Rutgers is officially in the Big Ten, and a new conference means big changes. Nebraska was the latest school to make the move to the Big Ten – moving from the Big 12 in 2011. To get a better idea of what the move will be like, ScarletReport.com spoke with Big Red Report publisher Josh Harvey about what fans should expect.
What was the toughest part of Nebraska's first year in the Big Ten?
Harvey -- “I don’t know what the coaching staff would say, but the lack of familiarity with each team had to put a major strain on the coaches. When you think about it, most teams’ schemes don’t change from year-to-year unless there are new coaches put into place.
“In 2011, Nebraska literally had to prepare for 12 teams on the schedule that they hadn’t played in the previous two seasons.”
What were the biggest differences you saw in a new conference?
Harvey -- “I didn’t cover Nebraska until their first year in the Big Ten, but was covering the Big 12 conference in Texas while they were in the conference. I think the biggest difference was the rushing attacks in the Big Ten conference. A few teams gave Nebraska trouble on the ground in the first year or two. The Big 12 definitely wanted to spread teams out a little more. The Huskers have since recruited a few positions differently, including linebacker.”
How did other Big Ten media, fans and teams treat Nebraska from your perspective?
Harvey -- “I think for the most part the conference was very accepting, largely in part because they had heard of Nebraska fans’ reputation for being classy. In the first year or two, I think the only complaint you would get from a Nebraska fan would be the reaction of fans in Madison after they beat Nebraska in year one. Some horror stories came out Camp Randle, but nothing that doesn’t happen in most places across the country.”
Has the Big Ten given Nebraska a boost when you look non-revenue generating factors?
Harvey -- “It’s hard for me to gauge this because I just don’t cover the other sports like I do when it comes to football and basketball, but the conference definitely didn’t help Nebraska baseball in my opinion when it comes to conference stature. It will always be a harder road to Omaha for the Huskers in the Big Ten than it would have been in the Big 12. That said, Nebraska baseball should always have the expectation of being in the top three of the conference when it comes to baseball.”
What do you think will be the biggest adjustment for Rutgers and Maryland?
Harvey -- “I think each school will have its unique challenges. When it comes to Rutgers, especially in football, the level of competition is going to likely take a big jump. Over the years, the Big East has definitely had elite teams in football, but from top to bottom they didn’t have the talent the Big Ten has.”