Wednesday, September 28, 2005

UNO picked 5th in Preseason Poll

Last year, the UNO Mavericks were picked by the media and the other coaches to finish dead-last, and instead finished 4th in the CCHA. Obviously, they don't want to make the same mistake again, so this year, they're picked to finish 5th in the CCHA by both the media and the coaches.

Forward Scott Parse was named to the preseason all-conference team, and forward Bill Thomas was named to the 2nd team. Ohio State leads the CCHA pre-season team with 2 first team and 2 second team selections. UNO is tied with Michigoon for 2nd with 1 each. Hockey season starts in less than 2 weeks! After they disinfect the Qwest Center from hick week, they'll be putting down the ice, and game on!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Piling onto Bill Callahan

The fallout from the lackluster start to the Husker season is leading to somewhat of a feeding frenzy of negativity. Certainly, the only thing to be excited so far about is the defense and the 3-0 record, both of which are offset by the fact that it came against an incredibly weak schedule. But today, the negativity went overboard. Media types, such as Jim Rome, latched onto Bill Callahan's quote yesterday about coaching in the NFL and in college being equivalent.

“People make a bigger deal out of that than I would expect. As a ball coach, I’m being honest with you. You have to be able to adapt. It’s not that hard. If you asked Steve Spurrier, he’d tell you the same thing….it’s just coaching football.”

Certainly, I've raised concerns about whether Callahan understands the college game, and I stand by them and these examples. But much of the criticism today was shallow and just piling onto Callahan. Rome's take was extremely lame: "Uh, no it isn’t. If it were just ‘coaching football’ then your defense wouldn’t have more touchdowns than your offense. And they do, 4-3. That’s not ok. If the defense is getting the ball into the end zone more than the offense, your ‘coaching is coaching’ philosophy sucks." That's not criticism of Callahan's statement, that's just saying "you suck". If that's all you have to say, just shut up. Rome, you deserve your buzzer on this one.

Now, if you want to criticize Callahan, let's deal with specifics. Today's Omaha paper talked about the height advantage the Iowa State receivers will have on Saturday. Todd Blythe is 6'5", and Jon Davis is 6'4". That reminds me of a previous story about how Nebraska's receivers lack the size for the West Coast Offense. Certainly, since Matt Herian's injury, the passing game has been rather anemic. And Callahan did inherit the receivers from the old Nebraska offense, which didn't put a premium on size.

But Callahan now has 2 classes under his name. He hasn't recruited ANYBODY over 6'3" as a wide receiver, and the single 6'3" player (Nate Swift) he got to Lincoln originally committed to Frank Solich.

If "big receivers" are such a requirement for running the West Coast Offense, then failure to recruit these guys is a huge recruiting failure. If Iowa State can get them, certainly Nebraska can.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

World-Herald takes a look at the state of the Huskers

Today's Omaha World-Herald dedicates most of the front page of today's football section to disecting the enigma that is the Nebraska Cornhusker football program. Not there aren't any positives to note, namely the improvement on the defensive line. The emphasis on recruiting is clear here, with Ola Dagunduro, Barry Cryer, and Barry Turner making an immediate impact. And more importantly, this also allows LeKevin Smith and Titus Adams to stay fresher.

But there are some areas where either we haven't improved or regressed, namely at wide receiver, tight end, offensive line, and the secondary. The secondary is to be expected, with the loss of Fabian Washington and Josh Bullocks to the NFL. Zac Bowman has not lived up to the recruitnik hype, in part due to injuries.

The offensive line is in desperate need of playmakers, and unfortunately, it doesn't appear that there are a large number of them coming. Until last week, Lydon Murtha was making more of an impact in the training room than on the field. Andy Christensen is out for the season. Craig Roark and Rodney Picou are redshirting. Dennis Wagner has his work cut out for him here; fortunately for Husker fans, he's a top offensive line coach.

Wide receiver has to be considered a recruiting failure at this point, with only Frantz Hardy making any impact, though Chris Brooks is still recovering from knee surgery. But the West Coast Offense requires big receivers - and Bill Callahan still hasn't recrutied any. Yes, Callahan may have signed Tyrell Spain, Wallace Franklin, and Broderick Hunter, but none of them are enrolled. And only Spain is 6' 3", and even he was under 200 lbs. It's obvious that Callahan's offense misses Matt Herian, so one has to wonder why with this being Herian's senior year and his injury, where were the replacements? If a player like Herian is a requirement for Callahan's offense, then this has to be viewed as a recruiting failure on Callahan's part.

The hypesters were counting on Harrison Beck and Marlon Lucky to be on the field and contributing this season. However, the hypesters fail to account for the complexity of the Callahan offense, and the core issue as to whether or not it is too complex to run in college. That becomes a catch-22 for Callahan and his recruiters: recruits want to come to a program where they are going to have an opportunity to contribute, but the complexity may start to scare people away.

Finally, Missouri alum Tom Shatel once again sounds the warning siren of starting a coaching revolving door. Fans are obviously split; the fans who supported the former coaching staff are now howling as Nebraska gravitates below mediocrity and approaches futility. Some of the fans who called for change now realize that sometimes change makes a situation worse, and are calling for another change. And ironically, fans who howled for a change in South Stadium are now pleading for patience.

My own $0.02: I've steadily grown dissatisfied with Bill Callahan as head coach, and am very unsure that he was the correct man for the job. However, barring any major blunders (NCAA violations or another "f'n Hillbilly" outburst), firing him probably creates more problems than it solves. Give him more time to recruit and get some more of his recruits on the field.

However, without any improvement on the field, his boss probably doesn't get the same pass. Demand for tickets is at a low, and with 6000 new seats scheduled to open next season, the sellout streak is in serious jeopardy. Steve Pederson may have done some nice things (stadium improvement project, pre-game pavillion), but his bungled coaching search and Callahan's struggles have made him the focal point of fans angst. A new athletic director would be the first step towards reuniting the Husker fan base, and will buy Callahan more time to implement his system.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

The myth that this is "Just like 2003"

There is a popular myth out there with some folks that 2005 is mirroring 2003, and since that season turned out ok, this season will turn out ok. To be fair to these people, yes, the 2003 "Bo-shirts" were dominant on defense and certainly ahead of the offense.

But, you also have to look at the competition and what actually happened in those games.

NU 25, Maine 7: 1 offensive TD, 4 FGs, 1 defensive TD. 121 yards rushing, 192 passing for a total of 313 yards.
NU 31, Wake Forest 3: 1 offensive TD, 1 FG, 3 defensive TD's. 120 yards rushing, 114 passing for a total of 224 yards.
NU 7, Pitt 6: 1 offensive TD. 174 yards rushing, 93 passing for a total of 267.

NU 17, Oklahoma State 7: 1 offensive TD, 1 FG, 1 defensive TD. 268 yards rushing, 78 yards passing for a total of 346 yards.
NU 31, Utah State 7: 3 offensive TD's, 4 FGs. 273 yards rushing, 132 yards passing for a total of 405 yards.
NU 18, Penn State 10: 1 offensive TD, 4 FGs. 337 yards rushing, 60 passing for a total of 397 yards.

Utah State and Wake Forest are probably comparable teams, and Pitt and Penn State are probably comparable. But Oklahoma State in 2003 was significantly better than Maine, especially when you consider the OSU backfield now has Tatum Bell and Rashaun Woods in the NFL and QB Josh Fields might be too if he hadn't chosen to play baseball.

And let's compare the results: the 2003 "anemic" Huskers averaged nearly 362 yards a game. The 2005 Huskers are only averaging 266 yards. If Nebraska is to make it to bowl eligibility, those numbers will have to significantly improve.

Some people are snickering at Iowa State's struggle with Army last night. Funny, how many of those same fans snickered at Ohio's upset of Pitt, and assumed that if Pitt wasn't good enough to beat Ohio, we should roll Pitt. Iowa State appears to be a schizophrenic team, playing very well one week (beating Iowa) or playing very poorly. If they are on next week (and no reason why they won't be, with the number of Nebraskans on their roster), they still could roll the Big Red.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Mav Hockey Preview

In contrast to the Husker football program, UNO Mav hockey seems to be on the rise after an upper-division finish in the CCHA last season. MavRick's blog is firing up with lots of good information as the season nears. UNO's biggest loss from last season was goalie Chris Holt who was a late signee with the New York Rangers. But UNO returns a solid core of underclassmen who led the surprise rise of the Mavericks last season.

If UNO can find an answer at goalie, UNO is looking at their first NCAA tournament appearance this season.

Sports Illustrated: Nebraska "looks lost"

Mark Beech of Sports Illustrated joins the crowd of writers who are questioning Bill Callahan's program at Nebraska. While certainly not in depth and gets a few details wrong, it does reflect the growing perception that the Callahan era is not going well, and in fact, may end up being short-lived.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Barf on Callahan

Lee Barfknecht of the Omaha daily paper takes some shots at Bill Callahan and his staff. While the "true believers" in the "New NU" will look to shoot the messenger, they must remember that the 2005 Huskers are not even meeting the standard of the 2004 team. Offensive production is down from last year, despite having more players available that were recruited for this system. Yes, the offense has fewer interceptions. But they also have played much more mediocre competition this season, and have only scored 3 offensive touchdowns. Heck, Joe Dailey did that in 1 quarter. And "mediocre" is being generous; Jeff Sagarin of USA Today says the Huskers have played the 153rd toughest schedule in college football.

The next 2 games will quiet either the critics or defenders of Callahan and his staff. The talent argument no longer applies; Jay Norvell was asked tonight on NET's "Big Red Wrapup" whether Nebraska had the talent to compete in the Big XII conference, and without hesitation, he answered "YES!" That doesn't mean an undefeated season; that should mean that Nebraska has the talent to win a majority of their conference games this year.

And with the relative weakness of the Big XII, every conference game is winnable. But not if the offense only averages 1 touchdown a week.

Monday, September 19, 2005

What we see is what we've got

Steve Sipple, the dean of writers on the Husker beat, writes an ominous column in today's Lincoln Journal-Star. One week after saying "don't panic", he now disavows that warning. There really aren't any magic incantations that will solve the Huskers' offensive problems.

The fact is that the problem is a combination of coaching and talent. Talent, in terms of two disjointed recruiting classes after coaching changes after the 2002 and 2003 seasons. And coaching, in that we appear to have a coaching staff coaching a system, not a football team. And that football team is a mismash of two types of players: players recruited to run the old multi-formation Husker attack, and a bunch of young players struggling to learn an 8 pound playbook.

A lot of recruitniks expected to see guys like Harrison Beck, Marlon Lucky, Terrel Spain, Chris Brooks, Leon Jackson, Zac Bowman, and Craig Roark on the field already making an impact. Whether that was wishful thinking or just pure insanity remains to be seen. These guys may make an impact down the line. Who knows if it's the impact fans want; just look at the slow progress of redshirt freshman Rhett Bomar at Oklahoma, and that's after sitting on the bench last year to learn the system.

After watching Brandon Jackson last year, Lucky and Cody Glenn will have minimal opportunities to contribute to the team as freshmen. In passing situations, Callahan is not going to put the life of the quarterback in the hands of a freshman who isn't ready to pick up a blitz.

Harrison Beck is another concern. Dennis Wagner confirmed on Friday that while Beck has all the physical tools to play quarterback from the neck down, he's not ready to play. Last year, there were rumors that Beck wasn't mature enough, between some of his blog comments, media comments, and overheard comments around other recruits. One rumor already has Beck threatening to transfer to Florida State. And even if he is ready to play, is it a good idea to put him in behind a shaky offensive line?

There are three ways to look at the Huskers' future:
  • We'll all awaken and find out the first 3 games were just a bad nightmare, and all is well in Huskerland.
  • This is a long-term rebuilding effort, and we may not bottom out for another year or more.
  • Steve Pederson is a complete moron. Start any repair projects here.
Which one is it? I have my opinion, but so does every other Husker fan.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Brent Musburger Drinking Game

Corn Blight last week provided a link to the Brent Musburger Drinking Game. And now, it looks like Brent decided to play along on the ride home!

According to KETV-Channel 7 in Omaha, Brent was ticketed last night in downtown Lincoln for having an open container of beer in the ABC rental car. Unfortunately (for Brent), one of Lincoln's finest noticed, and Brent received a $144 ticket.

Folks, sometimes the truth is BETTER than fiction....

Saturday, September 17, 2005


Optimists will point to Nebraska's 3-0 record and cheer loudly. But, as this season progresses, it's becoming painfully apparant that year 2 of the West Coast Offense is even worse than year 1. While a 7-6 victory over Pitt is nice, it sure makes you start scratching your head when you realize that one week ago, the Ohio Bobcats beat Pitt 16-10.

There were some positive signs in the first half:
  • Cody Glenn is a battering ram. Had some problems with a handoff once, but overall looked good. In an effort to get Glenn the ball, they once lined up both Marlon Lucky at IB and Glenn at FB and gave the ball to Glenn as a fullback. (One criticism of Callahan's offense is that they don't take advantage of the fullback, unlike other versions of the "West Coast". See Tom Rathman as an example of what a fullback can do in the West Coast offense.)
  • Creativity on playcalling. Tierre Green and Mike Stuntz switched back to offense for a play to utilize their talents. Green runs the sweep toss like no other back at Nebraska has since his cousin, Ahman. And Stuntz lined up at I-back to attempt a IB pass, though he ended up scrambling and gaining 4 yards.
  • The offensive line did look better.
But the headscratchers continue:
  • When the game is on the line, Bill Callahan does not have faith in Zac Taylor. In the 2nd half, the offense was reduced to Cory Ross.
  • Nebraska was penalized 11 times. 5 of these penalties were for shifting into an illegal formation. In the post-game interview with the Information Minister, Callahan disagreed that the formations were illegal. Perhaps they were legal, and the officials were wrong. But allowing your team to get flagged for this for the 3rd, 4th, and 5th time is just plain stubborn and stupid.
  • The defense is responsible for our 3-0 record, but this defense isn't going to win many more for this team. Remember how happy we were with our defense until the Texas Tech game last year???
The fans leaving the stadium were extremely subdued and quiet, except for criticism of the coaching staff. Many are ready to throw in the towel. 14 games may be a little quick to pull the hook, though, on the head coach. The athletic director, however, is probably starting to feel the heat.

A couple of quick pre-game notes

  • If you see anybody wearing green today, they aren't being anti-Husker, or even anti-Callahan. They are Anti-Pederson.
  • When fans observe that the offensive line is having problems, they are criticized as overreacting and being bad fans. So what does that make offensive line coach Dennis Wagner?
  • Speaking of Wagner, it looks like we'll see some new wrinkles on offense today. Hopefully, it's not just talk, and we'll see some offensive momentum build up.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The Husker Information Minister

Listening to KFAB the last couple of mornings, I couldn't help but make this comparison. Yesterday, Jim Rose talked about the weekly press conference as "Meet the Depressed", while this morning, Rose couldn't believe that anyone could draw any sort of comparison between an Ohio victory over Pitt to a potential Pitt victory over Nebraska.

He even apparantly planted a call from a booster in Atlanta to prove that all is well in Husker nation, ignore a couple of boo-birds. Nebraska is undefeated, and the program has never been better. And he finished up by proclaiming that Nebraska is well on their way to a National Championship.

Sure sounds like Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf to me.

Sports Illustrated: Callahan a "Potentially Colossal Mistake" for Nebraska

SI's Stuart Mandel, in today's column, thinks that "(Bill) Callahan's hiring was a potentially colossal mistake". Mandel agrees that Nebraska's program needed some modernization. However, he also says that Frank Solich is showing just that at Ohio, and that Callahan's NFL credentials and NFL experience may be irrelevant in the college game.

Oh, and Steve Pederson's other 2 candidates (Dave Wannstedt and Houston Nutt) also get some negative attention in the 'ol mailbag.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Steve Pederson's Favorite Candidates

A couple of updates on a couple of Steve Pederson's top choices to lead the Huskers:

Houston Nutt lost Saturday to Vanderbilt. Yes, Vandy. Nutt is now 6-7 since getting the Pederson Promotion.

Dave Wannstedt is now 0-2 after losing to the coach Pederson wanted him to replace. Combining last season with Miami with Pitt, Wannstedt is now 1-9 for the last 2 seasons.

Offensive Line Problems

Just something to think about while we ponder our offensive line problems. What do the names Richie Incognito, Gary Pike, Jermaine Leslie, Jemayel Phillips, Cory Timm, Brett Byford, Ryan Schuler, Andy Christensen, Lydon Murtha, and Danny Muy mean to you?

If you were a recruitnik, you'd recognize the names of some highly regarded offensive line recruits from the past few years that were signed to be eligible this season.

None of the above are playing this year; many aren't even in Lincoln anymore.

And, just to be fair, we probably could include Seth Olsen, who essentially decomitted after Steve Pedersen decided to make his change.

Sure, there are some talented guys on this year's recruiting class. But there were talented guys in the past classes who aren't contributing. The bad news is that it usually takes a year or two for offensive linemen to adjust to the program before being able to contribute. That may mean that we may have this problem for a while longer, unless Bill Callahan and Dennis Wagner can accelerate the development of some of these players. Or pull some people out of their redshirt years and learn on the job.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

A Present from Wake Forest

Some quick notes from tonight's Wake-Husker game:
  • Tonight's game was gift-wrapped by the Demon Deacons. Twice in the first half, Wake's Chris Barclay muffed the kickoff and for whatever reason, decided to try and advance the ball out of the endzone instead of taking a knee. The result? 1st and 10 from their own 2, and 1st and 10 from their own 1. Add in a couple of interceptions on some ill-advised passes returned for touchdowns, and you have a gift-wrapped victory for the Big Red.
  • It's nice to see the Blackshirts playing with fire and emotion once again. It's obvious the depth on the defensive line has not only added playmakers, but also gives everybody a chance to stay fresh.
  • Last week's offensive line play was not simply a "bad game"; they still can't get a push going on a consistent basis. Zac Taylor at times was running for his life, and took some hard hits tonight. Until we see better line play, look for Harrison Beck to stay on the sidelines. Taylor got clocked several times tonight; I don't think that Bill Callahan wants to put the prized recruit into the crosshairs.
  • Zac Taylor continues to struggle, with another sub-50% game. Sure, some balls are dropped. But he also forces the ball into coverage. Taylor is looking more and more like a caretaker quarterback, ala Trent Dilfer. For all the criticism of Joe Dailey last season, Dailey simply was more productive last year than Taylor is this year.
  • What was Jim Grobe thinking when he scuttled their rushing attack in the 3rd quarter for a shotgun passing game? It was like waiving a white flag. Wake was having success rushing the ball on the Blackshirts in the 1st half. The Wake passing game will not scare anybody.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Got Frank? We don't.

Frank Solich's Ohio Bobcats upset the defending Big East champion Pitt Panthers tonight 16-10 in overtime. Pitt scored on the opening kickoff, and then kicked a game tying field-goal with 7 seconds left in the game.

The game was won when Pitt's Tyler Palko was interecepted by Ohio's Dion Byrum and Byrum sprinted 80 yards for the winning touchdown. Byrum earlier scored the other touchdown of the game on an interception return.

Pitt is now 0-2 and travels next week to face the Huskers.

This sets up all sorts of storylines for next weekend's game. Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt was Steve Pederson's first choice to replace Solich, and Wannstedt recommended that Pederson hire Houston Nutt. Next weekend's Husker-Panther game is very likely a must-win for both coaches. Of course, Bill Callahan still needs to get past Wake Forest tomorrow night.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Reaction from former players

If you are tired of the "party-line" drivel that comes out of the Pinnacle Sports Network and KFAB, but don't want to deal with the smart-a** Jim Rome wannabe's on "Peewee Sports 590" either, here's something to listen to. Former Huskers Aaron Taylor and Matt Hoskinson have a 1 hour show on 1620 the Zone called "Big Red Spotlight" on Thursday evenings from 6 to 7 pm.

Tonight's guest was Damon Benning, who brought some good insight into what is going on. I think one thing that is necessary to remember is that we're still early in the transition, and we have to expect some mistakes. I think we have a right to expect fewer mistakes, and expect the people in charge to admit that there are mistakes, but we really shouldn't expect to be competing at the USC level either.

Benning mentioned tonight that the blocking schemes played a large role in the ineffectiveness of the running game last Saturday night; basically, the blocking was not going to open up the right holes for the running backs. So, it will be interesting to see whether the coaches will get their game plans in sync this weekend. Benning said that if we don't see more of a dominating running game this Saturday, we're in trouble. Wake Forest has an undersized defensive line compared to anybody else we play, so if we're going to do anything on the ground, this week would be the opportunity.

Also, for those of you looking for more insight from former Huskers, Scott Frost now has a blog at the Journal-Star web site.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

After further review...

Sunday, I thought I was in the minority with my feelings of dread after the 25-7 result against Maine. However, after seeing and hearing potshots over national and local radio, plus reading criticism from Sports Illustrated (Stuart Mandel: "Nebraska still doesn't know what it's doing on offense"), perhaps I've been fairly balanced.

True, some of Zac Taylor's problems can be attributed to drops by receivers. But even if those drops had been completions, Taylor would have only ended up with numbers similar or worse than Joe Dailey had against similar competition last year (Western Illinois: 15 for 30, 4 ints, 4 TD passes, 218 yards; Baylor: 13 for 20, 0 ints, 5 TDs, 342 yards). Yes, it was Zac's first start. But last year was Joe's first start as well.

I still don't like Bill Callahan's comments that "hey, it's a win" and "openers are tough". Contrast that to Dan McCarney, who is honest enough to admit that Iowa State didn't play well against a 1-AA team: "All of us were reaching for motion sickness bags. We were about to puke. It made you want to vomit." Personally, Callahan is starting to sound like he has embraced the "spirit of mediocrity".

Another head scratcher is Jay Norvell's comments about throwing 3 passes on 1st and goal from the 2 yard line:
Time was a concern, offensive coordinator Jay Norvell said Saturday. You don't want to run the ball, then have to spike it to kill the clock. Uh Jay, there was about 80 seconds left when you had the ball on the 2 yard line. With a 25 second play clock, you should have easily been able to run 3 running plays with that much time. In fact, nobody said you had to run the ball 3 times either. With everybody that close to the line of scrimmage, just get off the pile and line up again.

Bottom line is my confidence level in this coaching staff continues to fall. They are great recruiters, but when it comes to the game of football, there seems to be something missing here.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Here we go again with Bill Callahan

That "thud" sound you heard last nights was another group of fans jumping off the Steve Pederson and Bill Callahan bandwagon. Last night, it took a Bo Ruud interception return for a touchdown to give the Huskers a 2 score lead in the 4th quarter against the division 1-AA Maine Black Bears. Obviously, it's a good idea that Nebraska backed out of negotiations with Houston, or it might have been even more embarrassing.

Not that there weren't signs of improvement:
  1. Defensive front 7. The new players have significantly improved the depth of this bunch, and thus allowed more people to make more plays. Steve Octavian showed a knack for recognizing where the playwas going in his limited time.
  2. New punt return blocking scheme. Last year, Santino Panico took way more abuse from both punt coverage teams as well as fans than was necessary. On his post-game radio show, Bill Callahan even admitted that they really didn't put much heart into the punt return game. The player that stood out on punt returns for me was Blake Tiedtke. Tiedtke would line up over the ball, and then would break back just before the ball
    was snapped to the punter to help block for the returner. The result? There were no tacklers within at least 10 yards of the return guy, allowing our return guys time to catch the ball and find their holes.
  3. Penalties. None!
But the negatives:
  1. Offensive Line. I admit that I didn't follow the offensive line play as close as I should have, though.
  2. Zac Taylor. My concerns about Taylor from the spring game were apparantly shared by Callahan and Jay Norvell. Taylor opened the spring game with trouble taking the snap and with wobbly passes, but gradually calmed down once the game wore on. Last night, Callahan took the ball out of Taylor's hands for most of the first quarter. However, unlike our backup defenders, Maine was able to put pressure on Taylor, and Taylor alternated between some nice throws to Frantz Hardy, some wobblers, and some ill-advised throws that were picked off. A lot of Husker fans owe Joe Dailey a huge apology.
  3. Play calling. The opening ball-control series made sense in hindsight. Calling 3 straight passes once you've got 1st and goal at the 2 yard line still is bothersome. And apparantly the play communication system still is buggy, as Zac Taylor occasionally needed to run to the sideline to get the play.
I originally stated 8-3 was my expectations for this year. As I said in July, Oklahoma has QB problems and is in a similar spot as Nebraska was in 2002. I still think the schedule sets up VERY favorably for a successful season even with only modest improvement.

However, what happened in Lincoln yesterday was not improvement. It can only be described as gravitating below mediocrity. If things don't turn around (and quickly), the boo-birds will be out in force.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Things I don't want to see tomorrow

Like before last season's season opener, I have no idea what I'll see in tomorrow's game. We don't know who will play, and what the game plan is. So, with that in mind, here is what I DON'T want to see tomorrow:
  • The head coach in the tunnel walk until the locker room doors are opened. And then, quickly pan to the players.
  • Juggled or fumbled snaps.
  • The quarterback wearing out a path to the sidelines to get the play call.
  • The play clock reading zero while waiting for the play to get called.
  • An 18 yard FG attempt.
  • Seeing a blitz by the Blackshirts before the ball is snapped.
  • The "prevent" defense with more than 30 seconds left on the scoreboard clock.
  • The athletic director.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Has Steve P killed the Sellout Streak?

Reports on the Husker Mailing list indicate that the Maine game is not sold out yet. My expectation is that they are now selling the Maine tickets from the seats not renewed by season ticketholders. Maine may have returned a few tickets as well.

I don't think the sellout streak is in danger this weekend. They probably already have an agreement with a "booster of substance" to purchase any leftover tickets.

But, with over 6000 new seats available next year, the lack of interest in Husker tickets is a potentially disturbing proposition.