Tuesday, July 29th 2014

Pelini’s Comments Give Pause

While it was great to hear Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini open his Big Ten Media Day remarks talking about his pursuit of championships, there were two other statements that may not inspire great hope and confidence.  The first was when he said that there was an open competition at quarterback between Tommy Armstrong, Johnny Stanton, and Ryker Fyfe.  The next was when he said he'd like to be as close a 50/50 run-pass team as possible. 

Wednesday, July 23rd 2014

If Nebraska is Boring, What is Northwestern Football?

Northwestern head football coach Pat Fitzgerald made minor headlines when he included in his plea for Wildcat fans to fill their home stadium an insult to the state of Nebraska and its residents.  His claim was that, Nebraska was "a pretty boring state, so they're really excited to see Chicago".  His statement begs the question, if the Cornhusker state is so boring and Chicago so appealing that Big Red fans will swarm like locusts for a road game, why can't he find 47,000 bodies in a metropolitan area of close to 10 million people willing to cheer for the home team? 

Tuesday, July 22nd 2014

Offensive Lineman Commits

Nebraska added an offensive lineman prospect for the recruiting class of 2015 when Bradenton, Florida prospect Mirko Jurkovic Jr. gave his commitment to the Huskers yesterday.  Jurkovic had an impressive list of offers that included Ohio State, Florida, Missouri, South Carolina,  and more than a dozen other major conference programs. 

Thursday, July 17th 2014

Season Opens With Earlier Games

When the start times became known for a string of five games from mid-September to mid-October, Nebraska was staring at five straight night games that encompassed road trips to Fresno State, Michigan State, and Northwestern as well as home dates with Miami and Illinois.  We now know that the season will begin with a couple of earlier games as we learned the season opener against Florida Atlantic will start at 2:30 pm and the McNeese State game will begin at 11 am (both times Central).  

Wednesday, July 16th 2014

Terrell Suggs Revisited?

Just after the 2014 NFL draft concluded, attention among draftniks turned to forecasting the 2015 draft.  High on draft boards was Nebraska's Randy Gregory, who was highly productive in his first campaign with the Huskers.  In fact, the Detroit Free Press projected him as the top overall pick for 2015 in their first mock draft.  They made sure to mention that he was not on the same level as 2014 top pick Jadeveon Clowney.  Nevertheless, a defensive end that is taken first overall is going to draw those kind of comparisons.  But for Husker fans, it's not another Clowney that we ought to be hoping for - it's Terrell Suggs. 

Monday, July 14th 2014

If 2013 Was an Aberration, What Would We Expect?

Phil Steele has put the finishing touches on his college football preview magazine which gives him time to play around with some other quasi-predictors of what the college football season will bring.  One thing Steele does is to compare last season to the two that just preceded it.  The idea is that if a team had a very different kind of record in the most recent year, we might see the team bounce to back to something more in line with the two seasons prior.  That means little for Nebraska who has won exactly 9 or 10 games each year for each of the last six seasons.  But a number of NU's opponents and fellow conference schools can't say the same.  

Thursday, July 10th 2014

Nebraska Loses Forward Leslee Smith to ACL Tear

Some bad news in the basketball department came as top reserve forward Leslee Smith suffered an ACL tear that will require surgery while participating in the FIBA Caribbean Basketball Championships in his native British Virgin Islands.  While he only started one game a year ago, Smith was usually the first post player off the bench and led the team in field goal percentage, offensive rebounds, and was second in blocked shots and steals.  

Wednesday, July 9th 2014

Bad News Season Hits Miami

Unless you've received an oral commitment from a recruit, July is the portion of the college football calendar where you generally hear more bad news than good.  For Miami, that meant that yesterday two linebackers were permanently dismissed from the team for sexual battery.  Alexander Figueroa was expected to become the starting strongside linebacker for the Hurricanes and JaWand Blue was expected to be a backup at middle linebacker. 

Tuesday, June 24th 2014

How Important is the Sellout Streak?

Nebraska has a sellout streak in football going back more than half a century.  While it's a point of pride, how does that translate in terms of wins and losses?  We've seen the Huskers outdraw most every other school for the spring game and yet the team still finds itself perenially ranked outside the top 10.  Would an end to the streak make things worse or would there really be a difference? 

Monday, June 23rd 2014

Is a Turnover Hangover the Biggest Threat to Prosperity in 2014?

Annually, Phil Steele tries to winnow down the list of teams who could be considered contenders for a national championship by looking at the statistical profile of past participants in the title game the season before they got to the big game.  If a team doesn't measure up to the minimum standard in each statistical category, then they are eliminated.  Perhaps not surprisingly, Nebraska was eliminated on the basis of its turnover margin in 2013.  Turnovers have been a concern in almost every season under head coach Bo Pelini, so to suggest there's a carryover does not seem far fetched.  Using Nebraska's stats since 1993 reveals a few things.