October 28, 2009

The Next Chapter

Man I love to write.

When I was a kid, I would write stories about nothing in particular so nobody in particular would read them. For 3 weeks when I was 10 years old I wrote a 20+ page “story” about a boy and his robot friend. (No, not A.W.E.S.O.M. – O but God I loved that episode) When I got to high school, I would get in trouble for turning in papers that were too long and too wordy. Then e-mail came along, and I bantered back and forth with friends about just about everything. Eventually I started to write about things that made me angry all the time, and lots of people started to read. It was pretty cool to have my work featured on ESPN.com, CNNSI.com, and Maple Street press. It was great interacting with readers and bloggers, taking part in “round tables” and the like. But in the end…life went on and that fire I had just kind of burned out.

This past summer, I started this current blog to at least give me a writing outlet, so that I could address issues as they came up and feed that craving that somewhere still burned inside me. But after several months…even trying to put down thoughts to screen once a week has become a burden of sorts.

So when you still want to write, yet don’t like your vehicle in which to express those writings, what do you do? Start a pet blog? Twitter away the day? (Don’t worry..I like Twitter because it’s quick and doesn’t require much thought. That’s certainly not going anywhere soon.) What do you do if you are stuck with the same old problem you tried to get away from the first time?

I’m in my late 30’s, and my path in life is pretty well chosen. Most of us from Generation X feel the same way I’m sure, as we approach 40 and try to figure out what we want to do with the back half of our lives. Perhaps you are like me? All throughout my childhood and beyond, I was timid in approaching things that I wanted to do…but didn’t have the guts to do. Later in life, the same feelings persist of restlessness and fear of failure still simmer. The way I see it…you can either try and stuff those feelings inside, or you can turn them into action, and do something about them. Even if you fail, at least you can look back upon yourself later and said, “at least I tried it.”

What I’m going to be doing is going to take away from my spare time normally spent writing blogs, watching games or yapping on message boards. It’s going to take concentration and effort and most likely will consume my spare time like nothing else I’ve ever tried before. But I say this again…if you don’t try, how can you live with yourself later on, knowing you MAY or MAY NOT have been able to do it?

Starting very soon, I’m going to shift my focus into doing something I’ve always wanted to do..but never had the guts to pursue; and that something is writing a book.

I can’t really divulge much more than that, other than I have thoroughly enjoyed my time bantering back and forth with people who both agree with me, and those who absolutely loathe me. For a long time, that jousting, that verbal sparring with friends and foes alike got me through the sporting calendar and kept me in tune with myself. But getting angry and writing long diatribes simply doesn’t light my fire anymore.

You see…to me, challenging yourself is the most noble of endeavors. All the time, we read sob stories of people who started business or personal ventures that failed. They are often pitied or even mocked. (Hell, even I mocked Aaron Taylor and other former Huskers as they failed in their attempt to open a restaurant in Omaha a few years back.) But in the end…I was very very wrong about that. (I still wouldn’t have been caught dead there, but still) People who take risks are the ones who should be envied..not pitied. People who push themselves to do better are the ones who take the hardest falls, but reap the greatest rewards. As the old cliché goes: “You can’t steal second base, if your feet are standing on first.”

I have no idea if a book that I author will ever be read by anyone other than me. I have no idea if somebody..somewhere will look at it and think, “This is pretty good…I think I’ll keep reading.” I have no idea how any of that would go. But what I do know is..I simply can’t go any further without at least finding out.

This blog is not closing, but the concept of it certainly is. I may go weeks, maybe even months without commenting on your favorite team or the teams you hate. I may throw out a random power poll or I may, at some point, feel the fire again and rant and rave on somebody or something for old times sake. For those of you thinking, “This idiot is just finding a new way to waste is time”, that’s fine. For those of you who think to yourself, “Oh sure…stop now when your team sucks”…please remember this: Your team just lost to Iowa State…at home…and all I could muster was a one word reply. THAT right there, should speak more than any speech I can come up with.

The readers of my work are often one of two people: Either somebody who agrees with me and eggs me on for more…or someone who hates my guts and simply reads my work to fuel their own rage. (Or to go on super long rants on the radio…but I’m not going to touch that one today). To all of you, I say thanks again. I appreciate the kind words and the not so kinds words. But at the end of the day…I hope you all understand that.

I’m going to challenge myself, because I think I have the skill and the patience. I don’t want to sit around wondering why I didn’t do something, when the opportunity is certainly there. I want to look back and be proud that success or failure, I was able to attempt something most people wouldn’t have the ability to even dream of.

Stay tuned for more, and thanks again for your kind and not so kind words.

AJ

October 24, 2009

October 22, 2009

Afternoon Thoughts


It’s been a while since I sat down at the old PC and just let if fly. It's pretty obvious that the hate doesn’t really hit me the way it used to, but every once in a while…angry thoughts still float in my head, only to spill out through my fingers. Regardless here goes:

* This is going to be the year….I can feel it. You mark my words…Boise State, TCU…SOME crappy team somewhere is going to somehow sneak into the BCS title picture and jack it up for everybody. Boise is going to sneak into #2 and be the worst BCS team in the history of football…which is saying a lot considering how awful Hawaii was a few years ago. And no… a playoff is not really the answer and will never happen anyway, so save that argument as well. I’m sick of Boise…get rid of them, that hideous orange and that stupid blue turf.
But why not you ask? Why not let somebody new in to "mix things up" you say? Because beating Oregon at home in week #1...only to steamroll the second worst conference in America is not my idea of a great team. Should they get the chance to compete at that level? Sure. I certainly don't believe in creating a BCS Super-Class where only 6 conferences can have access to the title. But if Boise or TCU or BYU are going to crash the party...they better REALLY be crushing teams left and right. Their right to exist is fine, but they have to step up and show me MORE THAN THE OTHER TEAMS, that they belong there. Besides, College Gameday is at BYU this Saturday...what more do they want?

* Why is everybody badmouthing Iowa? OK, fine…they nearly loss to a FCS team and yes…they’re about as exciting Tom Osborne leading your step aerobics class…but they’ve won AT Penn State and AT Wisconsin. For all the teams with zero losses, this to me is about as impressive as anyone…including a horribly overrated Florida team, who needed two of the worst calls in the history of the sport to beat a mediocre Arkansas team last week.

* In terms of the Big 12 this week…looks to me like another week where just about anything can happen. Since we’re at the (near) midway point of the season, a couple of observations:

Biggest surprise so far? To me, it’s gotta be Iowa State. We all knew that Oklahoma would have some struggles with a new offensive line, and yes..the loss of Sam Bradford really hurt, but to me…no team has shocked me more than Iowa State. Sure, they haven’t really beaten anyone of substance and yes…they may get ambushed in front of 86,000 combine owners this weekend in Lincoln. However, when you look at where they came from, it’s pretty easy to see the improvement involved. They still have a ways to go, but the Clones are definitely heading in the right direction…at least so far.

Biggest Disappointment? Depends on who you ask. By my count, just about every team in the conference could qualify for this designation ½ way through the year. Texas is undefeated, but has looked shaky at times. Oklahoma has three losses. Nebraska was colon-pounded at home by 3TD’s to a team that has struggled to win road games over the years. Mizzou lost a 12-0 lead while prepping animals for Noah’s ark. Kansas lost a VERY winnable game in Boulder, and finally realized they need more than just Todd Reesing to win a game. Oklahoma State and Tech have both lost to a Houston team that is certainly good…but certainly not great either. So my winner? To me it’s a tie between Colt McCoy and Roy Helu. McCoy has been inconsistent, ranking 39th in the nation in passing efficiency and Helu…despite a couple of decent games..has failed to be the guy who was to put Nebraska’s offense on his back . Maybe not the two worst players in the league, but definitely two I felt could have been a bigger factor this season.

Revised predicted final standings..and no, not the power poll:

North:
1 – Kansas (Get NU at home, but is defense fixable?)
2 – Missouri (Everything rides on Gabbert’s ankle)
3 – Nebraska (1 loss = chaos, what will 3 or 4 losses bring?)
4 – Colorado (Hansen to give the Buffs a huge late boost)
5 – Iowa State (Defense has to step it up)
6 – Kansas State (Desperately needs consistency and a signature win)

South:
1 – Oklahoma State (Not sure why, just have a feeling)
2 – Texas (Seems due for a letdown)
3 – Oklahoma (They’re not a 3-3 team, but is it too late?)
4 – Texas Tech (Still has to get by OSU and Oklahoma)
5 – Baylor (they’re going to bite somebody..but who?)
6 – Texas A&M (@Tech, @Colorado, @OU and Texas. Doh)

* Finally….everybody is bashing this Henne guy…aka “Balloon Boy’s dad”. OK sure, it is easy to write him off as some sort of egotistical crack pot who is exploiting his family for the benefit of his own desires. However, you call him an A-hole…I call him brilliant. Why? Observe…

Dude knew he was going to get caught, there is no dobut in my mind. Dude also knew that eventually, the authorities would figure out what was going on, and he would be brought up on charges etc. But despite all that, all this clown wanted to do was be on TV. Bingo. You think he cares he looks like a gigantic douchebag? You think he cares he’s reviled from coast to coast? Hell no he doesn’t care, because he knows that Nancy Grace, TMZ and E! will have his name splashed across the TV for months, maybe even years. All he had to do was get his name out there, and it certainly worked. Being on a shitty reality TV show didn’t work. Making ridiculous YouTube videos didn’t work. What’s left to try? Child endangerment and lying all of America of course.

Personally, the guy really is a slimeball and deserves to be locked away and eaten by rabid wolves…but look at what he was trying to do; look what he was trying to accomplish....He did EXACTLY what he set out to do. Just as these kids who are hell bent on making their mark on society by shooting up a school or mall…this clown simply used the media against itself…giving them what they…and apparently society as a whole…craves: Attention.

Props to you Balloon Boy dad. Lots of people don’t understand your madness. But I get it.

October 20, 2009

The More Things Change....

Super busy week with so much going on, yet so little motivation to write. Some have written to me this and asked if I had any comments on Nebraska's newest implosion and subsequent quarterback "controversy". My answer to that is no. There is nothing going on now that I didn't already know this year, last year or the year before. Just as Joe Ganz, Corey McKeon and countless others before them...Husker fans have turned on their own in record time. In this case, it took just 60 minutes for Zac Lee to turn from hero to being-replaced -by-a-freshman-with-horrible-mechanics. Haven't we seen this before? Does this sound familiar?

Even with my own team on the cusp of an 0-3 league start, don't think for a minute that the Husker hating movement is any closer to rising from the ashes. Just as years before have shown us...even the occasional noise is almost always followed by the inevitable "splat".

Been there...said that. No need to go into it again.

* LOTS of crazy stuff going on in the power poll...so here's a bit of an extended view as I see it. REMEMBER, as with any "power poll" you see online, the results are based on who IS THE BEST TEAM RIGHT NOW as I see it. "Best team" is obviously a relative term, but in my opinion...with all factors being the same and taking each teams' resume at face value...How do I see things sorting out? This might be the most convoluted power poll in history, so work with me here.



NORTH

1) Kansas (5-1, 1-1) vs. Oklahoma
The way I see it, there are two ways you can look at Kansas: You can look at them as a 5-1 former BCS team with an outstanding offense and a great QB, who had one bad game on the road. OR....you can see them as a complete sham with three good offensive players and not much else, who have beaten absolutely nobody..including struggles with Iowa State and Southern Miss. That being said, it appears to me the Squaks are about to make their long-awaited meteoric decent into oblivion now that their schedule gets tough. OU is wounded, but Landry Jones may for 900 yards against that horrible defense. Good luck Redleggers

2) Missouri (4-2, 0-2) vs. Texas
Mizzou hangs in with a 2 game losing streak, having lost in the later minutes of a monsoon, and then went toe to toe with a gimpy Quarterback against a very good Okie State team. I'm not ABOUT to say the Tigers are going to upset Texas, and they very well get smeared all over the turf Saturday night. But an easy argument could be made that with a couple breaks...Mizzou could easily be the best team top to bottom in the division and sit at 5-1 or perhaps 6-0. How will they react if Texas plants a boot in their ass? Guess we may see.

3) Iowa State (4-3, 1-2) at Nebraska
Do you people realize how close Iowa State is to being 6-1? A blocked field goal against KSU and a late defensive collapse against Kansas are all that separates Iowa State from being the feel-good story of the year. The clones are rushing at a clip of 214 yards per game and average over 400 on offense. ISU was surprisingly balanced against a bad Baylor team last week, but you have to admit there is progress being made. Now, can they waltz into Lincoln and steal a win? Probably not...but would it shock me if this game is 7-6 going into the 4th quarter? Nope.

4) Colorado (2-4, 1-1) at Kansas State
OK, Tyler Hansen playing quarterback instantly improves the Buffs ten fold. And yes, they did hang with Texas for quite a while in the most hostile environment in the conference. But even before that...a whitewashing of Wyoming and just a 4 point deficit late in the 4th against West Virginia...on the road on a Thursday...tells me there is more progress here than people are giving Dan Hawkins credit for. Actually, if you look at it, Colorado may just be in the North driver's seat with Mizzou and Nebraska still to play at home, and a trip to Stillwater really the only game left where they will be big underdogs. A win over a KSU team that put up 60+ points is a must this weekend in what I think might be the best game you don't watch this Saturday.

5) Nebraska (4-2, 1-1) vs. Iowa State
So let me get this straight..Nebraska has played 12 quarters against non-Sun Belt teams and scored touchdown in just two of them? 57th in the nation in total offense? Sudden quarterback controversy? Bo Pelini snapping at local media? The Huskers are a powder keg waiting to go off yet again...just in time for the most important stretch of games of the year. The hicks could easily polish off ISU with a good defensive performance and things may return to normal....OR...they may play a close game with the Clones and the questions and finger pointing moves up a notch or two or fifty. HUGE couple of weeks for Bo Pelini, who better figure out how to score touchdowns quick. What will happen first? Bo Pelini throws a cup of water at a reporter? Or the Huskers score a rushing touchdown?

6) Kansas State (4-3, 2-1) vs. Colorado
KSU is the ultimate Jekyll and Hyde team to me...losing by 40 points one week and winning by 40 points the next week. However, in looking a little closer, how many of those 62 points put up last Saturday were off turnovers? How do you score that many points when you 69th in the nation in total offense? I must admit, I've only seen KSU one time, and that was against UCLA...however, the wild inconsistencies seem to me a bigger problem than meets the eye. Who knows if Bill Snyder's QB by committee system will work...but a win over an upstart Colorado would be gigantic in terms of moving in the right direction. My jury is still out on the Cats at this point.

SOUTH

1) Texas (6-0, 3-0) at Missouri
Who else are you going to put here? The Horns were relatively unimpressive in the Cotton Bowl last weekend, but in a rivalry game like that, you really can't put much stock in anything other than the W. Colt McCoy is getting grilled in the media this week in terms of "figuring out what's wrong"...which tells me he's about to go OFF on Mizzou's improved but still far from great defense. Lack of a true running game will hurt UT in the end, but in the short term, holding teams to 14 points a game...including 34 in the past 3 weeks is a pretty good accomplishment. The Halloween match up in Stillwater looms large this week.

2) Oklahoma State (5-1, 2-0) at Baylor
Despite missing two of their best players, the Pokes continue to rack up points. Even though they cruised to the finish against Mizzou, they were still out gained by 40+ yards and barely racked up 350 yards of offense. (3 turnovers and a couple of big Mizzou drops helped) That might not cut it when Texas comes to town, but at least they get a nice scrimmage in Waco to get ready.

3) Oklahoma (3-3, 1-1) at Kansas
Everybody writes off Oklahoma, yet their three losses this season have been by 1, 1 and 3 points. Uhhhh, that's still pretty good. On paper, the Saturday match up with KU looks fairly even, but if Landry Jones has even a HINT of a good game, KU is going to be in for a world of hurt. I imagine the locals will be hopped up enough to give OU fits...but seriously...how intimidating can 50,000 Zima drinkers be...waving their arms back and fourth like they're at a Miley Cyrus concert? Sooners will have their backups in by the end of the 3rd.

4) Texas Tech (5-2, 2-1) vs. Texas A&M
Holy shit did they crush Nebraska. Actually, most of the game was fairly competitive, but just as I said last week..they did what they had to do early and got Nebraska out of their ball control scheme. That Sheffield kid looked like the real deal, as the blackshirts fluttered around like clowns at a circus. (Hey Niles Paul..feel free to FALL ON THE BALL.) Not sure what all of it means...but it tells me Texas Tech is exactly who they always are...a good, solid but not great team who can lay an egg at any time, or throttle the crap out of a team at any time. As for this week...if A&M gave up 60+ points to KSU.....what will happen when they face...

5) Texas A&M (3-3, 0-2) at Texas Tech
I'm going to give the Ags a bit of a pass against K-State. It was cold..they turned the ball over five times, and let's face it..they really weren't going to win the division anyway. Now their 94th ranked defense gets to take on a Texas Tech team that put 31 points up on Nebraska in Lincoln with relative ease. Good luck boys.

6) Baylor (3-3, 0-2) vs. Oklahoma State
Nick Florence was finally yanked after 2 awful games, and replaced by 10th year Blake Szymanski. Did you know that SEVEN different Baylor players have thrown passes this year? I realize their offense is in disarray after Robert Griffin went down, but good lord Art Briles, dial it down a little bit. Baylor gets to finish the ride down the toilet bowl this season with games against Okie State, Missouri, Texas and Texas Tech. As for Saturday...Okie State is one of the nation's best running teams...Baylor is 100th in rushing defense and giving up nearly 200 ypg. Hmmmmmmm

October 13, 2009

Throwing Mud

I've been doing this for quite a while.
During the 5 or 6 or whatever years it's been since I started recording my thoughts about college football online, I thought things were pretty well black and white around here. I've predicted things and hit them square on the head...I've predicted things that missed wildly. I've written things that anger millions and I've written things that lots of other people think, yet nobody really has the strength to say. But even after all that, throughout all those years...you'd think some of you would get to know me back.

Apparently, that's not the case.

Take this past Thursday, where nearly three years of pent up Husker frustration were unleashed on me and my writings in the form of hateful e-mails...snotty comments, rambling IM's and delusional radio host diatribes. If you're a Husker fan, and you're one of those people I just described...you probably won't believe me here...but I completely understand. You should run your mouth. Trust me on this, I expect it. Talking shit is a fine art that is only perfected by the few...and as you can probably see in the comments field, it appears that not one single reader of this blog is good at it. (Seriously, some of you should read through your comments before you hit 'send'. I'm embarrassed for you and I don't even like you)

For you see...talking shit about sports isn't about being opportunistic. It's not about yelling "scoreboard" after disappearing for 2 years. It's not like something out of an Eminem video...where one guy stands in front of a crowd, firing off 'yo momma' rhymes as the bass shakes the windows of the room. It's not trying to find the catchiest angle or uncovering that one stat that makes your point. It's not about calling people names. It's not about throwing out F-bombs and showing people how Internet badass you really are.

No, talking shit is about one thing and one thing only: Pissing the other guy off.

It might shock some of you to hear this...but I've hated Nebraska far longer than the 5 years I've run this or any other blog. And during that time...believe it or not...the Huskers actually managed to win a game or two during that time; Or in my case...pretty much all of their games all of the time. This is the #1 idiotic misnomer I hear nearly every single day...hell, I've heard it 3 times in the past 24 hours throughout the Internet universe, "When the Huskers get good, you'll slink back into your hole and disappear."

Oh quite the contrary.

When the Huskers "get good" is when Husker fans decide to open his mouth and say something stupid. It's when they suddenly show up from a 3 year hiatus trying to find that perfect insult to send me. It's when they suddenly decide to address a local blogger every segment of a radio show, when in years past he was completely ignored. It's when ridiculous claims come to light (Suh for Heisman? Seriously?) and when relatively smart people say completely idiotic and asinine things. (The Heisman trophy? Seriously?)

Am I upset my favorite team lost* on Thursday to a team that I feel is a complete sham? Sure it does. But when looking at things at face value, what do I see? This is where some of you this week completely lost track of truth and reality. For those of you who's scarlet and cream colored panties are still tightly wound into a bunch, I did not say the rain caused Missouri to lose* the football game. What I said was that the conditions changed the game so much that it's impossible to take anything away from it rather than the final score. That goes for both teams, including Nebraska...whom I'm sure has a bit more offensive firepower than 260 yards on "shitty" Mizzou's defense. If you think the weather had no impact on the game at all...one way or another...you are a dipshit. End of story. That doesn't change the final score, and I "accept scoreboard" just fine. It just doesn't prove anything more to me. (And don't get me started on "accepting the better team won", because I'm still waiting for that acceptance from last year that never ever came from any of you)

But I digress....I'm not here to defend my stance, because quite frankly..I could really give a damn what you think about it. I don't care if you saw it as a blowout Husker victory...nor do I care if you think the weather impacted the game or not. For you see, I don't really care that much about breaking down games...nor do I really care about Nebraska football in general that much anymore. If that fire still burned white hot...I'd still have the old blog up and you'd see me plastered to every Husker message board from here to Scottsbluff looking for a verbal fight to start with every DeKalb using hayseed I could find. Instead, I simply write down what I'm thinking..maybe tweet a few things..and suddenly I'm back to being public enemy #1.

Good.

When I arrived in Nebraska, the Huskers were on the verge of becoming one of the most dominant dynasties in the history of the game. When I was in my 20's, I put up with fans rampaging their arrogance into the ground with their 60 wins in 5 years...while my own team won 1/3rd that many in two decades. No, hating Nebraska and the gomers who root for them did not start for me in 2007. It started long ago and began as defending my own shitty team against buddies who constantly....ruthlessly and vigorously challenged me to talk trash and defend my crappy team against one of college football's biggest juggernauts. Do you know how hard it is to talk trash when you haven't beaten the other team in 24 years? Do you know ho hard it is to talk trash when Kirk Farmer is your quarterback? But I did it, and I did it well.

So with that...you think some fluke monsoon-aided loss* during a rebuilding year is going to send me over the edge? Well no offense...but you're giving yourself WAY WAY too much credit for something (I say again) that really didn't show me anything.

You see...my team doesn't win 4 games a year anymore. Guys like Kent Skornia and Darius Outlaw no longer line up under center, just as guys named Frazier, Crouch and Green no longer line up for the Huskers. Despite what your faded t-shirt says...those days are long since gone...and as many of you witnessed, I've already fought those dragons...and did so til the last one was killed on October 4th, 2008. Everything else since then...and everything else in the immediate future is simply a milepost in a post-apocalyptic world where your bullshit and my sense of doom really don't mean much of anything anymore. Hard to believe, but that 35 point ass-kicking last season really was the end of the line. When I said that was it..that really was it.

But if I'm the self-indulgent idiot many of you claim me to be...if I'm "not even worth the time to read"...then why are you here? Why do I get so much attention? Why did I get 2.2 million hits on my previous blog? Do I advertise on local radio? Do I start threads on random Husker and big 12 message boards touting my own abilities and whimsical savvy prose? Why am I not just another crappy blog written by some nutjob, just like the thousands of others that litter the cybersports landscape? Damned if I know. But I do know one simple thing: I know my audience and I know their weakness. I know what angers them and I know what makes them tick.

Congratulations Husker fan...apparently you beat* me this time. For one night, your team proved me wrong, and thanks to some divine intervention, you've had your day once again. But what about tomorrow? What about next week? What about the remainder of the season? I've said this before, and it remains true even more so today....my quest to expose Husker nation as fraudulent hypocrites ended a year ago, because there was nothing left to prove. Gone are the claims of classy elegance, and here are the days of passing around photos of crying players. (Which by the way will NEVER be as funny as crying kids you copyright stealing bastards.) Despite the end of that journey, the games continue...as will the ridiculous arrogance and false legend that is "classy" Nebraska football fans. In the end, all I know is that those Husker fans I railed against in the mid 1990's wouldn't be running out celebrating a late-game waterlogged victory* over a "lesser" opponent they're supposedly superior to. In fact...they wouldn't be running to me at all. They wouldn't even know who I am.

Until that day comes around again...you are exactly what I said you were...and nothing more. Because it's already been proven.



POWER POLL

NORTH

1) Kansas (5-0, 1-0) at Colorado
KU continues to score points at will, but continues to give up big plays in bunches. Todd Reesing is starting to get some Heisman hype, but KU's toughest test so far has been a 3-3 Southern Miss team...one they barely beat at home. Everything starts to go downhill with a very interesting trip to Boulder this week.

T2) Nebraska (4-1, 1-0) vs. Texas Tech
I thought about leaving Nebraska at 3rd this week, but didn't want to be charged with murder when 25,000 heads exploded. NU moves up to their highest spot ever on my poll, although I refuse to put them ahead of Mizzou based on what we've already discussed this week. Scoreboard is fine, but everything else must be earned. Beat Tech this week, you can have it all to yourself.

T2) Missouri (4-1, 0-1) at Oklahoma State
As stated before...I really can't take anything from that game given the conditions and variables involved. But at the same time, they still lost*, so where do I put them? Save your hate mail in the meantime. Gabbert and company head into a moonshine soaked Stillwater at night, so the odds of moving up after a big win are slim. Young teams generally don't bounce back after being shell shocked like that...so it will be interesting to see how fast..if at all...things go downhill.

4) Colorado (1-4, 0-1) vs. Kansas
Darrell Scott certainly looked pretty good early on against Texas, but the Buffs still rank near the bottom of FBS in rushing. Dan Hawkins finally pulled the trigger on Cody, so it will be interesting to see if some sort of spark is created. Watching the team that hung with Texas...I have a hard time they're going to go winless in the Big 12 for long. Plus, they're good for one big upset a year. Hmmmmm

5) Iowa State (3-3, 0-2) vs. Baylor
Gotta feel bad for the Clones. After a painful blocked extra point leading to a loss against KSU, you gotta admire Paul Rhoads' team for battling their asses off against an obviously bored and unprepared KU team. The clones currently rank 14th in rushing offense, but are averaging less than 200 yards through the air. If the Clones have ANY hope of becoming bowl eligible, a win over Baylor is a must right here.

6) Kansas State (3-3, 1-1) vs. Texas A&M
I realize winning in Lubbock is difficult, but Jesus people...38-0 at the half? Against their backup QB? I'm not ready to declare the Bill Snyder project dead before it really begins, but the Cats are going to have to figure out how to score if they hold any hope of climbing out of the North shitter anytime soon.



SOUTH

1) Texas (5-0, 1-0) vs. Oklahoma @Dallas
Either Texas is going to be one of those championship teams who tip toe through their schedule and look mediocre at times, but still get things done....or they're about due to fall on their face. Everybody and their pet squirrel are going with Texas this week, and at 47ppg, there's good reason. But they've seemed way too disinterested at time for me to believe they can just show up in Dallas and beat OU. I'm not a gambler, but if I was...I'd be seriously considering throwing money down on the Sooners.

2) Oklahoma (3-2, 1-0) vs. Texas @Dallas
I'm not sure if Baylor is really that much better, or if Oklahoma is that mediocre. Sure, OU is 3-2, but they've lost both games by a combined 2 points...and both were lost without last year's Heisman winner. OU comes into Dallas far more battle tested and you know Bob Stoops is already using his disrespect card on a daily basis in practice.

3) Oklahoma State (4-1, 1-0) vs. Missouri
The Pokes are banged up...Dez Bryant's status is completely up in the air...but they still are scoring points in large numbers. Granted, their stats aren't as eye popping as last year, and they've obviously lost a bit of their swagger after laying an egg against Houston...but there's too much talent here to simply disregard. Missouri isn't exactly a top flight offense these days...but they certainly have enough firepower to shake up an already shaky pass defense that ranks 89th in the country. Should be a good game...for a while.

4) Texas Tech (4-2, 1-0) at Nebraska
Tech had all sorts of trouble getting the ball away from Roy Helu last year in Lubbock...granted when they did get the ball, they scored at will. Against teams with a pulse, NU has choked away a game and needed 7 inches of water coupled with a gimpy QB to make their move. One thing the Hicks do have is confidence, and they're playing way above their heads right now. Gonna be a tough task for the Raiders to pull this out.

5) Texas A&M (3-2, 0-1) at Kansas State
Jerrod Johnson continues to put up big numbers...even now that the Aggies are now playing actual D1 caliber opponents. They weren't quite ready for prime time against a far superior Arkansas team...but played OSU far tougher than expected. This will be A&M's first true road test, in weather far from Texas-like. Huge game for Mike Sherman's team IMO.

6) Baylor (3-2, 0-1) at Iowa State
Poor Baylor. Down to a 3rd string freshman QB, they took Oklahoma's best punch, but in the end got knocked out. BU's previous experience at Wake Forest and against UConn should help them out, against what appears to be a quickly improving Iowa State squad. Neither team is all that good..but they appear to be matched up as evenly as any other matchup of the weekend.
Photo Credit - Associated Press

October 10, 2009

Congratulations*

Before the masses accuse me of "hiding", let the record show that not only did I prop your team up for winning, but I documented the whole thing via Twitter. If you're not educated enough to read...well, that's your problem. I've got a few things going on this weekend, and even in victory..usually take my time breaking down my trip. Anyhow, figured I'd better break the game down before people lose their minds. Ready?

First and foremo
st, props to Nebraska for the win. Zac Lee made a great throw to Niles Paul in the clutch (either great or lucky..considering when it left his hand it looked like it was going to be 30 yards over his head). The wind really caught it and seemingly placed it where it needed to be. Lucky or skill or otherwise, that was a tough throw, and he should be commended. Also, props to Screech, who is one hell of a punter. I bash on the kid for not kissing a girl etc...but he is a very very good kicker. I think he'll have a long career performing at the level he is currently at. Major props also to Suh for not only a key interception/swat but for not spitting on anyone..although with the amount of rain, it was extremely tough to tell I'm sure.

Anyhow, aside from that...if you're a Husker fan waiting for my "crow sandwich" you'll be dissapointed to get absolutely nothing more from me. I'm not sure if you followed the Twitter updates, but that game was not played in rain. No, regular rain causes things to be slick...rain makes things uncomfortable. That game Thursday was played under not just buckets...but 55 gallon drums of water falling from the sky in ungodly amounts for hours upon hours. Never in my 35+ years ...not on vacation...not in the jungles of Mexico...ANYWHERE have I seen rain fall THAT hard for THAT long. To top it off, the power outage killed any semblance of energy from that stadium. No pre-game intro. No "First down...MIZ....". Nothing.


Yes, both teams play in the rain and both teams have to adjust. But do you think Roy Helu runs for more than 2 yards a carry (up until the last minute of the game) on just a regular wet field?
Think a guy 6th in the nation in passing efficiency throws for a few more yards when he's not standing under a fire hose for 3.5 hours? Don't misunderstand...the rain is not the excuse...the excuse is that this rain was a game changer.

Before the game in our section of the stands..while exchanging insults with a portly fella from Grand Island, (and while his buddy who was smoking pot and taking swigs of an Everclear bottle)...we all agreed on one simple thing: It is an absolute shame that a game of that importance is to be decided in those conditions. Rather than breakdown passing and running stats...save your strength and flip a coin to see who has the better defense? Even as Mizzou held a 12-0 lead going into the 4th, I dreaded the fact that even if they were to hang on and win for the 5th time in 7 tries, I'd have to listen to the (correct) assertion that this game was not a true determination of who is the better team..if even for one night. That's not sour grapes...that's not a cop out. That is a fact. It is a shame it was decided that way on such a
grand stage.

So when people leave me comments saying, "What do you have to say for your high powered offense now?" I reply by saying you're a complete idiot and God himself could not catch 10 passes thrown directly in the gut in the middle of all that. I will not throw up my arms in despair, just as a Husker fan should not be the least bit swayed about anything else either. I was there. I was in the middle of that for 16 solid hours. Trust me on this. I know what I'm talking about.

Those were once-in-a-lifetime conditions, deciding a game that was completely and totally up for grabs. Nebraska did everything they could to give themselves chances to win...despite the fact that every single intangible worked in their own favor in terms of environment and the fact that no team on earth is more ill prepared for a windless Hurricane than Missouri. Kudos to them. They deserve to celebrate as much as they so desire.

But to answer the questions...no, the Husker hating movement will not suddenly rise from the ashes in wake of an incredible victory fueled by one of the greatest teams in the Nation. This was not some amazing comeback of wills as I've heard it described, nor was it some sort of outstanding display of heart. It was two groups of kids, trying to play a game in weather that was beyond anything you can wrap your corn-mashed liquor soaked brains around. I don't expect Husker fans to crow any softer...especially after beating their "non rival"...but at the same time, I certainly wouldn't put a whole lot of stock in anything you saw either.

Speaking of which...do Husker fans celebrate like that when they beat teams that AREN'T their rival? Granted, I'm glad they hate Mizzou fans, and I like to say I had a part to do with that...but I've NEVER seen Nebraska fans act like that, beating* a team they don't consider themselves at war with. Funny...you sure could have fooled me.

So anyway...props to them regardless. They scored more points. They held onto the ball. They threw their arms up in the air and came up with the ball stuck to their gut better than the other team. For that...congratulations. I hope revenge served wet and cold was everything you ever dreamed.

But if you think I'm going to bow to your good fortune..if you think I'm going to bestow upon you the precious Order you've so valliantly restored, you are indeed dumber than I thought. I will do no such thing. I will do nothing more than acknowledge the win and declare that for one night...when God put everything in play for them...the Huskers took advantage of what they were given.

Luckily, a group of somebodies told me last season that head-to-head games mean absolutely nothing as long as you believe you're a better team later on in the year. I really appreciate that too. I'd almost be a little bit down in the dumps if that wasn't the case.

More on this Monday or Tuesday.

PS - And by the way. If you host an afternoon radio sports talk show in Omaha, and you spent the better part of 3 years ignoring me because I'm "Just a blogger"...and now in the past 3 days chronicle my every single word and move on air and off...you are a lying hypocritical jackass with zero spine and zero journalistic integrity. If you're going to act above the fray...then act above the fray. Don't dive into the pool as soon as the conditions are right for you. That's pretty weak, even for a couple of clowns who make their living agreeing off the idiotic ramblings of others.

If you cared that much..you would have gone toe to toe with me years ago when you had the chance.


Photo Credit - KC Star

October 7, 2009

What, you expected some long speech?

No.

I'm not going to do it.

I'm not going to throw out some 5000 word diatribe on the evils of Nebraska..taking the fight to them or anything else of that nature. When I said the pungent Husker aura was nuked on October 6th 2007, this is exactly what I meant. Sure, I want my favorite team to win...but even before kickoff, the world's most self-congratulating fan base has long since been revealed as a fraud. (No, Mizzou's not your rival...of course not.)

Although I have a pretty good idea, No one knows how the game will turn out. Perhaps Nebraska could catch some breaks and even win? (Better get some turnovers) Perhaps Zac Lee really isn't the second coming of Jamal Lord? But beyond that, my job is already long since done. Husker fans have spent the better part of an entire off-season and then some, railing on Missouri fans...describing to anyone who will put up with their whining about the evils of those who simply "don't deserve it".

Zzzzzzzzzzz

I don't get worked up that much anymore, because they're just another team, followed by just another bunch of fans. Until they restore their precious order, they will get what they deserve from me...which is pretty much nothing. For you see...I've been there and done that. Perhaps things will change? Perhaps things will stay the same? Perhaps the Husker Hating movement will rise from the ashes? Perhaps the Keebler Elves will fly out of my ass and start singing showtunes?

Doesn't matter. They are exactly who I knew they were..and after a fight long since won, so do you.

Snorkel on. Game on.

PS - DON'T FORGET to follow our adventures into the storm (literally) via my twitter alter ego at www.twitter.com/huskerh8er. The fun starts at around 1am Central time Thursday morning.

October 5, 2009

Sitting Down With the Enemy

As hate week continues to slowly drudge on, I thought I would try something different. As many of you know, I spend most of my days and online time, firing back at idiots and morons as they bombard my ears, cell phone and e-mail box with propaganda that would make Joseph Goebbels roll his eyes. However, instead of bashing the defenseless and ignorant, I thought I’d try the opposite approach this season. But where the hell do you find rational Husker fan right in the middle of the asylum? This is often as easy living in Nebraska as it is trying to find a PETA member at a Glen Beck book signing.

Since I couldn’t find anybody remotely close to fitting that description, I went to the next best thing. For my own sanity, I had to find out just why in the hell Husker fans would be so confident this week, after really accomplishing nothing but a spectacular choke job this season. I wanted to see if I could figure out the reasoning as to just why a fan base isn’t “scared at all” of playing in Columbia this Thursday, even though their team has been outscored by nearly 23 points per game over the past 3 trips. I wanted to see just how in the hell a fan base could be so delusional, so completely removed from reality they they’ve completely removed themselves from reality, less than two seasons removed from a spectacular nuclear destruction.

I need to warn you now. What you are about to read is scary and disturbing. The words on your screen were not doctored by me in any way, and the content is solely the pot-fueled dementia of those who spoke it. If men who can actually put thoughts together and write with thought and proper grammar can say things like this…just imagine what the average toothless yokel sounds like who I deal with every day.

Seriously, a big thanks to Mike and the guys over at Corn Nation for taking the time to answer my questions. Remember kids....these are these sane ones.

========================================================


Q – I’ve heard from a lot of Husker fans that this game “means more to Missouri” than it does to Nebraska. Given Missouri’s recent success over the past couple years…in blowout fashion, do you feel this truly the case? Just how big of a game is this to Nebraska?



JLew: I don't feel that this game means more to Missouri than it does to Nebraska. I think last year with Missouri trying to end the losing streak it meant more to them than NU, but this year with MU, NU, and KU trying to win the North this game means the same to both teams. This is MU's chance to show that they are for real though. Illinios really has not looked too impressive, and the games against Bowling Green and Nevada were closer than I think you'd want. Nebraska has an idea of where it's at based on how it played against VaTech. Some things to work on, but they did some very good things against a pretty good team in a very hostile environment.



Husker Mike: I don't know about that; I think it means about equal to both teams. If Mizzou wins, that shows that 2007 and 2008 weren't just the result of a freakish coincidence between recruiting luck by Gary Pinkel and Nebraska sucked courtesy of Bill Callahan. If Nebraska wins, it's the next step on the road to relevance.





Q – Most Missouri fans have only seen Zach Robinson uhhh...Lee, one time on TV against Va Tech, and he was extremely erratic. Granted it was a great Hokies defense, but why should Mizzou fans be concerned?



JLew: You'd better not underestimate him. Strongest arm that NU has had, or probably will have for quite some time. He got rattled in Blacksburg, but we can hope he has learned from that experience. I think he'll be better in Columbia, Blacksburg is a much tougher environment, first road start, very tough defense to go against. He brings in a 65% completion rate, has managed to not make the big mistake, his 2 INTs against the Hokies didn't cost NU the game, the last one was an end of the game one.



Husker Mike: Did you see how Jacory Harris did against that Hokie defense? Let's be honest, Zac Lee didn't play well in Blacksburg, but it was his first road start. If you think that the Tiger defense is just as good as Virginia Tech's, then I wouldn't be the least bit worried about Zac Lee. (Mostly because you've got MUCH bigger problems than that.)







Q – That being said, do you feel Cody Green should be a more active part of the offense? Or is he just not ready yet?



CornBlight: He’s not ready. He could perhaps run some zone read, limited plays, but he’s not capable of running the full offense and won’t be this year.



JLew: No. He'll be allowed to play more as he learns the offense. It's Lee's team. NU does not need a QB controversy, nor should it have one.



Husker Mike: Absolutely not. Green has looked dynamite at times in garbage time against lower level competition. But he's also mishandled snaps and misread plays. When he's ready, he might see some action, but for now, he's still learning, and the risk of putting him in is much higher than the reward.







Q – Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that Mizzou is going to try and put 53 (or more) guys in the box to try and shut down Roy Helu. Despite the focus, is Helu still the key to a Husker victory?



CornBlight: He may not be THE key, but he’s a big key. Helu has been beautiful to watch this season. He’s been elusive, explosive and more than Husker fans could expect. If Missouri can stop the running game, things certainly get much more interesting.



JLew: The key? I don't think so. The Nebraska offense has been very balanced in it's attack. I think that if MU takes away the running game, then it's up to the WRs and Lee to make plays. Ark St and Louisiana Lafayetee both tried to load up the box, so it's not like this is a new problem.



Husker Mike: Good luck with that. The Sun Belt teams tried that, and Zac Lee hurt them badly in the passing game. Granted, Mizzou's defense should be better than those defenses. If anything, you might consider trying to shut down the passing game and hope that Helu can't carry the load the whole game.







Q – A lot of Husker fans have completely written off Mizzou’s home field advantage, mostly due to the Huskers’ performance at a hostile Lane Stadium in Blacksburg. Do you feel the venom and noise of the crowd will have any impact on the outcome, considering it’s an 8:15 start?



CornBlight: The Huskers have struggled with false start and procedure penalties since the start of the season. They should have those issues cleaned up, especially after the noise level at Virginia Tech. I don’t expect that crowd noise will be an issue, but that’s a little simple, isn’t it?



JLew: How much of the crowd will be passed out from moonshine, and how many will be out hunting raccoon or opossums? NU knows what it's like to play in front of a hostile crowd, against a ranked team, on national TV. Will the home crowd help? Probably, but it's not like NU's worried about the crowd in this game. If NU can start fast, or if Missouri continues to start slow, I'm wondering how long the crowd will even stay in the game. These are the same fans that couldn't be bothered to show up for the B12 title game last year, which was in Kansas City. Not a real devote following, and it will not compare to what NU has seen already.



Husker Mike: Hate to break it to you, but Faurot Field doesn't show up on anybody's list of tough places to play. Yeah, Tiger fans will be yelling and screaming their hearts out, but with the track and berms adding extra space between the stands and the field, it won't be louder than Blacksburg.







Q – One matchup getting very little attention is Missouri’s receivers against a young and banged up Husker defensive backfield. Carl Pelini will obviously want to rattle and rush Blaine Gabbert…leaving DB’s potentially on an island. How concerned should Carl be of Gabbert’s arm and the big play threat of Danario Alexander and Jerrod Perry?



CornBlight: Husker defensive backs are playing very well, one blown play at Virginia Tech withstanding. I don’t think leaving our cornerbacks in man-to-man is that big a concern, because it will allow more pressure on Gabbert – see the next answer.



JLew: Banged up? We lost Thenarse who wasn't going to play much anyway. The bye week comes at a good time, so unless someone is hurt more than I expect the secondary will be fine. I would also look for Nu to try and generate pressure using only it's front 4. NU should be able to control what little running game Missouri will try, and if they can get to Gabbert with only the front 4, it will be a long day for him.



Husker Mike: From what I've heard, Larry Asante should be fine, so I'm not sure which starter is "banged up". But yes, Danario Alexander scares me the most of any Tiger. He's a big play receiver who's finally healthy.







Q – Last year in Lincoln, despite Mike Eckler’s “Secret plan”…Mizzou’s offensive line completely dominated the line of scrimmage. This year, all of the hype surrounds Suh, Allen and the NU front four. Considering that Mizzou has “struggled” with the running game in ’09 so far, is it safe for Carl Pelini to leave the front four intact, and play nickel or even dime against Gabbert? Or do they release linebackers and blitz?



CornBlight: Look for Nebraska to shut down Missouri’s run game and force them to throw, and then look for blitzes from the corners to put pressure on Gabbert if the front four isn’t getting there. I’d guess Nebraska will play nickel for most of the game.



JLew: I have no idea. Probably going to a nickle? Wait, what's with the "struggled"? They have struggled, they are 58th in the country with 3.8 yards per attempt. Nevada was blowing the line up at the point of attack.



Husker Mike: That "secret plan" might have been good in theory, but the Huskers weren't ready to execute it...and it showed. That game proved to Bo Pelini that Nebraska's problems weren't schematic, but rather simple fundamentals and they needed to take baby steps to become better. Now, this team is much more confident and Pelini can mix and match it up a little more.







Q – If Mizzou wins this game, Nebraska will have lost 5 of their last 7 to the Tigers and will have gone a full decade without winning in Columbia. Do you ever see a point where Husker fans will actually acknowledge that Missouri is a true modern rival?



CornBlight: No. It’ll simply become like the relationship we have with Colorado. We’ll deny everything. Part of it is because we’re stubborn, and part because it’s fun denying another fan base recognition of their team’s success against us.



JLew: Why does every team want to be NU's rival? CU does, KSU wanted to for a while, I'm sure KU is jumping up and down to get noticed. So no, not until Nebraska gets back to where it wants to be, and MU continues to get better. If MU and NU become the Texas and OU of the North then I could see it happening. But 5 of 7? Come on that's nothing.



Husker Mike: Well, Colorado thought they were pretty good for most of the 90's, and still never earned "rival" status from Husker fans. Kansas State was solid for about 10 years from the mid 90's until 2003, and never got it either. True rivalries take decades to build. For now, you'll have to settle for "competitive intense matchup".







Q – How long will Husker fans give Bo Pelini if he keeps failing to beat top tier teams? Granted, he’s not getting blown out at home by 30 points like his predecessor and even Bill Callahan beat a ranked team in a bowl game, but sooner or later, people are going to want better results. Where is that line drawn? And at what point would the Turner Gill bandwagon leave the station?



CornBlight: It’s a little early to be thinking about that, but I guess I can speculate. I don’t see Pelini ever putting the program into a position where he has losing seasons. Given that he has Tom Osborne’s blessing, Osborne will have to permanently retire before Pelini is removed. I’d guess you’re looking at least five years down the road.



JLew: How long? You do realize that this is his second year right? He's still playing with another coaches players, and I think he's still learning how to be a head football coach. The team has shown improvement, and that's what the fans want right now. He's also backed by TO, and the media loves him, even though he spends most of the time growling at them. He's good for the foreseeable future. Turner Gill should have moved programs last year, I think he's stuck at Buffalo for a while now.



Husker Mike: We survived four years of Bill Callahan, and it only took one season for Bo Pelini to exceed any of Callahan's seasons. Eventually, we'll get there, but Nebraska can't get into the revolving door of coaches.







Q – Mizzou fans have heard the warnings that Nebraska is “back” for going on 5 seasons now. Why is this year any different than the hype we’ve heard in the past? Why should we be afraid?



CornBlight: I hate the “back” stuff, I truly do. We’ll be “back” when it’s no longer a question or emphasis of discussion. Missouri fans should be worried because the defense looks more like a Blackshirt defense with each game. They’re good enough to compete with any offense in the Big 12 so they’ll keep us in every game.



JLew: You shouldn't. People should stop saying Nebraska is back. Corn Nation has been saying this all year. This should be a good game against 2 ranked teams why can't be leave it at that?



Husker Mike: You didn't hear that from any of us. "Back" to Nebraska means that Nebraska is playing at an Oklahoma, Florida, Texas, or USC level. Nebraska ain't there now, and even if Nebraska wins on Thursday, Nebraska won't be there. Like CB says...Nebraska will be "back" when people stop asking the question because it's no longer a question.







Q – Do you think Husker fans realize how much most Mizzou fans hate them? Or does that come with the territory of being a “traditional” program?



CornBlight: It comes with the nature of being a traditional powerhouse that’s trying to find itself again. I hear the same thing from other teams throughout the Big 12, especially those left over from the Big Eight. Sorry.



JLew: You hate us? I didn't notice. I live in Manhattan, KS. You know what happens when I wear my Nebraska gear? People tell me how much they hate Nebraska. Same thing happens at KU, I've watched ISU fans burn NU fans in Ames. I know enough not to go to Bolder for a game. I don't venture down south has much, but I assume that they hate us for various things as well. You think you're unique with your hate? Hell there's a I hate Nebraska club. They meet Thurs. nights at the Y. They have shirts. Join the club.



Husker Mike: That's fine. We don't hate you unless you act like a$$clowns. We get it, though, and we know the reason why. You know it too, deep down. And we know why you won't admit it either.

October 1, 2009

Wait Week Continues

Man, this is way tougher than I thought it would be.

I remember hate weeks of old, where I sat back and traded barbs with Husker fans on an almost hourly basis. I’d slam them on being a sham, they’d ask me how many titles my team has won…it was always great fun. But for some reason..this year is different. This year just feels….different. All week, I’ve tried to put my finger on it..and I think I’ve figured it out.

Just as I predicted last year, taunting Husker fans just isn’t fun anymore. Not that I don’t expect at LEAST a somewhat competitive game (you would think)…the whole Husker mystique has been smashed to pieces so hard, that there is no possible way of putting it back together again. Even if the Hicks were able to put a 20 point thrashing down on Mizzou, are they in control of the north? (No, KU still in the drivers seat there). What would their record in Columbia be this decade? (A losing one.) The point is, the Husker hating movement was less about the games, and more about de-railing a myth. Even if…and this is a BIG BIG stretch here..even IF the Satan's lean against Tom Osborne’s soul runs out, and the Huskers DO return to glory…will it be the same?

Would the same intimidation factor be involved? Would opposing teams cower at just how the hell they are going to stop option plays going for 9 yards a rush? Are opposing teams going to try and break some decade (or longer) losing streak that has riddled their press conferences with questions like, “How big would it be to FINALLY win in Lincoln?”. Is the world suddenly going to start spinning backward, and shift directly back to 1994? Absolutely not.

What is so sad, is watching people try and wish for all these things to happen, even though there is absolutely no hope. No matter how hard I yell, I just can't keep them from walking toward that cliff. Yes, the mystique died a long and painful death earlier this decade, and there is no possible way to bring it back. Even if the decayed bones of Bob Devaney rose from the earth wearing a red felt ballcap carrying a clipboard, people will NEVER fear Nebraska the same way again.

Don't get me wrong; I understand why being the hunted isn’t nearly as much fun as doing the hunting. I mean, people this week have sent me e-mails, claiming the Huskers dominance over their 3 overmatched opponents this year, yet when you explain to them that they were 3 Sun Belt teams and all of them combined had only one win (over KSU for God’s sake)…does that phase them? When the same people brag about such an EPIC performance in the snake pit that is southwest Virginia against Tech, you would think they would flinch when you remind them that not only did they choke in a way no college football team has matched so far this year…but they failed to score a touchdown while doing so. When they brag about their rushing offense, and you explain to them that they are currently NINTH in the CONFERENCE in rushing (again..against Sun Belt teams)…does it stop their yapping? Of course not.
It will never stop.

I stopped blogging about the Nebraska Cornhuskers, because there is nothing left to talk about…EVERYTHING has been done. In the last five years, EVERY Big 12 team but Baylor has beaten Nebraska. Coincidence? Does anybody dedicate a blog to hating Louisiana Tech? How about San Jose State? Of course not..but then again, San Jose State and La Tech have at least beaten a top 20 team since the early days of Bush’s first term.

Hate week will always be around, because the people that populate Nebraska will never learn. Because of this, we will ALWAYS go round and round with the same old song and dance, talking about the same bowl games and the same “history”…only with one year of history tacked on each time. It’s a lot like watching a really good movie 3 or 4 times…then after a while, you kind of lose interest. Sure it’s a good movie…maybe even a GREAT movie....but when you've seen it so many times, there really is no reason to watch it again.

“Keller will tear your boys up”
“Joe Ganz has a rocket arm”
“Marlon Lucky will kill your D line”

And so it goes.

Anyhow..a couple of other news and notes:

* Hoping to have a Q and A session with some of the guys at Corn Nation. Now, I’ve done some “interviews” with Husker blogs before..and as I’ve stated many times…they’re all pretty good guys; But let’s just say I don’t think we see eye to eye on the upcoming game next week. (Or pretty much anything for that matter.) Hopefully I’ll get those back and up shortly.

* Don’t forget to follow the Husker Hater Twitter page (www.twitter.com/huskerh8er) if you’re into such things. From there, you’ll get live updates and photos from our trip to Columbia next week as well as celebrity guests and maybe more (If I feel like it). I don’t have the energy or material to write a Husker hating blog these days, but 160 characters is just about all the attention the hicks deserve these days...so that's what they get.

* Finally..just a reminder…I absolutely love my comments page…it’s one of the best parts of running a team-hatred themed blog..or in this case..just …a hate in general blog I guess. But anyway, I understand that angry e-mails and threats etc are going to come in…and that’s fine. If you get all bent of shape over words I say..then that’s really your problem. I’m pretty content knowing I know where the line is between running smack about football…and being a first class prick. But no matter what, I will never publish comments with N bombs, anti-semetic remarks and the like. They used to come in every once in a great while on the old blog, but it’s been pretty frequent here this week for some reason. I know you’re classy and all, but knock it off. Nobody else is gonna see it.
Hate week rolls on...slowly

September 28, 2009

It's On


One of the great things about college football is also the reason it sometimes sucks. As is not the case with the outside world, college football does not rely on head-to-head matchups playoffs or concrete action. Unlike baseball, it’s nearly impossible, with any precision, to completely judge a team based on their accomplishments...especially through a portion of a season. Until every team plays the same opponents within a year, you’re never going to get a static answer. For you see, the powers that be love the arguments..they love the discussion…they love the money that all that attention brings in. This is what makes the sport great..because of the territorial biases …opinions are all we have to judge the good and the bad.

What SUCKS about that is the very fact that it’s IMPOSSIBLE to tell who is truly the best, and who is truly the worst. This goes against the very nature of competitive sports in the first place. So you’re stuck with a catch 22…either settle it on the field to decide WHO is the best…or sit back and argue about it til the next season starts.

In the midst of all that crap and discussion, are some steps we can take to figure out who is better than whom. As this lighter-toned hate week begins, the question on everybody’s mind is…what exactly is going to happen when two of the North favorites meet up on a cool Missouri night this coming October 8th.

On one side you have Nebraska fans, with their smarmy ego-driven babble….telling anybody who will listen just how good their unproven younger players are. You could take all 100+ Husker players on any given week….replace them with 100 high school freshman as you send them off to play Texas, and Husker fans would unite as one to remind you just how good coaching can overcome any physical deficiency. On the other side, you have Missouri fans….bitter and evil to the core, dealing with the side effects of success after literally 30 years swirling the toilet rim of college football. Mix the two together in a HUGE game…under the lights….at the tail end of 13 hours of tailgating and you get a volatile situation….both online, on this blog and in within the fan bases in general. Lose the game, and your team is two games down with a matchup with Kansas still to come. Win the game, and you’re 2 games up on the other team, with winnable games against Colorado, Iowa State, KSU and Baylor still to come. It’s the biggest north division football game since Armageddon at Arrowhead in November of 2007.

Over the next 11 days on this blog, I will celebrate the insanity…the hostility and the pure hatred between these two fan bases...without any rhyme or reason from anybody who exactly is the better team. Despite that, until we decide it on the field, I will give you the various reasons to celebrate such white-hot disdain, while giving you the countless reasons why Nebraska stands more the chance of Larry the Cable guy winning an Oscar than they do winning this game. I shall do it using parody…I shall use it using opinion. I shall do it in a box, I shall do it with Megan Fox. I will explain to you just how a Sun Belt Championship is meaningless in today’s Big 12…and how moral victories only count when either expectations are low, or delusional thinking is extremely high.

Those of you Husker fans visiting me this week who came here to bring up box scores from the 1993 Orange Bowl or two week old Nevada Wolfpack practice reports….save your breath. I am more confident now than I have ever been. You are just as fraudulent today as you were back then. There is a reason the old blog does not exist; It disappeared because regardless of your confidence level, you’ve continued to become an afterthought in the overall big picture...despite everyone else telling you the contrary. Sure, during this week (+) where we celebrate raw hatred we will discuss pros and cons of the actual matchup…but we’ll also go back and look at just what got you to this point in the first place.

Yes Husker fans…I hope you get all that coming to you in the coming weeks. I hope your dog named after Bob Devaney is playfully and unknowingly headed toward an oncoming truck right now. I hope genital warts are rapidly forming on your nether-regions as you type your e-mail to Tom Osborne, telling him what a great job he's doing. If you have been lucky enough to form a relationship with a girl, I hope she is on her back with someone else, thinking about a bruised cervix while you’re daydreaming about Roy Helu celebrating that big touchdown in the middle of a sea of gold t-shirts and noise. I hope your sister is getting filled out like an application and used in ways that would make Sasha Gray blush. I hope your eyeballs are eaten by fire ants. I hope your skin is eaten by a mutated flesh-eating virus found in an isolated section of your yellow foam corncob hat.

Rot in hell you arrogant, toothless, straw-hat wearing, Ricky Skaggs listening, John Deere driving, Adrian Fiala worshiping, gum chomping, balloon releasing, tunnel walk obsessing, delusional illiterate fuckheads.

I hereby declare Hate Week® officially open.


Power Poll:

NORTH

1) Kansas (4-0) vs. Iowa State October 11th –
After successfully disgracing their own university by sweeping their internal matters under the rug, the Redleggers hung on for a nice win against a fairly decent Southern Miss team. Granted, it was at home and KU’s defensive weaknesses were exposed, they have now reached the point where Reesing, Briscoe and company can give a ½ assed effort and still pull out a win. Bye week this week before winnable cakewalks vs. Iowa State and at Boulder. Then the fun begins.

2) Missouri (4-0) vs. Nebraska October 8th -
For the 3rd time in 4 weeks, Mizzou is forced to defend a “poor” performance after a win. Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t many people predict Mizzou would be 2-2 or WORSE right now? “OH, but Illinois and Nevada suck”. Perhaps, but wins away from home against D1 competition should NEVER be apologized for. You survive and advance…and work on your shortcomings the following week. Don’t believe me? Ask Iowa how good they thought they were after a 1 point miracle win over 1AA Northern Iowa. Did you see them thumping Penn State? I didn't.


3) Iowa State (3-1) vs. Kansas State in KC –
The Clones are quietly winning the games they should, and racking up some decent rushing yards to boot. Granted, I don’t think anybody is looking at ISU to make a trip to Dallas in December, but quiet ass whippings over teams they should beat is a great first step. Now they get to see how much they’ve improved against a KSU team, who obviously has their own troubles these days. 4-1 going into Lawrence would at least provide some much needed confidence.

4) Nebraska (3-1) at Missouri October 8th –
SUN BELT CHAMPIONS!!! Nebraska withstood the largest back-patting celebration the world has ever seen to easily dust off a ULL team that ranks 90th or worse in 6 different categories. Granted, the sight of 85,000 losers in 1960’s garb would distract me as well, but what else would you expect for a team that barley gained 280 yards at home against Kansas State in their biggest home game ever? Conference affiliation switches notwithstanding, Nebraska brings an army of confidence and toothless yokels to Columbia for a hate week extravaganza that is always worth the wait.

5) Kansas State (2-2) at Iowa State in K.C. -
KSU polished off their FCS cupcake by pouring on 21 unanswered points in the 3rd quarter to blowout a relatively close game at the half. Considering two of their opponents have been FCS team s(and the other the powerful previously mentioned UL-Lafayette), the Cats have built up quite the defensive blueprint as they head into Farmegeddon against ISU at Arrowhead this Saturday. This battle for the North basement strangely could be one of the more exiting games of the weekend. (Which is kinda sad)

6) Colorado (1-2) at West Virginia - The Buffs parlayed a much-needed bye week into a suicidal trip to the moonshine soaked Astroturf of Morgantown on Saturday. I’m not the world’s biggest expert on West Virginia these days, and I have about as much respect for the Big East as I do porn starts who won’t do anal scenes. However, Colorado is just a strange enough team to make things interesting. Ummm…probably not. Take cover. Time for Hawk to shine up the resume.



SOUTH

1) Texas (4-0) vs. Colorado October 10th -
Nice of Texas to finally make that big-time statement against such a NCAA powerhouse as UTEP. I’m not sure what the Miners or their staff did to Mack Brown, but that looked like one seriously pissed off team in Austin. After the bye, Colorado serves as an appetizer prior to the Red River Ball of Hype on October 17th.

2) Oklahoma (2-1) at Miami Fla –
If I’m guilty of anything, it’s buying the Miami Hype. A win over a schizophrenic FSU team, parlayed with a Thursday night win over Georgia Tech, should have set off some flags at the fact that Miami was somehow number NINE in the COUNTRY. Meanwhile, they’re averaging under 380 yards per game and are still extremely young. I’m not sure what the hell happened to OU back in Dallas, but I really don’t see this being close..with or without Sam Bradford.

3) Texas Tech (2-2) vs. New Mexico –
I give the Raiders credit, they’ve battled a couple of tough teams..despite falling short. Taylor Potts looked a bit more mortal, but you still can’t be happy if you’re Mike Leach when Case Keenum throws for 435 yards in the air. It would be pretty understandable if you see a letdown here from Tech, but again, it’s New Mexico. (who has given up 37 or more points in 3 of their first 4 games)

4) Oklahoma State (3-1) at Texas A&M October 10th – Pokes get a week off after waxing Grambling and Bruce Jenner this past weekend. (I assume he still plays for them, although I think I just showed my age). What appeared to be a very winnable game at A&M next weekend now doesn’t quite look so appealing.

5) Texas A&M (3-0) vs. Arkansas at Dallas –
Time to see where Mike Sherman and company are at against a good-but-not-great Arkansas team. Get by the Hogs, and suddenly there is a huge matchup brewing with a beatable Oklahoma State the following week in College Station. I’m not a Texas A&M expert by any means..but this Arkansas game as a measuring stick is gigantic in terms of where Mike Sherman is, and how the team feels about themselves. Get blown out and it’s back to fighting off the wolves.

6) Baylor (2-1) vs. Kent State –
Gotta feel bad for the Bears with Robert Griffin out the rest of the season. Baylor wasn’t a team that was going to rattle off 8 or 9 wins anyway, but it would have been nice to see them stick around and make a bowl. Now, it’s back to the drawing board, and trying to get younger players some time as they try to keep afloat. We’ll see how good Art Briles is as a coach starting this week against the Flashes.

September 26, 2009

HATE WEEK(S) 2009 IS OFFICIALLY OPEN!!!

Bring your weak-ass yappin Husker bitches

September 23, 2009

Prelude to a Hate Week - Riding the Storm Out

For kicks, I spent my lunch hour going back and reading some of my favorite rants and responses from the old blog and the 2007 season. Holy hell, that was a good time. Anyhow, that age has come and gone, and what remains is the same territorial chest pounding that has gone on since the mid 1800’s in these parts. I almost forgot what it was like to write with passion…with a purpose…with anger. I kind of feel like a band that had those really good albums early on, but then developed and morphed into something else...something more personal, but less popular. Sure, I’m still the same guy with the same music…but things just don’t impact me the same way as they once did. The music can still flow...it just sounds different than it used to.

That’s still not to say we can’t have a good time on this blog. Sure, I’m not pulling in 5,000 hits a day simply bashing on ONE team into oblivion, while mocking their every move….but hey, at least I can have a clean conscious mind while I write about what I want. Perhaps that furvor and hate will come back. (Trust me, it’s still in there somewhere.) Perhaps former powers WILL rise up again and rule the landscape. (riiiggghhhtt) But unfortunately, that great album will never be made again. Still, that doesn’t mean we can’t try and match the intensity and anger. With hate week coming up in less than 5 days…I vow that I do whatever I can to bring back that spark…if only for a week and a half.

Starting next week...it make be difficult and tiresome, but I feel I owe it to some of you to re-live the days gone by. Oh sure, REO Speedwagon and Loverboy still play county fairs in far off BFE locations…but deep down, the music is the same, those old songs still kick ass and the feelings can come back with just a few notes. We’ll see how it goes.

Hate week is always a special time for me, as I hope it is for some of you as well. During that time, we’ll celebrate the differences between us, and the fact that it is really really annoying. Sure, we’ll slip back into a mode we promised we’d never return to..and to some degree, it won’t be the same. But make no mistake…Hate is the great equalizer. Hate can keep you warm at night. Hate can carry you though dark periods. I look forward to heading down that road once again..if only for 12 days.

*Speaking of hate…you know what pisses me off? Why do people act SO shocked when “upsets” happen…when in reality, things are already pretty clear to see. Take Baylor for example this past Saturday. I heard all sorts of “experts” this week express their "shock" and surprise over UConn’s relatively easy thumping over Baylor on Saturday. But why? UConn is battle tested, and has certainly played in snake pits more dangerous than Waco. And in the clutch, just how many times has Robert Griffin led a comeback and made plays when he had to? I mean, I can see PICKING Baylor to win and missing…but acting “Shocked?”

This goes back to a point I made last year about how ESPN and the over-abundance of information is KILLING College football. Just as it’s cool to click a button 3 times to get the boxscore of the 1956 Cotton Bowl…it’s equally maddening listening to some no-talent ass hack babble on..and being considered a “source”, just because a microphone or camera is stuck in their face.

Look, people are ALWAYS going to have their biases…and people from different regions of the country are going to focus on their particular local areas first. Do I expect Mark May to be completely up to date on New Mexico State every Saturday? Answer? HELL YES I DO because Mark May and others like him are PAID to follow college football. IT’S ALL THEY DO DURING THE SEASON. Hell, I barely glance at box scores, and even I could have told you that UConn was going to win that game. I can name one player on their team, and I could have told you BYU was going to give Oklahoma fits. I could have told you that Texas Tech was going to run with Texas in Austin. (OK, scratch that one.)

The point is…if you want to make sense out of the college game…stop listening to the “pros” and simply open your freaking eyes. Just because it’s somebody’s job to know about this stuff, doesn’t mean they’re motivated enough to do so. Do you hear me Mike’L Severe?

* Kansas football player rumbling with Kansas basketball players on campus? Are you serious? What is this, Wakarusa side story? Which side was the jets? And at what point do these idiots realize they’re on the same team? I’m sure there’s enough testosterone flowing through today’s 18-22 year old, that they don’t need an old 37 year old foggy like me to tell them to knock it off. But holy shit people…rumbling with your own school’s players...ON campus? Hell, at least that kid from Oregon cracked an opposing player. I can kind of get that. (Although it will be great fun to see Lew Perkin’s squirm under the pressure.) What an absolute train wreck. Stupid Beakers.

* Doesn’t the Big 10 season end in like 3 weeks? Has anybody made them play a championship game yet? Or are they still on their high and mighty Rose Bowl trip? God I hate the big 10.

Power Poll Time

NORTH

1) Kansas (3-0) vs. Southern Mississippi:
Unless AD Lew Perkins’ nuclear spin job falls short, it’s safe to say the Beakers may be a bit distracted this week. Southern Miss traditionally isn’t a bad team, but don’t let their 3-0 record fool you. They’ve squeaked by Central Florida and a horrible Virginia team at home, while crushing a pitiful Alcorn State team. If THIS is your toughest non-conference foe, you’ve got issues. The fat man rumbles on into league play.

2) Missouri (3-0) at. Nevada
Mizzou did what they had to do against a Furman team that had held tight with BCS schools before. Now Blaine Gabbert and company face a reeling Nevada team which is already starting to deal with fan boycotts and coaching changes. If the Tigers can get up early, it will be lights out. But if the pack hangs tough…it could be a scary night for Mizzou. Don’t see it happening though.

3) Iowa State (2-1) vs. Army
How can I demote a team after winning their first road game in 900 years? OK, Kent State isn’t USC, but the MAC has been nasty enough to warrant a raised eyebrow or two. I’ve heard Husker fan bitch about Iowa’s “tough game” being Iowa vs. Nebraska’s tough game “Va Tech”. Iowa would kill Va Tech straight up right now. Yeah, I said it. Tyrod Taylor is horrible.

4) Nebraska (2-1) vs. Louisiana Lafayette
The sting of pissing away a sure win against a wretched Virginia Tech team will wear off the second the Hick fans gather to celebrate having no life at all every fall since 1962. No way do you move up with quarterback play as pathetic at that…I don’t care how many Roy Helu runs you have. Zero touchdowns though…hmmm..miss Quintin Castille yet? Only the Hicks can get this excited over making boring uniforms even more boring. (Wait til you see these)

5) Colorado (1-2) at West Virginia:
Props to the Buffs for stepping up in a big way against Wyoming. Now go play a West Virginia team in one of the most hostile environments in the country on a Thursday night when the locals are out of their minds on moonshine and chicory. This isn’t your older Brothers’ WVU team…but a tough task to say the least. Good luck my brothers.

6) Kansas State (1-2) vs. Tennessee Tech
FINALLY, a game Bill Snyder can live with. Tenn Tech scored 7 points against Eastern Kentucky last week. If ever there was a week to let your guard down..this would be it. A giant matchup with Iowa State in Kansas City looms 7 days later.



SOUTH

1) Texas (3-0) vs. UTEP
The Longhorn Murderer’s Row of non-conference opponents continues against one of the worst teams in Division 1. UT looked alarmingly sleepy against a scrappy Tech team on Saturday night. Surely Colt McCoy and company are better than they looked right? You would think.

2) Oklahoma (2-1) vs. Idle
The Sooners get the week off to get healthy and prepare for everybody’s new media darling..the Miami Hurricanes. Something tells me Bob Stoops and company are going to be pretty pissed off by the time they hit south beach. Maybe I’ll change my mind..but too many people are discounting OU. They’ve gotten their shitty game out of the way while others have not.

3) Oklahoma State (2-1) vs. Grambling
The Pokes looked mediocre on defense last week, now having given up 59 points in their last two games. After holding Georgia down tight for the second half, the OSU secondary is getting torched to the tune of 108th in the country against the pass. Grambling offers a nice warm up to a huge matchup in Aggieville on October 10th.

4) Texas Tech (2-1) at Houston
Still really impressed by the Raiders and their showing in Austin. I don’t think people realize how difficult it is to play well there..especially considering a lot of those kids played against each other in high school. Having never been a Graham Harrell fan, I was extremely impressed by Taylor Potts. Sure he looks like a 40 year old Nascar driver, but dude can hang in the pocket like a champ. Houston will offer more proof if he’s the real deal or not.

5) Texas A&M (2-0) vs. UAB
Rising….slowly from the preverbial ashes, A&M climbs out of the bottom spot with a win Utah State. OK, Utah State and New Mexico are no big deal…and yeah, they nearly pissed away the game last weekend. But Jerrod Johnson is putting up ridiculous numbers, even after two games. The game at JerryWorld in Dallas will be the Aggie’s measuring stick. UAB gave up 33 points to SMU. Case closed as A&M moves quietly to 3-0.

6) Baylor (1-1) vs. Northwestern State
I’m sorry Baylor…I wanted to believe you..and I still think you can make a bowl. But losing to UConn was a HUGE setback in confidence if anything. Robert Griffin was completely bottled up and rendered powerless by a pesky Husky defense that is pretty damn good. Either way, the Bears still have good shots against lower level teams like A&M and Nebraska…but definitely not ready for prime time..which is a shame. I was rooting for them to prove me wrong.
Hate Week Cometh

September 20, 2009

Not So Instant Analysis - Week 3

News and notes from a great Saturday on the couch:

- First and foremost, Texas Tech proved me dead wrong. Taylor Potts looked better than any of his predecessors and Tech showed a killer instinct I haven’t seen since the 2008 Gator Bowl. Mike Leach still has some work to do, shoring up his players’ effort on a weekly basis, but going into that hostile of an environment, and going toe to toe with what I feel is the #1 team in the country…requires some major props from me.

- Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Okie State all crushed teams they should have. Ho hum.

- I told you long ago that Baylor was improved, but not NEARLY ready to take that next step. UConn is no pushover, and they’re certainly battle tested enough to go into a calm meadow like Waco and beat a one dimensional Baylor team. Robert Griffin threw for 119yds and ran for only 20, as UConn’s plan of attack on defense worked perfectly. The Bears will get a few surprise wins along the way, but they are certainly not at a point where you can put them at 8 wins or so like some idiot prognosticators had them. They simply had to come from too deep of a hole to be this good this fast.

- Saw most of the KSU team, and they seem pretty much like I thought. They’ve got some pretty good athletes on defense and that Thomas kid impressed me somewhat at running back. But if old man Snyder is going to run Carson Coffman 20 times a game, they’re going to have issues. They may not be as bad as previous years, and Snyder seems to be doing what he can with what he’s been dealt; But until they get some better skill guys, they’re going to continue to struggle putting teams away. Either way, props to them for playing UCLA on the road. With the new old sheriff in town, look for that to be the last big-time road game for the Cats in quite some time.

- All afternoon, I was thinking Texas A&M might prove me wrong, and they did a decent job of that. (Who has the #1 ranked offense in America right now? Look it up). Apparently the yokels who attacked me this summer about Jerrod Johnson knew what they were talking about. 21-41 for 322 and 4TD’s is pretty impressive, if even against Utah State. Seems like the Ags are going to have to shore up the defense a bit before they can get back to where they need to be. 520 yards given up to Utah State at home is pretty much unacceptable no matter who you are.

- Happy for my Colorado friends, as Dan Hawkins holds off the wolves for at least a week. Wyoming is no juggernaut, but shutting out anybody these days is pretty impressive. Lots of work to do with a tough West Virginia team on the road in 2 weeks (Who looked pretty good against Auburn on the road). Better make that one count though, because Texas in Austin looms the following week.

- DESPITE the scoffs by some Kool Aid addicts, big props to Iowa State for their first road win in 80 years. MAC teams have been knocking people off left and right (Did you catch Northern Illinois yesterday?), and ISU ran all night on them. (Alexander Robinson 143 yards helped.) The Clones still have a ways to go, but a road win over anybody is a good place to start.

- Which leads us to my favorite game of the day. First of all, I have always said I will give props where props are due. Roy Helu is a very nice back. He’s shifty, he runs hard and he has the ability to make people miss. He is definitely one of the better weapons in the North. Pierre Allen and Nadlahdafkiog Suh are gigantic, and can move enough to fall on top of runners and clog lanes. (If throwing your arms up was a skill, Suh would be getting all sorts of hype. Oh wait….)

But despite that..let’s look at some other things shall we?

All year long, we’ve heard about how great Va Tech was…what a great measuring stick it would be. ESPN’s infatuation with Tyrod Taylor caused many of you to fall into the trap of thinking these were the Michael Vick days of old. Uhhh…no. The Hokies might be the worst offensive football team I’ve ever seen in my life. Without Darren Evans, that team is not one-dimensional, they’re none definitional. Taylor’s passing skill rival those of a powder puff league, and the play calling ability of Frank Beamer’s staff rivals that of the French Army National Guard on Maneuvers.

Va Tech ranks 107th in the nation in rushing defense and a stellar 106th in passing. They've had 3 whole sacks all season and gave up 117 yards to some guy from Marshall.

Zach Lee might be the least impressive Nebraska I’ve seen since Gerry Gdowski. (Which includes Jamal Lord, which is really scary). He hands the ball off as nicely as anybody, and can move up in the pocket, but his accuracy is horrible and decision making skills are brutal. The Huskers have ZERO options at wide receiver, unless you count Niles Paul, who seems to be more interested in looking good for the cameras after a long punt return than he is running routes.

I could go on and on about the predictable Bo Pelini temper tantrums (throwing a headset into a kid’s chest? Nice), or the never-before-seen 1st and goal into a punt strategy that was as dumbfounding as it was funny.

Nebraska has made a habit of losing games they used to win. This is not a moral victory. This is not some sort of “building experience”. It’s a pattern. This is what bad and overrated teams do when they find themselves in tough spots. This is what I was talking about when I claimed the Huskers would never be the same again, if for this very reason. Nebraska will not win the north, and there will be more “moral victories” to come. But sooner or later, people are going to figure out how to key on Roy Helu, and all this “Return to glory” bullshit will end.

Pity clap for you Nebraska fans.

You gave a great effort out there. Maybe next time.