Nebraska Cornhuskers' Experience Much Different in Year 2 of Big Ten Media Day

Chad RobbCorrespondent IJuly 26, 2012

LINCOLN, NE. - JUNE 11:  University of Nebraska football coach Bo Pelini jokes with members of the media at a press conference announcing Nebraska accepting an invitation to join the Big Ten Conference June 11, 2010  in Lincoln, Nebraska.  The university will begin integration immediately and start athletic competition as soon as 2011. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
Eric Francis/Getty Images

If you wondered how year two would be for the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the Big Ten Conference, all you had to do is watch their players and head coach Bo Pelini at the Big Ten Media Day.

Last year, Nebraska showed up at the Big Ten Media Day with the entire spotlight on it.

Watching last year’s Big Ten Media session, most fans could tell that the team looked nervous. The Cornhuskers did not know what to expect from their new conference. Everything was foreign to them: the teams they played, the stadiums they played in and the hotels they would stay in.

This year’s Big Ten Media Day was different for the Cornhuskers.

Nebraska was represented at the 2012 Big Ten Media Day by the Nebraska coaching staff and three players: running back Rex Burkhead, tight end Kyler Reed and linebacker Will Compton.

Unlike last year, when the players who represented the team all wore matching red polo shirts, this year, the players wore suits.

Another difference from last year is that the players looked more relaxed and playful with the media. As he usually does, Burkhead was often seen joking around with his teammates.

The Big Ten Conference does not allow for an official media prediction for the end-of-season standings, but the consensus from most fans in 2011 was that Nebraska would enter the new conference and bring home the title in year one. Nebraska had a hard time living up to the high expectations.

This season, Nebraska is not expected to compete for the title.

Michigan will enter the 2012 season with the most talented team. Quarterback Denard Robinson will be competing for the Heisman Trophy. All of the 2012 spotlight is now on the Wolverines team. That is just the way Nebraska wants it.

Nebraska was the main topic at the 2011 Big Ten Media day. This year, the main topic is the situation with the Penn State football team.

The second topic of conversation at the Big Ten Media Day was with Ohio State’s new head coach, Urban Meyer.

Nebraska always seems perform well when it is not the center of attention.

Although Nebraska is not expected to win the conference championship in 2012, don’t be surprised if this confident team did not sneak its way into the game.

During Bo Pelini’s press conference, the coach said that the part of the 2012 Cornhuskers team that stands out the most is their leadership. A team that has good leadership can be a dangerous team for others to play. It will be interesting to see how Nebraska’s leadership helps it in 2012.

One other statement that Pelini made during his press conference involved the situation at Penn State.

Pelini said that Nebraska is not actively pursuing players from the Penn State team. He also said that does not mean that if a player from Penn State was interested in Nebraska, the Cornhuskers would talk to the player.

Sometimes, the conference media days get blown out or proportion. Coaches and players usually do not reveal too much to the media, but a lot could be learned from just watching the Nebraska coaching staff and players. This is a confident bunch, and this year will not be like last year.

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