The Gator Bowl is a Better Deal

Prior to the announcement of bowl bids Sunday, most of the predictions and projections had Nebraska headed to the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl to play Kansas State.  However, that bowl selected Michigan leaving the Gator Bowl to select between Nebraska and Minnesota from the Big Ten.  As expected in that scenario, the Gator Bowl chose the Huskers to play Georgia.  There are a few reasons why that's a good thing. 


Who Wants it More?
The nightmare scenario in a bowl game is that the players will have no enthusiasm for the game.  Back in 1998, Kansas State lost the Big 12 championship game in overtime.  A victory would have sent the Wildcats to the national championship game.  The loss dropped them all the way to the Alamo Bowl.  KSU fans, coaches, and players all seemed to think the team deserved a better bowl bid.  The result?  A loss to Purdue.  Similarly, Nebraska lost a heartbreaker in the Big 12 championship game after the 2010 season.  The Huskers were shipped off to the Holiday Bowl to face a Washington team they'd already pounded 56-21 in Seattle.  NU lost the rematch by 12.    

While there's some history between Nebraska and Kansas State.  Any residual enthusiasm for a rematch would be on the KSU side.  The Huskers won the last six meetings between the schools and owns a 78-15-2 series advantage overall.  At 7-5, the Wildcats offer little in the way of satisfaction if you beat them, yet with a 6-1 finish to the season and a dual-threat quarterback they are a very dangerous team.  Let Michigan take that no-glory/all-downside matchup.

Meanwhile, Georgia is a team that the Huskers should be excited to play again.  They hung with a Bulldog team for 3 quarters that was on par with national champion Alabama, only to come up short.  The Gator Bowl should offer a measure of redemption.  Georgia's also a ranked team and is part of the most hyped conference in football.

 It might be fair to suggest that Nebraska is sort of the nightmare scenario for the Bulldogs.  There's little enthusiasm for a rematch on their end and so they have to find a way to stay motivated for three and a half weeks.  That's probably a good thing for a Husker team that hasn't been hitting on all cylinders this year.

What Time is It?
Proponents of the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl try to sell that it's the only game on which will attract more eyeballs then in a crowded spot on New Years Day.  Fair enough.  But do you really want to see a game that will end after midnight central time (or after 1 on the east coast)?  It's a little better if you're in Arizona but that's still hardly the fan-friendliest time slot.  

Meanwhile, the Gator Bowl starts at noon ET, the first bowl game on New Years' Day.  A little competition from UNLV and North Texas (the only other game starting at that time) shouldn't steal many viewers.  There will be a bit more competition when the other Big Ten bowls begin at 1 pm ET.  But that's why God invented the remote control.  If a good game is brewing between Nebraska and Georgia, people will find their way back.  

A Full House
One of the major reasons that Georgia and Nebraska were selected (despite the fact that they'd played the year before) was that it seemed likely to help sell tickets to the game.  It may not be a sellout, but it also may not be one of those embarrassing outings where you see almost nothing but empty seats (like when the Jacksonville Jaguars play).   A game without fans, is just a scrimmage.  While the future of the bowl business model may be in doubt, this should be a game that's actually played in front of a live audience.  Husker fans would have turned out in Arizona, but how many KSU fans would bother?

Whether it's the opponent, the date and time, or the energy in the building, Nebraska probably came out a winner with the Gator Bowl.  Should be a nice way to start the New Year.

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Comments 51 comments so far

Steve,  excellent effort in trying to put a positive spin on this game.
However, the bottom line is that I would have considered going to AZ (a lot of friends down there now, places to stay, fun time), but I won’t even consider going to Jacksonville.  If you been there once, that’s enough.  Regardless of how you frame it,  rematches of last year’s bowl games are not fun.  Committee should have done everything it could have to avoid this.

This is another Bowl loss for NU.  Pelinni and staff will not be prepared and will be outcoached as usual.  NU will hurt themselves more than getting beat by a better team, e.g., turnovers, penalties, and poor performance.  IT will be further justification on why Bo should Go.


What he’s saying isn’t spin…it’s truth.  From a television and opponent standpoint, the Huskers are better off with the Gator Bowl playing Georgia.

A win vs Georgia would be a good win whereas a win versus K-state would just be expected and not looked at favorably.  The time slot comparison also means more eyeballs watching Nebraska football and much better exposure for recruiting.


This Georgia team lost to Vanderbilt.  Let that sink in.  It’s going to be a good game whether you want it to be or not…this isn’t last years’ Georgia team.

I for one would rather see us playing Georgia, I have seen on here (other article) where we were easily handled last year.  Excuse me, 14 pts is not easily handled they had two pass plays of 89 and 75 yards had either of those been intercepted and returned it is tie a game.  I know it didn’t happen but you are talking about 1 possible play.  So not easily handled, that would be by 28 pts or more and running and passing the ball all over you.  We out rushed them they out passed us different styles of offense.  We come from 0 to 15 degree temps they come from 50 to 70 degree play in same or close enviroment sure we are going to where down.  It took TO a few tries in this enviroment to learn how to condition for this change.  Just give Bo a break for a change and let them do there job.  These players on this team deserve at least for the true fans to be talking positively about this match up instead of writing them off already for the bowl game and next year.  I think the time has come for all of us to get on board with this team and coaches and support them.  And for the ones who can’t, just to calm down till next year and let these guy’s enjoy this time with our support.  GBR

I am just saying from a fan’s perspective,  Tempe/Phoenix area is a much better site than Jacksonville.  Jacksonville hotels/motels for the most part are old and run down.  Anything nice cost you a fortune.  Food is expensive, harbor is not anything great (wife reminds me that it was boring), just not that much fun.  You also get that southern influence in Jacksonville and they have no love for the Big Red (they just want your $$$).  There is just a lot more support in AZ.  And, I’m sorry, I cannot get excited about playing Georgia again.


Um…no.  I go to Jacksonville 5-6 times a year since my brother in law lives there.  Not sure what hotels you’re staying in and Jacksonville is one of the most affordable cities in Florida to live in…houses there go for far under the Florida norm and housing is affordable.  I’ve looked at moving there on 2-3 separate occasions and would have if there was a job there for me.

It’s cool that you cannot get excited about playing Georgia…I understand.

This game is starting to grow on me a bit.  Bo seemed genuinely happy with this on the teleconference with the bowl, but it could just be that he’s happy to be coaching a bowl game…

It does not matter what bowl game Nebraska plays in…the whiny ass haters gonna hate!!!  I cheer for Nebraska, does not matter who the coach, president or A.D. is….I will support my team!!!


Just read Mitch Sherman’s blog on’s Big Ten blog…about Coach Bo’s assessment of our bowl match up.

I think Sherman is a hack.  He thinly veils his indignation towards Pelini…what an effin joke.  Mitch…get over the little spout Bo had with your ole pal Dirk Chatelain after the 2011 Ohio State game.  Its getting old.  This local anti-Bo media mafia made up of Mitch, Dirk, Lee Barfknecht, John Bishop, Nick Bahe, Mike’l Severe, Kevin Kugler, Gary Sharp, Matt Schick, Josh Peterson, Chase Williams (have I left out anyone?)...all of you…trying to turn public sentiment against Coach Bo every chance you all get…its pathetic…petty…and just gets freakin old.

Gentlemen~NU is lucky to this year to be playing in any bowl game.  They are a hearbeat away from a 7-5 record.  Playing anyone of any caliber is a blessing for NU.  If Pelini and crew can elevate their preparation for Georgia, and win that game, it will go a long way towards a positive Spring practice.  There is a lot on the line for NU and for Pelini.  If NU should lose the game, it will only fuel more criticism during the off-season.  We know NU is capable of beating Georgia, based upon the performances NU put forth in some games earlier this year.  What will matter is if NU can avoid unnecessary turnovers, have some decent field position, and avoid no-brainer decisions to run fake punts on our own 32 yard line when we are only7 points behind.

Be thankful for what NU is able to have a bowl game, no matter where it is.  Pray we win and pray Pelini and crew get their chaotic act together.

@NU Realist,

You think you’re a realist?  Think about this…luck doesn’t exist.  That’s a realist look at how things actually happen.  Good teams find ways to win in spite of themselves and in spite of external factors.

One could argue against Georgia with the same lame tripe you’re trying to pass as judgement on the Huskers here…they almost got beat by a 7-5 GT team.  It took them overtime to beat a Florida team that got schooled by Georgia Southern…they could just as easily have 2 extra losses.

But that’s just it, this isn’t a game of luck.  This is a game of keeping on.  That’s what teams have to do to win.

There is nothing on the line for Pelini or the Huskers because he’ll be here through next year at the very least and through the next 3 years if his contract extension is upheld.  Allow that real fact to sink and become real to you.  He’s here to stay.

In closing, wise up my friend.  You say you’re a realist but you keep living in a world where Pelini is skating on thin ice.  He’s not.  That world is your invention.  Nebraska has every bit a chance to win this one as Georgia does…and they matchup even better than they did last year so it promises to be a good game.

Dear dkdevine (or not so devine!)~ take a chill pill and relax.  First, if you believe luck does not exist in the game of football, you must be smoking some of that Colorado weed!!!  Secondly, no one, except truth deniers, will suggest Pelini and crew have been the best of coaches during his tenure.  He isn’t horrible, but he is less than the best.  Putting that aside, I simply told the truth as what it will require to win the Georgia game.  What is it about minimizing turnovers, getting some decent field position, and avoiding some stupid coaching calls and sideline antics won’t help NU win its game against Georgia.  If NU more than once shoots itself in the foot during important games, pointing the barrel in another direction won’t hurt. 

Don’t be so irrationally defensive and paranoid.

I’m very excited for this bowl game. Georgia has a history of not showing up to bowl games and getting Nebraska two years in a row will make them even more disinterested. Last year was a great game and if not for Murray and a late Abudllah fumble, NU would have won. Jacksonville is OK, but I’m staying in St. Augustine. Sold the wife on a romantic weekend at a nice historic town 30 minutes south, close to TPC Sawgrass (bring the golf clubs). Maybe it’s the injuries or the back stabbing comments from ‘fans’ but this 2013 team has really grown on me. I hope they can end this year on a high note. GBR.

Paul~ smart move staying on gulf coast side.  Drive isn’t that far to Jacksonville.  Have a great trip.  GBR!!!

Realista - You’re probably confusing St. Augustine with Panama City. St. Augustine is Atlantic side, oldest city in North America, founded 1565 (I had to look up the date).

It’s a good bowl game on New Years, that use to mean something…  People hating on Bo, are just as bad as people hating on the President.  He is here to stay, nothing to see here, move. on.

I’m looking forward to the Gator Bowl.  A win to end the season against an SEC team looks better than a win against K-state. If the Skers loose, but its a close game with few mistakes and turnovers, that’s sill better than a win against K-State

Gotta give Snyder credit. He is a great coach with little talent to work with.

Yes he is OU. He is one of the best.  I really want to see OU beat Bamma.  Getting tired of the SEC.

A few years ago my granddad was on a plane in coach and guess who was sitting next to (in coach) TO.  Ill never forget how my granddad (who turned 98 last month) Looked up to him after that flight. They had a long conversation, not about football, but about life. The up’s and the downs, and how a person reacts to them.  The UN made TO into the person he is today. Bo needs to win this game

Paul, great choice in staying in St Augustine, you will enjoy that place.  Make sure that you spend a few extra days there, just to take in the sites, and make sure you take the tour of the college there, that is fantastic.
Hopefully we will be able to have a few cold beers in Jacksonville to celebrate the Huskers win!  They really need a high note to go out on.  They have struggled all year as a team, pulled some tough games out, and lost some heartbreakers.  A positive note at the end of the season keeps them looking forward to next year.


hey guys take what we got and back the team all the way go big red

I think that Armstrong could be the future so long as the play calling puts him in a position of success.  Wishful thinking with the suspect coordinator.  As a true freshman, he should be handing the ball off to those two talented tailbacks, and hitting the tight ends on short/intemediate passes.  You have to simplify for young players.  Give them confidence and experience.  Since most people wrote off the season after not reaching the Big10 championship, this bowl game can only be a positive experience, unless Georgia blows us out.  Again, wishful thinking, but this bowl game should add even more experience, win or lose.  If we beat Georgia, that experience of winning against one of the top half SEC teams can be a stepping stone to a good 2014 campaign, and draw more speedy recruits from the south…just my opinion.

Admiral, great story and well said.

Jan.1st bowl with Georgia (forget name of bowl) will be a good matchup for NU.  There is a serious downside if NU loses this game, however.  With a victory comes a repose from the unpleasant criticism the program has received for many months now.  Preparation for this game is probably Pelini’s most important coaching challenge he will experience since being at NU.  This is not a game where NU must pull out all the stops.  Instead, coaches need to focus on a simpler game plan on the O side.  If Special “K” starts, don’t worry about the option.  Run N-S and pitch outs.  Work for ball control.  Short to medium passes.  If turnovers are avoided to any significant degree and field position is not horrible, NU should stand a very good chance of winning this game.  We know that even with an injured O line, NU can run the ball - recall MS’s inability to stop the run against NU.  We can count on the D to do well if they avoid being on the field for overly extended periods of time.  Finally, Pelini is a marked man in the refs minds.  He has put himself in a position that refs will not give him the benefit of the doubt, like it or not.  That is the way it is.  So, will Bo be smart enough to remember that fact and for the sake of the team, remain relatively calm for the sake of avoiding a penalty that only will hurt the team in its effort to win?  I am guessing he will not be the Bo we saw on TV during the Iowa game.  Not even Bo is lame enough to act that way two games in a row.

Realista, doesn’t that game plan fit all teams?  I mean basically you stated as long as we have ball control and our defense plays well we should win.  Of course that will work.
I really don’t see a serious downside if NU loses this game, as long as they keep it tight.  Though Georgia has the same record as us, they are a good team that had injuries like we did, just not as wide spread, but to key players.
I was at the game last year, and I never have understood how everyone stated that they walked away with the game.  Actually, even while in the stands, you could see that 87 yard pass being called back because of a pick on Georgia.  That makes it a 7 point game, would that have been walking away with the game?
Plus, I would say that this is the most important challenge that he has faced.  I think that the Big 12 CG was bigger, as he didn’t have any offense that could move the ball at all.  This like any other bowl we have and will go to, is important to win, but it is not the end of the day either.  With bowl games you are looking at money for the school and conference, and bragging rights for the fans.
I think that the Huskers have a great chance in this game.  We will have to wait to see who gets healthy over the next 3 weeks to tell how big of a chance we have.  Georgia has struggled this year, and that young QB will have to face our D-line, which can pin some ears back when they are clicking.


NU Realist,

You said:  “Don’t be so irrationally defensive and paranoid.

Curious, would you define for me what being rationally defensive and paranoid would be like?

I love how bloggers want to dictate what our QB and offense should and should not do.  So, my turn.  My own observation is that with most of TA’s missed passes, it was due to lack of familiarity with either the play or the receiver, where are they going, not because he can’t throw.  Give him that experience, he’ll improve.  And remember, it wasn’t just Bell and Enunwa he was throwing to, but also to some inexperienced receivers.  Practice will get them all on the same page.  And he can throw a fairly deep ball as well as the intermediates.  RKIII looked better because, well, he’s been practicing for 5 years.  Yet there were the 2 INT’s right off the bat v. Iowa. 

One thing that always gets me is why on 3rd and 5 we throw sideways so much.  It’s OK to try that on 1st or 2nd down occasionally, but on 3rd down, get that ball past the first down line!  And yes, thin out the D by throwing an occasional deep ball (20 to 30 yards? - it doesn’t have to be 40 yarders).  We have the receivers, let’s use them!

And give Abdullah some breaks.  We have 4 good eligible backs, Abdullah, Cross, Newby, and Frazier.  Plus two good fullbacks.  Figure out the best way to spell Ameer, or when the D is keying on Ameer, how do you Cross them up?  Yes, two or three backs in the backfield on occasion.

Bring on dem Dawgs, bow chicky bow wow..

Johnny, must you play these games???  “Irrational” defined as:
Bing Dictionary
[ i ráshən’l ]
1.lacking in reason: contrary to or lacking in reason or logic
2.lacking logical thought: unable to think logically
3.unable to think clearly: lacking the normal ability to think clearly, especially because of shock or injury to the brain

There is an adverb form of the word irrational known as “irrationally.”  I will assume you know what defensive and paranoid mean.  Put words together, and you seem bright enough to figure that out.

Are you normally this difficult or are you just obstinant by nature.  I’ll be happy to define obstinant if need be.

Take a chill pill when you may not like someone else’s opinion, Johnny.  There is room for valid criticism of the current coaching staff.

For others who apparently responded to my previous post, yes, my game plan is not unique, yet if executed well can help win games.  NU, for reasons we speculate about, seems to have trouble executing the basics on a consistent basis.  Without dwelling into the reasons, for fear of offending others who don’t take NU criticism well, we know inconsistency and chaos on the field are traits of the team that need to be overcome.  Since Bo is the man for now, we can only hope he is able to coach up his team so that such problems are not preventing NU from winning football games.

Why are there so many crazy and wacky comments on BigRedNetwork?  I don’t see anything like it on any other Husker website.

NU Realist.

Well, then let me explain the reason for the question.  Where you have correctly defined ‘irrationally’ that really wasn’t the target of the question.  Paranoia is in of itself an irrational state.  That is why the World Health Organiation defines it as follows?

The World Health Organization’s ICD-10 lists paranoid personality disorder as (F60.0) Paranoid personality disorder.[5]

It is characterized by at least three of the following:
1.excessive sensitivity to setbacks and rebuffs;  (NU REALIST)
2.tendency to bear grudges persistently, i.e. refusal to forgive insults and injuries or slights; (NU Realist, check)
3.suspiciousness and a pervasive tendency to distort experience by misconstruing the neutral or friendly actions of others as hostile or contemptuous; (NU Realist, check)
4.a combative and tenacious sense of personal rights out of keeping with the actual situation; (NU Realist, check)
5.recurrent suspicions, without justification, regarding sexual fidelity of spouse or sexual partner;  (Sandra Fluke, check)
6.tendency to experience excessive self-importance, manifest in a persistent self-referential attitude; (Sandra Fluke, check)
7.preoccupation with unsubstantiated “conspiratorial” explanations of events both immediate to the patient and in the world at large. (Johnny Nebraska, check)

Hmmm…....  I think you might be worse off than I.

@dkdevine:  You should have been on the ESPN blog during Callahan’s tenure.

“Why are there so many crazy and wacky comments on BigRedNetwork?  I don’t see anything like it on any other Husker website”.

Because we are a vibrant community of regulars, occasionals & visitors. This is where the real action is so no point in going elsewhere.


I went to college with some of the authors here and have been here since the first week it launched….it wasn’t always this way.

There are ‘authors’ here?

Hey, the internet is a wild and crazy place. People are pretty much like this everywhere. Hard to prevent a very vocal few from voicing their opinions, no matter how crazy.  As for “authors”, Steve pretty much holds down the fort while I put in my 2 cents.

‘authors of insanit-eh…’

I didn’t find this site until Huskerpedia blew up—then it took me a couple years before I got irritated by a Bo-leaver or a T-Mart hater and voiced my opinion. Now I take a look see every day. Sometimes there is great comedy sometimes not - but always entertaining. Way more fun than facebook.


I went to college with Jason Siffring.  I’m not sure the exact date I came here but I know it was early on in the launch of things.

Like I said, there was lots of good conversation then…now it seems we get 2 paragraph rants that make little to no sense.

But hey, it is the interwebs right? lol.

Just checked my profile…been a member here since Aug 2010.  I lurked a bit earlier than that too.

If the situation in Austin plays out the way the media is reporting, Mack Brown is forced out of his Texas job with a 157-45 record. Can you imagine that?

It does appear that Nick Saban will take over regardless of what Nick and his wife Terri say.

Texas has plenty of cash and is willing to buy sucess at any cost.

it’s a sign of the times and Coach Stoops might be next.

If you are going to let a coach go with that kind of W/L record, then you have to have a giant fish on the line.

Anyone think brown could come to NU if Pelini is let go?

My Texas guy, you know the guy that stuck the horns on Bosworth’s Vette, he just mentioned in an e-mail that Mack would be gone within the week. Most likely Thursday when he meets with the new AD. I waiting now to hear whether he has heard anything about Saban.

Brown wouldn’t know what to do up here. He’s been spoiled with 5 star recruits he could drive to visit in a convertible.

You know that there was a report a couple of months ago that Saban’s wife was looking at realestate property in the Austin area. That was played down as soon as it was national news. Don’t know or remember the source though.

I remember that. I heard Bama is dangling 7 mill in front of him now to try and keep him.

I thought of a new one today for the “what if” crowd. What if TO had left for CU in ‘78 and NU had hired Schnelly to replace him. With Schnelly NU would have won the ‘83 Orange bowl—right? We wouldn’t have had to wait until ‘94 for a nat’l championship. Plus when Schnelly left Miami they hired a string of great HC’s including Jimmy Johnson—“if” we had tapped into those guys think of all the nat’l championships the Huskers could have won. Wow!

The argument is always thrown out there that it took TO 22 years to win a nat’l championship so now we need to give everybody else the same chance. Well the “what if” can go the other way too. Maybe we wouldn’t have had to wait 22 years if TO had been fired or left.

you would have wanted schnelly fired in 1982 for going 7-4, fired dennise erickson in 93’ for going 9-3, fired larry coker in 2006 for 7-6 fired shannon in 2010 for 7-6, and Al Goden in 2013 for 9-3 Not always greener on the other side??

We should have given Callahan more time too

We scored alot of points with him just couldn’t stop anybody from scoring more (lots) than we did.  Stubborn and wouldn’t get rid of Cossgrove, and just didn’t fit the NU way around here.  Wo knows if he fired Cossgrove, maybe he would have lasted longer??

Interesting how this guy has trouble distinguishing Pelini politics from airline ticket prices, like Southwest Airlines is charging more for tickets now because they don’t like Pelini (absurd):

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