche.