When I saw that UNO's hockey schedule opened with back to back road trips to Minnesota and Michigan, I figured that the Mavs would start slowly this season; those places are tough places to play. I hoped to win one of those games, and maybe two if UNO got extremely lucky.
I never thought UNO could win the first three and be in position to win all four...but that's exactly what UNO did. Seems Dean Blais is pleased as well. It's easy to overreact to the start; there's still more than four months of hockey still to be played in the regular season. Last season, UNO got off to a fast start, but struggled in November and December, only come on strong in February to get into playoff contention. It's way to early to early to think about that, but this is a good start. No hockey this week; it's a bye week. Next week, Minnesota State (Mankato) comes to town, this time for a conference series.
The World-Herald indicates that TD Ameritrade Park is just about ready for sod. It's about six weeks behind the BFE Ballpark in terms of getting the field in place. Not that it makes much difference; my experience is that grass will grow and set into place pretty well this late in the season. Especially when you consider the drainage/heating system that will help the field grow in November and March. Also important for keeping the field in good shape for future Nighthawks games in November and December down the line. (Yes, I'm optimistic that the Nighthawks will be around for a few years...)
Speaking of the Nighthawks, I was surprised to find that only single tickets remain for Thursday night's game against Las Vegas. Looks like the Nighthawks are well on their way to selling out their third game of the season. I figured that a Thursday night game might be a tougher ticket to sell, but the evidence is clearly the opposite.
I was surprised to see that ABC selected the Nebraska/Iowa State game for another 2:30 pm kickoff; that'll be Nebraska's fourth game in a row at that timeslot. Not that I'm complaining; I like those afternoon kicks and it means that I'll get the game in HD. But I had this game penciled in for an FSN broadcast, and I'm not complaining about the upgrade to ABC. FSN broadcasts are something I won't miss next season when Nebraska jumps to the Big Ten.
Two interesting e-mails arrived in my mailbox today. First, the Davey O'Brien foundation named Taylor Martinez as one of 16 semifinalists for the National Quarterback award. That's a testament to the numbers that Martinez has put up this season. No, he's not a Heisman candidate this season; in fact, he's unlikely to even make the cut as a finalist. The big thing is that he's doing this as a freshman; if Martinez continues to develop, who knows what he'll do when he's got a little experience under his belt.
The second was to announce that Missouri was the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week. A well-deserved honor in light of the Tigers upset of Oklahoma last weekend. But I had to chuckle at the other teams who were nominated this week. Iowa State got a nod for beating Texas. That also was well deserved, as it was an impressive upset, since it didn't take any wacky fumbles (let alone eight) to put the Cyclones in the lead. The other nominee: Western Kentucky, who finally won a division 1-A game by defeating Louisiana-Lafayette 54-21.
That's right: Missouri football is flying high this week, along side Iowa State and Western Kentucky.