One of the biggest surprises (and disappointments) of this week is that not only didn't Alex Henery not get nominated for the Lou Groza Award as best kicker in college football, but that he didn't even get first-team All-Big XII. For both honors, he was beaten out by Oklahoma State's Dan Bailey. Henery is 16 for 17 on field goals this season; his one miss was the blocked 51 yard attempt against Missouri. Meanwhile, Bailey is 24 for 28 this season and unlike Henery, he's missed an extra point attempt. ESPN's David Ubben probably defines the best reason for picking Bailey; Bailey made his first 18 attempts this season, which is more than Henery has even tried. Bailey also leads the nation in scoring. Good point...but let's be honest, which kicker would you rather have?
Before anybody accuses me of "hating" Oklahoma State, let me add that I selected Mike Gundy on my ballot for the Eddie Robinson Award. That was a no-brainer decision; sure other teams have had better seasons than Oklahoma State, but very few people saw the Cowboys 10-2 season coming. They were picked to finish fifth in the South division in the summer.
I get the vibe from Lincoln that the coaching staff and team are laser-focused on this weekend's Big Eight Championship game against Oklahoma. That rubs me two ways: one, there's no way they are looking past this game, and they'll play well. Or they'll be too tense for this one, like they were in October when Texas came to town. The best way to describe what happened that day was that Nebraska choked; the Huskers and their fans (myself included) wanted that game SO badly, that they just didn't make the plays they needed. I do think Nebraska matches up well with the Sooners, as I think Landry Jones might have almost as much trouble completing passes this Saturday night as he did last season in Lincoln. The x-factor in my mind is whether Nebraska's offense can put points on the board.
Update on the threats to Dan Beebe. Beebe filed a report with the Dallas Police Department, who are now looking into the situation. Only one little issue with this whole story:
Beebe filed his police report yesterday.
Beebe was all over the media on Friday night, telling his tale of woe and how a small group of vile and out-of-control Husker fans made it impossible for him (or anybody on his staff) to come to Lincoln that day. But apparently the threat wasn't enough to involve the police. Beebe said last week that a lot of the messages included their phone numbers and e-mail addresses, meaning that it should be an easy job to track some of the lamebrains down. So what really happened? Hard to say for sure exactly, but Beebe probably got a bunch of really colorful messages filled with f-bombs and other assorted obscenities. But as far as threats go? Well, you've probably already read them all by now, and the threat was so real to Dan that he waited a week to contact the authorities.
That's not to excuse the actions of the 2000 or so Husker fans who apparently contacted the Big XII offices. But it does put it in a bit of perspective as to the level of the threat, which might be more tasteless than anything.
The tale of Omaha's independent league baseball team grows a little more intriguing. Seems the owners of the Omaha Flame issued a press release yesterday requesting the opportunity to appear at the December 15th MECA board meeting in an apparent attempt to take their negotiations to play in TD Ameritrade Park public and bypass Roger Dixon. After the soap operas between the NCAA, the city of Omaha, the Omaha Royals, and MECA, I guess it's only appropriate that even the discussion of an independent league team goes this way as well.