Tuesday, October 28th 2014

Updated Playoff Scenarios

Today, the initial rankings from the Playoff Selection Committee will be released.  While there will be a lot of hand-wringing over the initial set of team ratings, there are still so many consequential games remaining that  the rankings are still practically meaningless.  If we try to forecast how the remaining schedules play out based on the latest Sagarin predictor rankings, we can get a sense of who might be left standing at season's end. 

Monday, October 27th 2014

A Method to Bo’s Madness?

It was mildly surprising following an easy win by Nebraska over Rutgers to hear head coach Bo Pelini sound very critical of his team - almost as if his squad had been defeated.  It would have been easy to take a different tone (at least with the media).  Instead, his anger surely got his team's attention.  The question becomes, was that a sincere emotional/rational response, or a little bit manufactured (i.e. some coaching via the media). 

Saturday, October 25th 2014

Huskers Lose Turnover Battle But Win Big Anyway Versus Rutgers

Nebraska ran the ball well and played good pass defense.  That's nothing new.  Add in a generally efficient day by quarterback Tommy Armstrong and good special teams and the Huskers cruised to a 42-24 win.  

Wednesday, October 22nd 2014

Playoff Possibilities Abound

It's almost comical to watch the national media attempt to predict today who the four College Football Playoff teams will be.  With so many big games remaining on the schedule and upsets sure to occur, it will be hard to get a real sense of who will make the playoff until about Thanksgiving.  Mathematically, you'd have to give every team with one loss or fewer from a major conference at least some chance.  What might the latest computer polls tell us? 

Tuesday, October 21st 2014

Despite a Bigger Spread, Rutgers Looks Tougher Than Northwestern

Given Nebraska's recent history with Northwestern and the Wildcats' success against Penn State and Wisconsin, it seemed reasonable for the Huskers to be favored by only a touchdown in Evanston in a night game.  With Rutgers coming to Lincoln, NU finds itself a more than two touchdown favorite.  Despite the expectations of the betting public, the Scarlet Knights have a number of strengths that Northwestern doesn't. 

Monday, October 20th 2014

The View From the Stands

Apologies for delays on a writeup, but a day of tailgating in Evanston followed by a travel day slowed things down a bit.  This was our second trip to Northwestern for a game and unfortunately for head coach Pat Fitzgerald, we were underwhelmed by how little had changed.  When he became a hot property, he elected to stay with his alma mater.  In return, his team is still forced to play in what seems like a high-end high school stadium rather than one worthy of a program of any national stature.  The bonus as a visiting fan is that good seats could be had at a reasonable price. 

Wednesday, October 15th 2014

How to Spoil Northwestern’s Homecoming

Two weeks into the season, the game Nebraska had slated against Northwestern looked like it might be an easy one.  The Wildcats opened their season with a pair of losses and looked fairly pedestrian in a victory over woeful Western Illinois.  But a win at Penn State coupled with an upset in Evanston over Wisconsin made the 'Cats look quite a bit tougher.  Even the loss at Minnesota that followed didn't make them look too terrible, despite a 3-3 record midway through the season. 

Friday, October 10th 2014

Todd Gurley Suspension Creates Heisman Opportunity

In recent years, college football has gone from being largely of regional interest to something that's talked about nationally in a similar manner to the NFL or major league baseball.  The upside, is more games and analysis are available than ever before.  The downside is that  most of the analysts view the game through an NFL lens.  A player like Todd Gurley, as a result, has been getting a huge boost in the Heisman race in no small part because he's likely to be a high NFL draft pick.  That had him positioned as the favorite to win the award earlier this week.  Now, Gurley's indefinite suspension by Georgia for (rumor has it) being paid to autograph merchandise, could take him off the board and give other players a much better shot. 

Saturday, October 4th 2014

Nebraska Dominated On Both Sides of the Ball, Then Things Got Interesting

Nebraska entered their game at Michigan State hopeful of finally getting a win over a top ten team on the road.  Those hopes were quickly diminished as NU saw their best offensive player completely neutered, their defense surrender 17 first-half points despite getting three turnovers, and the passing game misfire.  Things went no better in the third quarter as MSU expanded their lead to 27-3.  But football is a four quarter game. 

Friday, October 3rd 2014

Red October

In the classic film, "The Hunt for Red October" Captain Marko Ramius sets out to deliver a submarine built to be a first strike weapon of nuclear annihilation to America before he can be sunk by the Russian fleet.  A classic quote from early in the film:

Anatoli, you're afraid of our fleet. Well, you should be. Personally, I'd give us one chance in three. More tea anyone?