For years I have been told how great and loyal Nebraska fans are. I have been told that all of their home games are sell-outs and that they travel better than any one. However, its time for Nebraska fans to lose their fictional title as “College Football’s Greatest Fan Base.”
On Saturday December 1, 2012 Nebraska faced Wisconsin in the Big 10 Championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
The Cornhuskers arrived in Indy not having won a conference title since 1999 (Big 12 Champs). The Huskers did win the North Division of the Big 12 in 2006, 2009, and 2010, but were not able to close the deal and bring home the hardware. Now, in their second season as a member of the Big 10 Conference, Nebraska was in the Championship game and playing for a spot in the Rose Bowl.
The outcome? Wisconsin “boat-raced” the Cornhuskers to the tune of 70-31.
So why does losing the conference title mean that their fans aren’t the best? Well, it doesn’t. The reason their fans should lose this “fictitious” title is due to the lack of attendance by Nebraska fans at the title game.
The Huskers were favorites to win this game and they really should have. Like I already stated, Nebraska hasn’t won a conference title in 13 seasons and this would have been the first in their new conference. You would think support would be at an all-time high. Unfortunately, it appears to be at an all-time low.
It was reported on November 30th that the Cornhuskers had returned nearly half of their 15,000-seat allotment. Are you kidding me? Nearly half?
The drive from Lincoln, Nebraska to Indianapolis is around 637 miles according to Google Maps. While 637 miles isn’t a short drive, it is a heck of a lot closer than their 2011 trip to Penn State (1,076 miles) or their 2012 trip to UCLA. They even traveled to Ann Arbor, Michigan in 2011 which is around 748 miles from Lincoln and East Lansing, Michigan in 2012 (729 miles). In other words, a good portion of their regular season conference games are all further than the conference title game.
I remember when Nebraska won the Big 12 North Division in 1997 — the Alamo Dome in San Antonio, Texas was a sea of red. Not only is San Antonio 900 miles from Lincoln, Nebraska but the Alamo Dome’s seating capacity is 65,000 (expandable to 70,000).
Seating capacity at Lucas Field in Indianapolis? 62,421 (exapandable to 70,000).
So, what was the total attendance at the Big 10 Championship game? Keep in mind, this number reflects everyone in attendance (both Wisconsin and Nebraska fans).
Are you ready for this? Total attendance was 41,260.
Now, post boat-race, we are having to listen to how “Husker Fans Not Thrilled about Bowl Game Plans.” Are you kidding me? I can understand being upset about falling from the Rose Bowl in California to the Capital One Bowl in Orlando, Florida, however, at least its closer…right!?
- Lincoln to Orlando: 1,432 Miles
- Lincoln to LA: 1,498 Miles
“Paul Glenn says it’s not a lack of support from Husker fans, but a lack of interest in the destination.”
Oh really? Is Paul Glenn under the impression that Husker fans are as supportive as ever? He should take a look at how many actually made the trip to Indy.
Maybe Paul Glenn should tell the Husker fans that, according to some, they have traded-up in terms of going from Disney Land to Disney World?
On the other hand, I am not sure a trip to Disney World is going to soften the blow that the Huskers will be taking from the Georgia Bulldogs. If Wisconsin can score 70, I am guessing Georgia will score 100.