Saturday, December 31, 2005
Alamo Bowl review
A great win for Nebraska that should surely have the players and coaches eager to look ahead to next season. Haven't had a chance to research this yet, but I'd guess that a college football team winning back-to-back games as double-digit underdogs is quite a rare feat. It definitely says a lot about this year's team.
I see I've been called out on the blog for my late-season collapse and my 1-4 finish (ouch). However, how about a little love for the 7-0 start, which included taking some heat over (correctly) picking Missouri and Texas Tech to win over the Huskers? All the picks can be documented in Huskers Illustrated and on NTV.
Anyway, it's all in good fun. Keep in mind that when anyone in the media makes a prediction, it's nothing personal. We're simply trying to give you our best guess and whether it's my pick or Lee Corso's call, you really can't put any more stock in it than a prediction made by the average Joe on the street.
Besides, if you take Nebraska to win every game, what's the point of making a pick? Even the most diehard Husker fan would have to admit that they didn't fully expect Nebraska to win every game this year. If they did, they're either on medication -- or need to be.
Happy New Year!
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Alamo Bowl pick
While the Wolverines (7-4) are a big favorite, it has been suggested that Michigan -- poised for another run at a BCS bowl -- doesn't have much use for playing another 7-4 team in the Alamodome. However, if coach Lloyd Carr's team is at all interested in the game, the view from here as that Michigan's overall talent edge should prevail.
Although it's been more than a month since Nebraska's last game, when we last left the Huskers, they were still struggling to run the football. If that lack of balance continues, it will be difficult for NU to prevail for a second consecutive game as a double-digit underdog.
The pick: Michigan 35, Nebraska 17 -- a slight departure from the 35-20 score I predicted in Huskers Illustrated in early December. No reason for the change (I simply forgot!)
No matter what happens, Nebraska has had a good season and will head into 2006 with many positives. By having nearly 30 freshmen and sophomores on the two-deep depth chart, the Huskers have taken a step this season by having a winning year and returning to a bowl game. Look for more next season.
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Downing leaving Nebraska
Downing, who is in San Antonio helping to prepare the Cornhuskers for Wednesday night's MasterCard Alamo Bowl, is scheduled to assume his duties at Northern Colorado on Jan. 2.
The 49-year-old Downing was the last of the Nebraska assistants remaining from Frank Solich's staff as Turner Gill, the new head coach at Buffalo, left after the 2004 season. Downing coached tight ends and kickers and also served as the recruiting coordinator for the Huskers.
A 22-year assistant coach at the Division I-A level, Downing was an assistant at both Wyoming and Purdue before coming to join Solich's staff at Nebraska prior to the 2003 season.
Callahan will also have to replace two graduate assistants from his staff. Aaron Stamn and Angus McClure have both accepted positions with Gill at Buffalo.
Monday, December 26, 2005
San Antonio: A great bowl site
This is my third trip to the Alamo Bowl, and quite honestly, it's one of my favorite places to come. Even if it is touristy, the Riverwalk and the Rivercenter mall provide fans plenty to do prior to game day.
The Fiesta Bowl still ranks as probably the top bowl experience I've enjoyed in the last nine years of covering Nebraska football, but the Alamo Bowl is right up there as far as non-BCS bowls go. San Diego and the Holiday Bowl wasn't bad, but the Riverwalk and all the Christmas lights always wins me over.
It has been quite a contrast between the two teams and their media access down here. Nebraska has done interviews every day since arriving Friday. Meanwhile, Michigan players have been mostly off-limits to reporters since the Wolverines got into town Thursday. We'll finally hear some from Michigan today as press conferences are scheduled for this afternoon.
Friday, December 23, 2005
Huskers arrive in San Antonio
NU coach Bill Callahan said today in San Antonio that his players were really hurt by missing out on a bowl game last year. After making it to the postseason for 35 consecutive years, a bowl game was almost a birthright for the Huskers. Obviously, it probably came as a great shock last year when they had to stay home and watch bowl games on TV -- just like everybody else.
The Huskers start on-site preparation with a practice today at noon. Callahan said most of the "physical" work was done in Lincoln and that the team will mostly attempt to stay sharp during its practice sessions in San Antonio.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
That's recruiting for you
So it goes in the world of college football recruiting. Such events are reason No. 101 why many of us pay little attention to the whole recruiting scene until national signing day in February. After all, who can really put a whole lot of stock in the promises of 17- and 18-year-olds. Any parent knows better than that.
As Richard Marx chimmed in some bad 1980s song that I recall: "It don't mean nothing ... until they sign it on the dotted line."
Monday, December 19, 2005
All's quiet in The Bob
Attendance was so sparce that fans in the Section C were invited to come on down to Section B and "improve their view of the game," as the P.A. announcer put it.
This is not to suggest that Nebraska's basketball team has created the level of excitement needed to pack the house, but you have to wonder what the effect of the Fox Sports Net TV package is on the turnout for home games. After all, it takes a pretty dedicated Husker hoops fan to trek out into the freezing cold to watch their team play winless N.C. A&T, especially when you can watch the game in the comfort of your home.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Royals' Caravan in G.I. - today
Friday, December 09, 2005
1. Reggie Bush, Southern Cal
2. Matt Leinart, Southern Cal
3. Vince Young, Texas
In a year where all three finalists are truly Heisman worthy, Bush was simply a cut above -- thanks to his jaw-dropping highlight reel. Anyone who stayed up well past their bed time to watch him do his damage against Fresno State would not only say that Bush is the most outstanding player in the country, he might be one of the best ever.
Leinart could've easily been just the second repeat Heisman winner if not for his show-stopping teammate. Even Leinart, who has a Heisman vote as a past winner, claims he voted for Bush.
Vince Young could've won this honor any other year. The Longhorns' quarterback is spectacular in a smooth-as-silk-like way and is arguably more valuable to his team's success than either Leinart or Bush on an individual basis. He's my pick as the 2006 Heisman winner -- if he stays in Austin.
Sunday, December 04, 2005
It's Huskers vs. Michigan in the Alamo Bowl
Game is at 7 p.m. on Dec. 28 in the Alamodome in San Antonio.