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Ak-Sar-Ben Itself Merits Praise Along With King Dick And Queen Suzanne - 10-14-10

Come Election Day, White And Terry Can’t Duck Party Labels Any Longer - 10-07-10

Today, Second-Guessing Other Sports Commentators But Some Thoughts On Current Political Issues, Too - 09-30-10

Gates Gives Somber Non-Political Appraisals Of Iraq, Afghanistan - 09-23-10

At Last, A Prominent Moderate Muslim Speaks Out Against Muslim Terrorists - 09-16-10

Today, It’s All About College Football With Some “As I See It” Commentary - 09-09-10

Danes’ Sensible Approach To Immigration Won’t, Unfortunately, Fly In The U.S.A. - 09-02-10

Mosque Controversy Isn’t About Legal Rights; It’s About Moral Use Of Those Rights - 08-26-10

Time To Answer The Obvious Question: What Chance For Success In Afghanistan? - 08-19-10

Two-Paragraph News Story Offers Scary Prospect For World’s Future - 08-12-10

Outdated Constitutional Language Adds To Today’s Illegal Immigration Mess - 08-05-10

Not Wall Street But Democratic Policy Caused Mortgage Market Crash - 07-29-10

Windfarm Promoters Need More Facts, Less Rhetoric - 07-22-10

Nebraska Democrats’ ‘Find A Candidate’ Problem Began Long Months (Years?) Ago - 07-15-10

When The Subject Is Disasters,Obama Needs A History Lesson - 07-08-10

McChrystal’s Firing Spotlights Afghan War And The Slim Chance Of U.S. Victory There - 07-01-10

Advice For An Egocentric President: “I, I, I” Suggests One-Man Team - 06-24-10

Texas Decision Good For Big 12 But Even Better For The Longhorns - 06-17-10

Europe Is Sobering Up From 'Welfare' Binge; Obama-Led U.S. Moving Toward Similar Crises? - 06-10-10

A New Issue: Does ‘Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell’ Make Military Service Easier For Gays? - 06-03-10

Do State Officials Really Understand The Challenges Faced By Omaha Schools? - 05-27-10

Democrats Continue Cheap Shot Campaign Against Republican Congressman Lee Terry - 05-20-10

Cartoonist Koterba Says It Clearly: Don’t Put All The Blame On Schools - 05-13-10

Citizenship For Immigrants Is Inevitable But Start By Closing The Border - 05-06-10

Punish Wall Streeters If They Deserve It But Liberal Dems Spawned The Mortgage Mess - 04-29-10

Did Legislature, Speaker Mike Flood Deserve All Those Kind Words? - 04-22-10

Tiger Sulks His Way Through Masters— Is Obama Gambling On The Nuclear Issue? Rogue States And Terrorists Won’t Sign Up - 04-15-10

Did Obama/Pelosi ‘Sausage Factory’ Produce A Debt-Increasing Unpopular Health Plan? - 04-08-10

The Stories Behind Some Disturbing Headlines And Some Advice For Avoiding National Bankruptcy - 04-01-10

Four-Vote House Margin Makes Americans Swallow Trillion-Dollar Pill They Don't Want - 03-25-10

Insurance Pays 96% Of Family’s Cost For Seven Years Of ‘End Of Life’ Treatment - 03-18-10

President Angry Replaces President Cool; ‘ObamaCare’s’ Chances Helped Or Hurt? - 03-11-10

Americans To Get ‘ObamaCare’ Even If They Don’t Want It? - 03-04-10

Despite The Headlines, There’s Progress In Curbing Violence In North Omaha - 02-25-10

Corporate Expenditures Bad For Politics Except When They Benefit Liberal Candidates? - 02-18-10

Wind Energy Industry Faced Disaster; V.A. Hospital Not Personal Obama Choice - 02-11-10

Some Remarkable Legislative Comments And Some Questionable Media Performance - 02-04-10

When The Subject Is Nebraska Wind Energy, ‘Green’ Is The Color Of Money - 01-28-10

The “Teddy Kennedy Seat” Lesson Might Benefit Both Democrats and Republicans - 01-21-10

Some Legislative Issues—Like Gambling—Deserve Quick Death But Water Issues Deserve Careful Attention - 01-14-10

Today: ‘Big Daddy’ Government Wrong Again, And How Justified Is Cornhusker Title Talk? - 01-07-10

Dan Neary Worthy Of The Honor--
Today Some Upbeat Comments But "Obama Care" Debate Demands Attention
- 12-30-09

Even Without That Health Bill Vote, Another Term For Nelson Was Questionable - 12-23-09

Let’s Talk Football And Why Nebraska’s Suh Deserved The Heisman - 12-17-09

Image of Immigrants Would Be Helped By Less Cinco de Mayo, More 4th of July - 12-10-09

Image Of Islam Is Badly Damaged By ‘God-Approved’ Slaughter Of Non-Muslims - 12-03-09

Close Call For NU Research, Reputation; Thanksgiving Reminder: Count Your Blessings - 11-25-09

NU’s Reputation And Research Role Are Both At Stake When Regents Vote - 11-19-09

Obama’s ‘Yes We Can’
Changing To ‘Maybe We Can’t’?
- 11-12-09

Review The History Before Renaming A Street; Memories Of Sarah, Our Sweet Senior Dog - 11-05-09

“Socioeconomic Diversity” More Important Then Academic Achievement In “Learning Community”? - 10-29-09

A Visiting Sports Columnist Agrees: ‘There Is No Place Like Nebraska’ - 10-22-09

Might Obama Wish He Had A Chance To Say ‘No, Thanks’ To Early Nobel Prize? - 10-15-09

Don’t Overlook The Variety Of Aid Which Goes To ‘Poverty Level’ Families - 10-08-09

Smorgasbord Today: From UN’s “Nutcake Day” To Obama Performance Here And Abroad - 10-01-09

Must Defense Continue To Cover For Huskers’ Anemic Red Zone Offense? - 09-24-09

'Energizer Bunny' President Continues To Add Proposals For Reform - 09-17-09

Today, Variety: Football, Golf And Why No President Should Televise Himself Into The Nation’s Classrooms - 09-10-09

Massachusetts Gave Kennedy Significant Second Chances - 09-03-09

Obama’s Problem Not Just With GOP
But With A Great Many Americans
- 08-27-09

Tiger Could Use Sportsmanship Lesson—And Less Coverage From Fawning Media - 08-20-09

Gallup ‘Competitive’ Label, If Accurate Long Term, Is Good News Not Only For Nebraska Democrats - 08-13-09

Democrats Go All-Out Negative:
Trash Private Insurance Industry
- 08-06-09

Journalistic Watchdogs Turned Lapdogs When Obama Called That ‘News Conference’ - 07-30-09

Look Back, Mr. President: Opposition Is Catching Up - 07-23-09

Dem Lynch Mob Might Hang President’s Hopes - 07-16-09

Dems Start Oust-Terry Effort In The Political Gutter - 07-09-09

Despite Liberal Media's Views, Nation Better Served By Viable GOP - 07-02-09

A Varied Menu For You To Consider - 06-25-09

Freshman President Learning Some Political Realities? - 06-18-09

Voices Of Reason Raised Too Late To Slow Rush To Wind Power? - 06-11-09

Public Will Be Watching Prosecution Of Three Teen-Age Creatures - 06-04-09

Wealthiest Paying Less, In Taxes?
It’s Simply Not True
- 05-28-09

Notre Dame And Obama
Offer A Splendid Lesson
- 05-21-09

Special-Interest Liberals
Shouldn’t Badger Obama
- 05-14-09

A Surprising Source: Obama
Cites Positive Results of Iraq War
- 05-07-09

Media Transfer Their Love
From Candidate to President
- 04-30-09

Suttle Campaign Subtly Two-Faced? Or ‘Just Politics’? Voters Will Decide - 04-23-09

If America Is "At War
With Islam," It's Self-Defense
- 04-16-09

Seven Iowans Change Marriage
Tradition For 3 Million Others
- 04-09-09

Will Liberal Democrats Continue
Escaping The Verdict Of History?
- 04-02-09

Multi-Focused President
Upsets Even Liberals
- 03-26-09

Richard Nixon—Appropriate To Recall The Good As Well As The Dark Side - 03-19-09

Not Reducing Mortgage Costs; We’re Simply ‘Modifying’ Them - 03-12-09

Fair Warning From NY Times: Obama’s “Breathtaking Plans” Would “Transform American Society” - 03-05-09

A Look At Academy Awards Nastiness, But First A Plug For My Book, “Life With Marian” - 02-26-09

Let’s Not Move Slot Machine Cancer From Iowa Casinos To Nebraska Race Tracks - 02-19-09

Whiteclay Is Wrong Target;
Aim At Alcoholism Problem
- 02-12-09

For The Best “Stimulus” Formula:
Put Economic Recovery First;
“Remaking USA” Can Wait
- 02-05-09

Journalistic Hounds Are Still
In Full Pursuit Of Bush
- 01-29-09

‘First Black President’ Celebration
Shouldn’t Further Distract Us
From Job We And Obama Face
- 01-22-09

‘Adults In Wonderland’
Need To Get Real
- 01-15-09

Advice For Husker Fans:
Rejoice—But Be Realistic
- 01-08-09

Kennedy Dynasty History
Includes Shameful Chapters
- 12-31-08

Today Some Merry Christmas Thoughts But A Few Political Barbs, Too - 12-24-08

This Time It’s Indians
Who Break The Treaty
- 12-18-08

Me? A Grumpy Old Man?
One Reader Thinks So
- 12-11-08

Obama Steers A Moderate Course
But Congressional Democrats Veer Left
- 12-04-08

Too Many "Non-Blessings"
This Thanksgiving Week
- 11-26-08

Let’s Hear More About
The Principal ‘Crisis’ Victims
- 11-20-08

Color-Blind Issues Voting
Showed No Turn To The Left
- 11-13-08

Election Made History
But Big Questions Remain
- 11-06-08

Today, A Choice of Topics:
Politics Or Football—Or Both
- 10-30-08

Splitting Electoral Votes Good Idea? Then Why Do 48 States Reject It? - 10-23-08

Dems Take 11th Hour Low Road
In 2nd Congressional District Race
- 10-16-08

Another Government “Welfare Program,” Bargain Mortgages, Caused The Crisis - 10-09-08

Words Can Lose Their Meaning
When A Government Program Is Involved
- 10-02-08

—Have We Learned This Lesson?— Crisis Results When Individuals, Encouraged By Financial Institutions, Try To Live Beyond Their Means - 9-25-08

Bonds To Build Four-Lane Highways?
Where Would The Money Come From?
- 9-18-08

Today, a Large Load of Political
Commentary After a Brief Plug For
My Book, ‘Life With Marian’
- 9-17-08

Major News Media Look Bad
In Non-Coverage of
Edwards’ Sex Affair Story
- 9-11-08

Disadvantaged Students Can Be
Helped Without Discriminatory ‘Affirmative Action’
- 9-04-08

My Favorite Olympic Champion?
It Wasn’t Michael Phelps
- 8-28-08

Will Chinese Get Away With
'Out Air Is Clean' Scam?
- 8-21-08

Windmills, Solar Won't Do It;
Time To Get Real On Energy
- 8-07-08

I Doubt That God or Jesus
Have Heavenly Money on Either Team
- 8-07-08

‘Pop Star’ Obama Lacks Experience,
McCain Lacks Clear Campaign Strategy
- 7-31-08

Top Athletes Should
Know When to Quit?
- 7-24-08

Would Odor of Politics
Taint Fire Chief Choice?
- 7-17-08

Will Hospitality, Qwest Center
Lure Swim Trials Back to Omaha?
- 7-09-08

Omaha Stars Again
On National TV Stage
- 7-02-08

Omaha's CWS Reputation
Gets New "Rave Reviews"
- 6-25-08

S.D. Vote Could Lead
To National Abortion Battle
- 6-18-08

Don’t Let Niobrara Go The Way
Of The Republican And The Platte
- 6-11-08

Voters Didn’t Impose Term Limits
To Rid Legislature of Chambers
- 6-04-08

“It’s Our Turn” Pitch Might
Not End With Hillary Defeat
- 5-28-08

Prime Nebraska Political
Battleground This Year:
2nd Congressional District
- 5-21-08

The 'Browning' of America:
How Far Will It Go?
- 5-14-08

Obama ‘Stumbling’ To Victory? - 5-08-08

"Does Homebuyer Bailout
Reward the Irresponsible?"
- 4-30-08

"Was McCain, Not Clinton,
The Real Winner in Pennsylvania?"
- 4-25-08

"Cleaner Skies Advice For Gore:
Pressure On China, More Nuke
Power If Jane Fonda Will Allow It"
- 4-16-08

"Why The Big Fuss Over
Tiny Gasoline Cost Increase?"
- 4-09-08

"Quietly, Nebraska Yields
All-Public-Power Status"
-  4-02-08

"Obama’s ‘Historic’ Speech Left
Big Questions Unanswered "
-  3-25-08

"Overweight Moore Produces
“Sicko,” Finds An Ally In Creighton Doctor"
-  3-19-08

"Bush Sings, Praises Press
At Annual Gridiron Dinner"
-  3-12-08

"Obama Would Be Least
Formidable Opponent For McCain"
-  3-7-08

"‘Charisma’ Not Always a Good Thing" -  2-27-08

"Could Citizen ‘Packing Iron’
Have Stopped Von Maur Killings?"
-  2-20-08

"Obama’s Style Without Substance
Exciting, But Is It Presidential?"
-  2-13-08

"Barack Obama and John McCain:
A Major Contrast in Egos? "
-  2-07-08

"‘First Black President’
Emphasis Wouldn’t Help Obama"
-  1-30-08

"Kimball Lauritzen: Think of Her
As Joyous on Some New Dawn"
-  1-23-08

"What 'Tough' Election Contest
Was Ben Nelson Talking About?"
- 1-16-08

"Overhyped New Hampshire
Offsets Overhyped Iowa"
- 1-10-08

"Coach Bo Now Well Welcomed;
Time to Start Thinking of NU Wins"
- 1-2-08

"Words of Jews Most Moving
To Me This Christmas Season"
- 12-25-07

- 12-19-07

"Killer Is Getting Just What He Wanted;
Let's Add Anger and
Action to Our Sorrow"
- 12-12-07

"Bo Brings Emotional Fire to NU Job;
Scary News: Huckabee Gain in Iowa"
- 12-05-07

"Callahan Outclasses Loudmouth Critics;
Tom Osborne Treated Him Fairly"
- 11-28-07

"A Thought for Thanksgiving Day:
Tell Them You Love Them"
- 11-21-07

"Callahan Critics: Is Loss to CU
The Only Way to Satisfy Them?"
- 11-16-07

"Crybaby Fans, Sports Commentators
Distracting Players From Their Job?"
- 11-09-07

"Did Bob Kerrey’s Decision Avoid
the Likelihood of Defeat?"
- 11-02-07

"Nosy Congress Makes
Three Bad Calls"
- 10-26-07

"Is This The Way to Run UNL´s
Athletic Program?"
- 10-19-07

"Right Decision Could
Help Both Fair, UNL"
- 10-12-07

"Stop Trying To Make God A Republican" - 10-6-07

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As I See It
Harold W. Andersen is a retired Publisher and Chief Executive Officer of the Omaha World-Herald Company. Full biography.

A number of you have told me that you don’t look forward to reading the column on your computer screen. That’s not necessary if you have a printer. Print out the column and take it with you to the breakfast table or wherever else you choose to read printed material. (You can also call up past columns in case you missed them.)

And, if you haven’t already done so, let us know your e-mail address so that we can send you a weekly reminder when a new column is available.

Texas Decision Good For Big 12
But Even Better For The Longhorns

June 17, 2010

The Texas Longhorns’ startling decision to stay in the Big 12 conference apparently resulted from two cash-related facts.

Pac 10 officials reportedly turned down the “extra sweeteners” cash demands which the Longhorns demanded as a reward for leading four Big 12 teams into the Pac 10.

Texas then agreed to stay in the Big 12 under terms that would allow the school to have its own television network and increase its television broadcast take to more than $20 million a year from the current level of about $12 million.

Good news for the nine other schools which still have a conference home.  And especially good news for Texas, whose performance leaves it substantially better off financially and an even more dominant force in the conference.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln, on the other hand, winds up with both a better deal financially than it had in the Big 12 and an opportunity for academic improvement through assured long-term membership in the most respected conference in the United States.

Nebraskans should be pleased that their old friends in the Big 12—five of them schools with which the Cornhuskers have had friendly rivalry on the football field for more than 80 years—still have a conference home, even though the conference appears pretty clearly to be increasingly dominated by Texas. 

Did Texas Have Any Other Choice?

A good case could be made that after overplaying its bargaining hand and being turned away by the Pac 10, Texas really had little or no choice except to stick with the Big 12. 

Texas alone might have appeal to the Southeastern Conference, but political leaders in Texas had made it clear that the Longhorns would have to include Texas Tech, Texas A&M and Baylor in any conference membership deal.  So Texas stays in the Big 12 in what might be described as fitting the old saying about making a virtue out of necessity.

Very quickly after the story of the Big 12’s salvation broke in the news, this description of the conference began to circulate:  “Bevo and the nine dwarfs,” Bevo being the name of the Longhorn mascot of the Texas football team.

More in a later column about the Texas Longhorns’ success in turning necessity into a major financial coup. 

Let’s turn now to some of the questions remaining after the good-news announcement that the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will become a member of the Big 10 conference effective July 1, 2011.

What exactly is the Big 10 football television network?  How does it operate?  Does it deliver nationwide coverage?

Not All Games Go On Big 10 Network

UNL Athletic Director Tom Osborne has said that being a part of the network will help in recruiting because parents like to see their sons play on television.  Parents “will be able to see almost every game they play,” Osborne said. 

That could be interpreted as implying that the Big 10 network will very frequently be the only place that a Big 10 game can be viewed on television.  But look at a specific example of Big Ten network coverage: 

Last year, only two Iowa Hawkeyes’ football games were carried on the Big 10 television network.  These were relatively low-interest games against Northern Iowa and Michigan State.  All the other Hawkeye games were carried on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 or the Fox Sports Network.  (The Hawkeyes had an 11-2 season.)

In all the massive news coverage, I have seen no explanation of how the Big 10 Network works and whether it will make more televised Husker games available without any pay-for-view charges. 

Last year, three of the Huskers’ traditional triumphs over early-season patsies were carried on the Fox pay-for-view channel.  A fourth game was carried on Versus, part of the special NFL channel.  The remaining 10 games were carried on free-of-charge television networks.

More questions:  When will the conference decide whether to split into divisions?  What teams would likely be Cornhusker division-mates?  Will there be a league championship playoff game between division winners? 

Get Ready For Longer Trips, Husker Fans

As to how much farther Huskers fans—and athletic teams—would have to travel to some Big 10 campuses as compared to Big 12 campuses for Husker road games:  The World-Herald presented an attractive map, leaving it to the reader to figure out the pluses and minuses, which this reader did:

To nine of the 11 other Big 10 campuses, the travel distance would be grater than from Lincoln to six of the Big 12 campuses. 

Three of the trips to Husker Big 12 road games—Kansas State 136 miles from Lincoln, KU 192 miles from Lincoln and Iowa State 223 miles from Lincoln—are shorter than the shortest trip to a Big 10 campus—to Iowa City 302 highway miles from Lincoln.

Amidst all the official rejoicing in Nebraska’s regard to UNL’s leaving the Big 12 for membership in the prestigious Big 10, UNL Athletic Director Tom Osborne did the best job, I thought, of expressing regret over breaking relationships which go back so many years—in some cases, he noted, over 100 years.

The best example:  The Huskers first played Kansas (a 12-0 loss) in 1892 and, after a two-year break, resumed the rivalry in 1906 for a run that continues to this day. 

From the start, one of the problems posed for writers—from headlines to editorials—was to avoid use of “University of Nebraska” and “NU.”  It should have been “University of Nebraska-Lincoln” and “UNL.”  One press account got it wrong eight times.

Bob Devaney Appropriately Remembered

Appropriately, one of the multitude of news stories recalled the important role which Bob Devaney played in the rebuilding of the Cornhusker football tradition, which had fallen on hard times during World War II and the 16 following years. 

In his first year at UNL in 1962, Devaney took basically the same players from a team which the preceding year had won three games and coached them to a 9-2 season, including a 25-13 win over Michigan at Ann Arbor in the season’s second game. 

Devaney became truly a legendary coach, coaching the Huskers to six Big 8 Conference championships, one tie for the championship and two national championships, in 1970 and 1971.

And, very importantly, Bob Devaney saw to it that his offensive coordinator, Tom Osborne, became his successor.  Osborne, of course, became another Nebraska legend, coaching the Huskers to nine conference championships, four co-championships and three national championships. 

Nationally, the academics aspect of Big Ten membership gets little if any attention.  A subhead to a front page story in USA Today, for example, read:  “Scramble for TV money may spell end of Big 12.”  The story carried over to an inside page under this headline:  “Football money drives shifts in college sports.” 

‘Want Long-Term Deal? Pledge Media Rights’

A remark by UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman suggested that the only way to assure long-term membership in a conference is “assign the media rights to your athletic contests to the conference for the long term.”

Correcting an error and an omission: 

A news story/commentary suggested that when Big 8 Nebraska scored 84 points against Big 10 Minnesota (it was in 1983 and Nebraska won 84-13), the Huskers went on to win the national championship.  Wrong.  The “Scoring Explosion” Huskers (starring Mike Rozier, Irving Fryar and Turner Gill) lost, 31-30, to Miami in the Orange Bowl and finished second behind Miami in the Associated Press National Championship poll.

The omission:  A newspaper visit to all present Big 10 conference schools gave proper attention to Nile Kinnick, Heisman Trophy winner and quarterback of the famed 1939 Iowa “Ironmen” team.  Kinnick died on a training flight as a Navy pilot. 

But not mentioned was the fact that Kinnick was an Omahan and attended Benson High.  The Hawkeye football stadium is named for him.  The Omaha Northwest High School stadium is also named for Kinnick.

The focus on Big 10 traditions and history included reference to Hayden Fry as a legendary coach who took Iowa to the Rose Bowl three times as Big 10 as conference champions in the 1981-1990 era. 

In 1980, another coaching legend, Nebraska’s Tom Osborne and his Cornhuskers had beaten Hayden Fry and his Hawkeyes 57-0.  The Hawkeyes won 10-7 in 1981.  The Hawkeye-Husker, Fry-Osborne rivalry ended after Nebraska beat Iowa 42-7 in 1982.

* * *

Family Chores Need Study, I Believe

Two different perspectives on getting a family job done: 

The wife of a very good f riend of mine—the wife is also a very good friend—said she would take charge of moving the family possessions to a new residence and would be so thoroughly engaged in that task that “Don’t even call to ask me how it’s going.”

By way of contrast, I offer this conversation between Marian and me when she asked about some household chore or other.  My response:  “Don’t worry.  I’ll get around to it.” 

Marian’s response:  “That’s what you said last week.”

* * *

Next week, back to more typical subjects, but spiced with a few more football comments.  After all, that topic is of even greater interest (yes, I believe that’s possible) to Nebraskans these days.

# # #

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