Thursday, June 30, 2005

Media Guide Downsizing

Today's Omaha paper discusses the effects of the new 208 page limit on media guides. While I enjoy keeping the guides around as a source of history, over the year's they've began to suffer from bloat as they become less of a press tool and more of a recruiting tool.

I first heard about these NCAA restrictions last spring, and realized that these upcoming restrictions led Nebraska to develop as a dynamic alternative. When this web site was rolled out, I was extremely disappointed with the results, considering the amount of effort that went into it's design. This type of design pretty much died in the 20th century when the "dot.bomb" economy tanked. It looks great at first, but it's just "lipstick on a pig." (One web usability expert say this site is "99% bad".) Judging by how infrequently it is updated, it must be just as difficult to update as it is to use.

So why did Nebraska create this site?

As we have all learned over the past 18 months, this athletic department is motivated by one thing: recruiting. I personally believe this web site is geared to impress recruits, who will likely only use it once. I believe it also is a byproduct of a recruiting DVD-ROM that could be handed to recruits to show them the history of Nebraska, the fan support, the academic support, and some video from the HuskerVision archives, and you've got a powerful recruiting tool that can be put on a laptop, shown to recruits, and given out so that mom and dad can see it too.

As a web site, sucks. Put it on a DVD-ROM with some of the stuff that HuskerVision has cranked out over the past 10 years, and it's an extremely powerful recruiting tool.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Pitt - Ohio game moved to Friday Sep 9 on ESPN2

"Old School" Husker fans should be excited to get to see Frank Solich's home opener for Ohio vs. Pitt on Friday, September 9th at 7 pm central on ESPN2. Kool-aid drinkers may be interested as well, if only to get a preview of Pitt (sorry pumpers, no more "sburgh") a week before they come to Lincoln

Who will be the Husker Pitching Coach?

Two names have been speculated: Radio reports have Creighton's Travis Wyckoff as a leading candidate. The Omaha World-Herald has AJ's former coach Mike Evans interested in the job he left 20 years ago.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Rose still doesn't get it...

Jim Rose was hosting Pinnacle's Sports Nightly Friday night, and set out to "defend himself" from the misquote of the Omaha City Weekly. Well, Jim is partly right, in that the City Weekly didn't get the quote exactly right.

However, the City Weekly was more right in the fact that Rose continues to be unable to put the Gerch home run in proper perspective. He even repeated his quote about "more drinks being spilled" than in any time since Johnny Rodgers, and then immediately bragged about his vast knowledge of Husker history, including his book.

Rose continues to be incapable of putting events into perspective. Gerch's 9th inning home run was a great play, but it in no way can be compared to Tommie Frazier shredding the Florida defense, Cory Schlesinger parting an exhausted Miami defense, his colleague Matt Davison's "Miracle at Mizzou", or Eric Crouch's Black 41 Flash Reverse Pass. Heck, after the game was over, it might not even be the greatest baseball moment, which might be Nebraska beating Rice to close down Buck Beltzer.

Jim Rose simply doesn't get it.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Jim Rose - In a state of denial

The "Omaha City Weekly" caught Husker play-by-play announcer Jim Rose red-handed in the act of over-exhuberance after Andy Gerch's dramatic 3 run homer in the 9th on Monday, and Rose is deep in denial. While the Weekly didn't get it exactly right, here is the quote that Jim Rose denies making: "One of the most thrilling moments in the history of the University of Nebraska Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. Not since Johnny Rodgers have this many drinks been spilled across this state". (Here's the Pinnacle broadcast ; advance to 3 hrs 54 minutes for the dramatics).

Hey, it was an exciting play, and Rose should just admit that in the emotion of the moment, he once again overstated the impact of the play, rather than demanding a retraction from the City Weekly. Rose is one of the finest historians of Cornhusker sports, but putting him behind the play-by-play microphone usually gives him amnesia of Husker history as he attempts to overdramaticize the moment.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Is Bill Byrne after a coach in Lincoln???

Although early scuttlebutt had Bill Byrne looking to Fullerton's George Horton to be Texas A&M's next head coach, Bill Byrne is in Omaha, apparantly scouting out either Mike Anderson or Rob Childress.

Funny how a year ago, many people were griping that Byrne had made a mistake in elevating Anderson to the head coaching job 3 years ago. I can hardly blame Childress for being interested in the A&M job; they have great fan support, and it would be a great opportunity him. But when you see the work he's done with the Nebraska pitching staff, you really hope he sticks around.

Update 6/22: San Antonio Express-News says Childress has accepted the A&M job.

New College Football Poll

The BCS has created a new poll based on former players, coaches, administrators, as well as some media members.

What I like about this is that the new Harris poll won't start until a few weeks into the season. This should help eliminate all of the whining (usually from Big Televen country) when a highly rated team who is undefeated gets passed by another team who is also undefeated, but wasn't thought of as highly in July and August.

Unfortunately, it remains to be seen how much this poll will be affected by the early AP & USA Today Coaches polls. And when this first poll comes out, how much criticism will come from media commentators if the results differ from their own AP poll? Let's face it, polling is just a bunch of (semi-informed) opinions.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Emotional Roller Coaster

Huskers lose to the Sun Devils 8-7 in 11 innings. The 9th inning started an emotional roller coaster ride when freshman Andy Gerch planted one in the bleachers, only to have Arizona State come back to tie the game in the bottom of the 9th with a wacky double play (that some say should have been a triple play) followed by a 2 out home run to dead center field.

I was at work, so I've only seen a few replays...

You really have to feel for Curtis Ledbetter. Most of his career, he's been a fine fielder, but something happened this past few games, and he just plain struggled.

A positive viewpoint is having so many freshman contribute this year; this bodes well for Husker baseball in the future.


Monday, June 20, 2005

Gator Bait

Well, the Huskers' hot streak came to an end last night, and now must fight through the losers bracket. What's worse is that my worst fears about a game came true, with both Dorn and Duensing pitching several innings. I still wonder if Anderson pulled the hook a little too quickly on Dorn; I thought he had recovered a bit from the first inning.

I like Zach Kroenke's chances tomorrow afternoon against the Sun Devils, but now I'm not sure who would go next. Ordinarily, this start would go to Duensing, but after going 3 innings last night, that might not be a good idea. So would this go to "Shrek" (Phil Shirek) who was so good last year, but hasn't seen much action in his senior year? Other thoughts are to bring back Joba on 4 days rest.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Husker fans ruining the CWS?

So far, the only complaints have come from fans who are looking to buy tickets to sold out games. (Except, of course, Creighton fans who don't remember or know how worked up the town got for them in 1991...)

For the first 5 sessions, attendance is up in 4 of 5 sessions:

Friday afternoon: 2004: 14,697; 2005: 21,546
Friday night: 2004: 22,487; 2005: 24,904
Saturday afternoon: 2004: 23,976; 2005: 20,345
Saturday night: 2004: 26,530; 2005: 26,641
Sunday: 2004: 26,480; 2005: 26,813

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Devils went down in Omaha; Time for baiting Gators

Joba Chamberlain had another impressive performance last night, though I jinxed him at the end of the 5th by commenting that he was cruising, and it was only a matter of time before the Husker bats started hitting line drives into the gaps instead of right at somebody. Not more than 5 minutes later, the Devils had loaded the bases and were taking the lead. Thank goodness Pat Murphy misplaced his stop sign, because ASU's Colin Curtis was easily tagged out at home plate. That play turned the momentum back to the Huskers, and that momentum gave the Huskers the lead back in the bottom of the 6th.

So now the Gators are up next. You really have to like the Huskers chances now, with "GI Johnny" Dorn on the mound, and Brian Duensing in the pen in case there is any trouble. Zach Kroenke only threw 2/3 of an inning, so should be in fine shape to pitch in a 3rd game.

Tom Shatel had a weird take on the pitching matchups for the rest of the week. I assume that the game 4 starter will be Duensing, assuming that any action he might see Sunday will be for 1-2 innings. If somehow they need a game 5 starter on Thursday, I'd assume we'd see Dorn (if he doesn't last long tomorrow) or Chamberlain (1 day early).

A better plan is to beat the Gators, making a "5th starter" unnecessary.

Just to irritate some of the anti-Huskers, I might see if I can find my old '96 Fiesta Bowl t-shirt for tomorrow.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Joe Glenn

In the Tommie Frazier to Doane entry a couple of days ago, an anonymous poster mentioned that Wyoming coach Joe Glenn got started at Doane. Now Glenn is the next hot coach-ala Urban Meyer.

He's being mentioned as a candidate for several schools with coaches on the hot seat.

And the internet fodder already has Nebraska on that list, what with his hometown being Lincoln.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

UNO Hockey Ticket prices: Going UP?!?!?!?

UNO has announced a tentative schedule for the 2005-06 Hockey season, complete with a price increase?

Strange plan, especially with the Omaha Aksarben Knights in competition.

The 10 game mini-plan is a nice idea, but apparantly raising average prices in light of new competition might not be the smartest idea.

Update: UNO Tickets

Typical HuskerPedia User

Matt Hayes - The Sporting News: "Here's 16-year-old Jason Gilbert of Omaha, Neb., who e-mails, oh, every four days during the season and slows to a crawl of every two weeks in the offseason"

Yo, Jason. Log off Huskerpedia, turn off your computer, and find another hobby. If you really need someone to blame for a "5th place prediction", look towards South Stadium first. That 5th place prediction is based in large part on Nebraska's slide from 10-3 to 5-6 in year 1 of Steve P's recreation experiment. In the meantime, don't blame the messenger.

Update: Revisiting HuskerPedia

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Why I like the Huskers in the CWS

One word: Pitching.

Only if you combine the Tennessee and Florida staffs can you come up with a CWS rotation that compares to Nebraska's. Nobody else in the CWS has the luxury of having Zach Kroenke and Brian Duensing as their #3 & #4 starters; that's a huge advantage for the Big Red. They really just need a win out of either Joba Chamberlain or Johnny Dorn over the weekend; obviously, another "two and que" and it's meaningless. Even fighting out of the losers bracket, they'll have an advantage sending those guys up against the lower part of the others' rotations.

Don't believe me?
Yeah, the clutch hitting over the last few weeks could disappear again. But they won't get blown out.

Florida State QB suffers breakdown; hospitalized

Florida State QB Wyatt Sexton was doused with pepper spray by Tallahassee police and taken to a hospital "apparantly under the influence of some unknown narcotic or alcohol." After returning from a Dave Matthews Band concert in Tennessee, he was found jumping on a car, doing pushups in the street, and identifying himself as God.

Shades of the Scott Baldwin case; hopefully with a better outcome.

Tommie Frazier - Head coach at Doane

Tommie Frazier will be named head coach at Doane College in Crete tommorow.

CWS Predictions

I like the Huskers (no duh) and Baylor.
Whooter's CWS Picks: Huskers and Tulane
Tim Silvey's CWS Picks: Huskers and Baylor. (Great game by game breakdown of the entire CWS!)

Monday, June 13, 2005

Huskers in the College World Series

Much to the dismay of the anti-Huskers, the Huskers have made the College World Series for the 3rd time in the past 5 years. The anti's show their dismay by claiming that filling the stands with a bunch of bandwagon fans who don't know anything about the team except the school name and mascot somehow damages this Omaha institution.

What I wonder is, how is this any different than any other College World Series, except that bandwagoning is focused on one team instead of spread a little more evenly amongst all the fans.