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    by Published on 02-24-2016 12:40 PM  Number of Views: 9256 
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    Over the last few years, Nebraska fans have been asking for ESPN to produce a "30 for 30" documentary on the "glory years" Nebraska teams of the mid 1990s. I lost track of how many times I saw this idea come up on radio shows, message boards, or Twitter. Finally, those requests have been heard as a film covering the 1994 and 1995 teams is being created.

    Just be careful of ...
    by Published on 11-06-2015 05:06 PM  Number of Views: 7520 
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    2. Football

    Head into the weekend with a big portion of Hot Takes:

    Is Nebraska in a "rebuild" mode? In Shawn Eichorst's letter to fans, he asked for patience and support as Mike Riley "rebuilds our storied program one brick at a time". That comment caught many fans off guard as Riley's role at Nebraska has not been previously described in that manner. Many fans took offense at characterizing Nebraska as a rebuilding project.

    First and foremost, we should acknowledge that parsing a single word from a quote, interview, or press release is a risky proposition at best. That said, "rebuild" is a poor choice of words.* For many people, "rebuild" brings visions of losing teams with absolutely no chance of winning championships. When I hear "rebuild" in reference to a sports team, I think ...
    by Published on 10-27-2015 01:12 AM     Number of Views: 6456 
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    I took a few extra minutes getting out of the stadium on Saturday. I had to pause and try to comprehend yet another inexplicable home loss. As I wandered down from my seat in North Stadium, the Cornhusker Marching Band started replaying their halftime show, which featured karaoke favorites. The first song they played was the Journey classic "Don't Stop Believin'".

    I thought that was a painfully appropriate song to play at the conclusion of Nebraska's "Weekend of Champions" where championship teams from Baseball, Volleyball, Bowling, and Women's Gymnastics were honored. But the headliners of the weekend were the members of the greatest football team in Nebraska's illustrious history, the 1995 Huskers - arguably the greatest team in the history of college football.

    Let's face it - it's been a bit of rough stretch to be a Husker fan. The football team is in a championship drought, and the greatness of the 1995 team is a distant memory for almost all of the current players. For example, when Nebraska's greatest team was emphatically proving that they could indeed run on the Fiesta Bowl grass, De'Mornay Pierson-El was busy turning one week old. The oldest member of this team, senior Alex Lewis, was three and change when Nebraska was steamrolling the Big 8 for the final time.

    The 1995 season was the pinnacle. Even though Nebraska won another title in 1997 and played for the championship in 2001, things haven't been the same since Tommie Frazier and company walked off the field. So much has changed in the last 20 years. Two new conferences, four new head coaches, three new athletic directors, new and upgraded facilities. Across the sport, TV exposure and TV money has leveled the playing field along with a host of rules and regulations. Baylor is a ...
    by Published on 10-24-2015 07:15 AM  Number of Views: 2062 
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    All season, I'll be ranking the teams in the Big Ten from one to Maryland. To see my predictions for how the season will play out, click here.

    As always, if you think I’m right, wrong, or clinically insane, let me know in the comments.

    Prepare to disagree…

    1. Ohio State. The Buckeyes can continue to muddle and struggle along for another month as they should be heavy favorites over Rutgers, Minnesota, and Illinois. But eventually, they'll have to play championship level football.

    2. Michigan State. Yes, Sparty's win was an absolute fluke, but a win is a ...
    by Published on 10-19-2015 12:51 AM  Number of Views: 7440 
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    2. Football

    This is just what the doctor ordered. A solid win over a decent divisional foe that was never really in doubt during the final 15 minutes.

    There was so much to like in this game - strong performances from a number of players, advantages in just about every statistical category one could care to track, an improvement in most areas where Nebraska has struggled.

    But most of all, Nebraska earned the Chair. Yep, I'm big fan of the $5 Bits of Broken Chair trophy. Read on to see why I think it is easily the best of Nebraska's trophy games.

    So what did we learn?

    It's easy to win when you are +3 in turnovers and only commit two penalties. There are many, many reasons why Nebraska came into this game with a 2-4 record, with five of those games coming down to the final play. But two of the biggest reasons have been turnovers and penalties. Coming into the game, the Huskers were averaging almost 10 penalties a game for 82.8 yards. The Huskers had only gained six turnovers (and none since the Southern Miss game) and were -5 on the year. As we learned in the last seven and half years, it's tough to win when you hurt yourself like that.

    But on Saturday the Huskers played a clean game. Zero turnovers. Three takeaways - a forced fumble and two interceptions - that led to 14 points. Only two penalties ...
    by Published on 10-12-2015 01:01 AM  Number of Views: 6987 
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    Goodness. Nebraska just keeps coming up with new and inventive ways to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

    The season so far has been a Peanuts cartoon where Charlie Brown runs up to kick the ball, only to have Lucy pull it away and punch him in the groin as time expires.

    Chalk it up to whatever you want: coaching, players who don't know how to win, bad schemes, poor play calls, horrible luck, injuries, parity, curses, lack of talent, karma, a super secret conspiracy to destroy the football program - frankly, none of it matters now.

    We're here: halfway through this season in a position that is unfamiliar to anybody under the age of 60. Two wins and four painful, gut-wrenching losses. We can (and will) discuss and dissect the things the players and coaches can and/or should* do to turn things around.

    *Choosing to the have wind at your back for the fourth quarter seems like a good place to start, but that's just me.

    What I'm more interested in is how we the fans choose to react. As I see it, there are a handful of distinct options:

    • You can call for changes. Fire somebody (or as I sarcastically wrote, everybody).

    • You can be angry. Would this be happening if we fired Bo? Or Frank? Is any loss unacceptable to you?

    • You can check out. The fans I saw leaving with 8:43 left in the game likely fall into this group.

    • You can blindly support the team. ...
    by Published on 10-08-2015 10:45 PM  Number of Views: 3365 
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    2. Football

    All season, I'll be ranking the teams in the Big Ten from one to Maryland. To see my predictions for how the season will play out, click here.

    As always, if you think I’m right, wrong, or clinically insane, let me know in the comments.

    Prepare to disagree…


    1. Ohio State - Yeah, I know the Buckeyes are still not clicking on all cylinders. But a game with Maryland should be a good way to work out some of the kinks.

    2. Michigan State - What do the Spartans have to do to jump Ohio State? For starters, they can avoid falling asleep at the wheel like they ...
    by Published on 10-05-2015 01:49 AM     Number of Views: 4325 
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    2. Football

    You say you're coming home but you won't say when
    But I can feel it coming
    If you leave tonight keep running
    And you need never look back again

    You take it on the run baby
    If that's the way you want it baby
    Then I don't want you around
    I don't believe it
    Not for a minute
    You're under the gun so you take it on the run

    Saturday was a rare date night for me and my beautiful wife. With Grandma watching the kiddos, we caught the second half of the game from a neighborhood bar before heading downtown for dinner and drinks. After the Illinois game's painful final minute, I tried to put a gut-wrenching loss out of my mind. I switched the radio from the postgame hot take shows to a classic rock station. The first song to come on was REO Speedwagon's "Take it on the Run", the chorus of which goes like this:

    You take it on the run baby
    If that's the way you want it baby
    Then I don't want you around
    I don't believe it
    Not for a minute
    You're under the gun so you take it on the run

    Needless to say, I just turned the radio off and focused on having a fun night with my wife.

    In the Saturday Omaha World-Herald, Sam McKewon said "The National Weather Service is predicting ...
    by Published on 10-01-2015 11:45 PM     Number of Views: 12149 
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    2. Football

    I've had enough.

    Nebraska's uninspiring 2-2 start has me wondering just what is going on with our beloved program. Yeah, I hear you say that they are two plays away from 4-0, but to me that is the same as telling me I'm a $1 lottery ticket away from being a millionaire - irrelevant.

    I've seen enough football to know when something isn't working - and friends, this ain't working.

    We need changes. And we need them now.

    Where should we begin? Let's start with defensive coordinator Mark Banker. Hello? Have you seen the passing defense? Even Kevin Cosgrove is embarrassed by this defense. You say that his rush defense is actually pretty good? I don't care. Nebraska plays in the Big Ten West, a division so dedicated to rushing offenses that the forward pass is still a novelty. But Joel Stave, Mitch Leidner, and whoever plays quarterback for Northwestern are going to throw for 450 yards against Nebraska, probably in the fourth quarter alone. Get Banker out of here - now.

    While we're at it, let's get rid of secondary coach Brian Stewart. You know the problem with Daniel Davie this year? Nobody is yelling at him. I believe that for Davie to be an effective cornerback, he needs a coach willing and able to scream at him on national TV. You know Riley is too soft to get the job done, so that puts it on Brian Stewart. Apparently he's not up to the task either, so he's got to go.

    And don't get me started on the front seven of this defense. Everybody says that Trent Bray is this hotshot up and coming linebacker coach, but he can't get three starters on the field at the same time. Instead he's playing guys like Chris Weber. Did you know he's not the Chris Webber from the Michigan Fab Five team? No, this Chris Weber is some white kid from Elkhorn.

    Up front on the line, I have no idea what is going on. Maliek Collins has yet to become an all time great player like Ndamukong Suh. Heck, Collins may not even be the best player on the line this year. That would be a former tight end. Hank ...
    by Published on 09-30-2015 10:45 PM  Number of Views: 5101 
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    2. Football

    The Big Ten conference schedule kicks off in full this weekend, which means it's time to predict how the teams will finish within their division. I purposefully wait to make my picks until the non-conference schedule is over, so I can have a better idea of who is a contender and who is a pretender. Given my prognosticating history, I need all the help I can get.

    Once conference play gets rolling, I'll do a weekly ranking of Big Ten teams 1 through 14, but for the initial round we'll keep it East and West. As we'll discuss, the two divisions could not be more different this year. Let's start with the East...

    East Division

    The second edition of the Big Ten East reminds me a lot of the Big Eight of the 1980s. Ohio State and Michigan State play the role of Nebraska and Oklahoma - legitimate national championship contenders, ...

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