Steal From Nebrasketball

Last night, the Husker Men's Basketball team defeated a rebuilding Miami team 60-49 in a grinding game to go up 6-2 on the year, with a perfect record at home.  Nebraska has been picked by the Big Ten media to end up last in the conference at the end of the regular season.  So how does a program with such low expectations this year generate a such a warm glow about it?  This program now has a positive buzz that resonates with students, casual fans, and even the broadcast table during the nationally televised game.  What does football have to do in order to build this type of positive atmosphere around the program?

It is difficult to sum up in one fell swoop as to what is generating this interest in the program.  Many factors have come into play this year for a cumulative effect.  Even as the team is expected to do poorly in the conference schedule, the upside seems bright because of these nuances.

Tim Miles

Miles is a genial coach who interacts well with media, social media, fans, students, and everyone else.  He has the same casual demeanor off court expected from a well-liked University professor, not a Division I Head Coach.  And rumor has it that he appears to be a good coach and recruiter.

Pinnacle Bank Arena

New facilities are not just for recruits to gawk at.  In this case, the fan experience is far superior to the previously played in Devaney Center.  The amenities are newer, the coat of paint is fresher, and sense is that it fits in really well with the area.  People are excited to see games there and make a day/night of the experience.

Fans, Students, and Students of the Game

The fans understand the game in the same way that the Husker football fans do.  There are unspoken rules of conduct as a fan, such as when to grumble and groan at refs, and remembering to shout airball for a particular player every time he touches it for the rest of the game after a missed shot.

Young, Talented Players

There will be much talk about the future of the program for Miles this year.  He is not rebuilding a program.  He is trying to build it, period.  A friend said that he could be the Tom Osborne of Nebraska Basketball by just making it to the tournament once or twice, not even thinking about winning it all.  This starts with development of raw talent, exceeding recruiting expectations, and filling anticipated needs properly.

There is talk around the various opinion circuits that the gameday experience for the football team needs to be updated.  It is only a piece of the puzzle.  Incremental changes like music choice, PA interaction, and pre-game rituals can be refreshed, but will not change the underlying nature of the program.  Excitement is built with these trivial features added on to the expectation of player talent, coaching, team experience, and the gameday culminating into this thing known as "buzz" around the program.

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Comments 12 comments so far

One of the big suggestions is to change the entrance music, to which I say: who cares? It doesn’t fundamentally change what people do or how they react at a game. Just not sure how else to improve things.

The question raised in the first paragraph is a pertinent one, but it’s apples and oranges as far as these two husker sports are concerned.

The media will always treat nebraska football as an old powerhouse that used to be a bully and now is just loud and a bit dramatic on the sidelines; and will treat nebraskasketball as a little-engine-that-could.

Bottom line, it comes down to brand and expectations. BB is blowing it’s (perceived) expectations out of the water, QUIETLY, while FB is throwing hats at refs. To get husker football on the side of the media, bo would just have to do what Miles is doing…on a grander scale.

Miles is a good coach working with limited talent, comparatively speaking, and coaching his players up.  He is doing a great job and NU should be thankful they hired him.  As to Bo, he is simply a “raw nerve” too exposed and self-absorbed to elevate “his game” to a point it will elevate the performance of his players to that next level.  The team reflects Bo’s personna - slightly chaotic and irratic.  Thus, the inconsistency in play and results.  People can discount the impact a HC’s personality can have on the team identity and psychology, but the influence exists and carries over onto the team and players.  Thus, you see the difference developing between Miles v. Pelini.  Maybe they can switch teams at NU!!!

A W is a W in the minds of many a fan.  Good job guys.
Be sure to keep the grades up.

At the game last night, great atmosphere, student section was great all night.  It seems loud in there not sure what it is like court side noise wise.  Team looks like we are getting some good talent on it, got a “big guy” coming in next year.  Things looking up, I don’t know how the players can get into any rythem though with each team having 5 timeouts and there must have been at least 10 media timeouts.  Every time it would get going another timeout, nice to see though that they are on TV.  I think the future in HUSKER athletics in all sports is looking up and they represent the school, the state, and them selves well.  Keep up the good work, love watching you play.

NU Realist,

Good lord.  This post is about Basketball.  Seriously, are you like Bo’s ex-girlfiend or something?  This is just getting silly.

I guess NU Realista read the last sentence in the first paragraph. The question was posed “What does football have to do in order to build this type of positive atmosphere around the around the program”. Get it?

Are you really trying to compare expectations with football with that of basketball @ NU?  Really?

I am a huge creighton bb fan and would LOVE to see neb basketball become relevant in the big 10.  I won’t kid’  myself though and see that they are at   least 3 years and a few recruits away from being middle of the pack at best!  I do think tim miles is definatly   the man for the job!


The point is not to compare the expectations.  It’s that there is a sort of positive vibe towards the basketball program and it looks geared towards meeting or exceeding those expectations.  Even if Miles wasn’t able to win a single game in the conference (which seems unlikely), the future version of this team looks like something people want to watch.

@ Tom,

Well, starved NU roundball fans would accept any trickle of water to allay the perpetual drought they been sufferin’.  Like if they win 3 or 4 games in the B1G and Timmay keeps the smile on his face and doesnt cuss and stuff(like Bo), well, they are happy as pigs in sh….

Football’s a whole different and separate animal, different planet, universe…

Anyhoo, Bo and Co did the whole Jack Hoffman thing and the dancin’ thing last year, dont get much better than that for ‘good vibes’ and such.  Deal is, with football, if they lose one game the ‘best fans on the planet’ want ‘em fired, like, yesterday.

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