Hey Nebraska, Thanks For Everything (Really)

Oh, hey Tom. I know you might think there are some hard feelings between you and us. But there's really not.

Hey Nebraska. I realize you're leaving us soon. And while there might be some hard feelings from some, I just wanted to say thanks. There's some things I'll miss about you. There's also some things that might be better off moving on. But more than anything else, you just really need my thanks, as well as the thanks of thousands of Cyclone fans and many more around the Big 12.

You see, there was a time, about a year ago, when our relationship was a bit contentious. You were tempted by the fruit of another, and you left our little family. There are some good memories, some bad memories. But it's time to move past that. You see, Nebraska, you've opened up a new world to us. 

Since you've informed us of your impending departure, the Big 12 has taken a little bit of time to grow a touch. We've come closer together as a family. We've reevaluated ourselves. Hell, we've even gotten an increase in our allowance. And we're going to run through that cash in a number of ways:

• The 14th biggest scoreboard in a college football-only stadium in the entire country, good for fourth in the Big 12. The current scoreboard is only 76th biggest. We obviously need this.

• A 50,000+ square foot football only facility, right next to one of the nicest indoor practice facilities in the country. We obviously need this.

• A new track, soccer and softball complex. We obviously need this.

• Plans to horseshoe Jack Trice Stadium. We obviously need this.

Of course, we'd seem petty if we just talked about how we're going to spend our money. I mean, the conservative estimate of doubling our revenues based solely on television projections that have shown to be low based on the Pac 12 isn't a big deal to a school like Iowa State or anything. Speaking of which...

Thanks for making sure people know about us. Iowa State has kind of been a neat secret for some of us. A beautiful campus with athletics programs that, while heartbreaking, are more often than not, well, interesting to watch. But thanks to you guys, more people are going to know about us than ever before. I mean, we're used to people watching us play Iowa every year. But giving us three primetime appearances on national networks? You're too kind. Making sure that our game against Oklahoma - Thanksgiving weekend - is nationally telecast on FX, and being called by Gus Johnson? If this is your way of saying we should replace you as their traditional, old-school, Big 8 rival - well, we're flattered. 

We could sort of sense the gift giving a couple of years back, actually. I mean, eight turnovers? Really? It should have been apparent then that you guys have had Iowa State in your thoughts and well wishes. It's all quite crystal clear, actually. Speaking of which, thanks for making sure that Coach Hoiberg got a win against the school that employed his grandfather, not to mention the school from the town that he was actually born in. I know how you guys really wanted to go to the NCAA tournament and whatnot at that time, but it was obviously more important for you all to make sure that a program that was a little down on its luck had a chance to have some positive thoughts headed into next season. I've even heard from a little birdie that you're thinking about even letting us play you in basketball again, despite hanging out with your new friends in the Big Ten.

This also seems like an appropriate time to thank you for the pure comedy that will be Nebraska-Iowa men's basketball games, twice, maybe even three times a year. 

In sum, if you're happy, we're happy. I know moving on will be good for you. I mean, all of your games will be on television somewhere, and if I'm ever feeling nostalgic, I can always flip to BTN. If you're ever feeling nostalgic, you'll be able to see us, too. Heck, we're thinking about getting together with seven or eight members of our own little family so that you can watch us all the time, too. Even Texas A&M and Oklahoma said they'd think about it. 

Also, I'll try and put in a good word with Texas for you. I know it's tough for you two to get along sometimes. I understand that your 4-10 record against them in football, including just one win since 1974, made things contentious. (Ironically, we have the same amount of wins against them in football in the same timespan as well!) But, you know what, they really aren't that bad. Heck, they've been pretty easy to deal with since they got their own TV channel. A successful relationship is all about give and take. It's just a shame you guys can't get to mend some of these rifts at those AAU meetings you used to go to.

We'll miss you, Nebraska. It seems silly to say that, after you picked on us for so long. I know you let us win some basketball games along the way. (I mean you even let Greg McDermott win games against you! No one else was letting him do that!) Even let us hang with ya in football recently. It was appreciated.

We know there might be some difficulties moving forward. We're gonna have to get used to hanging out with the big kids soon. But everyone's gotta grow up sometime. 

So, Nebraska, we'll be seeing you around. I hear you play a day before our new Thanksgiving rivalry tilt with the Sooners. Against one of our cousins - they're named Iowa. Heck, you two might even be a good match for each other. I can tell you one truth, at least, you definitely deserve each other.

Cordially yours,

Iowa State

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