Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Tuesday Night Beer: Blais'n a World Championship for the USA

Congratulations to UNO head coach Dean Blais, who lead Team USA to a 6-5 overtime victory over Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championship.  Here's the video of the game winner:
Maybe this accomplishment doesn't mean much to the casual sports fan in Nebraska, but north of the border, this is a big deal.  In Canada, this is as big as the college bowl games are in the United States.  And frankly, in hockey circles, this is huge for UNO as Dean Blais adds "World Champion head coach" to his resume along side "two-time national champion"... think that doesn't carry some weight as Blais talks to student-athletes choosing a college?

Now, it's back to Omaha for Blais.  Up next for UNO is Alaska, with Friday night's game broadcast on NET-HD for those who are frozen inside.

Tonight's Orange Bowl broadcast caps the end of the Fox era with the BCS..something that won't exactly be missed, other than the even sadder realization that next year, the games move completely to cable TV.  Not that Fox did a good job at anything other than cheerleader and band shots, but the idea that the games now are on pay television is a sad indictment of the future of sports on television.  At least we won't have to listen to Fox commentary anymore.

Fox News this weekend inflicted their own bizarre spin on the world into the world of sports in two seperate incidents.  First, Shepherd Smith became a sideline commentator at the Cotton Bowl...then Brit Hume embarked on a crusade to convert Tiger Woods to Christianity. 

Back to football, 1620 the Zone reported today that ESPN's college football bloggers think Nebraska will be ranked #9 to start the 2010 season.  First of all, there's the necessary disclaimer about ridiculous pre-season ratings.  Wasn't Oklahoma State and 'Ole Miss in similar positions in the preseason?  'Nuff said.  But these rankings are especially fragile when we don't know the status of Zac Lee's elbow, or even who all will be back?  Especially when a CBS Sports draft "expert" slots junior cornerback Prince Amukamara as a late first round draft pick in the upcoming NFL draft.  Now Amukamara hasn't said anything about leaving Nebraska early, but obviously, that would have to be tempting for Amukamara to skip his senior season.

But is Nebraska a potential top ten team next season?  Maybe, as the schedule seems somewhat friendly.  Steve Pederson dumbed down the non-conference schedule with only a road-trip to Washington to worry about.  A Colt McCoy-less Texas team comes to Lincoln, while a Zach Robinson-less Oklahoma State team would be the biggest road challenge.  Even so, Nebraska's offensive renaissance is a little too fragile to boost the Huskers into the Top Ten at this point.  Certainly they're worthy of being rated, but a top ten rating this early is rather premature at this point.

No comments: