Monday, March 31, 2008

Osborne Starts Upgrading Football Schedules

True to his word, Tom Osborne is already at work upgrading future football schedules. Unfortunately, we still have three more seasons of Steve Pederson's feeble attempts to suffer through before Osborne's efforts start to materialize. Today, he announced a three game series with Southern Mississippi for 2012, 2013, and 2015. The Lincoln games will be on September 1, 2012 and September 5, 2015, and a game in Hattiesburg, Mississippi will be on September 7, 2013.

Scheduling that far in advance is a pot-shot, but this is a huge improvement over the 2009 and 2010 schedules that Pederson stuck Nebraska fans with. In 2012 and 2013, Nebraska already has a home-and-home with UCLA, so that makes for two non-conference games against bowl-worthy opponents. (2012 will be in the Rose Bowel while 2013 will find the Bruins coming to Lincoln.)

Nothing is assured when you are scheduling that far in advance. Southern Miss forced out longtime head coach Jeff Bower last season and replaced him with Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Larry Fedora. Looking five years down the line, hard to say whether Southern Miss will continue to be a perennial bowl opponent, but taking advantage of the Golden Eagles motto of "Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere" is a good move for Nebraska and college football. The current ESPN/Conference USA TV deal expires in 2011, but you can bet that Nebraska's 2013 game at Southern Miss is going to be coveted by ESPN.

Now this is more like it!


Jon johnston said...

I think it's pretty clear that Stevie P liked his schedule to provide a gob of easy victories so that things would look "great!"

Thank God for a better schedule. College football is beginning to resemble a twinkie otherwise. All fluff, no substance.

Josh said...

Thank you, Dr. Tom, for giving us something to actually watch at home. As much as I was looking forward to our 2009 Sun Belt Championship (playing only 1 fewer Sun Belt home game than Big XII home games), I'd much rather see us play bowl-quality teams (as loose as that term is in a day when the number of bowl games is becoming dangerously close to the number of NCAA tournament games).

Now, let's just try to get something better than I-AA South Dakota State (dear lord, no games against UNO or UNK!) to fill out the schedules -- maybe even some good BCS opponents (I'm up for trying to build a rivalry with someone).

Next step, Dr. Tom: can we please not include the entire RPI Bottom 10 on the Men's Basketball Schedule next fall?