Saturday, November 28, 2009

November 28, 2009


Back by popular demand we'll reflect on a few things that we learned about today

Heres what we learned this week:

-Oklahoma State simply blew it today. The Cowboys had a prime opportunity to go to Norman, beat Oklahoma to shore up its first BCS bowl game in the BCS era. That simply wasn't the case, after OU got pounded by Texas Tech for 41 points last week, the Cowboys looked like a mere average team to Oklahoma. Remember that if Oklahoma would have lost today they would have ended up at 6-6...instead they got a huge win over a top 15 team to finish a miserable year at 7-5. Mike Gundy may take some heat for what looked like a poorly planned offensive gameplan...OSU really didn't use their experienced running backs to keep OU's defense on its toes.

-Texas is a very average beatable team. I handily believe that in Rivarly week weaknesses that you didn't think you had are very much exposed. Jerrod Johnson and A&M exposed a Texas D that looked out of sync and out of placed. If A&M hadn't given up a kickoff for a TD and fumbled the ball early in the 3rd quarter that lead to a Longhorn TD...A&M beats Texas by 2 scores. Shows a lot for a team that was 21 point underdogs at home...Texas relies waaaay to much on Colt McCoy and Jordan Shipley on offense. Take them out and they have a hard hard time moving the ball in chunks. Nebraska can do that...and give Texas all they can handle next weekend.

-Auburn showed that Alabama is proned to big plays. The Crimson Tide might have been looking ahead to Florida next week in the SEC Championship game. The Tigers were determined to give Alabama a loss today...they however ended up 5 points short. This has been judgement week for many top teams in the their rivals have clearly wanted to push them to their limits. The Crimson tide MUST shore up their mental breakdowns that allowed Auburn to score 2 TD's of over 50+ yards. Hmmmmm some other team coming up next week might be licking their chops to do the same thing to them next week.....True champions are tested when their backs are against the wall....I hope this was a wake up call for Bama.

-Georgia put a bright spot on GT to hide what has been a very disappointing season. Last week the Bulldogs were beaten up badly by a below average Kentucky team. They returned home to face Georgia Tech, a team ranked in the top 10 and pushing momentum into the ACC championship game next week against Clemson. The problem for GT is they rely way to much on the feet and play of Jonathon Nesbitt. He was injuried early in the game and like we have seen before last season this team becomes very beatable when there is no knowledgable QB running Paul Johnson's triple option offense. GT fans really hope that he is 100% next week, or you can kiss your BCS hopes goodbye. Georgia fans just want to forget about having a 6-6 season. This is one that they all want to forget.

-LSU continues to win on the skid of their behinds. Many times in their rivalry game against Arkansas, LSU simply was outmatched and gave up HUGE HUGE plays to the Razorbacks that allowed them to feel like they could spring the upset. The game went to double overtime with Arkansas missing a field goal to tie the game in double overtime. LSU went on the capture the L-Boot Trophy. If Les Miles and the Tigers would of have lost to their rivals after the poor game management that happened last week at Ole Miss...Tiger fans would be screaming for change on the sidelines. Lucky for Les Miles and his staff....they keep their jobs....for now.

-Clemson got vastly exposed by South Carolina, when you elimate CJ Spiller from their offensive gameplan, Kyle Parker simply isn't experienced enough to lead his team to a victory with his arm. Dabo Sweeney has relied too much on the play of Spiller, which has lead to him being in the hunt for the Heisman. Take away his opening kickoff for a touchdown and South Carolina did a very very good job limiting the speedy running back from making big big plays. I was particularly surprised by the by of the Tigers defense. Steve Spurrier dialed up a great gameplan that gashed Clemson on the ground all day. Clemson found itself down in a huge hole early...and when your best player in CJ Spiller is usually means a loss....hmmm guess you'll have to get it together for that ACC Championship game (kinda lost it's luster after both teams lost today).

-North Carolina crippled its chances of getting into a solid bowl game this season. After going to Boston College last week and getting a nice dominating win...the Tarheels went on the road and lost 28-27 to North Carolina State. A team that was 3-8 heading into today's game. That great Butch Davis defense was pulverized by NC State's offense. The Wolfpack had their way with Carolina all day making it difficult for them to get the ball. This a huge win for Tom O'Brien who was starting to hear boo's from his fan faithful for the few disappointing seasons he's had to date. This win keeps his job safe for another year.

-Florida tuned itself up on Senior Day against FSU. Tim Tebow was all emotional like a little girl and rolled up the yards on a very poor FSU defense. This marked the 6th win for the Gators in this series and they looked far better prepared for their showdown with Alabama next weekend in Atlanta. I do hope Tim Tebow doesn't get 3 more rushing TD's, if he does he'll break Eric Crouch career NCAA rushing TD record of 60. Didn't think I'd ever see anyone get close in this day and age with passing offense being so popular...better keep him out of the endzone Bama.

-We've likely seen the last game coached by Bobby Bowden. It feels iminent that Bowden will announce his retirement effective at the end of this season ending a chapter in one of the legendary coaches of this sport. It's plan and simple for Florida State, they must get Bowden out, because after next season if they haven't officially named Jimbo Fischer as the head coach, the school will owe him 3.5 million dollars. Thats a big chunk of change coming from a school that wanted to put the "head coach in waiting" title on one of their assistants. I think Bowden is done...his team is 6-6 and could possibly end up with a losing season. After he has spent so much time building up FSU as a national power, the evolution of College Football ended his dynasty reign. He'll be done, leaving Joe Pa as the longest head coach in College Football. Nebraska fans won't miss him, but I'm content with his replacement, because I don't think he'll be able to resurrect FSU back to national title prominence. Oh Bobby Bowden is even lucky he'll walk away with 2 national titles...Nebraska clearly should have had it from them in 93 and made the title game in 99...yeh I think the 99 team would of rolled Bowden's FSU team that year. Peace Old Balls.

-Norte Dame has closed an another poor chapter of football and can now start looking for a new coach. Look people it's no surprise that he'll lose his job officially on Monday and the hunt will be on to find the "right fit" guy there. Norte Dame fans need to realize that their program has average 7 wins for the past 15 years and have really fallen off as a national power. That job won't reel in well established coaches like Urban Meyer, Pete Carroll, and Bob Stoops. Those guys have proven to be excellent coaches that are in the right places. Why on earth would you leave those places? The answer is they won't which means Norte Dame fans must get used to their school bringing up a low-tier coach looking for their chance to make a splash at the national stage. I expect names like Chip Kelly, Turner Gill, Mike Sumlin, and Gary Patterson to be the candidates that will have the best chance at getting the job. Look it comes down to simple dollars...this program will have to pay Charlie Weis 18 million dollars for his firing, and simply can not hire a coach that will demand a salary of 3+ million a year. Get use to being a mediocre program Norte Dame...until you join a real conference...that's where you'll end up after every season.

-Mark Mangino has officially ended his tenue at Kansas. It hasn't been officially announced yet but my inside gut tells me that his athletic director was looking very intently on this you keep your job...lose your out. I think its crazy to oust a guy who literally has made Kansas something the past few seasons. His temper has simply gotten the best out of him....its a shame because make a coaching change now...and your looking at another 4 years of misery. The Jayhawks will fire Mangino early this week and start their coaching search as well and I think they'll likely target Randy Eitzel from UConn. He has ties to KU's athletic director and given his success at UConn, he may be in line to try another rebuilding job in a more powerful conference. I think they are grasping for strings with this guy...I think he stays leaving KU to target guys like Turner Gill, Mike Sumlin, Jim Harbough, and Jim Levitt. It's a little bit different than Norte Dame, your a basketball school trying to make a name for itself in football, kinda hard to do when Nebraska is on the fast track to being dominate meaning you'll never make the Big 12 championsip in your division. The best you can hope for is a winning season and a bowl game. Thats what mid-tier programs must get their head around, in a day and age when everyone wants to win National titles, small programs like Kansas must realize they'll never win a National Title, and must hire a coach that just wants to have winning seasons and make bowl games. Do that and you'll be there for awhile...think Iowa State will ever win a National Title...Kansas is a lot like Iowa had your chance...but didn't do you may never get another chance again.

-The winner of the Heisman Trophy no question is Tony Gerhart. He gashed another opponent tonight and being how he's on a team like Stanford that relies on his legs to win, he's simply dominated pretty much every team he's faced. Look the hoop-la about the winner of the Heisman has to be leading his team to the BCS title game (i.e. Colt McCoy) is crap. This is suppose to be an award given to the most outstanding player in the country. From what I saw tonight he simply is the best player in the country surrounded by a very average team. He's pounded teams for over 1700 yards rushing and 30 touchdowns. If McCoy wins it I'll be outraged because simply voters have forgotten about what the most prestigious award in College Football means. When you look at the legends who have won that award....look at the candidates this season....he deserves to win. Yes I like Suh too, but honestly a defensive lineman will never ever get a fair shot at this award. Suh will rack in plenty of awards and thus Gerhart deserves the win. Without him, Stanford is nothing, and I mean nothing....they probably lose 6 plus games without him. That is totally deserving of this award...make me proud voters.

Coming back on Tuesday with our usual 3 day blogging week....Till then....

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

November 25, 2009

Well last day as I promised with Thanksgiving coming up all too soon...


1. Nebraska/Colorado Key Matchups
2. Keeping Dan Hawkins
3. Around the Big 12 (Rivalry Week)

1. As we do every game I like to breakdown this week's key matchups that should dictate the outcome of the game....we shouldn't really waste anytime so lets begin.

1. Nebraska's Defensive Line vs. Tyler Hansen
It seems like every game we talk about these guys, but this week is no exception as Tyler Hansen brings that elusiveness element to his game that has given Nebraska fits in a few games this season. Remember how much Todd Reesing's legs gave Nebraska's front four trouble. This week Nebraska absolutely must keep Tyler Hansen in the pocket and when they have a chance to sack they must convert. He has shown that when given an alley to run, he'll make you pay. In a game where Nebraska appears likely to be the most dominate team on the field you do not want Tyler Hansen using his legs to give the Buff's hope that they can pull off a huge upset.
Advantage: Nebraska

2. Nebraska's WR's vs. Colorado's Secondary
This is a matchup that Nebraska can take a serious advantage on. Colorado has struggled mightily at times this season stopping people from throwing the ball all over the field (i.e. at Texas and Oklahoma State). It doesn't mean that Nebraska will come out in the shotgun throwing all over the place, but it means that given a third and long you feel confident your TE's can get a nice mismatch to get the first down. Nebraska has developed a legit play maker that can run down the field in Niles Paul...his play will be key to keeping the Buff's linebackers back and allowing Nebraska to run the ball with authority. In order to stretch defenses you must be able to throw the ball a few times to establish you will take shots down field.
Advantage: Nebraska

3. Turnover Battle
This has become a nagging problem for Colorado. In a few games that the Buffaloes were in games on the road to win, they have had a turnover that changes the game. In a game where your playing an opponent that really has nothing to lose and is looking at Nebraska as it's bowl game, you must force turnovers to put the crowd out of it. Nebraska came up with 2 timely turnovers that sucked the wind out of K-State last week. Nebraska can do the same on Friday if the defense becomes fierce and punches out a few turnovers that makes Colorado think they were close but not close enough.
Advantage: Nebraska

4. Special Teams Play: Field Position
There's no question that if you want to win most games you must win the field position battle. Nebraska would like to have its offense on the field to only have to drive 40 yards or less each time just to can spell a long long day for the opposition. Alex Henery has shown that at anytime he can change the game by booming punts deep down the field. Prime example was his late fourth quarter 60 yard punt that pinned K-State back on its own 3 yard line. This is a simple mental game Nebraska can play with Colorado, it gets mentally draining when you have to go 90 plus yards each time just to score. On a team that can after 8 losses really isn't that mentally tough, when you have a chance to drive in the must.
Advantage: Nebraska

Prediction: Nebraska can really ill-afford to overlook Colorado. Bo Pelini has invested too much time to see his team try to just line up and run the plays to win. He knows what it takes to win and sees himself head back out to Boulder to see his defense yet again dominate in the trenches. They give Tyler Hansen fits that creates costly INT's for the Buffaloes. Colorado makes some nice early plays on defense to keep the crowd in the game, but eventually wear out after getting pounded by Nebraska new power running game. This leads to a few touchdowns in the second half that puts Colorado away and thus end a very disappointing season.
Nebraska wins 38-3

2. Announced earlier today, Colorado will keep Dan Hawkins after this season. As many people around Buffalo land think that he should lose his job simply after going 3-9 when he proclaimed going 10-2 this season. Look do I think he should lose his job, yes, in this day and age it's pretty keep your lose...your out and Dan Hawkins just hasn't done enough to keep his job. He's below .500 in conference play and just doesn't have signature win that he can hang his hat on. You have to win big games....and when recently when Gary Barnett had Colorado in the Big 12 title game, that clearly isn't the path of this program. He was a great story at Boise State and simply has shown that he can't handle it in a major conference. He'll likely continue to be on the hot seat until he wins a few key signature games.

Another reason why Colorado can't make a move now, simply comes down to dollars. This athletic department simply doesn't have the money to buy out his contract for 10 plus million. They are struggling now just to keep themselves from falling below Division I status as they are cutting athletic programs to stay afloat. They are an athletic budget in desperate need of one of it's athletic programs to succeed to draw in revenue it's losing every year. The economy saved Dan Hawkins this season, but go below .500 next year and fans in Boulder will be screaming for a coaching change....and next time they'll maybe get it.

3. As always we go around the Big 12....Rivalry Style
Here's this weeks games:

Texas @ Texas A&M (Thursday)
Nebraska @ Colorado (Friday)
Texas Tech vs. Baylor @ Dallas
Oklahoma State @ Oklahoma
Missouri vs. Kansas @ Arrowhead in Kansas City

Well Rivalry Week never seems to disappoint with a slew of good games. We start by watching Texas at A&M on Thanksgiving followed by Nebraska and CU on Friday. Saturday brings us the Bedlam Series at OU and the Border War in Arrowhead. Texas Tech and Baylor get to adorn the Dallas Cowboys Stadium for their game on Saturday.
Predicted Winners: Texas, Nebraska, Tech, OSU, Missouri

Last Week's Record: 5-1 (83%)

Big 12 Season Record: 31-11 (74%)

Enjoy your holiday weekend...ladies get out and shop on Friday....guys enjoy the weekend of football. Happy Thanksgiving and as always GO BIG RED!!!! Catch y'all next week.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

November 24, 2009

As promised I have returned back for another nice day of blogging much to talk about today...


1. North vs. South
2. Kansas Troubles
3. Husker Tid-bits

1. We begin with a very pressing issue in the Big 12 conference the overwhelming domination from the South. This season the South held 13-5 edge over teams from the North, and only one team in the North held a winning record over the South this season...that team was Nebraska. I don't know how long the Big 12 will continue to let this happen, but I think they are keeping their fingers crossed that Texas wins and makes the BCS title game. If Nebraska pulls off the upset, it sets a whirlwind of problems in motion for the conference. First, the coaches who have been against the title game will rise up again with outrage that another quality team from the Big 12 missed out in playing for the national championship because of the league's title game. The list is endless on teams this has happened to. However the conference wouldn't be terribly upset if Nebraska won, showing that the North is catching up with the South....or just Nebraska. Either way any outcome in this title game...doesn't make things better for the vastly unbalanced divisions in this conference.

2. I haven't said much about this subject...but now it's fastly becoming a major issue in the conference. Allegations have begun to surface about Mangino verbally and physically abusing some of his players over the past two seasons. Now an internal investigation has begun by the athletic director to look into these allegations. It's becoming a bad bad bad situation at KU. There's no question that Mangino is the best coach that they have had in a long long time, but its very likely the school will fire Mangino at the end of this season. This team is in the mist of a 6 game losing streak, and must beat Missouri to keep it's season alive and make a bowl game. When you have players coming out publicly, it shows that this coaching staff is losing the respect of its players and when you have that happen to ultimately lose your job. It's a shame because the school rallied around him when he was called into hot water a few times after close tough losses he faced, but now the slack given to him seems to have run out. He'll depart KU and likely will land at another program given his success...leaving KU to find a strong replacement to keep any hopes that the work Mangino did in 8 seasons wasn't all for nothing.

3. Husker Tid-Bits:
Bo Pelini has made it very clear that the focus of this team is to go to Colorado and get a W, they want to get as much momentum as they can before heading to Dallas next week....I agree with this awful would it look if you lost to 3-8 Colorado on the road...yea you better win on Friday.

Jacob Hickman commented that he loves seeing teams blitz more to stop the re-surging Nebraska running game. He said that Kansas State blitzed far more than they did on film allowing Nebraska to set up a few big plays in the running and passing games. It's good that these guys are picking up when a team is getting out of their need everything in the bag for next week.

When you catch a TD pass against Kansas State, you get the time to get humorous with reporters. Mike McNeill commented about how he "inadvertently" dropped a third down pass for 10 yards that set up Alex Henery's record setting kick. "I was setting up history in the making, I didn't want Alex to hit like a 40 yard field goal. I wanted it to be a little longer, so I dropped the third-down pass." It's nice to see the team joking around a bit...thats what winning games will do.

The freshness of Rex Burkehead back into the lineup poses huge problems for defenses remaining on Nebraska's schedule. Shawn Watson commented that Rex has the freshest legs in the group and that we will work to get him on the field more. Just when Nebraska is getting back on track you get back your best backup tailback...this is huge if Rex can continue to run downhill with power like he did against Missouri....that'll give Roy a chance to stay fresh and give some well needed depth in that backfield with Burkehead, Robinson, and Helu.

One more day of blogging tomorrow...then I retire to enjoy Thanksgiving....and watch football...Till Then...

Monday, November 23, 2009

November 23, 2009

I'm back from my awesome trip to New Orleans, it was a great experience to get a chance to hang out in the Bayou...and once again coming back to talk about another win.


1. Kansas State/Nebraska Grade Outs
2. Big 12 Rankings
3. New Top 25

1. Nebraska got back to doing what we as fans expect, beat down an opponent that clearly was out matched on the field all day. Nebraska is getting wins now that aren't terribly flashy, but they are simple just suiting up, putting on their helmets, and hitting teams in the mouth now. Nebraska did officially clinch a berth in the Big 12 Championship game against Texas in Dallas. We'll talk about that more later this week, but as the team stated they're focused on Colorado, this blog will stay focus on that as well :)
To the Grade Outs:

Offense: A
Defense: A

Offense: It was a great day for the offense, although they were out-gained in total yards by Kansas State...Nebraska ran the ball effectively again this week. If you are expecting Nebraska to bust out the spread offense this season, Shawn Watson has clearly showed that this offense will pound the ball with two TE's and two RB's. This new formation has allowed Nebraska to rush the ball for over 100 yards and Roy Helu punched in a nice rushing TD to put the Huskers up 2 scores late in the third quarter. I came away from Saturday's game impressed that Shawn Watson dialed up passing formations that got their very athletic TE in Mike McNeil open....Zac did misfire when he was wide open early in the first quarter. But if he connects there Nebraska is throttling K-State 17-3 at half. A perfect A+ eludes this offense this week as Zac had a bad turnover on the goal line where they were looking to score again. The offense did what it had to do to efficiently move the ball down and keep their defense rested. Another positive was seeing Rex Burkehead back...the talented freshman returned since breaking his foot early in October. Nebraska can now get him back into shape and ready for what you expect will be a very physical game against Texas in two weeks.....

Defense: It was a very nice day for the defense again, outside of allowing K-State to score 3 points in their opening series. They flew around to the ball and allowed Daniel Thomas, the conferences best rusher, to just 99 yards. This defense did a great job of limiting Brandon Banks to big plays, most of K-State's offense was predicated on him getting in space and making big gains...Nebraska simply shut him down and made it a very frustrating night returning and catching the ball. It was a nice day for the defense...the came out....punched K-State in the mouth and dictated the tempo of the game. This defense is slowly going down as one of the best units in school history and they have 3 more games to cement their legacy. All in all great day. Not a perfect grade out because at time we were gashed for a few big plays, but like they have done all year they bend...but haven't broken...and held another opponent under 300 yards of total offense...damn good performance guys.

2. Big 12 Rankings (week 13)

1. Texas (11-0) (7-0)
Texas got a good senior night performance from its stars in Colt McCoy and Jordan Shipley. But a trap game lingers this week at Texas A&M on Thanksgiving...if the Longhorns look past the Aggies an upset is very likely. Maintaining focus is the only thing that Texas must continue to do...break and kiss your National Championship dreams away.

2. Nebraska (8-3) (5-2)
This team has turned the corner into a legit championship team in this conference since beating OU 2 weeks ago. Keeping focus on Colorado is key, as you want to ride as much momentum as you can into the title game next weekend. This defense just continues to play better each many teams have held opponents under 10 points in six games this season...that just shows why this team leads the nation in scoring defense.

3. Oklahoma State (9-2) (6-1)
Wow does the Cowboys look like a different team without Zac Robinson. Getting him healthy is key this week and the Cowboys are in a must win situation if they want to get into the BCS. Having to travel Norman is an awfully high mountain to climb for Oklahoma State.

4. Texas Tech (7-4) (4-3)
The Red Raiders blew out OU on Saturday, showing once again that this team can put up points in a flurry against anyone they blay...why can't they do it in every game this season? If they had, they'd be in the National Championship hunt...but get a win against Baylor on Saturday to get into a nice bowl game this season...but winning a bowl game is a must to end this season on a high note.

5. Oklahoma (6-5) (4-3)
Who would of thought that the Sooners, preseason ranked in the top 5 could finish 6-6 this season. It just hasn't been a great year for Bob Stoops, and another issue is how that stout defense got demolished by Texas Tech...Oklahoma State could ruin senior day on Saturday and give Stoops his 3 lost at home in his 9 seasons as the head coach.

6. Texas A&M (6-5) (3-4)
Getting a solid win at home was nice on Saturday...but it's not impressive since it was against struggling Baylor...All that can change if you can spring the biggest upset at home against Texas on Thanksgiving...If A&M has been holding out on playing out of their minds for one game...this is the game. Defensive line play must continue to be big for this team to get an upset.

7. Missouri (7-4) (3-4)
The Tigers beat up on lowly Iowa State to pad their bowl hopes and move up into a higher bowl game. Missouri is licking their chops to beat up on a struggling KU in the annual boarder war game on Saturday...Defense improvements have been a nice to see from the Tigers in the last few weeks....but still not the season they wanted to have this year.

8. Kansas State (6-6) (4-4)
The Wildcats were just outmatched on Saturday and end their season staying home for the holidays...I guess Bill Synder will consider twice scheduling two FCS schools in one season...The Wildcats completely overplayed expectations this season, just didn't do enough to get into the bowl season....rebuilding key senior losses is now the main focus for K-State.

9. Iowa State (6-6) (4-4)
The Cyclones lost a key game to get into a higher bowl game, but got some needed help when K-State lost. They are all assured of getting to a game this season, but winning that bowl game is the key to putting a cherry on top of this season...Paul Rhoads has done a great job getting this team to overachieve but losing 3 out of your last 4 games doesn't give you the momentum you need to have heading into the bowl season.

10. Kansas (5-6) (1-6)
Another bad lost on Saturday makes it a do or die for the season this weekend against Missouri. Mangino must get this team to a bowl game to take heat off his off the field issues. No matter how you look at it, this team has fully under-performed this season and likely have thrown in the towl on this season. If that's the case, it's likely a coaching change is imminent for the loss of the huge senior playmakers this team is losing.

11. Baylor (4-7) (1-6)
Getting an upset of Texas Tech could be the lone bright spot since beating Missouri on the road. Losing Robert Griffin locked in a no bowl game season. Hopes are high for this team in 2010....and they may finally have found the right coach for this program in Art Briles....either way Baylor wants to get this season over with, and will look at this game against Texas Tech as it's bowl game....I expect more out of this team next season.

12. Colorado (3-8) (2-5)
Colorado came oh so close to pulling off the biggest upset in the conference season, but fell 3 points short. They return home to get Nebraska, a team on a 4 game winning streak. Colorado can only hope that they can play like they did in Lincoln last year....make big plays and keep it close, but get a couple nice breaks. This is a bad bad team on both sides of the ball and 3-9 after an announced 10 win season makes Dan Hawkins look like a fool....Colorado fans want to forget about this season, and look forward to 2010 with a new coach.

3. New Top 25 (Week 13)

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

A few teams tumble after losing this weekend....the top 8 remain the same after each team had a bye week or won...A few teams make big jumps after nice wins, Penn State, Clemson, and Houston...Cal, Ole Miss, and Utah make it back into my top 25 and I'm still keeping Iowa and USC...out, but the Trojans can get back into the rankings if they beat down UCLA on Saturday....and again a 12-0 win over Minnesota won't get Iowa back into my top 25...they'll have to play a nice SEC team and beat them impressively to get in...and I don't think that'll happen..

Coming back again tomorrow.....SKOCZ OUT

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

November 18, 2009

The days of the regular season in college football are winding down....but college basketball is officially in full swing.


1. Nebraska/Kansas State Key Matchups
2. Husker Basketball Preview: St. Louis
3. Around the Big 12

1. Well we've come to the semifinal game to the big 12 title game. For both teams its pretty & you likely face Texas in Dallas December 5th...lose and your watching that game from your home in two weeks. To the Key Matchups:

1. Nebraska's Defensive Line and Linebackers vs. Daniel Thomas
K-State brings a different style of offense that Nebraska hasn't seen in the past few weeks....a power running game keyed by their highly recruited tailback in Daniel Thomas. Thomas quietly has been in the top 5 in rushing in the conference...he's a big back that keys the rest of the Wildcat offense. Like Nebraska, K-State prides itself on play action that allows their speedy small WR in Brandon Banks to get open. Suh and company are licking their chops to see a team wanting to pound the rock down their throats, but making sure tackles against this bigger back is the key. Last week Nebraska looked suspect in handling the job of bringing down Opurum...The change of style at running back made it difficult to bring the big back down. Nebraska must come in on his legs, and bring him down quickly with gang tackling and not let his momentum drive them back for extra yards.
Advantage: Nebraska

2. Nebraska's WR's vs. K-State Secondary
This is a big matchup that Nebraska must win this weekend. Last week Nebraska showed that if they look for Niles Paul down the field he can make big plays in the passing game....but what if K-State locks Paul down this week...Nebraska must develop another legit threat down field and make the K-State defense think instead of react to the play. That'll keep those LB's off from lining up 3 yards from the ball and open holes in Nebraska's running game. Last week Denario Alexander showed that when a WR wants to take over a game against this can happen.
Advantage: Nebraska

3. Nebraska's Offense vs. K-State Defense:
Last week Nebraska rode its Offense for a nice win over Kansas. Can that offense be called upon again to show that it's making improvements each week. Nebraska simply has to establish Roy Helu and it running game to set up their passing game. Nebraska isn't going to get flashy on offense this season, they'll keep it simple but just need to execute with precision like they did in the second half against Kansas. Keeping your defense fresh will be a key element to game, so that means you must win the time of possession do that by running the ball to milk time off the clock. It sure worked in the second half against Kansas and surely is the key to a victory against Kansas State.
Advantage: Nebraska

4. Nebraska's Kick Coverage vs. K-State's Return Game
This arguably the best aspect of K-State's game. They bring one of the best return me in all of college football in Brandon Banks. That poses some huge challenges for Nebraska as field position is a vital key to a win. I don't think Nebraska would like to find themselves starting drives inside their own 10 yard line on ever series. Containing Banks and limiting his big returns in the special team game will be key for field position and keeping momentum. You don't want to be ahead by two scores and have K-State return a kick to the house and change the momentum of the game. Playing your best on special teams will be critical for Nebraska.
Advantage: Kansas State

Prediction: Nebraska returns back to Memorial Stadium for its final home game to honor it's seniors. Players like Suh, Hickman, Holt, and Asante suit up for the final time in front of 86,000 people. Nebraska eats up Daniel Thomas all day, making it miserable for the big running back to get outside and rush the ball with effectiveness. Nebraska uses timely rushes and passes like they did last week to move the ball and put up points on the scoreboard. Nebraska sadly gives up a few big returns that make Kansas State feel that they are still in the game, but in the end Suh and company go out as champions in their final game in Memorial Stadium.
Nebraska wins 35-10.

2. Nebraska Basketball has started its season and travels to St. Louis tonight to face good ole Rick Majerius. Yes the former big guy on ESPN has been back in coaching for a few seasons. Its a huge gamble for Doc to take a very young and inexperienced team on the road in just their second game of the season, but win and win convincingly and you can gain some huge momentum heading into your showdown with USC in a couple of weeks. Keys for Nebraska are pretty simple, play good defense, keep your turnovers small, and take high percentage shots. I like Nebraska's size in this game, I think it'll give St. Louis all they can handle with Ubel and Diaz in the middle. Nebraska must use this game to develop a solid point guard, one guy who you know can handle the ball on the road well when the pressure builds. I think Nebraska gets a W tonight but doesn't necessarily does it in convincing fashion...this team is young and clearly I think as Husker fans we have to be ready to go through some growing pains with this young but talented team.

3. Once again as I wrap up this week, we go around the Big 12
Here's this weeks game:

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

A few good to decent games on the slate this weekend with Nebraska/K-State battling out for the Big 12 North title...Texas looks to continue its path to the BCS title game. Oklahoma makes a dangerous road trip to Texas Tech, and Colorado looks for a positive on its awful season against Oklahoma State. Also Iowa State needs a win over Missouri to assure a bowl berth as 6-6 probably won't cut it this season.
Predicted Winners: Texas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, A&M

Last week's Record: 5-1 (83%)

Overall Big 12 Record: 26-10 (72%)

I'm out for the rest of the week to the ASHA conference in New Orleans...I'll return for our regular 3 blog days next Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday....Till then...GO BIG RED!!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

November 17, 2009

Well again blogging after a win is always fun....I can only get 2 up this week as I head for good ole New Orleans this weekend for the weekend.


1. Nebraska/Kansas Grade Outs
2. New Top 25
3. Big 12 Rankings

1. Well you knew going into this game last Saturday that you'd be getting KU's best shot...they didn't disappoint. Nebraska did something it hadn't done since Louisiana with offense. It was nice to see, and I think we as Husker fans can start to sleep a bit better each night knowing that the team is actually getting better each week. Nebraska looked good again this week...and did show a little bit of rust from Oklahoma. To the Grade Outs:

Offense: A
Defense: B+

Offense: What can be said about this offense other than it receives a higher rating for the first time in nearly 2 months. Nebraska used a solid balance offense to wear out the Jayhawks last Saturday. Roy Helu rushed the ball 28 times for 156 yards and 3 touchdowns. The noticeable thing that I liked seeing was Zac's composure in the pocket, many times he sat back and waited for guys to come open and made some nice passes to Niles Paul, Brandon Kinnie, and Dreu Young. The offense receives a nice A this week because they did what they had to do in the second half when the game was tied...control the clock. Rushing the ball with authority like they did on Saturday allowed Nebraska to keep the ball most of the third quarter and seal the game away when they got the ball with 7:32 left to go. Keeping that potent KU offense off the field was key and Nebraska did a great job keeping them off the field, driving the ball, and scoring TD's late in the game to seal a win.

Defense: Ok, so it wasn't flashy by any means. Suh and company struggled in the second quarter containing the very mobile Todd Reesing and getting pressure to him. You could see that the gameplan in the second half was to just contain Todd in the pocket and make him beat you with his arm. Clearly they lost so he didn't do that. Another thing we as fans have to look at is that this is the first experienced senior quarterback that Nebraska's defense has faced all season. Every other opponent put a first year starter on the field when they played against Nebraska, or handed the ball off to a freshman. It clear that experienced quarterbacks in this league could give Nebraska fits, especially in the Big 12 title game...(yes I'm already calling a W this Saturday). Nebraska didn't look bad, they held a very very good KU offense under a 100 yards below its season average and only allowed KU to score 17 points after they hung 35 in Lincoln last season. They do have some work to do an d will have taken valuable learned lessons from this game. No matter how you look at it, it was an all around solid win for Nebraska.

2. New Top 25 (Week 12)

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

It's a weird week when most of the top 10 remains the same from last week. One through nice stay the same. Big losers this week were Arizona, USC both out...Iowa is still not back in my ratings. Like to see Stanford rise to 12 after thumping USC...and Houston is a big faller losing to Central Florida last weekend. New teams in this week are North Carolina, Oregon State, and Rutgers.

3. Big 12 Rankings (Week 12)

1. Texas (10-0) (6-0)
The Longhorns are simply in cruise control till their last two games that could derail them to the National Title game. Remember in '96 when a better Nebraska team came into the title game simply to win and play for the National title and unranked Texas beat them...anything can happen when the roles are reversed.

2. Oklahoma State (8-2) (5-1)
A gutty grinding win over Texas Tech looked good on national tv last weekend. Losing Zac Robinson for an extended period of time is the pressing concern but playing Colorado this week is nice if you need to sit him for the week. His health will determine OSU's at large BCS hopes.

3. Nebraska (7-3) (4-2)
Great defense, and an offense slowly improving could spell Nebraska's first BCS bowl game since 2001. Must take care of business against K-State this weekend on Senior Day to get that shot. Nebraska is slowly looking like a contender in that game in December.

4. Oklahoma (6-4) (4-2)
OU wishes they could just play all their games at home as Landry Jones just knifes opponents in Norman. Unfortunately the Sooners must travel to Lubbock on Saturday afternoon. Tech has played them tough, but you got to like OU's stout defense that keeps them in every game they've played this season.

5. Texas Tech (6-4) (3-3)
The Red Raiders lost a crucial opportunity to get back into the upper half up the Big 12 South. Losing to OU this weekend can all but assure that they'll finish 4th or 5th in the South. Not exactly what these seniors had in mind this season.

6. Texas A&M (5-5) (2-4)
This the Aggies last chance to get bowl eligible against Baylor this week. Don't want to chance it against Texas on Thanksgiving night. A&M must find a way to stay in games they are overmatched in...instead of getting blown out like they did against OU on Saturday. Which Aggie team shows up this week?

7. Missouri (6-4) (2-4)
The Tigers took some wind out of K-State's sails on Saturday thumping that vulnerable secondary. Missouri needs to finish 8-4 to get their hands on a decent bowl berth, losing to either Iowa State this week or KU next week would be the icing on the cake to a very disappointing season for the tiger faithful.

8. Kansas State (6-5) (4-3)
The Wildcats had a chance to come to Lincoln riding a huge wave of momentum, instead they dropped an egg and got thumped by a very poor Missouri team (who just last week lost to Baylor). It's simple to complete Synder's masterful turn-around you must win at Nebraska to get to a bowl game and to the Big 12 Title game....I guess when he loses he'll reconsider scheduling two I-AA opponents in the same season. Idiot.

9. Iowa State (6-5) (3-4)
The Cyclones are officially bowl eligible, but with a conference that may have 8 to 9 teams eligible, Iowa State needs to beat Missouri on Saturday to get in for sure. Lose and the likelihood of missing that bowl game is very very likely. I guess all that jumping around, celebrating by Paul Rhoads on Saturday may have been for nothing.

10. Kansas (5-5) (1-5)
Things have gone from bad to worse for the Jayhawks. Kansas got dominated in the second half by Nebraska and now rumors are surfacing about players being unhappy with Mangino at the helm. That doesn't bode well for a team needing to win either at Texas or against Missouri to be bowl eligible, but like Iowa State that still may not be enough this year. The high points this program had all but two years ago are now gone, and regression and rebuilding look imminent now.

11. Baylor (4-6) (1-5)
Baylor just didn't have enough to hang with Texas last Saturday....Getting Texas A&M this week who gave up 65 points to OU looks appealing for Art Briles. Baylor must beat A&M and Texas Tech to make a bowl game this year. Do that and this season could look brighter than it did a few weeks ago when Robert Griffin went down for the year with a torn ACL.

12. Colorado (3-7) (2-4)
The Buffs close out this awful season with Oklahoma State this week on the road, and Nebraska at home next week. 3-9 looks very very likely with Dan Hawkins needing to make serious changes at Colorado. He'll keep his job simply because the school can not afford to buy him out this season. So much for 10 wins....whatta laughable prediction.

Coming back tomorrow.....

Thursday, November 12, 2009

November 12, 2009

Sorry I couldn't get a post out yesterday...crazy busy day being a big Graduate student....we'll get on in today and a special post-gameday blog on Saturday.


1. Kansas/Nebraska Key Matchups
2. Husker Basketball Preview
3. Around the Big 12

1. Its a big big week for Nebraska. The Huskers must respond with another win this weekend to show that they are ready to make a strong run at the Big 12 Championship game. To the Key Matchups:

1. Kansas' Offensive Line vs. Nebraska's Defensive Line:
This is probably the second biggest matchup this weekend. Nebraska's front four has given pretty much every team nightmares when they want to drop back and throw the ball. Todd Reesing is a season veteran and has the skill sets to make teams pay if you give him an opportunity. Last season, Reesing was able to make plays with his feet to buy time for his WR's to get open. Nebraska's front four must contain Reesing and make key sacks when they get pressure to him. Remember what happened against Texas Tech when we got pressure but were unable to finish the play....on Saturday Nebraska must make Todd feel like it'll be long long day for him to sit in the pocket.
Advantage: Nebraska

2. Kansas' Wide Receivers vs. Nebraska's Secondary
Even though the Jayhawks are on a bad four game losing streak, KU arguably brings a group of very talented and experienced WR core that have shown the ability in the past few seasons that they can make plays. Desmond Briscoe and Kerry Meier are one of the best tandem WR's in the Big 12. Briscoe came into this season as one of the premier WR's in the Big 12, but lately he has been struggling with catching the ball. Nebraska will likely play a lot of man coverage with two safeties over the top to take away the deep ball. These guys must make plays like they did last week against the speedy WR's of OU and take KU's two big playmakers out of the game.
Advantage: Nebraska

3. Nebraska's Offense vs. Kansas' Defense
This is the biggest matchup of the weekend. Nebraska didn't have to get flashy last weekend to move the ball and score points against OU. This weekend they'll face a lesser defense that at times has struggled mightily to stop opponents from scoring. The Jayhawk D has played better in the past few weeks but haven't made enough plays to get Kansas a W. It's very simple this weekend, if you want to win on the must run the ball effectively. Roy Helu showed flashes last weekend that his shoulder injuries might be healed up and are behind him. If he can come out this weekend and run the ball with power and effectiveness, it could spell a long long day for Kansas. I don't think it really matters who Nebraska's starts at QB on Saturday, this team must run the ball...very well....when you can do that you set yourself up for the play action passing game that is set up from the running game. If Nebraska can rush the ball with power like they did at times against OU, points could come in bunches against Kansas.
Advantage: Draw

Nebraska took monumental steps in showing that it has a championship caliber defense that can stop nearly everyone that if faces. Nebraska allowed OU to tack only 3 points last weekend on the scoreboard. Nebraska's defense has risen to a new level each week they have played...and that doesn't spell success for a struggling Kansas team to get a win on Senior night and become bowl eligible. Roy Helu comes out running on a new cylinder showing that he is healthy and one of the top running backs in this league. Nebraska controls the clock and makes timely scores to fend off any hope of a Kansas upset. Nebraska wins 28-3 and moves closer to the Big 12 title game.

2. Nebraska Basketball begins its 2009-2010 campaign this Saturday. Nebraska wrapped up its exhibition season against Hastings College this week. The best player in 2 games this season has to be Christian Standhardinger who now must sit for the entire nonconference season. Standhardinger fired in 18 points against Hastings College and showed his versatility of getting up and down the floor. Nebraska will no doubt be hurting in some of its nonconference games without him. Nebraska must learn to develop Brian Diaz and Brandon Ubel as premier big guys in the paint.
Nebraska"s other troubling stat in two games were their turnovers. It clearly is showing that this team doesn't have a stable point guard who can handle the ball and prevent turnovers. Nebraska must shore up this issue and develop into an overall solid defensive team like they have been in years past. In a year where the Big 12 could send 8 teams to the NCAA tournament, Nebraska can ill afford to have a period where it's trying to grow and find itself while playing against the premier caliber teams in the Big 12...We'll see how they start out.

3. As usual we go around the Big 12
Here's this week's schedule:

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

Some big games on the slate this weekend, Texas is trying to remain perfect and in the National Championship chase, OU is trying to rebound, OSU is looking for revenge against Texas Tech, and Kansas State looks to continue it's amazing run towards the Big 12 title game, and Nebraska looks to dominate another opponent this weekend.
Predicted Winners: Nebraska, Texas, OSU, OU, Missouri, Colorado

Last weeks record: 3-3 (50%)

Season Big 12 Record: 21-9 (70%)

To those going to KU with'll be a royally good time...I'm looking forward to spoiling KU's Senior Day....GO BIG RED...and I'll be back on Saturday.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

November 10, 2009

WOW....again it's always fun to blog when we are coming off arguably the biggest win of the season.


1. Nebraska/Oklahoma Grade Outs
2. New Top 25
3. Big 12 Rankings

1. WoW...I do love being right but do love to call out some of the players on the team and have them step up and prove me wrong. Look back into your psyche and remember the question you were asking yourself about whether Nebraska had the tools and mentality to hang with a powerful OU defense. I didn't think so, but like I said...being proved wrong is great and in the long run makes me a great blogger. To the Grade Outs:

Offense: B+
Defense: A+

Offense: The offense gets a high grade out this week because I thought they played a hell of a game against the best defense they had seen to date. I've heard way to many people complain about the play calling of Shawn Watson, but I'll defend his play calling to the death. He schemed a great game, yes it was very vanilla, I'll agree with that, but that offense on Saturday did a few things for us, it allowed us to keep the ball and no turn it over (aside from Zac's bad pitch). You knew OU was gonna stack the box, and they did...they can move to the ball quickly, and they did....As an offensive coordinator you didn't want to see your offense turnover the ball and have OU run it back for six when you had a great feeling your defense was going to play it's best game of the season. It wasn't pretty but Nebraska did just enough of what it had to do to win. They still must cash in more consistently on opportunities that the defense creates for them...Nebraska arguably left 10 points on the field against OU...this time it didn't come back to bite them, but in future games it possibly could.

Defense: WOW...WOW...WOW...I talked about it last week that in order for Nebraska to win this game the back seven would have to play the game of their lives...and they did. Nebraska was able to make Landry Jones throw 5 interceptions. They made his night miserable. As we've seen all season, this defense has allowed teams to move the ball on them, but they haven't broken. They elevated their game and no doubt played the best game as a collective unit on Saturday. This W is a big one that Nebraska can ride to a nice 9-3 finish to this season. There isn't much to say other than the defense played their tails off and willed this team to a HUGE win. Congrats was well deserved and well needed.

2. New Top 25 for Week 11

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

Unranked teams make another splash this week with Clemson, Nebraska, West Virginia, BYU and Stanford all make it in. Iowa, OU are out..yes I have Iowa unranked...they were grossly over-rated and have to become more impressive for me to get them back in my top 25. TCU is the biggest mover up with teams like LSU, Oregon, losing and Cincinnati struggling to beat UConn last weekend. The top 3 remain the same and the showdown between Alabama and Florida is coming in the SEC Championship game.

3. Big 12 Rankings Week 11

1. Texas (9-0) (5-0)
The Longhorns travel to Baylor this weekend, not a trap game but the Bears did just win at Missouri. The Longhorns toughest game left is at A&M on Thanksgiving night. Colt must get his troops ready in the next two weeks for that huge rivalry showdown.

2. Oklahoma State (7-2) (4-1)
Win out and the Cowboys notch a New Year's Day bowl game. Revenge is on the mind this week with Texas Tech coming to town, and a dangerous game this one is.

3. Texas Tech (6-3) (3-2)
Texas Tech used the bye week to heal some of its wounds, but lingering games against OSU, OU, and Baylor can still say a lot about this team. A healthy Quarterback is Tech's biggest problem right now.

4. Nebraska (6-3) (3-2)
This team has the best defense in the conference, and proved that last weekend against OU. Nebraska has winnable games against KU, K-State, and Colorado. 9-3 would look pretty good after losing to Tech and ISU in the middle of October.

5. Kansas State (6-4) (4-2)
The Wildcats just keep chugging away at this Big 12 North race. It's a must win against Missouri this weekend to keep the pressure on the Huskers. Bill Synder has done a masterful job restoring hope into this team.

6. Oklahoma (5-4) (3-2)
The wheels on this bus are falling off, and Bob Stoops must get some swagger back into his team with A&M, Tech, and OSU left on the schedule. Lose it now and you miss out in a bowl game...that'd be the icing on the cake in what is looking like a gloomy season for the Sooners.

7. Iowa State (5-5) (2-4)
The Cyclones must win against Colorado this week or they might officially kiss their bowl hopes away this season. Iowa State hasn't looked good since Nebraska gave them a W two weeks ago. The impact of Paul Rhoads doesn't look as bright if this team misses a bowl game.

8. Texas A&M (5-4) (2-3)
Consistency is something Mike Sherman needs to get out of his team. Losing to Colorado last weekend could be the thorn that bugs his side for the rest of the season. You can get that back if you beat OU on the road this weekend. Not likely...put all you eggs in a basket for Texas on Thanksgiving.

9. Colorado (3-6) (2-3)
Colorado must win out to get into the bowl picture. That's a lot to ask, for a team that hasn't looked to hot this season...10're an idiot Dan Hawkins. Go 3-9 this season and the clean up squad will be ready to run you out of town.

10. Kansas (5-4) (1-4)
KU must win one of its final games against Nebraska, Texas, or Missouri to become bowl eligible. This team is falling apart after losing 4 straight...should of beat K-State last week because 5-7 looks imminent now. Todd Reesing should of gotten more out of his senior season.

11. Baylor (4-5) (1-4)
The Bear shocked the Big 12 battling back and getting a big W of the Tigers. It's the lone bright spot on a very disappointing season. Keep your heads up, next season could be a magical one.

12. Missouri (5-4) (1-4)
This team had back to back 10 win seasons the past two years. Now they are at the bottom of the conference. Pinkel could be on the hot seat if he doesn't salvage this season and win a bowl game. Missouri faithful have no patience for being throw back to mediocrity so fast.

Taco Tuesday again...go get some at TJ's...coming back tomorrow...Skocz Out.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

November 5, 2009

Time to wrap up the week with the final post of the week....


1. Oklahoma/Nebraska Matchups
2. Jared Crick's Impact
3. Around the Big 12

1. The big boys come to town this weekend. Husker Fans have been looking forward to this game all season since last season's blowout...oh yea I was there to watch that one...real fun. Oklahoma comes into Saturday night's game at 5-3 and looking to salvage what has been a very disappointing season that started with National Championship aspirations. Sam Bradford is lost for the season, and the reins have been turned over to Landry Jones, who quietly leads all freshman with 17 TD passes. To the Key Matchups:

First: Nebraska's Defensive Line vs. Oklahoma's Offensive Line
It's a tale of opposites with this match up....OU's offensive line clearly has been the weak point of their offense allowing opponents to blitz at will and cause disruption to their timely passing game. This is probably the biggest match-up strength for the Huskers....their front four must push back this offensive line and create a notion that it'll be long long day trying to throw the ball. If they can get consistent pressure for four quarters, look for OU to have a mediocre day passing and an even tougher time rushing the ball. Advantage: Nebraska

Second: Nebraska's Offensive Line vs. Oklahoma's Defensive Line
Just like Nebraska, OU brings a group of defensive lineman that Nebraska hasn't seen this season. In the past few weeks Nebraska has really struggled blowing guys off the ball, this week will be no different I think for the Huskers. I haven't been impressed in the last few weeks that makes me think that finally this offensive line will be able to put it together and blow the best defensive front four to date this season off the ball...I love to be showed up and proven prove me wrong O-Line. Advantage: Oklahoma

Third: Nebraska's Secondary vs. Oklahoma's Wide Receivers
This is probably the second biggest match-up nightmare for Nebraska. The problems that plagued this team against Baylor and Texas Tech could have their way of becoming a big issue this Saturday. OU brings a group of young but talented group of receivers lead by Ryan Broyles. The true sophomore is arguably OU's best deep ball threat. If Nebraska can't get to Landry Jones quick enough, these guys will have to stay on their guys and make plays. That's something that I think has been overlooked this season because our front four has been so dominate that these guys haven't been forced to make big plays...just hang on. You can't hang on against Oklahoma, if you wanna beat them you have to create turnovers and out play them, and that doesn't happen very often these days. Advantage: Oklahoma

Fourth: Nebraska's Wide Receivers vs. Oklahoma's Secondary
This is probably the strength of this team but has been exposed at times this season. They bring a few guys who have an unsung nack for getting to the football when it's in the air. Nebraska's wide receivers have to shed the pressure these guys will bring and get open...then do what every wide receiver must do in big games like this...catch the ball. That'll be critical keeping drives alive and giving Nebraska's defense a chance to rest. You have to be able to make completions against OU down the field over 15 yards. That keeps those linebackers and safeties back off of trying to stuff the run. Advantage: Oklahoma

Fifth: Winning the Turnover Battle
If you want to beat a sound team in Oklahoma, you must win the turnover battle. Nebraska can ill afford to throw a pick six at home and expect that they can win. Nebraska's secondary must create turnovers and give the offense a chance to drive a short distance to score or kick a field goal. That is important as I think Nebraska will be unable to drive the ball 60+ yards on OU's defense to score touchdowns. Advantage: Draw

This game marks the returns of award winning legends from both schools. Guys like Billy Sims, Tommie Frazier, Eric Crouch, Dave Rimington, Steve Owens, Josh Heupel, Jason White, Aaron Taylor, Barry Switzer and Tom Osborne all return to Memorial Stadium to witness the greatest rivalry in college football that has been ruined by the creation of the Big 12. Nebraska should be looking at this game as a great opportunity to come out play strong to make a statement that Nebraska can make a run like they did after getting thumped by OU last season. Nebraska's defense comes to play early, but timely completions in 3rd and longs kills momentum for Nebraska and forces the offense to have to score when it has the ball, thus allowing OU to create a few turnovers to stop a few aggressive throws by Cody Green.

Oklahoma wins 21-10, sending Nebraska to re-evaluate itself as a program when compared to the big boys of the conference. Nebraska keeps it close but realizes it still has a long way to go to be at the level Oklahoma is at when the two teams play again in two years in Norman.

2. Great article on Jared Crick and how quietly he is becoming a nice compliment to Suh on the defensive line. His amazing 13 tackle, 5 sack performance earned him 2 national player of the week honors and has shown a big of star-light on the Husker sophomore. Crick quietly stated that it comes from having a big game, but that he will continue to go back to work to create double teams that allow Suh to get back to being in the star-light. It's humbling to know that this young kid, who's very talented, just simply wants to work his butt off some more to get better. I hope in the future he can step up and become a vocal leader for the defense. No question he has benefited from playing along side Suh, it might be tougher sledding next season as the only returner on the line. I expect big things out of him this weekend.

3. Around the Big 12
We go around the Big 12 to see this weekends slate of games, and make those all interesting predictions.

Central Florida @ Texas
Oklahoma @ Nebraska
Oklahoma State @ Iowa State
Kansas @ Kansas State
Baylor @ Missouri
Texas A&M @ Colorado
Texas Tech (Bye-week)

The best game on paper probably isnt in Lincoln, but in Manhattan as K-State looks to continue their improbably season by trying to beat up on a moral laden Kansas team. Its pretty cut and dry this week.
Predicted Winners: Texas, Oklahoma, OSU, K-State, Missouri, A&M

Last weeks record: (5-1) (83%)

Season Big 12 Record: (18-6) (75%)

Get out and enjoy the last night game of the season, I'll be there in full force. Enjoy the game..stay safe...and as always...GO BIG RED!!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

November 4, 2009

Well its another hot day of lets not waste anytime.....


1. The Big 12 we need to restructure it???
2. he being poorly targeted for his overall strength and speed?
3. Husker Tid-Bits

1. Tim Griffin of ESPN blogged a very interesting topic last week that I have heard a few times in the past few years. It was about should the Big 12 Conference reevaluate its divisions and thus look to restructure them to allow for a more balanced league on both sides of the conference. There's no question the strength of the conference is in the South...the South has captured the last five conference championships with the last one from the North coming in 2003 when K-State upset Oklahoma. In each of the past 5 years the South has held a considerable advantage over the North in cross division victories. Geographically the South teams have been allowed to thrive and explode with growth and popularity. I think that the conference does need to restructure itself and look to add a few new schools into the mix. The Big 12 could start by dropping Iowa State or Baylor and add Arkansas or TCU. Each of those schools are deserving of getting a chance to play in a conference they can have success with. TCU has been deserving for a few years...but I'd be hard pressed to see the Mountain West lose one of their conference powers to get Baylor in return. Lets say that the Big 12 doesn't add any new do we restructure the divisions?

A great idea was proposed to switch out Oklahoma for Kansas Thus spreading out the talent of the conference a bit. The problem with this comes from trying to keep teams happy playing their main rivals every OU and Texas and Kansas Missouri.....I think that if you split the division like this each team should get one permanent conference game...a team they play every year...the remaining teams in that division could rotate on a random system meaning that every four years your other two teams would be different...thus keeping a little bit of variety in your conference schedule. The problem I see is that every four years a team could get stuck playing a schedule with all the big boys in the conference which hurts their chances of making a bowl game....or in the latter it could help any team make the National Title game if you beat OU, Texas, OSU, and Texas Tech in the same season.
The Divisions:

Kansas City:
Iowa State
Oklahoma State

Texas A&M
Texas Tech
Kansas State

Marked Games (Permanent each year):
Texas vs. Oklahoma
Texas A&M vs. Nebraska
Kansas vs. Missouri
Kansas State vs. Colorado
Oklahoma State vs. Texas Tech
Baylor vs. Iowa State

Its a bit interesting...but I do think that soon in the next few years restructuring of the conference will happen.

2. A great article came out by Mitch Sherman from the Omaha World Herald about Suh and the possibility of the amount of frustration that has been building up inside of him this season. He'll most likely be a top 5 pick in the NFL draft next season but sadly this season isn't turning out to be the one that Suh wanted to have. In the past 4 weeks Suh has been flagged for personal fouls because of his amazing vicious hits he has had. I think the referees are starting to see the amount of potential that this guy has on the field and how literally how unblockable he is when he's on the field. He has a lot more fire to leave out on the football field but how long will that fire burn when the offense continues to let them down week after week. With four games left in the season Suh has a chance to distance himself in the Outland and Lombardi awards, he may also go down as the most dominate Nebraska defensive lineman in school matter what awards he brings in for himself at the end of this season....I think Suh will take a victory four game winning streak over any award....he still has a lot to accomplish...I can't wait for him to take a few more strides towards his goals this weekend.

3. Husker Tid-bits
Suh is being punished internally following his late night automobile accident that cost his SUV 10,000 dollars worth of damage and totaled another car....whatever the punishment is you know Suh will carry out in stride....Cody Green was probably prepared to be graded out by his position coach Shawn Watson, but got a series of interesting calls from his old high school coach Jeff Nations. The former coach to Cody Green stated that he saw his former QB look like he choked in the second half...further evaluation of the tape showed he played good but could do better....I agree....Brandon Kinnie will have a going competition with a former teammate, Cameron Kenney who plays for OU. The two were regulars at the top of the Jayhawk conference in receptions and yards...Who says you can't have a friend cross team competition while trying to win the game for your money is on Kenney.....Rex Burkehead appears on track to possible being able to play again during the Colorado game...should anything derail that time table...he'll be ready for the bowl game.....We need that kid back...asap....Shawn Watson is gearing up for a hard nose physical game as that is what he feels will be the key to wearing out Oklahoma and getting a was how Texas won..they just made a few plays and wore OU out...interesting that it'll take that kind of game plan to beat OU...We haven't done that on offense all season....

Coming back with more tomorrow...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

November 3, 2009

Wow, how fast does the College Football season goes...and to think we only have four games sad.


1. Nebraska/Baylor Grade Outs
2. New Top 25
3. Big 12 Rankings

1. It wasn't pretty by any means but Nebraska did what it needed to do to get a W and get itself back into the Big 12 North race. Think how much of a strangle hold they would have on the division if they'd won last week against ISU. Nebraska would be in the drivers seat but now they probably must win against Oklahoma to show that this team is improving and getting better to make a strong run to the Big 12 championship game. To the Grade Outs:

Offense: C
Defense: B-

Offense: Bo pulled the trigger last week and gave the nod to Cody Green, but Husker fans quickly found out in the second half that Nebraska has more issues with it's offense than just it's QB. Nebraska was unimpressive by not being unable to finish off a pesky opponent on the road when it had the chance to put them away early in the second half. Two turnovers by Cody Green allowed Baylor to feel that they could pull of the huge upset at home. This offense simply hasn't been able to run the ball effectively since Virginia Tech. That doesn't look good with the 3rd best defense against the run coming into town this weekend. I can remember last time OU came to Lincoln.....Nebraska couldn't rush the ball and needed trick plays to keep itself in the game. Nebraska must get better play from it's offensive line this week or it'll be a long long game with OU manhandling them. Nebraska wasn't able to move the ball down the field against Baylor in the second half which is concerning again because there was a lot of plays where guys were missing blocks and assignments. We've heard it said many times this must execute efficiently or you'll keep running into the same problems that have plagued this offense all year.

Defense: Jared Crick came out with a mission that he wasn't going to be stopped, and that earned him national defensive and Big 12 defensive player of the week honors. He'll be counted on again to play well against Oklahoma...but more to come on the match-ups later this week. Nebraska didn't get the highest grade this week as they forced one turnover but what was most concerning was the secondary giving up big plays through the air. Those kinda plays killed momentum against Texas Tech and could be a game changer against OU this weekend. The front four did it's part but the back seven has to elevate their game or big plays against this defense are likely to come in big numbers against the speed of Oklahoma.

2. My New Top 25 for the first week of November.

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

Texas makes the jump to #2 following a nice road win at OSU on Saturday. Teams move up following USC blowout against Oregon on Saturday...hmmm I guess they were hotly overrated all season...unranked teams make a splash this week as Wisconsin, OU, Auburn, and South Florida all crack my top 25. Iowa drops due to a dismal performance against Indiana, I'm calling a blowout against Ohio State next weekend.

3. Big 12 Rankings (Week 10)

1. Texas (8-0) (5-0)
Its becoming a magical season that probably has to end in a national title for the Longhorn faithful. Texas plays is remaining 5 games in the state of Texas...a nice butterball opponent in Central Florida should continue to boost them in the polls the next few weeks.

2. Oklahoma State (6-2) (3-1)
OSU simply just isn't the same offense with out Kendall Hunter and Dez Bryant. The Cowboys lost a chance to show that this team can hang with the elite of this conference. Playing OU in Norman to end the season doesn't look to good now...I smell a trap this weekend at Iowa State if this team lingers in it's dismantling it got from the Longhorns.

3. Oklahoma (5-3) (3-1)
What does OU have to prove in it's final four games? That's a question that will have to be answered in the next few weeks. How well does that offensive line play against the best front four in the conference? OU would like to finish 9-3 and snag a high tier bowl game to salvage this disappointing season.

4. Texas Tech (6-3) (3-2)
The Red Raiders have earned a nice bye week this week...but still have a chance to stir the pot with games against OSU, OU and Baylor to end the season. 9-3 isn't out of reach for this squad after it beat down the Jayhawks in the second half last weekend.

5. Kansas State (5-4) (3-2)
This team got beat by Louisiana Lafayette at home early in the season and went toe to toe with Oklahoma in the second half last weekend. K-State could wrap up an improbable Big 12 North title with wins over Kansas and Missouri in the next 2 weeks.

6. Nebraska (5-3) (2-2)
The Husker's offensive woes continue every week. Wouldn't it be nice to see a break out against a great opponent at home this weekend against OU. If it wasn't for Nebraska defense...the Huskers would be hard pressed to have 3 wins this season.

7. Texas A&M (5-3) (2-2)
One more win and the Aggies would be bowl eligible...they can still stir the pot against Texas on Thanksgiving night....The Aggies have clearly overachieved this season and have some big big games left on their schedule. Winning at Colorado is a must to keep this season a bright one.

8. Missouri (5-3) (1-2)
The Tiger offense woke up and mutilated the Buffaloes on Saturday. That bodes well with Baylor coming to town on Saturday. This team isn't out of making a nice bowl game, but winning out is likely a must.

9. Kansas (5-3) (1-3)
Benching Todd Reesing just a few weeks after Mangino proclaimed that he was the top Heisman candidate shows that this team is falling apart. That doesn't sit well with the Jayhawk faithful who thought this was going to be a big season. Games against K-State, Nebraska, Missouri, and Texas look awful and missing a bowl game is likely if you don't win this weekend at K-State.

10. Iowa State (5-4) (2-3)
The Cyclones had a chance to follow up an upset win of Nebraska with another at A&M and were blown out 35-10 by the Aggies. Paul Rhoads has used his celebration locker room video after the Nebraska game as a recruiting tool, but how powerful is that if the Cyclones miss out in a bowl game this season.

11. Colorado (2-6) (1-3)
One win in the conference over Kansas has kept this team from going winless in the Big 12. The Aggies come a calling at home this weekend...can we see back to back trounces at home by the opponent? That appears likely with Dan Hawkins firing support base growing after every home loss.

12. Baylor (3-5) (0-4)
Winless in the conference just hurts when there was so much excitement with this team in August. Good teams rebound from hard personal losses....the Bears haven't and their offense hasn't helped their defense win games. 0-8 in the conference looks likely each week...and going to Missouri isn't easy to get your first win this weekend. It shows how much Robert Griffin meant to this team.

More Tomorrow......Go Enjoy some Taco Tuesday at TJ's