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    by Published on 04-13-2014 12:06 AM     Number of Views: 439 
    1. Categories:
    2. Football

    Nebraska held their annual spring Red-White scrimmage today. The highlight of the day happened before the game started. Head Coach Bo Pelini lead the team out for their traditional Tunnel Walk carrying a cat.

    Yes. A football coach with a reputation for being surly carried a cat onto the field in front of 61,000 fans. And then proceeded to hold it up in the air Lion King style.

    The video can be seen here.

    Here is the quick back story: There is a Bo Pelini parody account on Twitter (@fauxpelini) that is brilliant and hilarious. The avatar Faux Pelini uses is Bo's face Photoshopped onto a guy in a sweater holding a cat. Bo has used Twitter to respond to Faux, and their tweets usually center around the cat. So far in 2014, Bo has taken the cat on a
    by Published on 04-07-2014 10:31 PM  Number of Views: 5804 
    1. Categories:
    2. Football

    It took a little while, but the report card is in. I've graded the members of the Nebraska football coaching staff on how well they coached their positions and developed their players. It is time to see who passed, who needs to consider summer school, and who should update their resume. Click here to see last year's grades.

    Methodology: Last year, my approach was rough. While I utilized the same criteria below, there was no hard and fast rule to how the grades were issued. Looking back, there are some grades that were tough for me to justify. So this year, I'll assign a letter grade (A through F) for each of my four factors and then give each coach an overall GPA (using the standard 4.0 scale).

    Here are the things I'm grading the coaches on:

    • On-field performance. Did the unit made the team better or were they a weakness? Did they live up to the hype or a big disappointment? Coordinators are also judged on the overall performance of their area.

    • Improvement. Did the position group play better in 2013 than in 2012? Better in November than September? Or did they take a step back?

    • Positional depth. How many players were in the mix for playing time? When injuries occurred, was there a noticeable drop off to the backup? I think this is a fair representation of "coaching up" the talent to a level where they can contribute and/or succeed on the field. If a starter playing at 60% health is still better than his backup, that says something about how the coach is getting his players ready to go. On the flip side, if a several guys are injured and the unit plays as well as (or better than) they have been, that reflects well on a coach. Obviously, things like injuries, suspensions, and protecting redshirts were considered, but recruiting busts do not. In my opinion, a good coach should be able to turn most lemons into lemonade - even if it takes a lot of squeezing.

    • My gut opinion. I was at every home game, ...
    by Published on 03-10-2014 11:59 AM  Number of Views: 10234 
    1. Categories:
    2. Athletics

    An open letter to Nebraska Basketball coach Tim Miles

    Dear Tim,

    I was wrong.

    When your predecessor, Doc Sadler, was fired I used this platform to lay out my thoughts for who Nebraska's next coach should be. In that piece, I was strongly against hiring a guy like you: ...
    by Published on 01-07-2014 10:56 PM  Number of Views: 4530 
    1. Categories:
    2. Football

    It has been said that bowl games originally served as vacation inspiration. Fans of teams in cold weather states should take a trip over the holidays to watch their beloved school play a game in some warm and sunny city (Pasadena, Miami, San Diego, Tempe, etc.). Along the way, the idea got all twisted and confused as decidedly non-exotic vacation destinations like Boise, Shreveport, and Detroit also got bowl games. But it is tough to argue with spending a week or two in sunny Florida - unless you're in Jacksonville during what appeared to be the rainy season.

    Despite the relatively poor weather, it appeared as if the Huskers had a good trip. Players were rewarded for a good (but not great) season, the seniors got one last chance to play with the "N" on their helmets, and most importantly, the team got an extra few weeks of practice that can only help their chances in 2014. Being able to beat a ranked team from the SEC? That is a just a cherry on top.

    There are some who say that bowl wins don't matter, but I disagree. This was a good win, for reasons we'll dig into below. Besides, it is good to return to the days when Nebraska was regularly beating the SEC in bowl games. Hopefully next time it will be as meaningful as the victories over LSU, Alabama, Florida, and Tennessee that helped Nebraska win four of their five national championships.

    So what did we learn?

    Husker Nation's glass will be half full until the Red/White Scrimmage, if not August 30. There is nothing like a bowl win to raise the mood of the fan base and their opinion of the program - especially when that win is over a ranked team from the big, bad SEC. The Huskers' win ensures that the discussions around the team will be more positive than negative, which has a huge impact on the collective mood of the state.

    Don't believe me? Just think of the doom and gloom being proclaimed from the radio hosts, message boards, bloggers, and print media writers if Nebraska had blown that lead against Georgia. What would your opinion of Pelini and ...
    by Published on 12-31-2013 10:52 PM     Number of Views: 1544 
    1. Categories:
    2. Football

    With a win over Georgia in the Gator Bowl, Nebraska would reach the nine win mark for the sixth straight year. For some, this is a crucial threshold that must be met. But does nine wins really matter? Does it hold the same level of excellence that it did 10 or 20 years ago? And should it be the standard for Nebraska's football program?

    I know what some of you are saying, nine wins isn't the standard that it used to be - assuming Nebraska becomes bowl eligible, they will play at least 13 games a season compared to the 11 or 12 games per year back in the 80s and 90s. Prior to the 2006 ...
    by Published on 12-30-2013 10:54 PM  Number of Views: 1845 
    1. Categories:
    2. Football

    This is my countdown of the greatest Nebraska Cornhuskers to wear each jersey number, 1-99. For background on the project, click here. We're going to start at #99 and work our way down to #1. For each number, I'll list the best player to wear that number, some of the other memorable Huskers to don that jersey, as well as a personal favorite of mine.

    As we move on to numbers 49 through 40, we get a mixed bag of players. While there are lots of linebackers and fullbacks, the forties also offer defensive linemen, kickers, defensive ends, I-Backs, tight ends, and even a couple of defensive backs.


    Best Player: Kevin Seibel, Kicker, 1980 - 1982
    Other notables: None
    Personal Favorite: Adam Ickes, Linebacker, 2002 - 2005

    Comments: Not a very good start as we've hit the third number never to have an all conference or All America pick. And let's be honest - the pickings are rather slim. My finalists were Ken Kaelin and Ickes, which should tell you all you need to know about the rich history of #49.

    But not to dog too much on Seibel, a pretty good kicker in the early 80s. He had a big, big leg and his 52 yard FG against Colorado is still in the top 10 for longest kicks. He would have a second top 10 kick (50 yards) if not for Alex Henery rewriting that chart.

    Adam Ickes was a small town Nebraska kid (Page, NE) who didn't see the field too much after walking on. And after Bill Callahan became head coach, one might have assumed that Ickes would be bypassed again. Instead, he became a fixture on defense and special teams during the 2004 and 2005 seasons. Ickes didn't make every play, but he had a knack for making big plays (a blocked kick, tackle for loss, or forcing a fumble) when the defense needed it.


    Best Player: Scott Livingston, Kicker/Punter, 1983 - 1984
    Other notables: Micah Heibel
    Personal Favorite: Tyler Legate, Fullback, 2008 - 2011

    Comments: Scott Livingston played as both punter and kicker during his two seasons, earning All Big 8 honors in 1984. I love the split in workload from his 1983 season: He only punted 34 times over the course of the season, yet he was rather busy kicking PATs for the Scoring Explosion (a duty he shared with Dave Schneider). And yet, Livingston's most famous kick is the one he never made - a ...
    by Published on 12-05-2013 10:32 AM     Number of Views: 6746 
    1. Categories:
    2. Football

    During his monthly radio show, Nebraska Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst implied that the athletic department is looking at ways to improve the in-game experience for Husker Football games at Memorial Stadium.

    Aside from this being an incredibly shrewd diversion*, it is a topic that many Husker fans have an opinion on. Including me.

    *What diversion? Consider the last week: speculation over Bo Pelini's future swirled before Friday's Iowa game. During the game, Pelini had a couple of embarrassing on-camera moments. After the game, Pelini cursed out the refs and essentially threatened Eichorst to fire him. On Saturday, Eichorst issued an open-ended statement that calmed the flames, but did not extinguish the fire. On Tuesday, Eichorst takes to the airwaves with the football media expecting answers. Instead, he changes the subject. Improving the game day experience. Go.


    I came up with a list of ten items that I would love see changed/added/improved at Memorial Stadium. Some are relatively simple. Some are rather drastic, but would create big results. But all would help to improve the experience of the 90,000 fans who fill the stadium seven Saturdays a year.

    Before we dive in, I feel that it is worth noting (and emphasizing) that Husker fans have it pretty darn good at Memorial Stadium. I've watched the Huskers play in over a dozen different stadiums, and very few can hold a candle to what we have.

    And that's more than just the biased opinion of a Nebraska alum and native son. Memorial Stadium regularly shows up on lists of best stadiums, best game day experience, best places to watch college football, etc. Obviously the on-field product has much to do with the consecutive sellout streak, but the experience of being there (instead of sitting in a bar or in my basement watching in HD) is what keeps me coming ...
    by Published on 11-30-2013 11:29 PM  Number of Views: 6059 
    1. Categories:
    2. Football

    In the wake of Friday's home loss to Iowa - which was equal parts ugly on and off the field - the noise surrounding Bo Pelini's future at Nebraska escalated to a fever pitch. The only thing louder than the calls for Pelini to be fired, were for athletic director Shawn Eichorst to say something - anything - regarding Pelini.

    On Saturday, Eichorst spoke* and tried to calm the storm. The text of his statement is below

    *via press release. A notoriously quiet man, I saw a tweet on Saturday wondering if Eichorst's own family knows what his voice sounds like.
    “My approach has always been to not comment publicly about our coaches until their full seasons are complete, as I strongly believe it is unfair and counter to best practices. ...
    by Published on 11-28-2013 11:21 PM     Number of Views: 5723 
    1. Categories:
    2. Football

    Back in August, I kept hearing about how the 2013 season would "define Taylor Martinez's legacy".

    At the time, I thought that statement was a hot load of crap.

    After three full seasons with Taylor Martinez as Nebraska's quarterback, his "legacy" was already defined. The definition of that legacy all depends on how you view Martinez.

    If you are optimistic on Martinez, you view him as one of the most dynamic and explosive quarterbacks in school history, somebody who owns nearly every school record a quarterback can own.

    If you are pessimistic on Martinez, you view him as a frustratingly inconsistent turnover machine, who never won a championship or bowl game.

    Here's the thing - both of those perspectives are correct. I get it: there is a certain subset of the fan base who will never forgive Martinez for this actions during (and after) the 2010 Texas A&M game. There are fans who will never fully support a player who quits and rejoins the team (allegedly), no matter ...
    by Published on 11-25-2013 12:28 PM  Number of Views: 3478 
    1. Categories:
    2. Football

    Watching the Penn State - Nebraska game, an odd comparison jumped out at me. During the game, BTN would occasionally show score updates from the Ohio State - Indiana game. Ohio State is desperately trying to play their way into the BCS Championship Game, but the low perception of the Big Ten means the Buckeyes may need to rely on style points to get the job done. After the game, many were wondering if the Buckeyes' 42-14 win over the lowly Hoosier was enough - even with undefeated Baylor losing Saturday night.

    Meanwhile, over in Pennsylvania, a similar story was playing out. Bo Pelini is, by most accounts, on the hot seat as Nebraska's head coach. It is becoming evident that Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst will make a critical, program defining decision at some point. It could be Friday, this weekend, or after the bowl game, but make not mistake - it is coming.

    Since very few people truly know what Shawn Eichorst is thinking, we're left with speculation on what Bo "has to do" to keep his job. There are those who believe that Bo can keep his job for another year by winning out against Penn State, Iowa, and the to-be-named ...