At T minus 12 hours before the Cotton Bowl against Auburn, I'm still not seeing a lot of interest in this game in the fan base. Will this attitude be shared by the team? I doubt it, but you never know. Certainly, I do have to wonder if Auburn is coming into this with a more serious attitude than the Huskers. Auburn got burned by not taking last year's Capital One Bowl seriously, and they don't want to make that same mistake this year. Remember that one of the biggest factors in bowl games is who wants to win this game. It's why Nebraska nearly upset Florida State in 1994 and Nebraska wanted the Alamo Bowl last year much more than Michigoon, after Michigoon began the season thinking Rose and Nebraska spent most of November just trying to make it to Shreveport.
Another factor is how various conferences stack up. The SEC is out to a 3-1 start, though the 1 loss was Alabama's loss to the Big XII's Oklahoma State. The rest of the Big XII is 2-3 in bowls thus far, which doesn't bode so well for the Huskers' chances tomorrow.
Up until Texas Tech's huge comeback against Minnesota late on Friday night, Missouri's loss to Oregon State was shaping up as the Big XII's best bowl performance so far. The Beavers do have a victory over USC on their resume, and that game could have gone either way, especially if the Beavers hadn't gone for two. In the second half, A&M would have done better leaving Reveille and their band on the field instead of Fran's team against Cal in the Holiday Bowl. And Texas continued their end of season slide by struggling against a very mediocre group of Iowa Squawkeyes. I'll give Kansas State a pass against a Rutgers squad that should have been in a better bowl than the Texas Bowl.
Speaking of the Texas Bowl, who was the Einstein who sold the NFL Network the exclusive rights to two college bowl games? I understand the NFL's desire to promote their network, but this trend towards more specialized and costly cable TV channels is leading us closer and closer to a pay-per-view future for sporting events. $8 a year for a cable channel that shows 10 football games a year packaged around reruns of old games and three hour boring pregame shows? NFL, Get Real!
Today's NFL wild-card race reminded me of the end of the 2001 college football season watching the Broncos, Bengals, Titans, and Jaguars blow their playoff chances today, allowing the Kansas City Chiefs to claim a wild-card spot. A belated Christmas gift for the Chiefs, and they get to play the struggling Indianpolis Colts and the worst rushing defense in the league? Of course, the Kansas City defense isn't anything to shout about, so it should be a shootout next Saturday.
Rough weekend for Nebraska-Omaha hockey in the Ivy League over the weekend. Apparantly, the Ivy Leaguers have decided to create their own rules. Last night against Yale, the hometown clock operator apparantly ran the clock backwards to extend a Yale power play in the 2nd period. A furious comeback allowed the Mavs to tie Yale 4-4. After last year's wild finish against Yale, the Mavs are developing a little rivalry with the Bulldogs.