The Alamo Bowl game between the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the Northwestern Wildcats was the first meeting between the two teams in 26 years, but it may have done much to stir a bitter rivalry between the two teams.
The boiling emotions may have begun long before the two teams met. The Huskers were openly frustrated by the fact that they were not playing in a BCS game they thought they deserved. Northwestern, while grateful for the bowl appearance, were slighted by the Citrus Bowl and just missed the Rose Bowl despite earning a share of the Big Ten Championship.
Throughout Saturday's game tempers flared amongst the players on the field and on the sidelines. At times the emotions lead to some minor scuffles between players.
The emotions spilled over into the Husker post-game press conference where All-American center Dominic Raiola let his feelings be known.
"These guys were disrespecting us all week," Raiola said. "We wanted to shove it down their throats, and that's what we did. They tried to keep up with us, but they couldn't. I don't think they deserve to be Big Ten champions. I have no respect for them."
Raiola even found himself in a confrontation with jeering Northwestern fans. He responded to their taunts with a throat-slashing jesture as he was leaving the field.
Husker linebacker Carlos Polk was similarly unmoved by the Wildcats.
"They're a good team," Polk said. "But they're not on our level."
Husker head coach Frank Solich said he was aware of the raging emotions between the teams.
"I think that there is no question both teams are tremendously competitive, (Northwestern) wanted win the football game very badly. They wanted to prove they're a physical football team," Solich noted. "At times things on both ends of it did go a little bit beyond (with) maybe a little bit of pushing, a little bit of talking. But we got through it and we move on."