"First and foremost, I think [the arrival of Nebraska]'s a fantastic thing for the conference. I was in the league for nine years back in the '80s, gone for nine, now I've been back again. I was not here when Penn State joined the league. I think we'd agree that's been a tremendous thing overall," said Kirk Ferentz. "I think this is a move that balances that out, if you will. I was not here during that time of expansion, but what a tremendous program they have. What a tremendous university and tremendous people associated with the program. I think for the conference it's a great thing."
With the arrival of Nebraska, the Big Ten can finally host a conference championship game, but more importantly, an extra game in the season that could ultimately determine whether or not a Big Ten team should or should not make the BCS Title Game.
"Well, I think [the arrival of Nebraska] is tremendous for the Big Ten. I mean, you're talking about a storied program with a great history," said Michigan head coach Brady Hoke. "I coached in another league where there was a championship game involved. So I think the excitement of the tradition that Nebraska brings into the Big Ten, then us having a championship game, I think it just brings more fanaticism for the Big Ten Conference."
As for legendary head coach Joe Paterno, who coached the Nittany Lions in their first ever season in the Big Ten back in 1993, he was glad when he heard that Nebraska was the newest member to join the conference.
"I think the conference, one thing I feel extremely good about is the fact that Nebraska is in it. I think most people know I was trying to get another eastern team in the Big Ten. I was hoping we could either get Rutgers or Pitt or Syracuse because it would be more convenient for us as far as the media and things like that," said Paterno. "When we got Nebraska, that was a real coup. It's going to make the league tougher. The tougher the other guy is, the better you get, if you're a competitor."
Coach Paterno, who's amassed 401 wins in his illustrious career, also supports the addition of the Big Ten conference game.
"The fact that it gave us an opportunity to play for a conference championship game, I think it's kind of exciting, it really is. It's something we want to do. If we end up winning the division in a big game in Indianapolis, I think that's great. It will be fun and something I look forward to," said Paterno.
Purdue's Danny Hope was also quick to point out he's in favor of the move.
"I like some of the changes that we've gone through in the Big Ten. I love the idea of Nebraska coming into the league. I think it certainly strengthens our football league. Outstanding football tradition, first-class operation. I've coached against Nebraska before. They're a first-class, big-time football outfit," said Hope.
Overall, the support of Nebraska's arrival into the conference was clearly expressed at Big Ten Media Day. With that said, it should be a fun and exciting season for the Cornhuskers as they try to conquer the Big Ten in just their first season and reach the Big Ten's first ever conference championship game.
- Josh Harvey -