"Growing up in Nebraska, it's darn near impossible to not be a Husker fan," says Kenneth Jarecke, a photojournalist with Contact Press Images and former college football player. "My first football memories are of Heisman trophy winner Johnny 'The Jet' Rodgers ripping through opposing defenses while leading the Cornhuskers to two national championships." Jarecke combined his own memories of playing the noseguard position—one of the most grueling spots on defense—with his photographic eye for Husker Game Day 2010—Farewell Big 12, a new book to be released in November. The tome features more than 275 pictures of the University of Nebraska's final season in the Big 12 conference; the college joined the Big Ten in July 2011 and plays its first conference game this Saturday against the University of Wisconsin—Madison.
"Twenty-five years later after traveling the world and witnessing the best and worst humans have to offer, nine Olympics, dozens of would-be presidents, the poorest and the most powerful among us, I'm back in Nebraska and halfway through shooting my dream project," Jarecke said. Though the book won't hit shelves until November, the photographer is already planning a companion volume, A Big Ten Welcome, which will document the Huskers throughout their inaugural 2011 season in the fabled conference.
Kenneth Jarecke is photojournalist who has worked in more than 80 countries and covered nine Olympic games, Presidential elections, conflict and revolutions. His work has been featured in LIFE, National Geographic and Sports Illustrated among other publications. See more images from Husker Game Day 2010—Farewell Big 12 here.