Monday, October 31, 2005
Callahan in hot water?
This time it's his actions -- not words about supposed copulating hillbillies in Norman -- that have caused a stir. TV cameras picked up Callahan seemingly making a throat-slashing gesture after arguing with an official following Oklahoma's final touchdown of the game.
During Monday's Big 12 Conference coaches' teleconference, Callahan said that he was frustrated, but denied making a throat-slashing gesture at the offical or anyone else.
However, this smells like one of those issues that could be on the verge of blowing up. Generally speaking, when a member of the media who works on the "news" side of the newsroom makes his or her way into the sports arena, it's not a good thing for a football coach. That's exactly what happened Monday with a female reporter I've never hard on the call before asking Callahan if he thought he was setting a bad example with his alleged throat-slashing gesture.
While making any kind of threatening gestures should be considered inappropriate, this really shouldn't be that big of a deal. Still, I'm guessing there's a good chance that the bunny-hugging liberal media types will get ahold of this and try to portray Callahan's gesture as the decline of society as we know it. Surely it will be suggested that Nebraska's football coach is someone condones violence or something of that tone. Of course, probably not a one of them has ever played football or understand the emotion of the game.
Maybe this will all blow over -- or it will be on SportsCenter by 6 p.m. tonight. I'm guessing the latter.
Saturday, October 29, 2005
1. Nebraska's resilient nature. Whatever adversity has come the Huskers' way this season, they've shown a remarkable ability to bounce back.
2. Zac Taylor. A Norman, Okla., native leading the Cornhuskers to victory over his hometown Sooners? Media types are salivating, waiting for this slam-dunk story to come through.
3. Rhett Bomar. Freshmen QBs (even redshirts) don't tend to fare well at Memorial Stadium. Sure, there aren't many of them, but the last one I can remember winning here was Major Applewhite of Texas in 1998.
The pick: Nebraska 20, Oklahoma 14
Anyone have any favorite NU-OU memories? My personal favorite was the 1978 game when T.O. finally broke through with a win over the Sooners. I still remember bouncing around in an old pickup out in the Sandhills deer hunting and listening to the game on the radio. We called off the hunt to gather around the radio and listen to the final minutes.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Tuesdays with Callahan
The new depth chart looked a whole lot like the old depth chart for the Missouri game. Even though Callahan said true freshman Harrison Beck would've been the first one in had Zac Taylor been injured at Missouri, Joe Ganz remains listed as the Huskers' No. 2 quarterback. Clearly, the depth chart is just a piece of paper for media and fan consumption.
Raise your hand if you said in the preseason that Nebraska would favored (by one point) over Oklahoma; (the Sooners are 1-point favorites in some listings). Can't say that I pegged that one. As you recall, OU was a four-TD favorite last year in Norman.
Expect plenty of Zac Taylor features this week -- it's a natural: A Norman native leading the hated Huskers against his hometown Sooners. You can't make this stuff up. If Taylor comes up big and Nebraska wins Saturday, someone should start writing the script for a made-for-TV movie.
Thursday, October 20, 2005
However, playing at Faurot Field in Columbia might just be the key factor as it seems weird things have been happening there of late when the Huskers and Tigers meet. There was the OT thriller in 1997 and the fourth-quarter collapse in 2003, just to name a couple of surprising contests.
Here's a guess that Mizzou quarterback Brad Smith is going to have a monster game. The Tigers flopped last year in Lincoln and after last Saturday, it seems there's been a bit of buzz about MU backup quarterback Chase Daniel, who led his team back in an OT win over Iowa State. Mr. Daniel's performance might just serve as major motivation for Smith.
Missouri 31, Nebraska 21
Monday, October 17, 2005
Setting the record straight
I was caught off guard Monday night when I started receiving several hostile e-mails in regards to my appearance on the Kearney ESPN Radio affiliate Monday morning. The host (Doug Duda) and I had spent most of the segment talking about the Missouri game and the upcoming Baylor contest and I really couldn't recall saying anything that was remotely controversial.
In search of an answer, I headed for the Husker message boards (normally the source of these organized e-mail attacks) and found my answer, or at least one of them. On Huskerpedia.com, a poster started a thread that GROSSLY misrepresented my comments in the radio interview, made in response to the host who asked me a question dealing with the coaching changes of 2003-04 and Nebraska's progress with the new staff.
The most serious untruth was the poster quoted me as saying that I don't like Bill Callahan or Steve Pederson. The fact is, I prefaced a comments about the coaching change by saying that I LIKE Bill and LIKE Steve on both a personal and professional level.
The second thing that was totally out of left field was the message board poster quoted me as saying that Callahan was going to turn Nebraska into Iowa State. Again, not true.
What I actually said was that my concern for Nebraska's long-term success was that Callahan might not be able to consistently recruit the type of athlete he needs in the West Coast offense while regularly having to compete for the same players with schools located in larger areas with warmer weather, such as USC, Miami, etc.
I said that one of the reasons I thought Nebraska had been so successful for so long was that it had an offensive system (the power option game) that was somewhat unique to college football and they knew how to coach it and find players that fit the system. I then said that in the old system, Nebraska might have been better off to get the best players possible that fit and squeeze every last drop of talent out of them – like Iowa State during some of its better seasons.
Anyway, I just wanted to set the record straight. I completely understand when someone disagrees with my columns, blogs or comments and wants to respond. I just want to make sure that if someone is going to rip me, it's going to be for something I actually said and not for what someone thought I said.
Unfortunately, this all plays out that I'm dredging up the past again and gets me tons of e-mail telling me to move on. The fact is, I have barely written about Frank Solich since he was hired at Ohio last December and, if anyone has read my columns in the past year, I think they would agree that I have indeed turned the page.
In fact, one disgusted e-mailer this season even told me to "take off the rose-colored glasses" in regards to a column I wrote about being patient with the NU offense. That's not to say that I haven't been or won't be critical at times, but it has absolutely nothing to do with anything that's happened in the past.
If anyone would take the time to post this on any message board with a thread related to this topic, I'd appreciate it greatly. Thanks.
NU-OU on ABC at 11 a.m.
Nebraska-Oklahoma Matchup to be Televised by ABC
The Big 12 Conference and ABC Sports have announced that it will televise the Oct. 29 game between Nebraska and Oklahoma at Memorial Stadium on a split-national basis with the telecast beginning at 11 a.m.
The game will represent Nebraska’s third appearance in the season’s first eight games on ABC, with a fourth ABC appearance scheduled for Friday, Nov. 26 at Colorado. Nebraska has also had a pair of games televised nationally by TBS, and this week’s game at Missouri is scheduled for a regional telecast on Fox Sports Net. Nebraska’s games against Maine and Baylor were televised by FSN on a pay-per-view basis.
Nebraska-Oklahoma has been a staple of ABC’s college football lineup for many years. This year’s game will mark the 24th Husker-OU game that has been televised by the network. Last year’s matchup in Norman was televised on FSN, but the previous nine meetings between the two schools were all televised by ABC Sports.
Other Big 12 Conference games televised on Oct. 29 will be selected six days in advance of the games. Game times for Nebraska’s games at Kansas on Nov. 5 and at home against Kansas State on Nov. 12 will be determined six to 12 days in advance.
This Saturday's Nebraska-Missouri game will be televised by Fox Sports Net at 11:30 a.m.
Sunday, October 16, 2005
A Waco win
The "road" gets tougher next week when Nebraska has to travel to Missouri. However, the confidence generated Saturday night could be a key factor for the Huskers. Question is: Will it be enough?
Perhaps the most shocking thing about Saturday night's game was that Baylor fans didn't make a better showing. With the Bears coming in 4-1 and off to their best start since 1995, I expected to see a lot better turnout by the fans in Waco. The attendance for 50,000-seat Floyd Casey Stadium was listed at 40,857, but that might have been pushing it. There were huge gaps in the stadium where no one was sitting and Nebraska fans probably accounted for about 20 percent of the turnout.
Everything seemed to be set up to bring out the best in the Bears. Past championship teams were honored, as well as former Baylor linebacker great Mike Singletary, but the lack of fan support killed some of the atmosphere that could've given BU a greater edge. I guess when you grow up in Nebraska, empty seats in a football stadium just seem strange.
Monday, October 10, 2005
Monday Husker nuggets
--Nebraska may have lost its second starting linebacker of the season as Stewart Bradley suffered a knee injury in last Saturday's loss to Texas Tech. Huskers' coach Bill Callahan said Monday during the Big 12 Conference coaches' call that the injury might indeed be serious, but he was to find out the full extent later today.
--Fox Sports Net has selected the Nebraska-Missouri game for its 11:30 a.m. telecast on Oct. 22. As was previously announced this Saturday's game at Baylor will not be televised.
--Nebraska has opened as a 2 1/2-point favorite over Baylor for Saturday's game in Waco.
Saturday, October 08, 2005
Texas Tech pick
I expect the Blackshirts to play reasonably well, but as NU defensive coordinator Kevin Cosgrove said, the Red Raiders move the ball on everybody. The logic here is that Nebraska's offense simply won't be able to keep pace.
It's not too difficult to envision a scenario where Nebraska gets a lot of pressure on Tech QB Cody Hodges and scores on defense or special teams and pulls out a win. But that might be asking too much for a team that's already used up plenty of good fortune on the way to a 4-0 start.
The prediction: Texas Tech 35, Nebraska 24
Saturday, October 01, 2005
Iowa State prediction
Clearly the 2005 version of the Cyclones is much better than some of the past teams McCarney has brought to Lincoln. However, here's guessing it won't be enough. ISU can still win the North Division, but will fall to the Huskers today 24-10. Look for a minor breakout by the NU offense and the Blackshirts will get much more pressure on Cyclones' QB Bret Meyer.