Not sure why some people need to put a label on everything, but Shawn Watson is already a little testy with reporters trying to get a label on what his offense is going to be. "It's the Nebraska Offense," he finally said. Watson has a background in the West Coast, but except for wide receivers coach Ted Gilmore, none of the other offensive coaches have a West Coast background. So it's going to be a little bit of a mix. Of course, keep in mind that the term "West Coast Offense" is more of a philosophy than an actual offense. Bill Callahan's version didn't resemble Bill Walsh's version very much, not to mention that Callahan's version didn't resemble Shawn Watson's version that he ran at Colorado. Heck, Watson's version varied from year to year, depending on the quarterback, tight ends, and running backs he had at his disposal.
What does that mean? One thing is that unlike the Callahan mutation, this offense will take advantage of the personnel available to it. My expectation is that it will not only take advantage of Joe Ganz's mobility but also Marlon Lucky's outside running abilities. With I-backs like Quentin Castille, Roy Helu, and Cody Glenn available, look for Lucky to spend a little less time at I-back and more time spread around the field to take advantage of his speed and pass catching ability.
Speaking of Cody Glenn, he added some criticism of Randy Jordan this week. Ahhh, a little more venting from the Bill Callahan clusterfool. Go ahead and get it out of your system now. Better now than this fall. I've always wondered why Cody Glenn sometimes disappeared, and always wondered whether the coaches were mad at him. Turns out that might have been the case after all. In any event, the talk that he's back to pre-injury form is good news, as when he was healthy, he was Nebraska's best I-back.
The negotiations between MECA and City Hall got a little weirder with the revelation that MECA is offering to manage the new stadium for $75,000 a year and manage the construction for $500,000. Those numbers seem rather low and would appear to be good numbers for the city. That prospect seems totally alien in light of MECA's continued opposition to building the ballpark on a Qwest Center parking lot. It does give you hope that maybe this whole disagreement is simply negotiating through the media through public posturing, and that these two sides are much closer to an agreement than it looks.
Due to a niece's birthday party, I ended up missing the best game of the regional finals in the NCAA basketball tournament. Yeah, I predicted Davidson to make the Sweet Sixteen, but didn't think they stood a chance against Kansas. Whoops! Ah, well, I'm leading the DoubleExtraPoint challenge; my only Final Four mistake was picking Duke. (Yikes!) For the record, my prediction to win it all is Kansas. Davidson wasn't a complete surprise to me; they played Duke, North Carolina, and UCLA really close.
The court setup for the Kansas/Davidson game is an interesting change for NCAA championships. In the past when they've tried to play basketball in a dome, they've set the court up in one of the football endzones and set up temporary seating on the field to divide the dome in half, usually resulting in a capacity of around 40,000. At Ford Field, they placed midcourt at the fifty-yard line of the Detroit Lions home field, and set up bleachers with a low rise on the field to allow the entire stadium to be utilized for basketball. The verdict is that while this allow more fans to attend, the sightlines aren't exactly fan friendly. This experiment will continue, as this layout will be used at Ford Field for the 2009 Final Four as well as the 2010 Frozen Four.
Speaking of the Frozen Four, the CCHA will have one team in this year's national championship game as Michigan will play Notre Dame in one of the semi-final games. The CCHA almost got three teams in the Frozen Four, as Boston College upset #2 Miami in overtime in one of today's regional finals. If you want to look at UNO's 2007-08 hockey season with a "glass half full" perspective, the performance of the CCHA in the Big Skate shows that UNO played a pretty tough conference schedule.