Monday, January 09, 2006

Monday Morning Quarterbacking

Saturday night, UNO managed to pull out a 2-2 tie with Notre Dame to avoid getting swept at home. A very disappointing weekend, but there were a few positives to take away. First of all, larger crowds: almost 14,000 combined over the 2 games. (My prediction that the Mavs would double the average attendance of the Omaha Aksarben Knights is looking pretty good...) Saturday night, 2 players in particular stepped it up to show some heart: Freshman Tomas Klempa and Hobey Baker candidate Scott Parse took their game up a level and showed some grit and hustle in battling the trapping Irish.

While the extra joustling cost Parse a couple of trips to the penalty box (only 12 penalties this season before Saturday), it still didn't keep him from contributing an assist on both goals. Parse is now #1 in the nation in scoring.

The retired publisher of the Omaha daily couldn't help once again misanalyzing the Huskers. In Sunday's column, "Weird" Harold Andersen claimed that Bill Callahan's decision to go for 2 in the 4th quarter of the Alamo Bowl was "a gutsy call" that "got little or no attention". Uh, no, it wasn't a "gutsy call" at all. The reason why it got "little or no attention" was that going for 2 was a no-brainer at that point. If you make the 2 point conversion, you are within a field goal of tying the game. If you miss, you still need a touchdown. At that point in the game, there is little difference between being down 4 versus 5 points, but there is a BIG difference between being down 3 versus 4 points.

Speaking of the Huskers, defensive coordinator Kevin Cosgrove has been offered the job as linebackers coach for the Minnesota Vikings. I'm no Cosgrove fan, so I'm actually hoping he takes the job. In-laws from the Minnesota/Wisconsin area warned us about Cosgrove when he came to Lincoln, and Barry Alvarez was able to hire his successor at Wisconsin after Nebraska took Cosgrove off his hands.

Who would replace Cosgrove? One candidate comes to mind immediately: Marvin Sanders. Sanders turned down a job with the St. Louis Rams to join the Husker staff in 2003. In 2004, he begged to be included in the new coaching staff, but was turned down. Sanders was a key reason why Nebraska's defense improved so much in 2003, according to Bo Pelini. Hiring Sanders would not only be a great upgrade for the Nebraska coaching staff, it would also help heal the divisions in the Husker fan base by bringing a former player onto the staff. Sanders is an outstanding coach, and is a former Husker who really wants to be part of the Husker program.