Nebraska football has sent some signals that it may try and play this fall, even with the Big Ten’s decision to postpone the season until the spring. That hasn’t gone over very well with some in the college football community, including ESPN’s Desmond Howard.
Howard, a Michigan great, was specifically put off by the idea that Nebraska might ditch the Big Ten for a year. He said that the Huskers, a power in the 1990s that hasn’t experienced the same level of success, don’t have the “cache” to make that kind of move. He compared them negatively to Notre Dame, the famously independent program which, coincidentally, will play in a conference for the first time this fall.
“I would demand a public apology from Nebraska, and if I’m Kevin Warren, I’m working on a way to get their ass out of the Big Ten,” the College GameDay analyst said during this morning’s Get Up on ESPN. “They ain’t Notre Dame, baby. They don’t have that cache.”
Luke Gifford, a former Nebraska linebacker who signed with the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent last year, did not take kindly to Desmond Howard’s statement. He replied to the quote with a clown emoji this afternoon, pretty clearly conveying his thoughts about the former Heisman winner.
— Luke Gifford (@luke_gifford) August 12, 2020
For what it’s worth, the Big Ten brass seem to fall closer to Howard’s side of things, though it would surprise everyone if they actually took action against Nebraska football. When asked about the possibility of the Huskers playing as an independent or in another conference this fall, commissioner Kevin Warren gave the idea a clear no. “Not and be a member of the Big Ten Conference,” he said.
This may become a bigger issue for the league though. Ohio State’s Ryan Day is gearing up for a spring schedule, which he hopes will start in early January, but he isn’t dismissing the idea of the Buckeyes doing so, saying that he and athletic director Gene Smith are exploring all options.
If the Huskers don’t have the “cache” to strike out on their own this fall, the Buckeyes certainly do. What that means for the Big Ten is yet to be seen.