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    by Published on 04-20-2015 12:05 AM  Number of Views: 6173 
    1. Categories:
    2. Football

    Even by their historically ugly standards, 2015 has been a very bad year for the Nebraska Basketball program.

    Let's recap Nebrasketball's low-lights since the first of the year:

    • A 5-13 record, with an average margin of defeat of 13 points.

    • NU was winless on the road and 1-8 against conference foes that made the NCAA tournament. (It should be noted that lone win was over Michigan State, a Final Four team).

    • The team was locked out of their locker room and banned from media contact by Head Coach Tim Miles after an embarrassing home loss to Iowa.

    • The Huskers fell behind 13th seed Penn State by 16 points in the first round of the Big Ten tournament. A late rally gave the Big Red a chance to take the lead in the final minute, but they ended up losing by four.

    • Walt Pitchford announced he's quitting basketball to focus on getting his degree. Three days later, he had declared for the NBA draft.

    • After appearing in every game, promising freshman guard Tarin Smith decided to transfer.

    • Star forward and leading scorer Terran Petteway announced that he's forgoing his senior season to enter the NBA draft.

    • Assistant Coach Chris ...
    by Published on 04-15-2015 01:48 AM     Number of Views: 6839 
    1. Categories:
    2. Football

    I've got a handful of post-Spring Scrimmage thoughts I'd like to share, but I want to focus on the two biggest Husker stories of the week:

    Former Husker linebacker and broadcaster Adrian Fiala passes away at age 67.

    Adrian Fiala was a standout linebacker on the Bob Devaney teams of the late 1960s. Although he graduated just before Nebraska won back-to-back national championships, he is widely credited for helping to elevate the team's play from 6-4 mediocrity to a 9-2 team on the cusp of greatness. Fiala was a two-sport standout, serving as a catcher on the Nebraska Baseball team.

    But for most Nebraska fans, Fiala's biggest impact was as a broadcaster. He was a fixture in the Husker broadcast booth between the end of the Pavelka/Sadlemeyer era and the current Sharpe/Davison team. He was a fixture on NET's Big Red Wrap-up show. He was blessed with a deep, booming voice, a humble folksy charm, and a level of preparation that inspired his colleagues. When you think of the greatest Husker moments between 1996 and 2010 - Stuntz to Crouch, Alex Henery's 57 yard field goal, and countless others - you could count on Adrian Fiala sharing your excitement and enthusiasm in the radio booth. Was he a homer for Dear Old Nebraska U? You bet your backside he was, and I never heard him apologize for supporting his home state alma mater with everything he had.

    Personally, ...
    by Published on 02-05-2015 03:06 PM  Number of Views: 2822 
    1. Categories:
    2. Football

    Come bask in the warmth of the hot takes...

    Mike Riley and friends can recruit a little bit.

    I'll preface this with a big disclaimer: I don't follow recruiting very closely. I understand the importance, but watching highlight films and tracking the whims of 17-year-old kids doesn't do it for me. That said, it certainly looks to me like Mike Riley and his staff will be a recruiting force. For a new staff coming in with less than two months to go in the recruiting season, ...
    by Published on 12-26-2014 03:06 PM     Number of Views: 7380 

    Lost in the shuffle of Bo Pelini's firing, the coaching search, Mike Riley's hiring, another Pelini audiotape, and other December distractions, is a rather important item: Nebraska is playing a talented and respected University of Southern California team in the Holiday Bowl.

    Very few people are giving the Huskers much of a chance in this game. The Vegas odds-makers have the Trojans as a seven point favorite, ...
    by Published on 12-18-2014 03:06 PM     Number of Views: 9781 
    1. Categories:
    2. Football

    While I think there were some moments of truth and honesty in Bo Pelini's comments to his former players after being fired from Nebraska, it is sadly obvious that there are many more pieces of spin, delusion, and possible fabrications.

    Since I don't really feel like splitting hairs or getting caught up in spin, I'm going to point out ten quotes where Pelini was completely, unequivocally, dead wrong:

    1. "I didn't really have any relationship with the AD."

    I include this one not from a fact or crap point of view, because I have no idea what type of relationship Bo and Shawn Eichorst had - nor is it really relevant to the point.

    I include it because if Bo did not have a relationship with his boss, his direct supervisor - the guy who could fire him - that's on him. I'm not saying that Bo needed to be a brown-noser or bestest buddies with ol' Shawnie, but if I was concerned about being fired - or more appropriately, wanting to avoid being fired - I'd make sure my boss knew who I was, what intangibles I bring to the table, the names of the kids who be uprooted if I'm canned, etc.

    I know Bo was a little busy trying to build a football team good enough to win championships and silence 1.8 million critics, but that doesn't excuse not making an effort.

    2. "(Eichorst) was never going to come out in the paper and support (us)."

    From an ESPN.com story dated August 13, 2014:

    • "I really enjoy what ...
    by Published on 12-18-2014 03:05 PM     Number of Views: 12165 
    1. Categories:
    2. Football

    Fans and media members are reacting to the leaked audio of Bo Pelini's farewell address to his team from a few days after he was fired. Most of that reaction is rightfully critical as Pelini was very harsh - both in language and in message - in attacking his former boss, fans, media, and University leadership while portraying himself as somebody who was not supported by the administration.

    But...

    There are several areas of Pelini's speech where the coach is right, speaking the truth, or unintentionally stated an absolute fact.

    Here are the nuggets of truth mined from the Omaha World-Herald's transcript of the speech:

    1. "(Eichorst) was never going to come out in the paper and support (us)."

    Let's set aside the inconvenient truth that Eichorst - in an August interview with the World-Herald, Lincoln Journal Star and the Associated Press - did offer support (even if Eichorst's quotes read like a prequel to the Bo is fired press conference). I interpret Bo's quote to mean that he was looking for his boss to speak up for him after the Wisconsin or Minnesota losses.

    But if we know anything about Eichorst, it is that he's never going to make public comments about a coach while the coach is in the midst of a season. Bo states a truth, but he should have been smart enough to know he was not going to get what he wanted.

    2. "The scrutiny, the taking shots at you, and everything ...
    by Published on 12-11-2014 03:07 PM     Number of Views: 9120 
    1. Categories:
    2. Football

    Fill your Christmas stockings with a fresh batch of Husker Hot Takes:

    What in the holy Incarnate Word is going on with Nebrasketball?

    That was a meltdown of epic proportions. Fouling a shooter taking a three pointer. Twice. Throwing away in-bounds passes. Mental lapses and physical breakdowns. All while a less than capacity crowd watches quietly. Somewhere in Indiana, Barry Collier said "Damn, that's a bad loss."*

    *He probably didn't say that.

    I heard a conspiracy-minded person hint that maybe Nebraska lost on purpose (for reasons ...
    by Published on 12-05-2014 03:07 PM     Number of Views: 9189 

    By the time you read this, Mike Riley will have been formally introduced as the new coach of the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

    Much has already been written and said about Riley - a guy who was completely off the radar in the Huskers' coaching search. I don't have much to add that has not already been said elsewhere. Besides, I think it is time to more forward. Today. Now.

    To that end, I have some to-do items and friendly suggestions for all of the stakeholders in the Nebraska Football program

    Head Coach Mike Riley

    You have the most to do, so you go first.

    Earn the trust and respect of your players. As you probably know, Bo Pelini was extremely beloved by his players. They were shocked and hurt when he was fired, so some may view you as the bad guy (or the agent of a bad guy). Job one will be to get your new players to trust you, respect you, and ultimately buy into the culture you're going to create.

    How do you do this? Well Coach, I'm hoping you know the answer better than some amateur writer. I'm putting my trust in you that you can get this done.

    Hire the best damn staff you can. The need to hire a talented staff full of teachers and recruiters is of the utmost importance. You'll ...
    by Published on 12-04-2014 03:08 PM     Number of Views: 12637 
    1. Categories:
    2. Football

    In the wake of Nebraska's back to back losses, there has been a lot of talk about where the Nebraska program is, where it should be, and what it will take to get it there.

    Strong opinions are easy to find - especially if you are down on Pelini and/or his staff. But I wonder if all voices are being heard. Are there folks who think these are isolated losses, so any talk about firing coaches and benching players is unwarranted?

    There are some tough questions floating around right now. Some very difficult choices need to be made, many of which will likely shape the direction and perception of this program for years to come. So to get an accurate pulse of Husker Nation, I want to know what ALL ...
    by Published on 12-03-2014 03:08 PM     Number of Views: 3831 

    State of the Huskers header

    Since I asked all of you for your opinions on the State of the Huskers, and over 6,000 of you were kind enough to oblige, I figure the least I could do is share my responses and a brief justification*.

    *Author's note: I composed this prior to Pelini being fired by Shawn Eichorst (that dude is really screwing with my writing schedule), so the responses refer to Bo in the present tense as Nebraska's coach)

    Here are the answers I provided when I took the survey last week. Just promise you won't hold any of these answers against me...

    State of the Huskers header

    1. What is the biggest issue facing the Nebraska football program?

    Schematic deficiencies

    Reason: I feel Nebraska has the talent to win the West, but I question the approaches taken on offense and defense. Yeah, you probably could say this is on the coordinators, but I look at it like this: bring in the coordinator of your choosing. If he runs the exact same scheme as what's being done now, would he be successful? On the flip side, would Beck or Papuchis look better with a different scheme?

    2. What is the primary issue holding back the offense?
    Offensive Line

    Reason: It starts up front for this team. When the line is playing like "hell in a helmet", the offense moves very well. When they play like "Grandma Helen in a helmet", Armstrong and Abdullah have problems and Beck looks bad.

    3. What is the primary issue holding back the defense?
    Defensive coordinator / scheme

    Reason: The Big Ten is a run-first league, but NU's defense ...