Thursday, October 29, 2009

October 29, 2009

This is the last hot blog of the I'll make it count.


1. Nebraska/Baylor Key Matchups
2. Phillip much he has changed
3. Around the Big 12

1. We start by talking about the key matchups this weekend.

First, Nebraska's offensive line vs. Baylor's Linebackers. This is the heart and sole of the Baylor defense. This unit leads the Big 12 in combined tackles. They are fast, smart, and make sure tackles that prevent offenses from making big plays against them. The question comes whether this group, which has been susceptible to giving up huge chunks of yards on the ground, can stop Nebraska's dormant running game. It's a simple rule in the Big 12, if you wanna win on the road you have to run the ball effectively. So much of Nebraska's offense is predicated off the ability to run the ball effectively. If Nebraska can come out and block the talented LB of Baylor is would spell a very long day for the Bears.

Second, Nebraska's defensive line vs. Baylor's Offensive Line. Tempo can be dictated right off the bat by how effectively Nebraska can get pressure with it's front four. There's no question that the overall team success of the defense has been boosted by the awesome play of Nebraska's front four. It's hard to get the ball out when your running for your life in the backfield.

Third, Nebraska's WR's vs. Baylor's Secondary. Nebraska must get of its offensive snide and that can start in the passing game with Nebraska's WR's. Whoever gets the start this weekend must come out and catch the ball, play hard every down, and block better downfield for the running backs. If they can get back on track and elevate their game....Baylor could find itself in a whole heap of problems trying to stop this weird as that sounds after the past 2 weeks.

Prediction: It's been an ugly one for the Nebraska Cornhuskers the past 2 weeks. Nebraska goes into Waco with a simple mission...improve as a team and send a statement that Nebraska is turning the corner with four huge games left on its schedule. You want to come out and play well against Baylor to build confidence heading into the biggest home game of the year next weekend. Nebraska gets back to its running ways and pounds the ball with authority at Baylor. Suh and his bandits of crazies make it miserable day for Nick Florence and Nebraska cruises to a nice win on TV.
Nebraska wins: 35-7

2. Great article came out today about how much the play of Phillip Dillard has improved over the last few weeks. Here was a guy that had probably the worst spring practice last season and quickly found himself fourth on the depth chart at Mike LB. Phil went to work on the offseason and wasn't awarded a starting mike job, but got the eye of the coaches that this kid needed to get out on the field and play. After not playing in the first 2 games of the year, Phil bursted onto the playing field against VT playing the weakside linebacker position. He had a quite day recording 5 tackles. His play has steadily increased notching 3, 3, 12, and 12 tackles in the last four games. He is quickly becoming a leader and mentor to the two young freshman that play next to him. Its a great story to see a high that was highly recruited out of Oklahoma finally get a shot to get some considerable playing time. He's a story for many that patience and hard work never go un-noticed by anyone you work or play hard for. Congrats on your success Phil...big games are still in your future.

3. We go around the Big 12 and preview this week's slate of games.

Heres the schedule:

Nebraska @ Baylor
Texas @ Oklahoma State
Oklahoma @ Kansas State
Missouri @ Colorado
Kansas @ Texas Tech
Iowa State @ Texas A&M

This weekend marks a couple of big games on Halloween. Texas travels to OSU in what looks like the last hurdle for the Longhorns to jump to remain unbeaten. Kansas has a huge game on the road this weekend trying to get back on track at Texas Tech and Iowa State and K-State have big games this weekend as they are looking to keep their leads in the Big 12 North race.
Predicted Winners: Nebraska, OSU, Oklahoma, Missouri, Texas Tech, Texas A&M

Last weeks record: 4-2 (.67)

Season Big 12 Record: 13-5 (.72)

Enjoy your weekend and have a safe and fun Halloween....I'll return again next Tuesday as I always do hopefully spreading good news from a win. Till Then...Skocz Out!!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

October 28, 2009

With all Hallow's Eve closely upon us in a few days...more blogging is in order today.


1. Nebraska's Offense: How Bad is it?
2. Eye on Recruiting: What does Nebraska Need in this Class?

1. I thought we'd write today about what my perceptions are about why this offense is struggling so badly the past few weeks. Lets examine. In my eyes if you want to be a great offense it all starts up front with your hog mollies. Last season Nebraska had Matt Slauson and Lydon Murtha, two veterans that instilled a hard nosed attitude to the line that allowed Nebraska to be very successful last season. This year Nebraska is forced to play guys that were used primarily as backups last season. There's no question that this is not an excuse for the reason why we have struggled on the offensive line, only one guy has a hard-nosed attitude that wants to blow people off the ball...Jacob Hickman. The lone Husker senior has played well this season despite not playing last weekend. If this offense wants to begin to turn the corner, the line must get back to those hate-hard-nose days where defenses feared what our line would do to them during the game.

Second, is the play at running back. Roy Helu is Nebraska's best offensive weapon, but the problem with that is he's banged up and appeared hesitant to rush the ball with authority last weekend. No question Nebraska misses it's phenom running back Rex Burkehead but the future appears brighter with Robinson becoming the primary backup to Roy. The question will be endurance and durability with the young freshman, if he can continue to make strides Nebraska can create the formidable 1/2 punch it was suppose to have at running back this season.

Third, is the play at wide receiver. This has been the most awful play of the entire offense. These guys aren't getting open and making it easier for Zac Lee to fire the ball in. Many many times on Saturday I saw guys taking plays off since they knew the ball wasn't coming to them. I also saw poor blocking and sloppy execution. One of the keys for this offense to get itself back on track has to come from improved WR play where these guys make outside blocks hold up so our running backs can bust out big yard runs. Nebraska thought they could have put any two guys to replace Swift and Peterson, but I think we are quickly seeing how valuable those two guys were for this offense a year ago, and probably was the reason that Joe Ganz had the success that he did last season. There's already change in effect for this weekend as freshman Khiry Cooper will start over Minelik Holt on Saturday. I hope that Shawn not only benches Holt, but Niles Paul as well. For the amount of hype that I have seen from this kid, with this being his first season to be the go-to-guy he has been downright unimpressive. Many times I see him half-assing plays because he knows its not going to him....and no question there is no excuse for his fumble last weekend. He needs a swift wake-up call that being a starter at Nebraska has to be earned, not given...and he hasn't earned a starting job in my eyes.

Fourth, the play of the tight ends. There's no questions Mike McNeil is very frustrated that he hasn't caught the ball as much as he did last season, but play from the WR core has to improve so teams can't just single him out. Right now teams don't respect Nebraska's WR's, so they key in on their TE's to make sure they can't catch the ball. Those TE's have been a focal part of this offense and they have to get back to using them effectively again. It creates nightmare matchups when you have to cover good WR's and a bunch of TE's. They have blocked well at times but not great. Nebraska has the best core of TE's in the Big 12 and they need to get back to finding a way to effectively use them again, meaning the WR's need to step up their game to allow these guys to get the favorable matchups with LB's that they need to get open downfield and make a few big plays that this offense has been unable to do the past few weeks.

Finally, the play of the quarterback. At times Zac Lee has played well but at times he has audible to plays that hurt the overall effectiveness of this offense. He has had some confidence issues now as the Husker Nation has emphatically made it known that they want Cody Green to start. That no doubt has taken an effect on Zac Lee but he did play better than last week against Iowa was just that his supporting cast didn't help him get touchdowns. Zac must go into the Baylor game with a new attitude that with new players playing WR that this team will officially change its attitude and start execution with a score points. If they can get back to that attitude that they had against VT, than good things are on the horizon for this offense.

OUTLOOK: No question the lack of this offenses ability to march down the field and score points has generated two ugly losses. With new guys getting a chance to play this weekend Shawn Watson looks for answers to many questions that have plagued this team the past two weeks. Ball security is the utmost priority this weekend as Nebraska can't go on the road and continue to fumble the ball and hope to win the game. There are flashy pieces there with Cooper and Robinson show casing their talent, but leader Niles Paul has to grow up and start playing like a man and not a pansy little boy. This team needs to get back to being nasty on the offensive line and must start running the ball effectively. That will in turn open up holes that WR must read to allow Zac to throw easy passes. No matter what happens the next few weeks, Nebraska must find a way to get its TE playmakers the ball and allow them to get into the open field and score touchdowns. I'm only a proponent of starting Cody Green if you feel that he can accurately make the right throws for this offense to be successful. He'll start next season when he's stronger and ready to command this offense...Zac must shake of his anxiety and get back to having fun out on the those things and Nebraska can turn the corner this season and get to the Big 12 Championship game.

2. Recruiting is in full swing but Nebraska isn't a regular on the trial right now. This class just picked up a nice 6-2, 200 pd wide receiver from California. He's having a great senior year and was only recruited by Washington State and the Huskers since he was injured last season. Nebraska has about 5-6 spots available in this class. I expect them to recruit a safety recruit of some kind, as well as another WR and few linemen. I think also that Nebraska will pass on a running back this season as they will be line to get the #1 running back in the country next year in Andrew Green. It's not a big year, but Nebraska is poised to have a huge year next year. When Moore spurns Florida to come to Nebraska, that's a nice victory that Nebraska can build on heading into the future. If you wanna get back to the elite, you have to out recruit the top programs in the country every year.

More tomorrow.....

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

October 27, 2009

As we inch closer to the end of the month and the end of October, Nebraska finds itself in a whole world of trouble.


1. Iowa State/Nebraska Grade Outs
2. My Top 25
3. Big 12 Rankings

1. What can you say about this game that hasn't already been said in the few days following what is an embarrassing lost to Iowa State. Nebraska clearly was the better team from a talent point but did the one thing you can't do to win games, turnover the football. Nebraska produced a whooping 8 turnovers in a very ugly 9-7 loss to the Cyclones on Saturday. To the Grade Outs.....

Offense: D-
Defense: A-

Offense: This is the lowest grade out of the season for this offense....again. In just a few short weeks Nebraska has simply regressed back on offense. The wheels have officially come off and this coaching staff must now pick up the pieces and put it back together with new parts. Nebraska keeps itself out of the F category only because they were able to do something they couldn't do against Texas Tech and that was move the football down the field. Critical turnovers inside ISU 6 yard line cost Nebraska a chance to score 35 points and blow out Iowa State. It was the first time I've ever been to a game where I was disgusted about losing to a team Nebraska clearly was better against. It's disheartening that Nebraska closed a few pages on its offensive issues but opened a bad bug on Saturday....the fumble bug. In 6 games this season Nebraska hadn't produced more than 2 turnovers in any game. They pumped out 8 on Saturday with a few being just awful fumbles. How does Niles Paul, your best wide receiver simply just fumble the ball inside the 5 yard line when running for a touchdown? It showed one thing...lack of focus....these guys simply didn't come out with focus and determination to pound the crap out of Iowa State. At times I saw WR's giving up on plays, making poor blocks, and not getting open. When an offense is struggling as bad as Nebraska has the past 2 weeks, you simply can't afford to half-ass it on the field. It's pathetic and I can speak for a vast majority of the Husker Nation that some change needs to happen that results in us scoring points. This team is headed down a very dark path if we continue to lean on our defense doing all the work to win games.

Defense: What can you say about the defense? They played great and kept Nebraska in the game to win it at any point, minus a blow coverage that left Eric Hagg on and island by himself that allowed ISU to score it's only touchdown...where was our great safeties to cover over the top. Mental breakdowns have killed 2 wins for this team. Suh blocked two huge field goals that cost Iowa State 4 points and really set up Nebraska's offense with a very simple task...get into field goal range. Nebraska did that, but a late interception from a ball off the hands of Gilleylen made any hopes of a dramatic win fall short. The pressing issue for this defense again is creating turnovers. Nebraska was unable to produce any when Iowa State was on offense but special teams played its tails off creating a chance for the Huskers to win. If we have learned anything these past few weeks it's that Nebraska has the best defense in the Big question...but probably has the league's worst performing offense.

2. My New Top 25 for the week of Oct. 25th

1. Florida (2)
2. Alabama (1)
3. Texas (3)
4. Cincinnati (4)
5. USC (5)
6. LSU (6)
7. TCU (8)
8. Oregon (9)
9. Oklahoma State (10)
10. Georgia Tech (11)
11. Pittsburgh (14)
12. Ohio State (17)
13. Penn State (13)
14. Utah (15)
15. Houston (18)
16. Virginia Tech (21)
17. West Virginia (22)
18. Miami (8)
19. California (UR)
20. Iowa (16)
21. Boise State (20)
22. South Carolina (UR)
23. Arizona (23)
24. Ole Miss (UR)
25. Central Michigan (UR)

Florida regains this week's top spot following Alabama's near lost to Tennessee this past weekend. Texas stays at 3....with Cincinnati, USC, and LSU staying at 4, 5, 6.....Miami drops out of the top 10 to 18 following a lost to Clemson this past weekend.....TCU, Oregon, OSU, and GT all round out this week's top 10. Iowa drops 4 spots remaining unbeaten but I'm unimpressed with a team that needed a last second touchdown to beat Michigan State...they were lethargic on offense until that last drive that won the game for them...they'll get beat...very soon. Four new teams crack the top 25 this week as Cal, South Carolina, Ole Miss, and the Chippewas are at 25 with a nice 7-1 record.

3. The Big 12 Rankings for week 9

1. Texas (7-0) (4-0)
A nice thrashing of Missouri on the road has gotten the critics subsided about the production of the Longhorn's offense. A huge test this weekend as Texas' puts its national championship aspirations on the line at Oklahoma State this weekend...the last true test for this team to remain undefeated.

2. Oklahoma State (6-1) (3-0)
The Cowboys are a quite team who simply just keeps winning games impressively and are looking very confident heading into this weekends showdown with the Longhorns.

3. Oklahoma (4-3) (2-1)
OU sent a message on Saturday...this team is still very talented without Sam Bradford. The development of Landry Jones will be key for the Sooners to salvage this season. K-State poses as a tasty development game for Jones.

4. Kansas State (5-3) (3-1)
K-State gets thrashed by Tech, then responds with 2 thrashings to A&M and Colorado....if they get thrashed by Oklahoma this they respond again and thrash their next two opponents?

5. Nebraska (4-3) (1-2)
The conferences best defense just can't get its offense to score a few more points for them....Nebraska is just 3 points away from being 6-1....than what are people saying about this team then...This is a must win game for the Huskers this weekend.

6. Kansas (5-2) (1-2)
After going 5-0 to start the season, back to back losses are starting to concern the Jayhawk faithful....this team showed one thing this past aint anywhere close to being in the same league with the elite of the Big 12 South.

7. Texas A&M (4-3) (1-2)
The Aggies may have saved Mike Sherman's job by beating up on Texas Tech last weekend. A follow up win this weekend is a must to show that this team is improving.

8. Iowa State (5-3) (2-2)
The Cyclones got a gift wrapped win from Nebraska on another game and the Cyclones go bowling courtesy of the Huskers.....who would of thought they would have made it to a bowl game at the beginning of the season.

9. Texas Tech (5-3) (2-2)
Mike Leach kinda wishes he didn't have to go through the injury bug like he has this season....that big win against Nebraska last week doesn't seem so glamorous now. A statement can be made at home against Kansas this Saturday though.

10. Missouri (4-3) (0-3)
In 3 games that Missouri had a chance to make a statement about how good this team could be..they fell flat on their face....this team has to regroup and try to win 2 more games to get bowl eligible but the Tiger faithful probably won't be happy with a low mid tier bowl game this season.

11. Baylor (3-4) (0-3)
The Bears have struggled mightily to score points on offense. That doesn't go well with the conferences best defense coming to town this weekend. My how the Bears would love to have Robert Griffin back now...this team is looking at a winless conference season if they can't spring the upset at home this weekend.

12. Colorado (2-5) (1-2)
You beat Kansas, then travel to K-State and do nothing on offense. What are the Tyler Hansen fans saying about him now? There are more issues with the Buffaloes now and getting the Tigers at home may help if you can get back to those winning ways that help upset Kansas last weekend.

Coming back tomorrow.......

Thursday, October 22, 2009

October 22, 2009

It's a busy week with just 3 days of class following Fall Break...I'll get a special early morning post up on Friday.


1. Nebraska's QB Controversy: Do We Even Have One?
2. Husker Volleyball
3. Big 12 Basketball Media Days

1. The hot topic this week has been should Nebraska make a quarterback change this week, as Zac Lee has struggled in the 3 games he's played against BCS teams. Here's my thoughts: You have to look long and hard at each kid and determine which player gives you the BEST chance to win the remaining games on your schedule. When given time Zac has shown the ability to make good throws and really hasn't allowed teams to pick him off. Cody is a tremendous talent, his feet and gun slinging arm give him abilities that Zac Lee really hasn't showed this season. The bottom line is Nebraska has to get back to running the ball aggressively. The lack of the running game has really hampered Nebraska's abilities to make big play action plays as teams just don't respect Nebraska's running game when Roy Helu isn't in the game. The offensive line absolutely has to improve in order to allow either one of our two QB's to have success. Their play has hampered drives, killed momentum, and forced Nebraska to play in more shotgun snaps than they probably would like to. If you gauged Bo Pelini's voice from the press conference on Tuesday it appears that Zac Lee will remain the starter for Nebraska. I dont question Zac's ability to read defenses and make the right pre-snap reads. The questions I have about him is h is ability to pull the trigger and react on impulse rather than thinking too much in the pocket. At times last week his body language showed that he was hesitant, and in Shawn Watson's offense you really just can't be hesitant in the pocket when trying to get the ball out. He also must show that he is willing to run for the first down. He really hasn't shown that on a 3rd and 5 that he's willing to tuck the ball and get the first down. In an offense that's young and going through some struggles you have to mentally make getting a first down your utmost priority. That means Zac must run the ball to keep critical drives alive.

I think that when it's all said and done after this weeks practice that we'll see Zac Lee come out and start the game this Saturday. I know its not what the Husker faithful wants to see, but if Zac can take his game to a whole new level, those critics will quickly be singing a different tune at the end of the Iowa State game. I think that he must show improvement in the first quarter. That's his time table to effectively drive Nebraska's offense and score TD's. If he comes out and struggles again, I'm looking for Cody Green to come out and finish the rest of the game. If he has a big game, he'll most likely remain the starter for the remainder of the season. Either way, this is a pivotal week for the offense to get back on track before traveling to Baylor next weekend. If your going to make a permanent change at QB, this is the week to do it...if we don't, we better all get prepared for what Zac will give us for the rest of the season.

2. The days of Husker Volleyball are getting darker these days. Nebraska lost miserably at home in 5 sets to Iowa State. It was the Cyclones first ever win over Nebraska. The former Nebraska setting star of Christy Johnson-Lynch has officially completed her rebuilding of Iowa State from a program that was the cellar of the Big 12 to arguably a contender for the title this season. Its been a masterful job by her and by no means am I taking away from what she did, but I did get a chance to watch the 3rd, 4th, and 5th sets of this game and came away with a few things.

First, Nebraska really isn't a great defensive team. Nebraska took a commanding lead winning set 3 and going up 2-1 on the match, but poor defensive execution allowed Iowa State to hit over .400 and climb back into the match and force a decisive set 5. Iowa State showed how great of a defensive team it can be limiting Nebraska to -.83...yes that's right NEGATIVE hitting in the 4th set. Nebraska just wasn't able to slide over and make great defensive plays in the game. No matter how you look at it, in all of Nebraska's 5 losses this season their defense has fallen apart. You can't make a deep run in the postseason without playing good defense...clearly this is a bigger issue for this volleyball team.

Second, Nebraska can't win long rallies. Nebraska got into a couple pivotal long rallies with Iowa State but mentally broke down and that fueled Iowa State's confidence to win the game. Nebraska at times look tired, out of position, and mentally drained. How you can do that at home is beyond me, you have the home court advantage, fire yourself up and fuel yourself to a win. When you look the way you did at home....its excuses about that.

Third, Who's the go to leader on this team? The answer: NO ONE. Nebraska has no go to player that can single handily take over a game for them when they need her too. Look at the great teams that Nebraska has had, each one had a go to girl that could dominate any team on the other side of the net. You have a great group of talented girls but nobody willing to step up and take over matches. Also, who's the real leader on the team? Who's the girl that when things get down gets in the huddle and yells "were not losing this one today"? Last year Jordan Larson made it a goal of hers to not only be a great all around player but a great leader. Nebraska has no leader in the huddle and thats very concerning at this point of the season. You need someone you can lean on in the postseason and Nebraska must figure that a hurry.

Fourth, Nebraska looks out of place when playing aggressive attacking teams. Many many times last night girls were out of place and simply not ready for high moving balls to come at them. Thats just pathetic when you think about how long these girls have played volleyball. Most probably their whole lives. Iowa State just dictated the entire game to Nebraska. They were on their heels and never were able to over take the aggressiveness that Iowa State came out with to start the game. Good teams will do that to you, and Nebraska simply has not had an answer for those kinda teams this season. It's sad to admit that but Nebraska just looks like a very average team this year.

OUTLOOK: There's no question that this team is giving John Cook headaches when he goes home at night. Their inconsistent play has cost Nebraska 5 games this year and Nebraska has lost 3 home games in one season for the first time since 1999. It's sad to see that at the end of this season, this young and very talented team would have ruined so many records that legends in this program worked so hard to built. If Nebraska doesn't learn how to get aggressive and mentally get tougher in matches, I expect them to not even get out of the first round of the NCAA tournament. This team has to learn to play better defense, learn to attack the holes, and quit making service errors. (Gina made a huge one in set 5, you were the national player of the year and the #1 volleyball recruit...time to start playing like it) Nebraska simply is outmatched against the elite this season.....If that doesn't get them angry...I don't know what else will...For those dye-hard volleyball fans, this appears to be a dark season for Husker Volleyball.

3. Big 12 Basketball Media Days
Doc Sadler stepped to the podium today and answered questions about this season's basketball team. Here's what he said:

Doc had a lot to say about the size of his team. He seemed a bit gasped that finally after a few years he finally has a few big guys that he can feed the ball too since the Alex Maric era ended a few seasons ago. Right now he's not happy with where his defense is right now but feels they can make strides to get to the great defensive teams the he has had at Nebraska (Doc has helped Nebraska finish in the top 5 in the conference in team defense the past 3 seasons).

Doc does feel that Nebraska will be competitive this season, but in a league that arguably is poised for its best year ever, it's hard for the coach to say that Nebraska can finish in the upper half of the Big 12. Doc does feel that Nebraska can beat a few people at the end of the year and hopefully surprise a few teams, but does realize that his young and inexperienced team will have to grow up very quickly for that to happen.

Doc did comment a lot about incoming freshman Brandon Ubel. He says that he really likes his size and that he has the potential to be a great player at Nebraska for four years. He's a big, thick, strong player that can really shoot the ball. Doc feels that he can be very good this season, but adds that he is a freshman and that he will have to go through the learning process that most freshman go through during the 16 game Big 12 grind. Doc feels that his big guys on the floor will prevent teams from driving the ball right at them like many teams did last season. It's still a work in progress but Doc feels that he has some of the right pieces in place to have a moderately successful season this year.

Coming back with a special morning State Cross Country post.....till then.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

October 20, 2009

Well after a hard-felt loss...we've come back with ooh soo much to talk about....


1. Texas Tech/Nebraska Grade Outs
2. Husker Press Conference
3. New Top 25
4. Big 12 Rankings

1. Nebraska went into Saturday's game with an opportunity to take another step in the right direction towards their goal of winning a Big 12 North title..especially since Kansas fell on the road to Colorado last weekend. We'll get to the grade outs soon but a drumming of 21 points at home to Texas Tech has a lot of Husker fans thinking that we are headed down the a path that ends with Nebraska losing 4 to 5 games this season. Nebraska took a monumental steps backwards on Saturday and left many Husker fans asking many questions about one side of the ball...the offense. To the Grade Outs:

Offense: D-
Defense: B

Offense: What can you say about the offense but that they single handily lost this game for Nebraska. There are now pressing questions for this offense such as why can't Nebraska rush the ball with authority anymore? Why does our offensive line continue to have mental breakdowns that kill scoring drives? Which backup running back is ready to shelter the load for a beat up Roy Helu? Who's the big play WR on our team that can single handily change the game? Which QB will start this Saturday? Why can't Zac Lee make timely throws when pressured in the pocket? As you can see my questions about the offense can pile up quickly. Am I a proponent that we need to start Cody Green on Saturday???...not exactly...and here's why....when it comes to being a good offense our team has to be able to run the ball effectively....Look at all the good teams in the Big 12 that have won the Big 12 title...they could run the ball effectively and at will. Nebraska must first shore up its offensive line problems before they invest on getting a new QB into the game...because if we can't protect that QB and open holes for him to wont matter who you put back in there...they still won't be effective. I do agree that if we continue to play Zac Lee he will have to get better at making decision quickly...he struggled on Saturday making quick reads and getting the ball out effectively.....I trust Shawn Watson's judgment on who should start..but if you go with the idea of making a QB change...this is the week to do it.

Defense: What can you say about the play of the defense...they allowed the #1 passing offense in the country to just 225 yards and only allowed 29 total yards of offense to Texas Tech in the second half. The coveted blackshirts were handed out on practice Monday...but the concerning issue was how Texas Tech ran the ball right at our defense late in the game to score another touchdown to officially put the game away. Another pressing issue was the defense inability to create a pivotal turnover when our offense was struggling as mightily as they were in the game. Creating turnovers and stopping the downhill running game will be keys to beating ISU this weekend as the Cyclones bring the best rushing offense in the Big 12 to Lincoln on Saturday. I think I speak for many Husker fans that don't want to see our defense play as well as they did on Saturday and lose by 21....but if they played completely lights out...they wouldn't have allowed 21 points to Tech.

2. I listened to the Husker Press Conference this afternoon and I came away impressed with a few things.

Bo: It's clear that Bo was unhappy with Nebraska's play on Saturday but reiterates the word that Nebraska must execute effectively every down if they are going to get back on track with the goals they have mapped out this season. Bo did comment that Roy is banged up and that he will practice today wearing a green no contact jersey to keep his shoulders healthy. Bo also commented on that he places his faith in Shawn Watson and that after looking at the tapes of practice and grading out both quarterbacks...the best grade out will start this Saturday.

Suh: It was clear that Suh knew about how good the defense played on Saturday but that it didn't result in a win and therefore to him meant nothing to him. He also commented a bit today about that this team will not become a divided team on who should start at QB and about the offense not doing their part to score points and win games. Suh looks at the offensive struggles at what happened last season when the defense was struggling and the offense was carrying the team...Suh looks at this situation as the defenses chance to carry the team till they get back on track...he was certain they would be able to in the next couple of weeks.

Zac: Zac fielded a lot of questions about decision making in the pocket, but said today that he felt that he got the ball out quickly on 3 and 4 step drops. He didn't comment on his lack of running out of the pocket when there is no one open and about his passing accuracy. He did say that he really didn't hear the boo's at him after a few bad series early in the 3rd quarter. He also commented that Cody and him come back to practice every week and compete their tails off together to start the next week. Looks like Zac has won every week...we'll see if he wins this week.

Cody: It was funny to see the true freshman a bit starry eyed today about being asked to sit in on the Husker Press Conference and field questions from the media. Cody did say that he got away with a few passes but not all of them as he talked about his INT that sealed the loss late in the 4th quarter. What you took away from what he said is that Cody will continue to stay in any role as long as this team keeps winning. He's a great competitor and did say once again that as of right now this is Zac's team and Zac's offense. He did talk about his growth as a QB from the time he started in the spring till now...he is comfortable with knowing a great deal of plays from 250 to 300...but feels that Zac knows more of the pre-snap reads than he does...By his tone it appears that they are seriously looking at him to start this weekend but early signs seem to be pointing to Zac.

3. The New Top 25 the week of Oct. 19th:

1. Alabama (1)
2. Florida (2)
3. Texas (3)
4. Cincinnati (6)
5. USC (5)
6. LSU (9)
7. Miami (9)
8. TCU (8)
9. Oregon (11)
10. Oklahoma State (17)
11. Georgia Tech (15)
12. BYU (12)
13. Penn State (13)
14. Pittsburgh (23)
15. Utah (22)
16. Iowa (21)
17. Ohio State (4)
18. Houston (18)
19. Texas Tech (UR)
20. Boise State (16)
21. Virginia Tech (7)
22. West Virginia (UR)
23. Arizona (UR)
24. Nebraska (10)
25. Kansas (20)

The top 2 remain the same with Texas moving back up to 3....Cincinnati is a big jumper over USC with a nice road win over South Florida...LSU rises 3 spots...with Oregon and Oklahoma State breaking the top 10 this week with nice wins on Saturday...GT moves up after beating Virginia Tech....Pitt jumps too with the shakedown of teams losing ahead of them...Iowa jumps following a nice win at Wisconsin.....Ohio State falls from 4 to 17 following a bad loss to Purdue...Texas Tech breaks the top 25 following its nice win over the Sker's.....Boise State drops following a near loss to Tulsa....VT drops from 7 to 21....Arizona comes in from the unranked crowd....Nebraska drops to 24 and KU is 25 but both teams must win impressively to stay in my top 25 next week.

4. Big 12 Rankings:

1. Texas (6-0) (3-0)
Texas stays atop because they are unbeaten but have one big game left against Oklahoma State on Halloween...rushing the ball effectively is still a concern with this team.

2. Oklahoma State (5-1) (2-0)
A beatdown of Missouri on Saturday has recharged this team that big goals written on the whiteboard at the beginning of the season are still within reach. Getting Texas and Texas Tech at home helps that cause.

3. Oklahoma (3-3) (1-1)
OU's defense keeps them in every game they have lost...but losing Sam Bradford for likely the season can't keep pending losses to Nebraska, Texas Tech, and possibly Kansas from happening. Winning out is OU's only way to salvage this season.

4. Nebraska (4-2) (1-1)
Nebraska's still has the best defense in the conference...but offensive woes have begun to blacken the outlook of this season.

5. Texas Tech (5-2) (2-1)
Texas Tech has favorable games at home and a big one still left on the road...Oklahoma State. This team can quietly make some noise in the Big 12 South...who would of thought after getting beat by Texas..

6. Kansas (5-1) (1-1)
Kansas defensive problems are likely going to provide Kansas with a mediocre season as losses to Nebraska, Texas, Oklahoma, and Texas Tech are imminent. Todd Reesing can't save them every game...think Mangino is rethinking his idea of using a 4-2-5 defense now.

7. Missouri (4-2) (0-2)
Has this team underachieved or are they just that bad??? It appears that this team leans too heavily on Gabbert's bum ankle...The image of this team can change beating Texas at home on Saturday.

8. Iowa State (4-3) (1-2)
The Cyclones broke a nice losing streak in the Big 12...but how well with they look on the road playing a vengeance hungry Nebraska team? Austin Arnaud is quietly having a breakout season for Iowa State.

9. Kansas State (4-3) (1-2)
A beatdown of Texas A&M gets the angry fans off Synder's back for another week. A loss to Colorado this weekend will almost certainly bring back those critics and gets the pressure back on his shoulders.

10. Baylor (3-3) (0-2)
The Bears are on a path to continue their non-bowl streak of 16 years....injuries have all but taken away what looked like a promising season...and the loss to Iowa State last week on the road has left a very sour taste to this season.

11. Colorado (2-4) (1-1)
The QB change could keep the fire Dan Hawkins supporters subsided only if they continue winning...all eyes will be on how well that new QB can play on the road this weekend at K-State.

12. Texas A&M (3-3) (0-2)
Things have gone from bad to ugly in just 2 weeks for the Aggies. The Aggies came into last weekends game as heavy favorites and left with a thrashing to probably one of the worst teams in the Big 12 North....0-8 in the conference appears likely this season...could we see a coaching and AD change at A&M like we saw at Nebraska last season???

Coming back tomorrow....

Thursday, October 15, 2009

October 15, 2009

Well I'm getting this one posted up a bit early...but the A-2 cross country district is calling my name today so I'll have no time to get this one we'll rock it out now....


1. Nebraska/Texas Tech Match-ups
2. Husker Basketball (Preseason Poll)
3. Around the Big 12 (Predictions)

1. Well its a big game this weekend, a pesky Texas Tech Red Raider team ventures to Lincoln fresh off their beat down of Kansas State last weekend. It's still unclear on exactly who will start for Mike Leach's team, but we can be expected to know that whoever starts at QB can certainly throw the's all that offense can really do. There's no question that this will be another challenge for the Huskers...Texas Tech posses a completely new set of problems and issues that our defense will have to be prepared for...I think that Nebraska can fully handle the challenge. On Offense this team will need to regroup and do what it did last year that nearly got them the biggest win for this program last season....control the time of do that effectively by running the ball...this is now a more pressing issue with the news that Rex Burkehead was most likely lost for the season due to his newly acquired broken foot. That offense of Texas Tech can't beat you if they are watching the game from the sidelines and I think we as Husker fans can all remember what happened 4 years ago the last time the Red Raiders came to Lincoln...I'm not diving into the past just the looking towards the future.

Key Matchups: It comes down to Defensive Line play vs. the massive size of Texas Tech offensive line...last week Nebraska was able to exploit how to effectively defend the spread simply need to get pressure with your front 4...that will be critical this weekend as allowing their QB to sit in the pocket and pick apart isn't exactly what Bo and his staff have in mind for the defense. On Offense it comes down to blocking Texas Tech LB's....last week our offensive line struggled mightily with the speedy shiftiness of Missouri's linebackers...Texas Tech brings a new group of backers with the same kind of speed and experience that bugged Nebraska last weekend....If you can effectively block their can create nice holes for those running backs to run through which thus controls the clock and keeps Texas Tech's offense off the field....

Prediction: I don't expect Nebraska to overlook Texas Tech with some of their newly acquired national image....Suh and his bandit of boys come out and set the tone'll be very difficult for you to score on this defense today...that leads to a 3 and out to start the game and thus ignites the offense to score on their first possession....Zac Lee feeds off the home crowd energy and leads Nebraska to multiple scoring drives that increase the pressure on the Red Raiders each time they have the ball thus causing them to throw a few interceptions...Nebraska wins on regional television...but that defense of Texas Tech keeps it respectable....35-21

2. The Husker Basketball season begins next month and today the preseason Big 12 rankings came out...Nebraska finds itself picked to finish at the bottom of the league this year at 11. Here's a breakdown of the preseason poll.

1. Kansas (11)
2. Texas (1)
3. Oklahoma
4. Kansas State
5. Texas A&M
6. Oklahoma State
7. Missouri
8. Iowa State
9. Texas Tech
10. Baylor
11. Nebraska
12. Colorado

-Kansas received 11 first place votes with Texas getting 1...hmmmm I wonder who voted for them???

I think that the coaches are all caught up in the hype of Kansas...yes they are good and yes they probably will come out as everyone's preseason #1 team...but look at where Nebraska 11 I feel that Nebraska will definitely beat some teams with their new look athletic team....I feel that Missouri and Iowa State are grossly over-rated...but some research will need to be a few weeks I'll unveil my preseason Big 12 Standings....I think that Nebraska will end up finishing higher and has the potential for the first time in a few seasons to finish in the upper half of the Big 12. Oh gotta love the clever fella who ever thought of the preseason poll...More to come on this in the next few weeks.

3. We go around the Big 12 today and breakdown this weekend's matchups....I went 6-0 last week in the first official week of the Big 12....let's see if I can continue my perfect streak.
Here's this weekends games:

Baylor @ Iowa State
Kansas @ Colorado
Texas Tech @ Nebraska
Texas A&M @ Kansas State
Missouri @ Oklahoma State
Oklahoma @ Texas (Dallas)

Its a bigger week in the Big 12 than last weekend...big matchups are on the schedule this weekend with the annual Red River Rivalry in Dallas with Texas and Oklahoma...the other intriguing matchup is Missouri traveling to Stillwater to face Oklahoma State...There are other good matchups too as Colorado looks to get off the losing ways when they host KU and Baylor looks to get its only win on the road again when they go to Iowa State....
The breakdown comes from Colorado and KU...the Buffaloes proved that they weren't afraid of anyone...they went toe to toe with Texas but crucial turnovers cost them a shot to get a much needed win and get their season back on track...KU showed that it's defense has a long long way to go if they are going to be taken as a serious contender for the Big 12 North...this game has the makings to be a good one...I might tune into watch...
Picks: Iowa State, Colorado, Nebraska, Texas A&M, Missouri, Texas
(Priming for a big statement from the Big 12 North)

Last Week's Record: 6-0

Enjoy the weekend....Go to the Game...Cheer Loud...Celebrate...and as always GO BIG RED!!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

October 14, 2009

Well on another wet and cold day....I come back to spread the good word...


1. Rex Burkehead broken foot...what does it all mean?
2. Big 12's new Bowl Agreement
3. Husker Tid-Bits

1. If you haven't heard yet...Rex Burkehead broke his foot in practice and is probably expected to miss the remainder of the season. I'd be surprised if he got back on the field this season...I don't know the extent of the broken bone...Bo Pelini commented at yesterday's press conference just saying that the talented freshman running back would miss a great deal of time. It's a shame this had to happen and really when you look at it..this is the first impact injury that Nebraska will have to endure. What does this mean for the team now??? The coaches have expressed that they aren't worried about finding a replacement for Burkehead. Guys like Collins Okafor, Lester Ward, Marcus Mendoza, Dontrayevous Robinson, and Austin Jones will get strong looks to replace what is probably the single most important position on this team. It's a shame that Nebraska has to endure this kind of injury to a kid that was beginning to show that the future at RB was a bright we have to settle for someone who really hasn't played all that much...I'm not worried about the talent of the backup we choose, just his ability to visual see where he needs to go with the ball. If you have seen the great running backs in the game, they have awesome vision...that vision was something that Marlon Lucky never developed at Nebraska..but he certainly had the skills to be great. It will be key that Nebraska continues to use the #2 back in running plays so our offense doesn't become susceptible to defense knowing what play we are going to run. I don't expect Shawn Watson to become that black and white, but I do feel that and emergence of a #2 guy in the next 2-3 weeks is critical if Nebraska wants to have a chance to win the Big 12 North and beat Oklahoma. I'll specifically grade out the #2 backs performance after the game Saturday.

2. The Big 12 has officially inked a new bowl agreement that will shake up the pecking order for how teams go to which bowl games. Gone is the Big 12 ties to the Gator Bowl, Independence, and Sun bowls. The new pecking order is this:
1. BCS Automatic Bid (Fiesta Bowl or BCS Title Game)
2. Cotton Bowl vs. SEC
3. Alamo Bowl vs. PAC-10
4. Insight Bowl vs. Big-10
5. Holiday Bowl vs. Pac-10
6. Texas Bowl vs. Big-10
7. New York Bowl vs. Big-10

The winner of this new agreement has to be the Alamo Bowl who drops the slow 10 opponent and now gets to pick 3rd and get the better Big 12/Pac-10 matchup that the Holiday bowl use to pull. The loser of this has to be the Holiday Bowl who now falls to #5 in the new order and thus gets their usual matchup but probably won't be as glamorous as some of their previous matchups have been in the past. It's a shame that the Gator Bowl fell out of the new agreement, I liked it and liked the chance to face an ACC team every now and then too. I also call it a win that the Big 12 got out of the Independence Bowl in crappy was becoming the lower game that nobody really wanted to travel to. The Big 12 teams that make these bowl games are set to make 33% more than the old contract bowl games. This new bowl format will go into effect in the 2010 season.
This year's bowl order is this: BCS Game, Cotton, Holiday, Alamo, Sun, Insight, Independence, and Texas.

3. Husker Tid-bits today:
The National Spotlight has been turned onto one man at Nebraska: Ndamukong Suh....but you won't find Suh buying into all the hype and the attention...he's still focused on beating the next opponent...teammates commented yesterday at the press conference that Suh really doesn't know how to celebrate and that he does his job..makes a play...and begins to focus on the next play...very humble to know that our best player really is all stary eyed about being in the spotlight...Suh for Heisman..why not right?

Pelini is expecting the offense to bounce back and have a big game this weekend against Texas Tech...he feels that they have prepared and excellent gameplan....and are hungry to execute it...I hope he's right because Tech will bring a decent defense this weekend with very good LB play...if Nebraska bounces back at home like they did after VT...I expect a tough night for the Red Raiders.

The number of passes that Nebraska attempted against Missouri late in the second and third quarters were audibles made by Zac Lee......Shawn Watson stated yesterday that he had called running plays and that Zac made the right reads to audible to passing plays....kinda hope he continues to do that and that our WR's catch those audible pass plays or else converting 3rd and longs will remain awfully difficult for this team.

Jacob Hickman came out yesterday and stated that the struggles on offense last week through 3 quarters weren't all Zac Lee's comes down to execution which we simply weren't doing a great job early in the game...Hickman is a very vocal leader on that offensive line...I expect him to continue to get his offensive line group to raise their play every week..we'll see if they can rebound nicely and do that Saturday.

Key Matchups tomorrow and predictions.....GBR!!!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

October 13, 2009

As promised I've returned again for 3 great days of blogging....we'll do it up today, Wednesday, and Thursday this week...and get back to the regular schedule.....


1. Blackshirts...When Is The Right Time To Hand Them Out?
2. My Top 25
3. Big 12 Rankings

1. After Nebraska's dominating performance defensive against Missouri...most fans would have expected to see Bo Pelini hand out the coveted "blackshirts" to his starting defense on Monday. That was no such case...when asked when the team would be receiving them...Bo responded with "Next Question". This has become a more pressing question and topic than what the team is doing to prepare for a very good and competitive Texas Tech team this weekend. What is my opinion.....honestly yes I believe that they have earned the right to wear them, but Bo has a very specific idea on when his team has earned them...and in his eyes they haven't done that. I think it'll take not just one aspect of the defense having a dominating game but all 11 guys will have to dominate together. When that happens and they get'll mean that much more to those guys. We all need to just quit asking the head coach and turn our attention to real pressing issues with this team like what corrections on offense are going to be made this week, how's Roy's health, what schemes is Nebraska working on for Texas Tech defensively....I think those are better questions to probe Bo Pelini for then asking when the team gets their blackshirts. I think that if they play a complete game against Texas Tech...he'll have no choice but to hand them out in practice next week....just have patience and when the team has earned them....they'll get them.

2. My New Top 25 for the week of Oct. 11th

1. Alabama (2)
2. Florida (1)
3. Ohio State (4)
4. Texas (3)
5. USC (6)
6. Cincinnati (5)
7. Virginia Tech (10)
8. LSU (9)
9. Miami (11)
10. Nebraska (12)
11. Oregon (13)
12. BYU (17)
13. Penn State (18)
14. South Florida (23)
15. Georgia Tech (20)
16. Boise State (15)
17. Oklahoma State (8)
18. Houston (UR)
19. South Carolina (UR)
20. Kansas (14)
21. Iowa (19)
22. Utah (UR)
23. Pittsburgh (UR)
24. Oklahoma (22)
25. Wisconsin (24)

There's a shake up at the top this week as I feel that Alabama played better on the road then Florida and thus earns this week's top spot.....Ohio State jumps over Texas for their impressive home thumping of Wisconsin...USC rises over Cincinnati and has a big test at Norte Dame this weekend...VT rises 3 spots to 7, while LSU rises 1 to 8 following a tough loss to the Gators...I came away impressed with their team especially that just wore out......Nebraska cracks the top 10 for the first time following a shaky offensive game but a great defense effort at Missouri...Oregon rises to 11, followed closely by BYU, Penn State, South Florida who will be tested by #6 Cincinnati on Thursday...Georgia Tech rises to 15 beating a pesky FSU team on the road....Boise State drops to 16 and probably will remain there due to the weakness of their conference.....Oklahoma State drops from 8 to 17 due to their lousy 5 point win over A&M..and the panic button is starting to hit when Missouri comes to town this weekend....Houston and South Carolina break the top 25 this week with good showings although the Gamecocks almost lost to Kentucky...another 2 point win like that and they'll drop next week.....Kansas and Iowa both drop due to poor showings at home that got W's...both teams are over rated in most polls and have a lot to prove to me before they move up.....Iowa plays at Wisconsin this weekend....Utah and Pittsburgh crack my top 25 this week...OU drops because I was unimpressed with their 4 field goals to beat Baylor at home...and Wisconsin drops to 25 with a crushing loss to Ohio State...they can look to move up with a statement win over Iowa on Saturday.

3. My Big 12 Rankings

1. Texas (5-0) (2-0)
The Longhorns walked out of the Colorado game with many questions with their running game...would they have won that game without Jordan Shipley...I don't think so...the Red River Rivarly comes a calling on Saturday with a statement needing to be made by this team.

1. Nebraska (4-1) (1-0)
Nebraska has proved 1 thing in it's first conference game...their defense is arguably the best in the Big 12...Offensive problems continue to plague this team on the road....corrections need to be made but a statement can be made at home this weekend against Texas Tech that this team is a serious contender for the Big 12 title.

3. Oklahoma (3-2) (1-0)
Sam Bradford returned this week, but proved that he's not totally healthy and his young receivers had trouble catching the ball....OU needs a win badly against Texas to prove to nay-sayers that this team is still the team to beat in the Big 12.

4. Oklahoma State (4-1) (1-0)
Lose this weekend to Missouri at home and the wheels on this bus will begin to fall off...they are already shaky from last weeks 5 point win at A&M....the team picked last in the Big 12 South....Mike Gundy needs playmakers healthy and people to step up with the loss of Dez Bryant...something that this team probably won't get over this season.

5. Missouri (4-1) (0-1)
The Tigers defense wore out in the 4th quarter but Blaine Gabbert showed that he can move the ball when he doesn't turn it over....A statement of this team's abilities and some "respect" can be gained by winning at OSU this weekend.

6. Kansas (5-0) (1-0)
The lowest ranked undefeated team in the rankings has pressing issues on defense...Kansas can't win games with Todd Reesing having career like numbers against teams like Texas, OU, Tech, and Nebraska...4 losses are imminent if corrections can't be made...a dangerous game awaits them at Colorado this weekend.

7. Texas Tech (4-2) (1-1)
Tech went into K-State and proved one thing...Mike Leach can make any quarterback look good because of his system...that would explain o so much that Graham Harrell went undrafted last season...eliminating turnovers is a must if the Red Raiders hope to continue their winning streak against Nebraska.

8. Texas A&M (3-2) (0-1)
Good teams beat distraught teams at home...and the Aggies didn't do that....a trip to K-State can get them to .500 in the conference...but that won't be near as impressive unless you can beat teams from your own division.

9. Iowa State (3-3) (0-2)
Think Iowa State wins if they convert their fourth down play at KU...I do..the Cyclones have a great offense with Robinson and Arnaud...but that won't equate to wins unless that defense can learn to stop somebody...didn't Paul Rhoads coach defense at Auburn...time to get those tricks out of the bag coach.

10. Baylor (3-2) (0-1)
I think Baylor upsets OU if Griffin plays but young inexperience at QB ultimately doomed them. OU's fast defense forced the Bears into predictable plays that the Sooners defense created turnovers...can't turnover the ball and win....The Bears return to the only place in the Big 12 they have been able to win on the road...Iowa State

11. Kansas State (3-3) (1-1)
Bill Snyder has loads to redo with this team...getting blown out by Texas Tech shows that this team is headed for the bottom of the Big 12....think he'd like to retire this week if they get throttled by Texas A&M at home...he might not but that KSU faithful might start questioning his return if they lose ugly again.

12. Colorado (1-4) (0-1)
Cody Hawkins lost his starting Dan Hawkins awaits his unemployment at the end of the season...beating Kansas this week would be huge to getting some lost confidence back that Texas' Jordan Shipley took from them...going home is always better then regrouping with a road game.

Back Tomorrow....GO BIG RED!!!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

October 10, 2009


Here's what we learned this weekend:

Iowa stays unbeaten but is still overrated...grossly
-The Hawkeyes used a national televised game to squeak by Michigan 30-28. Iowa forced 5 turnovers to get the W...hmmm you need 5 turnovers to win by 2....sooner or later this teams woes on offense will come up to rear their ugly head....I'm sensing all wont be good at all at Wisconsin next weekend.

Florida remains unbeaten and man looked good doing it
-Tim Tebow got the baby mits put on him he really wasn't allowed to punish teams with his running like he has done in their previous games. LSU is a team with a good defense but their offense struggled against the athletic defensive line of the Gators....Florida now has very winnable games left on it's schedule...I guess South Carolina on the road looks to be the toughest game left.

Texas and Oklahoma can officially play the excuse "we were looking ahead"
-Oklahoma struggled in the red zone mightily producing 4 field goals instead of touchdowns. Sam Bradford look decent but rusty after being sidelined since week 1 and now might have a lingering knee problem. This defense was susceptible again to big plays to Baylor but produced turnovers when needed to spirit the offense to a few late touchdowns.
-While Texas used 14 special teams and defensive points to blow out Colorado at home. After this weekend I'm not impressed with either of these teams....I officially think Texas is over-rated as the same bugs that plagued Texas in their first conference game came up again tonight....Colorado has been a team struggling and Texas really should of flexed it's muscles and handled Colorado early...being down 14-10 at halftime to a team 1-3 isn't material that keeps you #2. Colt...the nation's most efficient passer had only 1 passing touchdown tonight and 2 turnovers...

If Defense wins championships.....Kansas has no chance to win one this season
-Kansas defeated Iowa State 41-36 and needed a fourth down stop to secure a win. The troubling stat in this game is the Kansas defense who gave up 551 yards of total offense to...Iowa State....what gonna happen when they play Texas, Texas Tech, and Oklahoma this season....3 losses are imminent to these teams with a fourth to Nebraska if Kansas continues to give up huge chunks of yards to pitiful teams. The Colorado game next week becomes a very intriguing game.

Alabama just continues to win....impressively and Ole Miss was just overrated
-The Crimson Tide just whipped Ole Miss today on the road 22-3. The Tide's defense produced 5 turnovers and game Jevan Snead all kinds of nightmares in the pocket....Alabama is the only threat to stopping Florida from being undefeated at the end of the year and making the national championship game....and I think they can beat them.
-Ole Miss just continues to fall....from once being in the top 5...they are likely out of the top 25 and now are out of the SEC title's a shame...this was suppose to be a break out year for them....and probably won't happen again for quite some time.

Nebraska is officially the most underrated team in the country
-The Cornhuskers were called out today by Todd McShay who sang praises for Nebraska Defense who just manhandled Blaine Gabbert on Thursday night...when their offense is clicking this team is really really good...think Nebraska has 1 Virginia Tech ranked in everyone's top 1 point and they are 24....I think they are under looked but soon everyone will know how good this team is.....especially their defense

The Big 10 is Ohio States to lose....
-Wisconsin learned something today about Ohio State...they have the best defense in the conference. Tolzen may have passed for 250 yards but produced no touchdowns and was picked off twice...Ohio State needs to figure out how to get super start Terrell Pryor on a roll and this team has the makings of getting back to a BCS bowl game....again

Auburn learned the hard way must show up every week
-The Tigers fell apart today and simply forgot to show up in Arkansas on both sides of the ball. Ryan Mallett torched the Tigers for 274 yards through the air but the Tigers gave up 221 yards on the ground....its simple you must stop the run on the road to win...they didn't and their offense didn't help them....they went 3 and out waaaay to much today to help them...add it up and it spells a 21 blowout.

Oklahoma State held on....and has a lot of problems
-Texas A&M took the Cowboys to the wire today but a late touchdown by OSU sealed the win and put the game out of reach for the Aggies to spring the upset. The offense just didn't look the same without Dez Bryant and Kendal Hunter....the panic button in Stillwater is slowly starting to get pressed, the defense can't stop anybody and the offense is having trouble scoring.....sounds to me like losses are forthcoming for the Cowboys....OU, Texas, Tech, Misery...are all waiting for their shot.

If Oregon wins the Pac-10...Chip Kelly should win Coach of the Year
-The Ducks just keep on winning with good defense and special teams. Who would of thought this team would be 5-1 after getting beaten down by Boise State to start the year....all eyes will be on them Halloween when USC comes to town....

Enjoy the weekend....coming back on Tuesday.....

Friday, October 9, 2009

October 9, 2009

Well blogging after a W is always easy and nice....I got a good line up today so lets dive in.....


1. Nebraska/Misery Breakdown (Grade Outs)
2. What does this W mean for Nebraska?
3. Around the Big 12

1. Well I came close to calling the final score but man it sure didn't look like it for 3 quarters last night. Nebraska needed to pressure Gabbert all night...they did, Nebraska needed to create turnovers to win...they did, Nebraska needed to run the ball effectively on the road....they didn't...but still used a blitz-streak of 27 points to bury the Tigers in the fourth quarter and walk out of Faurot Field with a win for the first time since Eric Crouch won the Heisman....the conditions made it a mental game that simply the Tigers just couldn't keep up with in the fourth quarter. Gabbert was finally forced to make smart decisions with the game on the line and he crumpled under pressure. Nebraska flexed it's muscles and won 27-12 in front of a national audience last night. To the Grade Outs:

Offense: C
Defense: A+

There's no question the defense has earned their blackshirts this week. They played flawless and gave up NO touchdowns...go back and look at the replay...Gabbert was short of the goal line at the end of the first half (and we have replay to look back at it...make the right call).....They forced Gabbert to make poor throws, they picked him off twice...and made him run for his life in the pocket all night. That's how you defend the Spread Offense...all you need is a dominate defensive line to create pressure and solid coverage behind them. Nebraska put on a clinic defensively....they sent a very much needed message to the Big 12 the Nebraska's defense is fast, vicious, and very very good.

Offensively the grade might seem a bit lower for most people considering we did win...but look at how poorly the offense executed for 3 took a blown coverage play to spark Zac Lee to 3 TD's passes. The troubling thing about the offense was their inability to run the football early in the game to establish the tempo of the game. They started out with a couple of nice runs, but it seemed like Shawn Watson and his staff abandoned the power running game early in favor of the short passing game. This is troubling because Nebraska needs to be able to run the ball with authority on the road and last night they simply did not do that until late in the fourth quarter. Nebraska struggled mightily last night blocking Missouri's linebackers, giving Zac time to throw the ball, picking up the blitzes. These errors must be fixed because honestly Missouri is a decent defense but not a great one...Oklahoma will bring a great defense to Lincoln next month...and getting those mistakes corrected now is a must if the Huskers want to continue to win. Nebraska really won't be able to practice that running the ball "at you" mentality it needs to on the road until it plays Baylor...then you get Kansas two weeks after that for what ultimately could decide the Big 12 North this season.....No matter how you look at it....Nebraska lost a valuable opportunity to grow on offense on the road...they went back after blowing out Lafayette at home....corrections need to be made and players need to step up...or a loss on the road will become inevitable for this team. On a brighter note though...the offense did do something it didn't do at Virginia Tech and that was score TD's...instead of 5 FG's the Husker's pounded out 4 TD's for the victory....they made a step up to closing out the game but still have a lot of work to do.

2. What Does This W Mean For Nebraska?
This was a very interesting question that I pondered over last night and this morning....and here's my take on that:
This win no doubt gives Nebraska the inside track to winning the Big 12 North as you have to expect that KU will likely lose 2 games from Oklahoma, Texas, or Texas Tech. That means that a single loss in the conference gives Nebraska it's first Big 12 North title since 2006. The message was sent loud and clear to the teams in the Big 12 North...our defense is good...very good. They will no doubt keep Nebraska in every game this season and it will take a lot to break them to beat this team. (Look at VT's 2 miracle plays that beat the Huskers).....if you pride yourself on defense wins championships than I think that Nebraska has the makings of the best defense in the Big 12....Oklahoma has the next best but they have been exposed by speed and misdirection and have been worn down by the teams that beat them.....That doesn't bode well for Texas who I feel might be the best team in the conference but with the leagues 5th best D. Remember how Texas Tech's defense reeked havoc for Colt McCoy for most of the night......

Nationally....the win was huge to establish that Nebraska is getting back to beating teams it just simply needs to be beating every year....Sorry K-State, Iowa State, KU, and Missouri...Nebraska needs to beat you guys every year...their program is better...their tradition is richer...and their talent is better...I don't expect Nebraska to get much love from the pollsters this weekend but keep winning impressively with this defense and it will become harder and harder for them to keep Nebraska out of the top 10 by the time Nebraska travels to KU.

Nebraska made a statement last night....this program is on the right track and making progress...faster than it's counterparts want it too.....hope you guys enjoyed your time in the spotlight....get use to being in Nebraska's shadow.......again....because they are coming back...

3. Lets preview this weeks games around the Big 12
Baylor @ Oklahoma
Iowa State @ Kansas
Oklahoma State @ Texas A&M
Colorado @ Texas
Kansas State @ Texas Tech

The biggest game on this slate has to be OSU and Texas A&M, it'll be interesting to see how the Cowboys offense looks without Kendall Hunter (out with an injury) and Dez Bryant (suspended for the rest of the season)...this will really test Zac Robinson...I'll be watching to see if he really is the upper tier Big 12 quarterback that everyone thought he was or was just a product of the talent around him. I'll be looking to see if the Aggies can seize this opportunity and get a much needed upset win, to put the horrors away from last weekend's beatdown by Arkansas.
My Picks: Oklahoma, Kansas, OSU, Texas, Texas Tech

It's been a very great week of blogging...big games this weekend...coming back on Saturday for a special what we learned about the day blog like last'll be the last one this season as Nebraska gets back to battling on Saturday's. Till Tomorrow.....Skocz Out!!!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

October 8, 2009

Well its a bit amazing what 24 hours will do...I'm feeling much better and the blogging must continue today....


1. Nebraska/Misery Breakdown
2. Husker Volleyball
3. Headlines

1. Tonight marks the beginning of the Big 12 season for both teams tonight. Husker fans know that history hasn't been on Nebraska's side when they have traveled to Missouri. It's been since 2001 since Nebraska went to Columbia and pulled out a win...that was Crouch's Heisman year and Nebraska's last national championship game.....Eight years have passed by while Nebraska has allowed this team to whip it like your bad aunt's child every time they've gone there. There's no doubt that tonight's atmosphere will be rowdy and loud as Husker fans know that Missouri never really rolls out the red carpet in hospitality when they come to town. My past experiences there have been nothing short of awful and I expect nothing less tonight...I'm not personally going tonight but will make contact with people that are going to see how badly they were treated this year. You know what shuts them up pretty quick.....a beatdown. To the keys of the game...

Keys of the Game: Nebraska needs a better start on the road than they did against Virginia Tech...the weather tonight appears to be pitiful with rain expected most of the entire game. The keys tonight are simple...the team that can effective run the ball in the poor weather controls the clock and thus dictates the tempo of the game. Another key will be the pressure created by Nebraska's defensive lineman. If they can reek havoc for Gabbert, that allows Nebraska to drop it's LB's in coverage and keep the plays in front of them....I expect Gabbert to become frustrated for the first time this season...and when a young QB becomes frustrated they tend to force balls...thus creating turnovers. If Nebraska can force Gabbert to push the ball where he's not suppose to and get could be a long night for the Tigers.

Prediction: For those of you who have been talking with me for the past few prediction is bold but I do feel the team can live up to it tonight. Tonight Nebraska embarks on another step in the direction it needs to do to establish itself as a national power. With 2 weeks to prepare Bo Pelini has learned about the mistakes he made last year which cost him a shot to upset the Tigers at home last season....Nebraska comes out tonight running the ball effectively with the conference's best rusher....Missouri hasn't faced a more well balanced team all season...their defense will tire in the 4th quarter and giving up points will force Gabbert to push his offense in the endzone each time he gets on the field. Sacks, fumbles, and INT's I expect will happen as Gabbert walks away from this game learning a hard felt lesson...don't ever snub Nebraska for Misery...ever....Nebraska trounces the Tigers tonight 38-10

2. Husker Volleyball puts up another nice victory last night sweeping Kansas to raise their record to 4-2 in the conference. They are starting to look better but the service errors are still an ongoing issue for this team. Some freshman need to grow up and get the ball in'd be disappointing to see records fall this season from simply not getting the ball into play....I'd like to see how they play at Texas later in the year.

3. Huge headlines come out yesterday as Dez Bryant is indefinitely suspended by the NCAA for lying to officials about his involvement with Deion Sanders. There's only one word to describe this...STUPID.....why in the world would you lie to the NCAA about this and expect them not to discover the truth.....this dooms the Cowboy's chances at winning the Big 12 South this season as I don't expect them to have the balance they had against Georgia to make a serious run at a South Title. It'll be interesting to see if Mike Gundy has the talent behind Bryant to bounce back from this huge loss...Tim Griffin of ESPN now expects them to get upset by A&M this weekend...either way the lesson is simple...dont lie about something you did....because the NCAA will ALWAYS find out....STUPID Bryant...have fun watching the rest of the season before the NFL draft....

Coming back Tomorrow.... GO BIG RED!!!!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

October 7, 2009

Well I'm on my death bed literally today....and feeling really under the weather so apologies are out for not getting a blog written yesterday.


1. How Valid are the Polls?
2. My New Top 25
3. Big 12 Rankings

1. An interesting question is now beginning to be raised about the validity of the polls. If you take a look at them they account for 2/3 of the BCS formula, and we all can tell that clearly everyone has an opinion about every team. Take a good look at this week's AP top 10...see any teams that clearly don't belong on that list. I can name a few....the problem is that everyone has an opinion or a bias towards a certain university. Look at how Nebraska nearly dropped out of the top 25 when they lost by 1 point to VT, and how Missouri who didn't play last week vaulted 5 spots to 18 in the coaches poll. A new system is going to have to be mapped out to tackle this problem. I never had any problem putting the system into the hands of the computers because they are unbias...they simply take the outcomes of the games, and chug out their own top 25. This issue will become a bigger one for Nebraska in a few season when they are making a National Championship run....Bo Pelini will have to campaign and plead with voters to vote for his team....or like before Nebraska will get ousted out. It's pathetic that we have allowed so much politics into the sport....people should just vote based on what they saw on the field...period. Leave your crappy bias and opinions at the door.

2. My new Top 25 this week...with last week's rankings

1. Florida (1)
2. Alabama (2)
3. Texas (3)
4. Ohio State (4)
5. Cincinnati (9)
6. USC (12)
7. TCU (8)
8. Oklahoma State (7)
9. LSU (5)
10. Virginia Tech (10)
11. Miami (25)
12. Nebraska (14)
13. Oregon (17)
14. Kansas (18)
15. Boise State (13)
16. Auburn (UR)
17. BYU (21)
18. Penn State (23)
19. Iowa (15)
20. Georgia Tech (22)
21. Mississippi (20)
22. Oklahoma (6)
23. South Florida (24)
24. Wisconsin (UR)
25. Stanford (UR)

The top 4 remain unchanged from last week.....Cincinnati moves up following a poor road win by LSU and Oklahoma losing (the Sooners are 22 in my poll)....USC moves up after thrashing Cal and the Bears fall out of the top 25 with 2 horrible beatdowns.....TCU moves ahead of OSU....followed by LSU and VT to round out my top 10....Miami rises to 11 after beating OU and taking it to them late in the fourth quarter.....Nebraska rises up to 12 as teams ahead of them lost...Oregon moves up after thrashing Wash. State.....KU makes a jump up 4 spots too....Boise State drops 2 spots after another dismal performance against their weak conference opponents....(still not impressed with them)......Auburn jumps to 16 after being unranked after beating Tennessee on the road.....BYU rises 4 spots...Penn State rises after a gutsy road win which took them the 4th quarter to blow Illinois out.....Iowa drops due to a poor 3 point win over Arkansas State...GT rises following a W over Miss. State....South Florida rises 1 spot to make way for Wisconsin and Stanford breaking my Top 25.

3. Big 12 Rankings:

1. Texas (1-0) (4-0)
A bye week has served well to prepare for not overlooking Colorado before next week's showdown with Oklahoma.....I expect a Buffalo Beatdown....

2. Oklahoma State (3-1)
The Cowboys move up after their bye week and are fully prepared for Texas A&M this weekend......Getting key players healthy is top priority before the Texas showdown on Halloween.

3. Nebraska (3-1)
Going to Missouri is a hard test to start the conference season....but win....and win impressively and teams in the Big 12 North might think Nebraska is back in Bo's second season.

4. Kansas (4-0)
Playing Iowa State isn't no easy task....ask the Jayhawks how they were down by 20 at halftime last season. I expect a blowout for KU this weekend.

5. Oklahoma (2-2)
Without Robert Griffin, Baylor isn't near as scary as they likely would have been this week.....Losing 2 one point games has Bob Stoops thinking of where his National Championship team has gone....shooing the injury bug is a must if the Sooners want to win another Big 12 Title.

6. Missouri (4-0)
Missouri's Blaine Gabbert leads the conference and country in passing efficiency in the second half.....I expect frustration to rear it's ugly head against Nebraska as the Tigers arguably face their toughest defense to date.

7. Texas Tech (0-1) (3-2)
Thrashing New Mexico didn't right the whisper bug floating around the Red Raider's program....Carter gets suspended and now he's back....Pott's has a concussion and now he's better....looks like Leach is pulling out all the stops this season to keep his seniors happy.

8. Baylor (3-1)
No Robert Griffin...No problem...the Bears did admirable against a mediocre opponent in Kent State....we'll see how well that back up plays at OU this weekend....could get ugly.

9. Texas A&M (3-1)
The Aggies walked out of their game with Arkansas with more questions than answers... as getting trounced by a mid level SEC team doesn't ever look good....protecting Jerrod Johnson is key if the Aggies want to go bowling this season...Where has that pass rush gone???

10. Kansas State (1-0) (3-2)
A 1 point win over Iowa State should have Bill Synder thinking that this Big 12 Season is going to be a long one...

11. Iowa State (0-1) (3-2)
The snide that Iowa State has had on it's back just won't go away...the Cyclones only winnable game in the conference.... is Colorado at home on Nov. 14th

12. Colorado (1-3)
Things are just getting ugly for the Buffaloes, 2 games are winnable for them in the conference...Kansas State and Iowa State.....and a 1-5 start is likely going into the Kansas State game.

Coming back tomorrow.....

Saturday, October 3, 2009


On the Husker's bye-week I decided to do a special blog about today's games....

What We Learned on October 3, 2009:

Oklahoma is suspect when on the game is on the line....
-Oklahoma went into tonight's game with Miami ready to make a statement after a bye week. Landry Jones played well, only fumbling the ball once, but the real story coming out of this game is the defensive breakdowns that allowed Miami to score 3 touchdowns and get critical first downs at the end of the game to seal a Cane win. Oklahoma also was manhandled by Miami's defensive line, clearly OU's OL problems could produce 2 more losses for the Sooners this year.

Norte Dame is the worst team winning each week....
-Again Norte Dame won an ugly game today against Washington in overtime. If the Irish continue to win and get back to 10 wins they'll get a BCS bowl game this season and get trounced by any team they'd see there. USC comes calling in 2 weeks and a beat down for the Irish is coming...

Stanford is becoming the "surprise" of the Pac-10
-A big win today for Stanford as they beat UCLA at home to boost their record to 4-1 and 3-0 in the Pac 10. They have the early lead in the Pac 10 standings but their November schedule will show the country how good this team is....I think they'll be a shaker in the Pac 10 this year. Cal, USC, Oregon, and Norte Dame come calling in November.

LSU has much to prove but sure can win...on the road
-Leave it to Les Miles to get a W over the last team in the SEC he hadn't beaten yet. When the game got down, the Tigers responded with a huge late touchdown and an INT to seal the win. They are ranked in the top 5 but clearly haven't played like it on offense. Corrections will have to be made on Offense if the Tigers hope to beat Florida at home next weekend.

Cal has shown that they aren't as good as everyone thought....
-USC went out to Cal and whipped the Bears 30-3 sealing their demise out of the top 25. The Bears must right the ship and get back on track or a .500 season is looming after aspirations of making the Rose Bowl were in their grasps all but 2 weeks ago.

Iowa State just can't get over the snide....
-Kansas State used a PAT block to beat the Cyclones 24-23 today. Iowa State played well enough to beat the Wildcats, they'll get a W in the conference this season after going 0-8 last season.

Iowa is grossly overrated...
-After getting in the top 15 after beating a mediocre Penn State team last weekend the Hawkeyes used a late onside recovery to beat Arkansas State 24-21. Didn't Nebraska trounce that team a few weeks ago, and Iowa is rated higher than the Huskers? Guess being undefeated looks good until next weekend.

Auburn's Offense is very very very good.....
-Auburn has had a miserable offense the past few season that ultimately cost Tommy Tubberville his job last season. Gene Chizik landed a home run in hiring Tulsa's offensive coordinator and quickly he is becoming the hottest assistant coach in the country. The Tiger's offense simply just wore out Monte Kiffin's Vol defense late in the game....they can move the ball and are clearly poised to make some noise in the SEC this season.

A&M isn't making a Bowl Game this season...
-When the Aggies had a chance to make a statement against a decent SEC opponent, the Aggies simply got schooled by the Razorback's defensive line. Jerrod Johnson spent the majority of the game running for his life....that defense that played well against bad opponents got worked by Ryan Mallett today....after looking at them...I can't see them making a bowl game at the end of the season.

Back next week on Tuesday......Enjoy....