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If You're Looking for a Sympathetic Victim, You Could Do Better Than Nebraska

Unless you've been living in a cave for the last 48 hours -- and in some areas of the northern Great Plains, a cave would be preferable to the weather outside -- you know that Texas didn't lose to Nebraska, 13-12, in the Big 12 Championship game, played at God's Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday night.  Chances are also good that you know there was a fair amount of controversy involved in the end of that game.  Despite declaring that he knew full well how much time was on the clock, Colt McCoy's last pass bounced off God's Turf with somewhere between 0.3 and 0.5 seconds left on the clock.  Had he put another three feet of air under the ball, no Big 12 referee could have put time back onto the clock, no matter how badly Dan Beebe and Walt Thompson wanted Texas in the national title game.

But, as you know, a second was put back on the clock, Hunter Lawrence bought himself a lifetime pass of free tail in Austin -- no small accomplishment, that -- and Texas will advance to Pasadena to play the Alabama Crimson Tide for the MNC.  Such events unleashed unending wailing and gnashing of teeth to our immediate north, and not because the state is going to be buried under a foot of snow by daybreak Tuesday, but because the clock had read 0:00, their team had been ahead, and somehow they still lost.

The first of the wailing came shortly after the game, as Carl Pelini loudly instructed Texas' players and coaches that they should not be proud to accept the trophy.  It continued in the locker room as Bo Pelini did his best Mark Mangino impersonation.  Onward it went, as Bo, sounding a little like the kid on the playground who knows he's about to get into a fight he can't win, summoned the principal Tom Osborne.  Dizzying heights of obvious frustration and disrespect were reached when Osborne failed to shake Beebe's hand.  Today, even neutral arbiters took up the cudgel for the Huskers, while the locals tried -- and failed -- to make a single coherent point in their own defense.

Nebraska wants you to believe it's the victim in all of this.  They want you to believe they got jobbed by the monied elite in Austin, who have pretty much gotten their way with everything since 1995.  They want you to believe that, but they leave out the most important fact: they themselves are also the monied elite.  While they will complain to no end about Texas' humongous budget and ridiculous facilities and air of entitlement, they'll hope everyone overlooks the fact that they have a budget nearly as obscene, facilities nearly as sparkling, and a fanbase that feels at least as entitled to success as Texas does.  This isn't the Yankees and the Royals.  This is the Yankees and the Red Sox.

Nebraska, including Osborne and Harvey Perlman, will play the role of the downtrodden for the unexamining eye of the national punditry, but we know better.  We know that if Nebraska ever really wanted to do something about "the system," it would add its vote to the other eight schools who want equal revenue sharing in the conference to take money away from those greedy bastards in Austin.  But Nebraska won't do so, and in fact has publicly declared that it won't do so, because it benefits from the same system it now deplores.

Look between my thumb and forefinger, Pelini, Osborne and Perlman.  I think you know what it is and what it's playing for you.