The following is an attempt by me to explain a few things from a Husker's point of view about this bowl arrangement. In this, I might say some things that might be interpreted as demeaning to UW. I absolutely do not intend to do so. Please understand that I have a lot of respect for your program, and I believe it is on the way up.
That said, anyone who ventured over to Corn Nation undoubtedly noticed that the reaction to this bowl was.....tepi---awww screw it, we're pissed. I'm going to try to explain the why, because it really honest to God has nothing to do with Washington being "unworthy" to play us.
For starters, this has been a really bad weekend anyway. A lot of the more disparaging posts that you might see over on CN results from people being pretty fired up (in a bad way) over extremely fresh wounds. We barely missed out on our conference's championship for the second year in a row. That cemented our season as a failure. We failed to beat Texas, we failed to win the conference. Those were our goals, and we fell (albeit barely) short. That our 3 losses were by 7, 3, and 3 points only adds to the agony.
Then there was the Big 12. The Big 12 engaged in petty little jabs all season to aggravate Nebraska. One of our players became the first to get suspended by the conference for an in-game hit that wasn't particularly notable as far as helmet to helmet hits go. Then highly questionable officiating occurred in two games that we lost. Then they refused to present us with our divisional trophy citing safety concerns due to some nasty emails (that the police didn't feel were credible enough to investigate). And then today, reports almost immediately surfaced that the Big 12 essentially threatened the Insight Bowl with disaffiliation (the Big 12 has to downsize its bowl commitments in future years) unless it took Missouri instead of NU. That denied us a rather appealing matchup with our neighbor and soon to be Big 10 rival, Iowa. So our anger is almost exclusively directed at our soon-to-be (THANK GOD) ex-conference.
Last is the general frustration with the situation. It was a season of high hopes that ultimately fell short, although 10-3 with 3 narrow losses is by no means bad. And now, in our bowl game, we are given an opponent that we've already beaten comfortably, who will have a losing record should we beat them again. This game gives us absolutely no avenue for redemption. If we win by 40, it doesn't mean much. If we win narrowly, its an unsatisfying reminder of how we limped out of this season. If we lose (which is possible...not likely imo, but definitely possible).....it would be an utter disaster.
There is nothing that we can salvage from this game. Our season died when our team choked away a 17-0 lead yesterday. And we're sick about it. Nothing that happens in this game can heal the hurt that we're feeling right now. Even a lopsided win would be a hollow win.
I'm sorry if you didn't want a WoT moaning and groaning about how hard life is for poor Nebraska. I just felt it necessary to explain the negative energy that is coursing through our fan base right now. It's not you. It's us (and our motherf*@!$#& conference).
That said, of all the teams we've played this year, your board was my favorite to visit, and I'm glad to have an excuse to come back and talk football with you guys (and I promise I'm done reflecting on our season).
One last addition after thinking about the situation further: It's not right to make this all about Nebraska. It's not. I genuinely feel bad for you guys as well. This should be a time of celebration for you. This season represents a significant breakthrough for UW. And when you finally get a bowl bid......its against a team you've already played who's fan base is seething right now. Whatever you do, don't let our negativity ruin the moment for all of you.