The University of Nebraska – Lincoln, the newest member of the Big Ten conference, fits very comfortably among the ranks of Big Ten schools.
Nebraska is a land grant university that was chartered in 1869 and is a member of the Association of American Universities. In the fall semester of the 2009-10 school year, Nebraska had more than 18,000 undergraduate students and more than 4,500 graduate students. The school clearly has significant research capabilities; for the year ended June 30, 2009, the school received more than $122 million in research funding. Like Ohio State, Nebraska is located in its state’s capital city named for a well-known historical figure; Lincoln, Nebraska is a city of 250,000. The Nebraska website has a helpful alphabetical listing that compares Nebraska’s enrollment data (and other information) to that of other schools in the conference.
Most of us know Nebraska through its athletic program. The football Cornhuskers play in Memorial Stadium (capacity 81,067), which has sold out for more than 300 consecutive home games. Nebraska can boast of five college football national championships, including three in the 1990s, when Nebraska had one of college football’s most dominant programs. Nebraska also has won national championships in men’s gymnastics, women’s volleyball, and . . . women’s bowling. (As a native of Akron and a lifelong bowler, I have to give props to the Lady Cornhusker Keglers.)
I think Nebraska will be a good fit for the Big Ten, and Big Ten football fans who like traveling to away games — of which there are many — no doubt are looking forward to seeing a Big Ten clash in Memorial Stadium, one of college football’s most storied venues. They will get their chance starting in 2011.