Sunday, December 25, 2011

Jorge Brian Diaz

The Big Ten Conference is the oldest Division I college athletic conference. It was originally called the Intercollegiate Conference of Faculty Representatives and consisted of seven schools: Illinois, Northwestern, Chicago, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Purdue. It became informally known as the Big Nine with the additions of Iowa and Indiana in 1899. Then Ohio State joined in 1912, Chicago left in 1946, and Michigan State joined in 1950. The Conference formally adopted the title the Big Ten in 1987. Penn State was the 11th school in the Big Ten in 1990 and, as of 2011, the Big Ten gained a 12th addition: the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

The Big Ten announced their decision to expand in December 2009. Though no number was set, many analysts speculated that the Big Ten was hoping to expand to 14 or 16 teams in order to increase the influence of the Big Ten Network and to establish a championship game in football (which they did...with disastrous results). Nebraska first petitioned to join the Big Ten in 1900 and then again in 1911 but was denied access both times. On June 11, 2010, they asked, again, for entry and this time they were accepted.

The Cornhuskers were previously members of the Big 12 Conference (ironically, their entrance to Big 10 brought the membership to twelve while their exit from the Big 12 was one of many changes that brought their membership to ten) and, before that, the Big 8 (which gained four new members to become the Big 12). The Big 10 wanted Nebraska for their football program - 5 national titles, 3 Heisman winners, .702 winning record all time - the basketball program just came with them.

Nebraska hasn't won a conference title since sharing the title with Kansas and Kansas State in 1950. They haven't won an outright title is 1916. They've appeared in the NCAA Tournament seven times in school history and are one of three BCS programs to have never won a single NCAA Tournament game (the others being Northwestern and South Florida). Their last March Madness appearance came in 1998, two years after their one and only NIT championship. They've played in the NIT five of the last ten years.

They've started this season 8-3, with losses to Oregon, Wake Forest, and #22 Creighton. According to, they are not in the top 125 nationally for rebounds, points, field goal percentage, or assists per game. According to Ken Pomeroy, they won't be make the NCAA Tournament this year either. Like football, they're first game will be against Wisconsin. Welcome to the Big Ten, Nebraska.

Since most fans of the Big Ten know little to nothing about Nebraska, this blog is titled after #21 on the Nebraska Cornhuskers, Jorge Brian Diaz. Diaz is a junior 6'11'' center from Puerto Rico. He's the teams second leading rebounder (4.9 rpg), scorer (10.9 ppg), and blocker (2.6); coming into this season, he is 10th on the Cornhusker's all time shot blocker list. Last season, the Cornhuskers were 14.3 when he scored in double figures.

Ta ta,
The Sports Nerd

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