It had to end this way didn’t it? The last stop on the Huskers farewell tour of the Big 12 — a trip that’s gotten uglier and more contentious with each passing week — is Arlington, Texas where they’ll face old Big 8 foe Oklahoma with a conference title on the line. No one in Nebraska would have asked for any other ending. Injuries, rumors, conspiracy theories, apologies, emails and PR black eyes haven’t made for a fun few weeks for Nebraska fans, but a little nostalgia seems like just the remedy. Even at its most lopsided, the OU-NU rivalry was always about respect and that’s something most Nebraska fans haven’t been doling out or receiving much of lately. This is a significant turning point in Bo Pelini’s career. For all he’s achieved in his three seasons at Nebraska — two North division titles, two bowl victories and a defense that’s the envy of any program in the country — Husker fans are still waiting for him to take home some meaningful hardware. This is a chance for Nebraska to go from improving to arriving. Win and they head to a resurgent Big 10 ready to join the nation’s elite. Lose and there’s no ignoring the fact that the Huskers left the Big 12 without winning a conference title in over a decade. Don’t think the Huskers’ old conference rivals won’t delight in bringing it up, either. It’s been a long time since Nebraska’s faced such a program-defining game as this; but Pelini is at his best when he can trumpet the “us against the world” mentality and he’ll certainly have that with fans from Ames to Austin hoping the Sooners can carry the flag for the rest of the conference. Something old, something new, something red and something blue. That’s the best way to describe this state’s two entries in the NCAA Women’s Volleyball tournament getting underway Thursday. Nebraska locked up a Big 12 title and number two overall seed last week. The Huskers host Sacred Heart Dec. 2, the seventh straight year Nebraska has hosted the first two tournament rounds. Meanwhile, Creighton will be making their first ever NCAA tournament appearance, picking up an at large bid after losing the Missouri Valley Conference championship to Northern Iowa last Saturday. The Bluejays face a significantly more difficult road, taking on Iowa State in Minneapolis Dec. 3. The Jump takes you behind the local headlines. Email jump@thereader.com and look for daily updates at twitter.com/brandonlvogel.


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