It was the calm before The Decade.
Bo Pelini had just declared “Nebraska is back and here to stay” after winning the Holiday Bowl 33-0 over Arizona and finishing his second season at 10-4.
Creighton basketball lost to Indiana State 70-64 in front of 4,017 in Terra Haute to fall to 5-8 in coach Dana Altman’s 16th season.
UNO football finished 7-5 after losing to West Texas State 31-25 in the Kanza Bowl at Hummer Park in Topeka, Kansas.
UNO men’s basketball was 10-1 after beating Emporia State 83-72 at Sapp Fieldhouse on New Year’s Eve.
Meanwhile, Greg McDermott’s Iowa State Cyclones were 9-3 on their way to finishing 15-17 in the coach’s fourth year in Ames.
Little did we know on Jan. 1, 2010, that our little corner of the sports world was about to be turned upside down and shaken.
By late April, Altman had left for Oregon and McDermott was on the Hilltop. A month later, Nebraska was ready to bolt the Big 12 to join the Big Ten.
A few weeks later, we watched our last College World Series game at Rosenblatt Stadium.
And that was only the beginning.
In the past 10 years, we were graced by the presence of Bud and Doug. Said hello to Scott and Fred. Had a front-row seat to Michael Phelps’ greatness and Coach K and Bill Self fighting over a Final Four.
But this will always be known as the Decade of Change. Some of it was natural, much of it was awkward and hard.
College realignment came through our area like an unforgiving twister, uprooting our old homes and spreading our memories like debris, and leaving us to look ahead to an exciting, uncertain future.
For better, or worse, we would never be the same.
Here’s my list of the top stories of the past 10 years, what I recall and what they meant to our community and, well, me.