Today someone asked me about this new web site called "Omaha Steam" and what the point was. I had to chuckle, because it turns out he was asking about a new UNO athletic department web site called "Omaha's Team". Besides the non-intuitive web address, the web site almost seems to go out of it's way to disassociate itself with the school. The new Miami "O" logo and some subtle background images are the only indication that this is associated with UNO. There's a blank video panel that doesn't tell you anything about what you'll see. Keep looking at the page, and you'll eventually find a mention that it's a UNO web site, apparently geared at selling tickets and encouraging donations. Noble idea, but UNO could have done a better job of associating the site with the school....and no, the "Omaha's Team" slogan doesn't do it. In fact, one could argue that all this slogan does is annoy Creighton fans, which probably doesn't help UNO expand their audience.
Speaking of lame web sites, has anybody figured out the point of "RedOutAroundTheWorld.com"? Originally, I thought it was to fire up fans for the October 16th game against Texas, but when that approach backfired, it seems to be an web site struggling for a purpose. Put another pin on the map? Yeah. Download a wallpaper? Ooooh. Look at pictures of somebody's Aunt Mavis and her Big Red quilt? Oh, baby. Sign me up for spam from the University and the Omaha World-Herald? Please, may I have another? Maybe something else will pop up next month, but somehow I kind of doubt it.
As long as I'm bashing other web sites, both the Lincoln Journal-Star and BigRedNetwork rolled out new designs that I'm not sure fixed much. I do know that both redesigns broke their RSS feeds, so I didn't get any updates from either site for a few days. And DoubleExtraPoint seems to have officially been declared dead on August 30th by GoDaddy.com.
But that bashing is minor compared to what former Nebraska defensive coordinator Craig Bohl fired towards Lawrence, Kansas earlier this week. Last Saturday night, Bohl's North Dakota State squad upset Kansas 6-3, with Turner Gill joining Dan Hawkins as a Big XII coach who lost his first game to a division 1-AA opponent. Bohl added to the insult by stating that he thinks that Northern Iowa's fans will create "more of a hostile environment" this week than Kansas' fans did. Then he fired one back at Gill's team, suggesting that the 1-AA Panthers will be a more physical opponent than the Jayhawks. Ouch.
Truth be told, I'm not completely surprised by Kansas' struggles. Gill's staff has been shuffling players from offense to defense and vice versa, which last month reminded me of "rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic" in my Kansas preseason preview. Kansas had to replace almost all of their offensive stars, and several members of a not-very-good defense. Turner knew what he needed to do when he arrived: "Recruit...recruit...recruit..." That's a long term plan, but it'll take time for that strategy to work. With Lew Perkins out, will Turner have the time to do that?
Back to Bohl, I do have to wonder if there was any residual bad blood from their days together in Lincoln. Steve Sipple of the Journal-Star seemed to dismiss the idea, but deep down, I do have to wonder. Bohl's defense went from pretty good to pretty awful in the matter of a few games, which makes me wonder what all happened at that time. Now it looks even more curious than it did then...