Well on another wet and cold day....I come back to spread the good word...
THE HOT LIST:
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 one...now 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 LA...it 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 fault...it 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!!!!