Thursday, December 31, 2009

December 31, 2009

Well lucky me gets to do a nice blog post the eve of the last day of 2009. Much to dive into this lets begin.


1. Holiday Bowl Grade Outs
2. Reflection on 2009
3. Looking to 2010

1. Well what can you say about the Holiday bowl. Nebraska clearly came on with a mission to pound Arizona into submission. It was well needed and well deserved for a season filled with ups and downs. To the Grade Outs

Offense: A+
Defense: A+

Offense: Holy Cow, could you have imagined that this offense would have made a statement like they did last night. I would of thought probably not, but give tons of credit to Shawn Watson for creating a successful gameplan that gave Nebraska a legit chance to dominate their opponent. What's exciting is that this offense gashed Arizona for 223 rushing yards and dictated the tone of the game from the beginning when Zac Lee bootleg out for a diving touchdown. Nebraska threw the ball at will and kept Arizona on its toes and confused all night long. Sometimes you finally get in the was great to see that this young group of kids can execute to a high level. They end 2009 on a high note and can raise the bar higher in 2010.

Defense: This group sealed what has been a remarkable turn around in the past 2 seasons. They picked off Nick Foles early and set up their explosive offense with a short field. They kept Foles uncomfortable in the pocket and really had no running game of any kind that whole night. They allowed 109 yards of total offense stamping a complete domination to a quality Pac-10 team. This group simply came out with the idea that Arizona wasn't going to do anything against them and they sealed Nebraska's first bowl shutout in 46 bowl games. Simply awesome job boys.

2. A Reflection of the 2009 Nebraska Football Season:

Biggest Point of the Season: Beating Oklahoma
Beating OU, Nebraska hadn't beat the Sooners since Eric Crouch caught a flee-flicker pass that won him a Heisman trophy in 2001. Nebraska used 5 interceptions to create havoc for Landry Jones and won a gutty backyard brawl with OU 10-3. That win arguably propelled Nebraska to the Big 12 championship game. Nebraska's Bo Pelini showed a blueprint that Nebraska finally has the talent and coaches to beat its big time rival from down South.

Lowest Point of the Season: Losing to Virginia Tech 16-15.
Looking back this is the lowest point of the season because Nebraska extended a poor losing streak of playing ranked teams in the top 15. Nebraska lost it's 34th straight game to those opponents and the national media that saw the game began to cellar Nebraska in the ratings. Nebraska used it's defensive mishaps to formulate a team confidence that this defense would not surrender big plays and give up the lead. It also started a trend, which at the time no one really paid attention too, that against high quality competition Nebraska's offense simply couldn't produce touchdowns to win games. This would ultimately cost Nebraska 2 more games against Iowa State and Texas.

Offensive MVP: Alex Henery
In a season where Nebraska went with a conservative game plan for 5 games to simply just win football games. Alex Henery provided Nebraska with well needed points in the kicking game. He arguably should have been on the first team all Big 12 and kept Nebraska in nearly every game this season with his leg. It's always nice to know that there's an automatic 3 points when you get into the 30 yard line. In three games this season Henery booted 4 or more field goals to keep Nebraska in the game. Clearly in a year with a young offense....Henery provided automatic points and has a chance to solidify himself as the kicker in Husker history next season.

Defensive MVP: Ndamukong Suh
Clearly this was the most dominate defensive lineman that College Football has ever seen. In games where Suh didn't put up huge numbers, he repeatedly drew 2 or 3 lineman to defend him. Above all he'll be remembered as a great team player, who prided himself on the team winning than having flashy stats. Suh showed that this coaching staff and produce elite lineman just like Tom Osborne and his staff did before. He'll be missed, he'll be admired, he'll be loved, but most of all he built up Nebraska's defense into something fierce in 2 seasons....he's set a platform for this program and for that I'm forever greatful for what he did. He'll be the #1 pick in the NFL draft. Best of Luck Suh. Best of Luck

Final Thoughts: "What Could Have Been"

"What could have been" will echo as the quote of this season. Husker fans are used to saying that when Nebraska comes ooo so close to winning National Titles...not losing 3 games by a combined 4 points. What could have been if Nebraska finished 12-1 and earned a big to a BCS bowl likely playing Boise State. What could have been if Nebraska had a more productive offense and injuries didn't riddle offensive playmakers causing Shawn Watson to re-evaluate how this team could continue to win games. This was a tough year to be a Husker fan as we questioned the Husker Offense each week in the middle of October. Credit Bo Pelini for keeping his head up and his heart right, he had faith in his staff and put his trust into them to deliver wins. They put an exclamation point in their bowl game. Nebraska can look back at this season as one that helped them build character. Character is an aspect that the elite teams have...its the swagger that you can't be the body language that says I'm gonna light you up tonight. Nebraska was tested in 4 games this season and used each one of them to develop the tough character that it takes to be an elite program again. For that and looking ahead to the future you can't deny that this season will benefit Nebraska in many many years to come.

3. Looking ahead to 2010
Now that we've completed this season I can officially look into the crystal ball and talk about what I think Nebraska can accomplish for next season.........

Nebraska enters the 2010 season with a load of talent on both sides of the ball. Nebraska loses just 5 defensive starters and only 1 starter on offense. Nebraska is poised to make a National Title run in 2010. Here's why: They'll likely be a pre-season top 10 team (I'm thinking at least #8)...they'll be favorites to win the crappy Big 12 North...they'll match up very well against OU in the title game (and win)....they have a very manageable schedule with Big 12 homes games against Texas, Missouri, Colorado, and Kansas with road games at OSU, A&M, Iowa State and K-State. Nebraska's non conference schedule has Western Kentucky, Idaho, and South Dakota State at home with a nice road trip at Washington. The hardest games on the schedule are at Washington with Jake Loecker back, and at A&M. Nebraska faces a rebuilding Texas at home and OSU on the road and both are very winnable for this team. Nebraska's talent and speed on defense arguably should have them excited for 2010. They could be faster and better than the 2009 defense with Suh as young talent will get a chance to shine in 2010. The offense returns all of its playmakers and will have a nice quarterback competition with Cody Green and Zac Lee in the spring which should help both kids grow and be more seasoned for next season. Roy Helu, Burkehead, Robinson give Nebraska a three headed monster in the backfield with Young, Cotton, McNeil, and Reed all back at TE. Nebraska will be deep, talented, and have much to prove as they climb back up into the elite in College Football once again.

Predictions for the season will come next summer when I break down the Big 12 again after Big 12 Media Days in July. This wraps up the College Football season..I shift my focus now to Husker Basketball and Husker Baseball. Preview of my preseason Big 12 baseball outlooks will come in February...I'll have a final top 25 when the bowl season wraps up next Thursday.

I'm out for the rest of the week...I'll return next Tuesday to blog about the upcoming Big 12 Basketball season that starts on January 9th for the Husker Basketball team...we'll also dive into the Womens team as well...since they are currently 14th in the country...Till Then...Happy New Year...Skocz Out!!!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

December 29, 2009

Holy smokes where has 2009 gone...I'm back from a lil break and ready to spread the word.


1. Arizona/Nebraska Key Match-ups
2. Texas Tech Problems (My Thoughts)
3. A&M/Georgia Clock Problems?

1. Well we've finally come to it...the Holiday doubt Nebraska will be looking for a win to build momentum and secure that elusive 10 win season for the program. To The Match-ups:

1. Arizona's Nick Foles vs. Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh
This might be one of the more low key matchups, but time and time again we have seen how Suh not only can disrupt a game, but how he can play mental games with opposing quarterbacks. In the Big 12 Title game, Suh not only dominated Texas' offensive line but you could clearly see that in the later parts of the game....Colt McCoy was mentally shattered and really was uncomfortable in the pocket. Suh absolutely has to disrupt the timing of Foles throws as well as get into his head. When you feel like you'll have no time in the pocket to throw it can spell a long long day for the Wildcats as I feel the key for them to move the ball against Nebraska is to throw it.

2. Nebraska's Offensive Line vs. Arizona's Defensive Line
It seems like when go into bowl games technique and solid line play become even more critical to teams success when your facing an opponent that is evenly matched with you. Nebraska absolutely has to lite a fire under its ass and blow guys off the ball. Remember that Nebraska's offense has become a series of plays that allows the 11 guys on the field to execute the offense with upmost precision. In the past few weeks Nebraska has gone back to the basics and I expect them to come out with a gameplan that lets face it is very easy to defend. If Nebraska is to have any success tomorrow they must must run the ball, which requires you to blow guys off the ball. Win the game in the trenches and that will go a long way for a win.
Advantage: Even

3. Nebraska's Wide Receivers vs. Arizona's Secondary
I think this is the biggest match-up on paper. Nebraska can't win this game without making big plays in the passing game, whether that be a 10 yard pass or a 50 yard pass. Nebraska can't expect to go into this game like the did against Texas where deep passes were picked off twice by Texas. Nebraska must make plays in the passing game to keep the chains moving and create imbalance on Arizona's defense. If you can do that you should have success moving the ball down the field. Remember last season when Nebraska was facing a speedy defense in Clemson, Nebraska was able to move the ball well in the second half due to the plays they made in the passing game that scored 2 touchdowns.
Advantage: Even

4. Nebraska's Zac Lee vs. Arizona's Secondary
Look theres no question that a win will stem on the play of Zac Lee. Last season Joe Ganz willed a win for the Huskers with his feet, arm, and smart plays he made during the course of the game. During the Big 12 Title game Zac made a pass deep down field that was picked off by Earl Thomas (one of the best safeties in the country). Arizona brings a group of experienced corners that will test the play of Zac Lee's decision making. If Nebraska is to win today they must make plays in the passing game which means that Zac Lee has to eliminate his turnovers, make throws, and protect the football at all costs. I feel that a simple turnover could change the course of the game for either don't give Arizona the ball...easier said than done.
Advantage: Arizona

Prediction: Nebraska will look to make a statement on national prime that it's offensive problems are behind them. They make a few plays on offense to show that they can move the ball will ultimately make critical errors in the red zone that will prevent Nebraska from scoring touchdowns and settling for field goals. Nebraska defense lead by Suh and company come out with a mission that he won't be denied a win in his final game. Suh puts on a clinic again making Nick Foles move outta the pocket and throw on the run thus creating a few turnovers for Nebraska. Nebraska offensive woes bite them again when given prime opportunities by its defense and thus have to settle for field goals. The difference is Nebraska's defense won't be denied a win and sack Foles late in the game when they are trying to tie up the game. Nebraska wins 15-7.

2. HUGE breaking news today about Mike Leach supposedly mistreated Adam James (ESPN's Craig James' Son). It's been said that he was forced into workouts not allowed by a concussion recovery athlete and also locked into a room for hours because Mike Leach was disappointed in his injury. Look theres no question that Mike Leach is a pretty weird and out there guy, but given the rise of coaching image of what they do on the practice field has already cost one Big 12 coach is job. Remember that Leach was already in very hot water this past summer when he failed to negotiate his contract in a timely manner with the almost cost him his job...NOW with these allegations out on the table and Leach suspended from coaching in Tech's January 2nd bowl game, you can all but expect to see him fired from Texas Tech in the next few weeks. Sometimes Coaches just can't do whatever the hell they want and feel like they can get away with it when clearly he stepped over the line this time...on purpose. He'll coach again somewhere...just not again for Texas Tech...and in the Big 12.

3. Really interesting event happened last night during the Texas A&M/Georgia game. Towards the end of the half A&M had no timeouts left but was driving to kick a field goal to cut the lead to 14-10. With about 2 seconds left on the clock the ball was spotted and the clock was started and Jerrod Johnson spiked the ball with what appeared to be less than 1 second on the clock. The Mountain West officiating crew did not go back and review the play and award a second on the clock for A&M to kick a field goal. Hmmmmmm Kinda shows that the final play that screwed Nebraska showed that it wasn't reviewable. At least someone out there can call it right....maybe the Big 12 should look to take lessons from the Mountain West.

I'll have instant analysis and grade outs tomorrow after the game...Skocz Out

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

December 22, 2009

Well I'm back following what will be a short week of blogging before I unwind and enjoy the rest of the Christmas season.


1. NCAA Arms Race: What does it mean?
2. AP Player of the Year
3. Las Vegas Bowl

1. We begin with what I think is becoming a vastly major issue in College Football...the arms race. What exactly do I mean about the arms race, I'm talking about the vast development of major multi-million dollar facilities that are being built all over the country to maintain their edge. I watched Outside the Lines yesterday to get an idea of the seriousness of this problem where Rutgers University has invested 126 million dollars into a football facility upgrade when the University is struggling to maintain its funding for its academic program. Rutgers has since fired its athletic director for what it believes was loose holdings on athletic funds when the University clearly wanted the AD to bring in a name coach that could bring some luster back to its football program. The issue here is that smaller market universities are now forced to scrounge for millions in their budgets to compete with the major programs in their conference.

Just look at what Iowa State, Colorado, Baylor and most noticeably Kansas has done to compete with the likes of Nebraska, Texas, Oklahoma State, and OU. Kansas went out of its way this season to remove Mark Mangino and bring in Turner Gill to ensure that their millions in improvements to their football facility wasn't a wasted investment. You can't deny that that was a major motivating factor is the school's decision to part ways with Mangino. Kansas and the other smaller market Big 12 teams feel that they must raise astronomical budgets to build facilities to compete in their respective conferences.

I feel that this is a major major problem in the sport not just with facility upgrades but with coaching salaries. It seems like the major market programs in College athletics are in a race to see how high they can pay their head coach just to coach football. It's ridiculous to think that Mac Brown will make anywhere between 5.0 and 5.25 million dollars next season, making him the highest paid coach in the sport. The NCAA absolutely has to investigate into this problem and begin to put a stop to this. If we have to make a "budget cap" then that may likely have to be the way it is done. Although that is easily said, I feel that its a monumental mountain to climb as programs hate when the NCAA goes snooping into their financial books and records. How else are we going to make sure that Texas and OSU stop generating budgets in the 100 plus million each season? Clearly when you talk about why these places and programs just continue to win, its because of the money and facilities that the program has built for its teams.

Look at what Nebraska is investigating in the future for its basketball program. It's in the works of raising money to build a practice facility for its school as its the only program to not have one, while looking to be a major factor in a convention center in Lincoln so it's basketball team has a state of the art facility for recruiting and fan support...The age of recruiting and the "bigger is better" mentality will eventually cripple the small level schools making it virtually impossible for those programs to win national titles and be successful at the national stage. For programs like Baylor, K-State, Iowa State, and Colorado winning national titles in football is virtually impossible without getting themselves consumed in the arms race since they are locked into a major conference in College Football....As conferences look to expand, universities will ultimately have to decide if they have the funds to compete with the programs in their conference to at least feel that are viewed as an equal member in their league and not a bottom dweller. If you have to answer that question with a NO, you'll likely see programs like Utah, TCU, BYU, Boise State, and Houston remain where they are, so they can keep their facilities the same and remain competitive on the national stage...

Hmmmmmm maybe we should have let the AP vote for the Heisman, as they voted Suh as the AP National Player of the Year. Suh becomes the first defensive player to EVER win the award and the second Husker to win it. Eric Crouch took home the honors in 2001 after capturing his Heisman Trophy. Kinda speaks loud volumes to a guy who won virtually every major lineman and defensive award and finished just 4th in the Heisman voting. Yea...he was really that good this questions about that one.

3. College Bowl Mania continues with the Las Vegas bowl with BYU taking on Oregon State. Gotta like the Beavers here with arguably the best running back in the Pac-10 in lil Rogers...oh don't forget about his brother who plays WR and returns kicks...yea they are both pretty good. Should be a great game with lots of points scored....I'm hoping to get back on the winning track tonight...Beavers win 42-41

Back for one more day tomorrow then off till next week...Skocz Out!!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

December 18, 2009

I'm back for a wrap up blog on Friday just before I venture to Hastings, NE for my family Christmas...Can't wait...good food and good people.


1. Husker Hierarchy: Where do the sports rank?
2. Chris Williams: What he could of been
3. Should the Major awards be given after the bowl games?

1. For years I've gotten into a very heated debate with my buddy about what the hierarchy is at Nebraska for it's sports teams. What were talking about is as a fan how do you rank the sports in order of importance to the school. After pondering through the 24 athletic teams that Nebraska fields and decided to look the top five, because as I feel after the top five everyone knows Nebraska has a team but really if they aren't very successful, nobody really goes out and watches. The top 5 athletic teams at Nebraska

1. Husker Football: This isn't even close, the money generated each year by the Nebraska football team funds every sport at Nebraska. No other sport generates revenue like the Football team does. It's estimated that the football team makes anywhere between 75 and 80 million dollars in revenue for the athletic budget every year. Kinda hard not to put them at the top with 5 national titles and the endless great players that this school has had.

2. Husker Volleyball: Yes I do believe that the second most watched, and most followed sport at Nebraska is Volleyball. Nebraska arguably has one of the premier coaches in the country in John Cook, but credit him for bringing back some luster to the volleyball program when they won a national title in 2006. No question that Sarah Pavan, Christina Hoetelling, and her senior class brought excitement back to this program that for the past 10 years has been one of the most consistent and solid programs in the country. Nebraska holds the record for consecutive Elite 8 (Regional Finals) appearances at 9. What other sport at Nebraska outside of football packs 16,000+ for a volleyball match. No other.

3. Husker Men's Basketball: We have to include this because of the revenue that it generates for the school. I don't think they have been very flashy in the past few seasons, winning games they shouldn't, but losing many more that they should have. Doc Sadler is quickly making a team that should be very competitive for the next few years. I think that if he can coach a team into the top 6 in the Big 12 for a few seasons you'll quickly see the attendance numbers pick up into the 10,000 for each game. Thanks to the TV contracts of the Big 12, the Husker Basketball team breaks even each year in revenue and money spent. When it comes to success as a program, Nebraska isn't too shabby making a few NCAA tournament appearances and winning a Big 8 title. They also produced a few great players in Eric Piatkowski and Tyronn Lue. Nebraska has had some talented teams but has yet to win an NCAA Tournament game. I expect that to change in the very near future.

4. Husker Baseball: If you go back and rank these programs 15 years ago, many would have put Husker Baseball on the bottom of the school's sports. Hire a new coach and make the CWS in back to back years and excitement is breathed into a program that was the door mat of the Big 12 till 1999. Dave Van Horn brought winning and excitement to a program struggling to decide what to do with its baseball team. CWS appearances in 2001, 2002, and 2005 gave Nebraska fans a sport to cheer for in the spring days leading up to spring football practice. After last season's disappointing campaign where attendance was down for the first time in 5 seasons, Nebraska begins a 2010 season with high hopes with a very young and talented team. Nebraska owns 1999, 2000, 2001, & 2005 with a #1 draft pick in Darin Ernstad in 1997. Nebraska also has had its share of All-America players in Joba Chamerlain, Aaron Marsden, Shane Komine, Alex Gordon, Ken Harvey, Darin Ernstad, Matt Hooper, Jeff Liesie, and many more. Clearly in the last 10 years the Husker Baseball team has been a team to watch and plus with a lovely facility in Hawks Field, it makes it enjoyable to get out to a game.

5. This cleary becomes a toss up for me but I'd have to say that #5 clearly is Husker Bowling. Yes, as crazy as that sounds if there was nothing else to watch Husker wise on TV I'd be forced to tune into bowling. Nebraska has National Titles in Bowling, most recently as last season. They own an impressive 8 national titles in 91, 95, 97, 99, 01, 04, 05, and in 2009. Since it's inception as an NCAA sport in 2003 Nebraska own 3 titles in the leagues first six seasons clearly making it one of the top programs in the country. The list of awards for bowling is endless from consecutive streaks, to tournaments won, to All-American bowlers. But if you look at program success as a major reason for putting them in the top 5, clearly they might have one of the deepest in any sport at Nebraska.

2. If you haven't heard by now Chris Williams, Nebraska's stud LB out of the state of Texas last season was granted a scholarship release from the university. Chris stated that frustrations with his rehab and not getting any practice time were factors in his decision to leave the program. He'll likely be a hot player as programs like OU, LSU, Oklahoma State, and Alabama will likely try to pick him up. Its a shame that when he tore his ACL last fall that he'd be leaving before ever suiting up for Nebraska. I'll back the training staff at Nebraska 100% on not letting him practice. As we've seen before (i.e. Willie Amos) you can't rush these kinds of injuries. Its a shame he didn't want to stay around longer and develop into what I thought could of been an All-American player at Nebraska. Best of Luck Chris...get out of the Big 12...and don't regret leaving the greatest place in the country....but you will...

3. Should the major college football awards be given after the bowl season? The answer is YES!!!! Look we count these bowl games as a way to judge teams for the next season....and they do count towards your overall record. How many times have we seen award winners go out in their respective bowl games and just look awful...i.e the Heisman is the award I'm thinking about the most. I think that these awards should all be given at the same time at the end of the season as a way to officially wrap up the college football season. That way we can all judge the candidates for the Heisman one more time. The problem becomes if you evaluate the players based off their whole season than the bowl game shouldn't matter and think about the teams that don't make a bowl game. The rest of the awards can be given before but when were talking about the most outstanding player in the country...lets wait to give that out until after the bowl season...because if you in the hunt for that award...your team is definitely in a bowl game....that way the dreaded Heisman curse can end...but all that has shown is that clearly the Heisman winner really wasn't the most outstanding player of the year...if he can't win his bowl game...that would give guys like Suh and Gerhart a fighting chance to win...and end this best player on the best team crap...

Back next week for a couple of days before breaking for Christmas...enjoy the weekend...till then...Skocz Out!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

December 16, 2009

Its a late night for me, but I must spread the good word tonight.


1. Pac-12??? How possible is that?
2. College Bowl Mania
3. Husker Tid-Bits

1. As if we haven't heard enough about the Big 10 considering expanding, news broke later today that the Pac-10 will now strongly consider expanding their league by two teams. This becomes a very interesting situation for the Big 12 and Big East. Clearly the Pac-10 is in a bit of a better situation I feel than the Big 10 to add two teams to its league and clearly the Pac-10 has reaped a few victories in the bowl season more than the Big 10. It becomes clear that the only Big 12 team interested in possibly going to the Pac-10 becomes Colorado. Clearly the Denver market would bring strong revenue to the Pac-10. Also, the Pac-10 absolutely has to take one of the following 3 programs with no questions asked Boise State, Utah, or BYU. Look clearly in the past few seasons each of those programs have caused enough head ache for the commissioner of the BCS (Harvey Perlman). By adding one of those programs it would automatically boost the conference. I propose you add Colorado and Boise State. You bring a program somehow ridiculously ranked in the top 10 every season with a major market team in Colorado (Denver). That way Boise State can officially get knocked down a few pegs since it gets to play real opponents in it's conference...although I'd be hard pressed to see the WAC give them away. As a Husker Fan I really wouldn't miss Colorado's crappy fans bring the image of the Big 12 down each week. With that in mind should Colorado split for the Pac-10, that would allow the Big 12 to get TCU. They are very deserving of a bid to a major conference as is Utah, and BYU. Either way the moves of the Pac-10 and Big 10 could shake up the Big 12 to get both TCU and Arkansas in...hmmmm now that would be a better conference but Iowa State still needs to be dropped...maybe we can switch them for C-USA? Kinda shows how these championship games nobody liked when they first started are becoming really talks.

2. College Bowl Mania is in full swing this season as myself and thousands of people have logged onto and started picking all 32 bowl games. The trick comes when you have to assign point values to each bowl (1-32). I won't reveal any of my choices till the Bowl season kicks off this Saturday. Today I felt the need to dive into a matchup that I feel is very interesting. No its not the national title game or Nebraska...we'll be talking more about them next week. Today's matchup discussion is: Sun Bowl: Oklahoma vs. Stanford

Look there's no question that Oklahoma is very very disappointed to be in this bowl game. Its the first year in almost 10 years that Oklahoma isn't in the Holiday Bowl or a BCS bowl game. They arguably are still a very very talented team. One that I felt was the most talented team that Nebraska had beaten all season. Landry Jones brings a team riding some well needed momentum after thrashing Oklahoma State in the Bedlam Game. Oklahoma loves to pound you with their stiff defense which feeds well into what Stanford does, pound the rock with Toby Gerhart. I'll be hard pressed to see him running all over the OU team. No matter the magnitude of this bowl game, Bob Stoops knows the importance of nabbing a win for a team that is young and full of talent. I expect it to be a long day for Stanford because when you can't run the ball with Toby Gerhart...what else do they have? Nothing. I expect an OU win...handily.

3. We conclude tonight with Husker Tid-bits....its seems Nebraska has notched its first signee of the 2010 class. Junior College lineman Jermarcus Hardrick, a 6-7, 315 pound offensive tackle, who at one point was committed to LSU will officially enroll at Nebraska in January and be around for spring football. Given how badly our tackles have played at times, having a huge body JUCO can make offensive lineman coach Barney Cotton rest easy at night knowing that given his size he should make a major impact at Nebraska...the question is how ready is he to play in the Big 12.

Shawn Watson talked about the spotty line play Nebraska has gotten this season could of been attributed to the loss of key lineman that were redshirting. Injuries to Jesse Coffey, Brent Qvale and Jeremiah Sirles all contributed to a lack of depth that was a key to the success of the offense last season. Hmmmm maybe all those haters out there who say that this offense is going nowhere should really shut up for a bit and wait for next season. I see big things in store for 2010.

Latravis Washington and Taylor Martinez will likely stay in the mix at QB for 2010. Shawn Watson said today that the coaching staff thought long and hard about what to do with the two talented players that can make an impact at LB and Safety next season. The thought is that with 2 QB's back next season that saw the field, the likely thing is to move Taylor Martinez to a position where he can have immediate success at. With the complexity of this offense, I'd hate to see a kid that could shine at safety, CB, or WR, sit buried on the depth chart at QB. With Nebraska likely hot on the best QB for 2011, the time to make the move for Taylor is now. It's not coming...but should happen...I'm all for making the team better, and this is one of those moves that will make Nebraska a better team in 2010.

Gotta a nice lineup for tomorrow....come back...till then...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

December 15, 2009

Well Lucky me is officially done with this semester and its a great feeling.


1. Kansas: Can Turner Succeed?
2. Big 10 Expansion: Should the Big 12 be concerned?

1. Well to Husker fans, news broke out late on Saturday night that former Husker Coach Turner Gill is indeed the next head coach at Kansas. He was formerly introduced yesterday saying that what Kansas needs to do to be on the top of the Big 12. "Recruit, beat Missouri, Recruit, win the Big 12 North, Recruit, win the Big 12 Championship and if you can do that your playing for national titles, and after that we'll Recruit." Look I love Turner Gill, he was a legend QB coach at Nebraska and was a star for the "scoring explosion" back in the 1980's. The real question comes can Turner Gill actually compete and live up to the lofty expectations he's thrown out in the first week in his new job. My thoughts are he can't and heres why. This is a very dangerous road that Turner is walking on with this being his first major coaching job. Think about the success rate of those coaches who came from mid-major programs and succeeded. The pool is limited. If you weren't a successful assistant at a major program (Gill was) but didn't go straight to a major program you tend to be on the losing side of keeping your job and bringing success to a program.

I think Turner is actually trying to get back at Nebraska for snubbing him out of the head coaching job 2 seasons ago when Tom Osborne decided to go with Bo Pelini as head coach and not Turner. Look for everything he did for this university that says something when your mentor snubs you from the job. I don't deny that he wouldn't have done a great job at Nebraska but something on the side tells me that Tom knew he would struggle at Nebraska and therefore knew the fan base wouldn't hold firm with him running the team. Nebraska needed to get its attitude back and clearly Bo was the guy for the job. What's concerning is that Turner faces a monumental uphill at Kansas to live up to his expectations. First, he has to face Nebraska every year, starting with playing in Lincoln next season. Second, he has to face Missouri every year in a rivalry that Turner doesn't fully understand. Third, Turner is use to recruiting mid major level talent and likely will continue to do that at Kansas, and if you don't develop that talent then you'll likely see yourself losing 5 games each season. Look at his track record as a coach, he won 2 games in his first season at Buffalo then 4. In his third season Buffalo won the MAC but got stomped in the bowl game. In this past season his team was 5-7 again missing a bowl game. People at Buffalo were starting to become irked about how the program had begun to regress after winning a conference title. I don't question him as a person, a professional, and as a developer of your men. Thats clearly why Kansas hired him because of his personal demeanor, but Turner will find out very quickly how cut throat the Big 12 is and after a few losing season and not beating Nebraska in 5 tries I'll see Kansas fans become tiresome of Turner and that will likely end up with him out the door and looked at as a failure at Kansas. That in turn will force Turner to go back as an assistant coach before he attempts to seek out another head coaching job in the future.

2. An interesting article came to my attention about the Big 10 increasing it's talks about adding a 12th member to their league and having a conference championship game to add revenue and to keep the Big 10 Champion more fined tuned for the post season. The question comes with who the Big 10 (Slow 10) should add. I think they'll look into Norte Dame but with their lucrative TV contract and BCS tie in as an independent they'll likely shoot down an invitation to be in the Big 10. That leaves the conference exploring a possible Big 12 team or Big East Team. Likely both conferences wouldn't want to lose anybody but really they can't hold any teams in it, just ask the Big East when it lost VT, BC, and Miami to the ACC. With that said teams like Pitt, Iowa State, Nebraska, Syracuse, Rutgers, and Missouri all look like a decent fit for the Big 10. Ideally the Big 12 should look to give up one of its teams to add Arkansas or TCU to it. That means that Missouri or Iowa State would be on the chopping block and I'd be hard pressed to think that the slow 10 would look at Iowa State. Although it would make a lot of sense with them playing Iowa every year where that game could have conference implications and be put at the end of the year. I think they'll likely go to Missouri who in turn would bring a bigger market to the Big 10 which they sorely need for revenue. That leaves TCU or Arkansas and a much needed restructuring to the conference. I'm all for keeping the Big 12 strong but if we can get rid of Misery an add Arkansas or TCU I'm all for it. We'll have to keep an eye to see how this all shakes out.

Coming back tomorrow...

Friday, December 11, 2009

December 11, 2009

Well It's not Thursday like I promised but I did get back for a final post for the week and it comes on FRIDAY!!! Gotta love Friday's.


1. Heisman Watch: Who should win vs. Who will win
2. Ndamukong Suh: What will his legacy be?
3. Coaching hire at Norte Dame: Can He Succeed?

1. We begin with talk about who should win the Heisman tomorrow night and who I feel will actually take the hardware home...Yes both of these are very different.

Who SHOULD win:
It's clear this season that this season produced a few more solid candidates than in years past when clearly one person was considered the front runner and his to lose. This season provides us with five quality candidates all with outstanding resumes for staking their claim to the award. We have to remember exactly what this award was intended to College Football's most OUTSTANDING player. In years past this award has lost its luster as its has been awarded to the best player playing on the best team. This year I feel that only 2 guys are deserving of the award. They are Toby Gerhart and Ndamukong Suh. Both of these guys have had amazing seasons and when you look at the nuts and bolts of it...these two guys mean more to their teams than a Colt McCoy, Tim Tebow, or Mark Ingram. All those guys can be replaced with equal talent and their teams wouldn't lose a stride. I do recall Tim Tebow sitting a game after his concussion and I do believe that Florida still won handily without him. That just shows that really these guys are good but the talent around them makes them outstanding players. Pretty easy to sling the ball around everywhere like Sam Bradford did last season with the talent he had around him...what happened when he didn't....he folded. Suh and Gerhart mean everything to their teams. They are the leaders, the lifeblood, and the identity of the two programs they play for. Think about this: How many games would Stanford or Nebraska win without those guys on their teams? Stanford would be hard press to win 6 games where Nebraska may still lose the same games it did this season, but those margins of loss are likely bigger and does Nebraska beat Oklahoma and come ooo so close to beating Texas this season without Suh. I don't think so. Who should win this years Heisman should go to a player who despite the average talent around him, responded in a manner that would make him the most outstanding player in the country. Traditionally this award has gone on an offensive player so Suh's chances diminish on that note, leaving Toby Gerhart as the player who SHOULD win the Heisman on Saturday.

Who WILL win:
As I've stated before this award has become a reward to the best player playing on the best team by everyone's opinion. That has lead guys like Sam Bradford, Tim Tebow, and Troy Smith to win the award in the last three years. All were the best player playing on the best team at the time they won the award. The last player to actually win the award and not be on the best team (i.e. ranked #1 or #2) was Carson Palmer in 2002. In the last ten years, 7 players won the Heisman that were the best player playing in the national title game (i.e. the best team). Should Leinart, Weinke, Smith, Tebow, White, or Bradford have won the award...arguments can be made that year for each of them, but you still can't deny that they were the best player playing on the best team at the time. I will defend Reggie Bush's Heisman, because he was an unbelievable dynamic player that we had never seen since the days of Charles Woodson, Rashaan Salaam, and Johnny Rogers. Those type of players deserve the Heisman for the plays they can make in a single game, and each of those guys had a signature play that defined their careers when they played College Football. With that said...what does that leaves us for who WILL win this year. Well it only leaves us with two: Mark Ingram and Colt McCoy. If you look at the formula for how people have been voting for the winner the past few seasons, it makes sense to expect to see these guys go 1-2 tomorrow night. They are clearly the 2 best players on the two best teams in the country. Oh it also doesn't hurt that they'll face each other for the national title in January either. With that said I expect to see Mark Ingram named to the 2009 Heisman trophy as clearly the voters showed 2 seasons ago that they weren't afraid to name a sophomore to the award. He clearly has consistently put up the numbers against in the best conference in the country. The competition he faced week in and week out is far above the level that Colt faced only twice all season. If you look at how the country voted last night for the Maxwell Award, which has been a pretty good precursor to who has the early lead in the Heisman votes, that was Colt McCoy. Look I don't think that he's even gotta shot to win after he looked pathetic against Nebraska last weekend, oh that same day we saw Ingram gashed Florida leading his team to a rout in the SEC Championship game. With that said the player who WILL win the Heisman trophy is Mark Ingram from Alabama.

2. I decided I wanted to spend a quick second talking about what I think the legacy of Suh will be when he is finally finished at Nebraska. Last night Suh collected the Outland Trophy and the Bednarik awards last night. This is the first time I can ever remember seeing on lineman win both the Lombardi, Outland, and Bednarik in one season. Clearly he has been a catalyst to the success of this season. He can go out into a bowl game and snag a 10 win season for this program. He has shown the resurgence of this defense and the national impact it will have in future seasons to come. He'll be missed but when we look back on it we will all remember the never ending motor that he played with. We'll remember the unbelievable strength and speed he showed on the field. But I think what I'll remember most of all was how much of a team player he was. No matter how well he played or how much attention from the national media he got, he always talked about the team and how the team could get better. As he said this season, we win as a team we lose as a team. He clearly put team ahead of self which is very humbling in a day and age where showboating is looked at as being cool. He'll likely fall into the legend lineman category that have come of this program and likely will have a long and successful NFL career. I expect that in 20 years we'll be retiring his #93 from Nebraska when he becomes an NFL hall of famer. Congrats again Suh, you have represented Nebraska proud. Thank You for all you have done and will do in the future.

3. Norte Dame announced late last night that Brian Kelly will take over at Norte Dame. The announcement came late after the team's banquet last night where Kelly broke the news to his players. The Coach of the Year in the country now takes over a program struggling to find an identity and get back to national prominence. Can Kelly's system actually win at Norte answer is NO. Here's why...traditionally Norte Dame has been more of a running team that predicated itself on the play action pass. Now Norte Dame will likely move to the spread offense and as we've seen with Michigan and a few other programs moving to it, it doesn't just spell success right away. The Cincinnati teams he's coached have had great offenses but their defense has always faltered when they needed them to pull through. That doesn't bode well at a program that has been gashed numerous times on defense. There's no question that in a few years the Irish maybe able to score more points that a few teams, but I don't feel that the Irish faithful wanna see Norte Dame winning games 45-44 as Cincinnati did this season. Its a risky hire, because like Charlie Weis I feel Kelly can recruit talent to Norte Dame but he'll likely settle for below radar kids and try to make them stars. If you gamble too many times like that you'll likely fall flat on your face (i.e. Frank Solich knows all to well about that). I think we'll see him at the helm for about 5 seasons, and when he hasn't gotten them back to the elite again Norte Dame will move once again in another direction. It's a shame it'll be like that, but in this day and age, winning is the only way to keep your job.

Enjoy the weekend, watch the Heisman presentation, and I'll return next Wednesday to do some bowl breakdowns before the bowl season kicks off next Saturday. Till then...Skocz Out!!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

December 9, 2009

Well its another late night for me but I'd thought I wouldn't break tradition and get a quick post up tonight before turning down for the night.


1. Suh Award Update
2. Coaching Corner: Kansas/Norte Dame
3. Omaha Regional Volleyball Preview

1. We begin with announcing that Suh has won the Lombardi award presented to the nation's best defensive lineman tonight. Suh became the fifth Nebraska player to win the award and the first since Grant Winstrom won it in 1997. Suh has begun what I feel will be a huge week for him on the award front. He'll be front and center for ESPN's College Football Award show tomorrow night. I feel that when the dust settles we will have seen one of the best defensive lineman ever play the game. He's a unanimous #1 pick in the NFL draft next season. Sit back and enjoy...he's representing Nebraska proudly and can be a huge recruiting tool for the school for the next few seasons. Congrats Suh!!!!

2. The coaching corner is a new segment that I'll be starting as the season ends, universities are looking for new coaches. The highest job on the market this season is the Norte Dame job where Charlie Weis was fired after 5 awful seasons at his alma mater. Norte Dame is in a bad bad situation right now...they feel that they are still and elite program and can go out and hire anyone that they want. The problem is that Norte Dame isn't an elite job anymore...for a better time of 15 plus years the Irish have been far out of the National Title hunt that the country views them as a mid-level program. Look no one can question their tradition, national titles, heismans, but when you haven't collected a major hardware trophy in quite some time. In a day and age where its "what have you done with me lately" you just can't be looked at the same anymore. Norte Dame should hire Brian Kelley from Cincinnati...he's a Ohio guy who's brought the Bearcats to promise. Look who would of thought they would have been in the title hunt this season, turns out there's no respect for them and they get the boot when Bama and Texas went unbeaten. Norte Dame must get smart and hire a mid-level coach at a program who has the attitude of building up programs outta nothing. I love that they are down in the dumps but the elite programs must remember that every year only 1 team takes home the just need to be in the running each year. I think he can make Norte Dame competitive again...but with the poor luck of the Irish..they may have seen the last of their national titles.

Kansas: It's a sticky situation at clearly the glamor of this job has diminish with the settlement and firing of Mangino who practically made KU something. Kansas would like to hire a big name coach like they can with their basketball team but clearly they will be unable to. Guys like Sumlin for Houston, and Gill from Buffalo are coaches that will get a serious look. Gill has or certainly soon will be interviewed for this job. There are hot coordinators out there that should get a shot like Auburn's offensive coordinator, and Brent Venables from OU. The rumors on the street are that Venables is a horrible people person which will hurt his chances of ever being a head coach. I think Gill will get a strong look but as a Nebraska Fan...I hope this isn't his first major coaching job. He should stay and wait for a job in the ACC or Big East to open. He's started great relationships there and should have the opportunity to stay. If Randy Edsall gets hired at UConn....I feel Turner will get a strong strong look there.

3. The Nebraska Volleyball team heads into a showdown on Friday at the Omaha Regional where Texas, Texas A&M, and Iowa State all have advanced. Nebraska arguably will have the home crowd behind them...they are a hot team sweeping every opponent they have faced since getting beat by Iowa State in Lincoln last October. This regional is a scary one, as Nebraska has lost twice to Texas, and once to A&M and Iowa State. Nebraska saw the unbelievable job that former Nebraska player has done at Iowa State by beating Nebraska for the first time ever this season, but this time the Huskers are clearly the hottest team in this regional where Nebraska can ride is guaranteed home court advantage to the Final Four...I feel that Nebraska comes out on fire and shows Iowa State a taste of their own medicine again like they did in Ames in early November...that sets up the showdown with #2 Texas yet again. This time I feel Nebraska can push them to five sets, but as we have seen with this young team, mistakes are likely and come at just pivotal times for them. They make a few bad mistakes that allows Texas to build a lead in set 5. Texas wins but Nebraska comes out of that match with an understanding that they are clearly one of the best young teams that Nebraska has ever had. They ride the momentum of this game and gear themselves for a big big 2010.

Back Tomorrow...Stay warm...and bundle up...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

December 8, 2009

Well I'm back and enjoying a SNOW DAY!!! AND just found out that I get to enjoy another one tomorrow. We'll dive it and not waste anytime....


1. Big 12 Championship Game Grade Outs
2. Big 12 Officiating (Vent)
3. Suh's Award List

1. Well once again Nebraska and Texas played a memorable game that will go down as one of the greatest games for the Big 12 Championship game and in the Nebraska/Texas series. Its painful to be on the losing side again...but heads up as better days are quickly coming. We won't waste anymore the Grade Outs:

Offense: F
Defense: A+

Offense: As expected I anticipated Nebraska to come out with about the same game-plan like they did against Oklahoma....but the bad thing about that was Texas was thoroughly prepared for the limited Nebraska offense. Nebraska had a chance to use plays like A&M did that gashed Texas for most of the night on Thanksgiving. Nebraska did none of was very disappointing to see Nebraska's offense fail to get over 200 yards of offense and once again produce no touchdowns. We'll talk about the officials later, but bottom line of it is...if you don't put 7's on the'll set yourself up for what happened at the end of that game. It's pathetic and officially the panic button is on, this team simply has to wake up and learn to execute better and grow up. What's disappointing is 13 games into the season, this offense simply looks like it's regressed each week instead of getting better. Arizona will bring a respectable defense that will challenge this offense in the same manner like they were tested on Saturday. I'd hate for our defense to play another great game and have our offense lose it for us. This loss is squarely on their shoulders. They were unable to run the ball effectively, and timing and communication breakdowns between Niles Paul and Zac Lee gave the ball to Texas twice in that game. Its just awful to watch, and play calling is now very basic because these guys can't execute whats called. I know people will bash Shawn Watson, but I have huge respect for him and love the offense he runs, the problem is that Nebraska simply does not have talent in the right places for this offense to move the ball down the field in big chunks. You can blame one or two guys, but the bottom line it comes down to 11 guys doing it on the field all at the same time, and they simply haven't done that all season. so disappointing.

Defense: We'll talk more about Suh later, but holy cow....what can't be said about what these guys did all season. A perfect grade comes out of this game because I believe the officials gave Texas 10 points which means Texas only mustered up 3 points against this defense. When you do that you win pretty much every game you play. They held the #3 scoring offense in the nation to just 13 points. It was a masterful gameplan by Bo and his staff and you could see the passion that they were playing with on the field all day. McCoy and company were not ready for this defense, and they can pat themselves on the back. They outplayed Texas all day and in my eyes left Dallas as the conference champions, just the score didn't say so. Nine sacks on Colt McCoy...are you kidding...enough said...awesome job boys.

2. VENT: Big 12 Officiating
***WARNING: This is a vent, the views of this section may not be shared by all...grow up and don't be offended***

The Big 12 conference needs to get off their ass and hire new officals across the board. The crap that Husker fans had to deal with for 8 games this season its total bullshit. I don't deny that an extra second should have been put back on the clock at the end of the game, what I don't like is how that game was blatantly called for one school...Texas...not Nebraska. Two pass interference calls gave 10 points to Texas, with another horsecollar call giving them a chance to kick the game winning field goal. Its just awful that Nebraska has had to put up with this all season. They have been awful this season, with it all culminating on that one final play. That simply has been the reason why Nebraska can't get over the snide of beating a top 5 team....officials. I won't lie that Nebraska has been outplayed in a few games but the Big 12 clearly was looking to save its ass and keep Texas in the BCS title game. How many times have we've seen teams hold this shit out of our defensive lineman and get NO calls? I saw way to many on Saturday. The officials need to simply just call the game fair and give each team an equal chance to win the game...this was not the case on Saturday. Dan Beebe clearly will sacrifice the integrity of the conference just to keep its team in the BCS title game. Its pathetic that politics govern more of what happens on the field than what the final score says. That play shouldn't have never been reviewed at the end of the game, it was given to Texas to allow them to get to Pasadena. Timers are so cavalier with when to stop the clock when a ball is throw out of bounds, why does this one get to be so heavily review...oh wait I know...this was national screw over Nebraska's bullshit and if someone doesn't get fired I'll start my own riot. Bo has every right to be upset with the sequences of calls that have consistently gone against his team this season, it shows that if you don't wear red every weekend, everyone else is just out to screw you. Bo had his first title robbed from him, and it certainly better not ever ever ever happen again to him. Eat it Mac Brown because I guarantee you that your team is leaving in a body bag next season in Lincoln...and enjoy getting trounced in the title game....Roll Tide.

3. Last night Ndamukong Suh won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, presented to the nation's top defender by the Football Writers Association of America. It begins what is a very busy week of traveling for Suh and likely a long long list of awards that he will likely take home this season.
Heres what he has left:

Wednesday: Lombardi Award
Thursday: Outland Trophy, Walter Camp Award, and the Bednarik Award
Saturday: Heisman Ceremony

For those that don't know the Lombardi Award is awarded annually to the best college football lineman or linebacker. The Outland Trophy goes to the nations best lineman (either Offense or Defense), and the Bednarik Award goes to the College Defensive Player of the Year. He's up against some of the best defenders and offensive lineman in the country but simply outside of the Heisman he'll likely be a uniamous winner in each of them. He's earned it with 82 tackles, including 23 for losses, and 12 sacks. He's been a beast all season and he simply whipped the Texas offensive lineman all night last weekend. People around the country got to see first hand how special and talented this guy really really is. He'll greatly be missed next year and could go down as one of the most dominate defensive lineman we've ever seen play the game.

Coming back tomorrow as I'll have nothing to do but blog, since its another SNOW DAY...thanks for those people who helped me with research for this post...till tomorrow...stay warm.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

December 3, 2009

Well its the end of the week...its a quick short blog today but we'll keep it hot...since the weather outside sucks....but I can handle the cold.


1. Nebraska/Texas Key Matchups
2. Rex Burkehead: A Man Among Boys

1. As we do every game I've got a couple huge matchups for this game. We'll begin now:

-Nebraska's Defensive Line vs. Colt McCoy
As in every game, the success of this defense is dictated by the play of our defensive line. As we saw in the Kansas game...Senior QB's do have the ability to shred this team apart. Nebraska faces its second senior QB of the season on Saturday. Colt McCoy arguably is a completely different player than he was the last time Nebraska saw him when he was just a lil sophomore. Nebraska simply must make Colt McCoy's day miserable, he can't be allowed to run around in the pocket and pick us apart. Nebraska will need to implement a stronger blitz package this weekend to keep him rattled. Only when he's flushed out of the pocket can we hopefully expect him to throw interceptions. I watched him play last Thursday, if there's one thing he doesn't like...its been flushed and getting hit. Nebraska must bring the wood to him, hit him hard, and get into his mind mentally.
Advantage: Nebraska

-Nebraska's Secondary vs. Jordan Shipley and Company
There's no question that as Jordan Shipley does the Longhorn offense. Nebraska simply hasn't faced a caliber type receiver like this and shown they can stop them (Kerry Meier). Nebraska must put its best corner on him and hope that they don't get beat over the top. All in all it was a very disappointing performance by this secondary last week against Colorado. Texas brings a different caliber receivers to the table and they'll have to play their best game against these guys. Nebraska simply can't expect to win if Texas makes huge plays in the passing game.
Advantage: Texas

-Nebraska Special Teams vs. Jordan Shipley
As we saw in the K-State game Nebraska goes up against one of the premier return men in all of College Football. Nebraska can't allow Texas to win the field position battle. Nebraska did a superb job against Brandon Banks of K-State. They'll have to remember how they were able to contain the speedy little guy to minimal yards that game on kickoffs and punt returns. Nebraska must come with the idea that they are going to hit the heck out of Shipley and pry that ball from his grip. Keeping Texas pinned back inside their own 20 yard line will wear on the Longhorns mentally and give Nebraska a huge advantage.
Advantage: Nebraska

-Nebraska running game vs. Texas front seven
There's question that Nebraska has changed its offensive look and will likely look to pound the rock at Texas. Texas brings one of the best defenses at stopping the run. They rank 3 nationally in total defense and are #1 at stopping the run. The key is blocking Lamar Houston and Sergio Kindle. Those guy feed Muckelroy and that great LB group. If you can bottle them up I feel very confident that our fullback can block a LB or safety. Remember when you line up in a big set like Nebraska did against Oklahoma, it only takes making one guy do that and stand up...because it's gonna be a big run. Texas A&M may have shown how to attack Texas as they were able to line it up and run it right at Texas in the second half. Nebraska has to take a few things that they saw in that game and apply it to their style of football. Nebraska's offense is predicated on its ability to run the ball...that allows Zac Lee to set up the play action pass to get timely completions in the passing game. Nebraska will have to run the ball effectively if it has any hopes of beating Texas.
Advantage: Texas

-Turnover Battle
This is probably the most important matchup in this game, because he who wins the turnover battle likely wins this game handily. Last time Nebraska was in the Big 12 title game turnovers killed any hope of beating Oklahoma. Nebraska played well enough to win that game but just didn't win the turnover battle...that allowed OU to score an easy touchdown that proved to be costly as Nebraska played catchup for the entire game. Look at how Nebraska beat OU this needed 5 turnovers just to get a W. Nebraska needed a pick-6 to beat Colorado last week. Turnovers are key...when your playing a team that is as sound as Texas you have to force turnovers to give your offense a short field to score easy points. That's HUGE...Nebraska has to force at least 3 turnovers and turn that into 17 points. Do that and a victory is very very likely...look at how Texas won last week against A& Aggie turnover allowed Texas to put itself up by 2 scores and they never came back from that. If you wanna win the Big 12 title you absolutely have to force turnovers...get pressure on McCoy and that can easily happen.
Advantage: Nebraska

Predicition: This game brings many aspects of the game that Nebraska likely has to play against Oklahoma just to win. Use your defense to make the plays and keep it vanilla on offense. Nebraska comes into this game with really nothing to lose, allowing them to play lose and fast. Colt McCoy makes plays with his feet and this arm keeping the game close late into the fourth quarter. Nebraska establishes Rex Burkehead as a bruiser, beating up the tired Texas defense on the ground and notching a late TD that extends Nebraska's lead to 10 points. Texas responds with a quick touchdown but runs out of time to get the ball back to tie up the game. Nebraska pulls the upset and moves onto the Fiesta Bowl.
Nebraska wins 17-14.

2. Great article about Rex Burkehead....he is simply one of the most polished freshman that have played at Nebraska. He returns home to his great home state of Texas, but he says it's not a homecoming..he's here for business. He's downhill running style creates a stable compliment to fast finesse style of running that Roy Helu brings. Nebraska only has a chance in this game because of Rex's natural ability to run hard in one motion. He doesn't think...he just reacts making him a great great player for many years to come at Nebraska. Can't wait to see him pound the ball at Texas on Saturday.

Well I'm outta here to jet down to Dallas...I'll come back on Tuesday as usual....till then....GO BIG RED...and enjoy your weekend....stay warm....SKOCZ OUT!!!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

December 2, 2009

On another cold day in Nebraska, I've returned to talk about a few things like we do every Wednesday....


1. All-Big 12 Team
2. Bowden Retires...what's Joe Paterno's Time Table?
3. Husker Volleyball
4. Husker Baseketball

1. We begin with the announcement of four Huskers on the coaches All-Big 12 team. As expected Suh was a unanimous selection and was named Big 12 defensive player of the year. He also took defensive lineman of the year award as well. Jared Crick, Larry Asante, and Prince Amukamara were named to the first team. These guys have been to cornerstone on what has become one of the better defensive teams to every put on the scarlet and cream at this university. Suh is just beginning what I expect to be a very busy postseason for him as he is in line to win 4 of the major lineman and defensive awards this year. He'll arguably go down as one of the best defensive players that anyone has ever seen in the country. It was great to see guys like Crick, Asante, and Prince make the team as well. It's a testament of what this coaching staff has done with the talent that this university had during the Bill Callahan era. Bo and his staff have clearly gotten the potential out of these guys. Its great to see, and I expect Nebraska to have many more players in the All-Big 12 team. Congrats was well deserved this year.

2. Bobby Bowden officially announced that his last game will be the upcoming bowl game that leaves just one coach still chugging it out...Joe Paterno. How long do we expect the 80+ year old coach to remain the main guy on the sidelines at Penn State. I think that we'll see Joe coach for about 4-6 more years. He's clearly stated that he isn't ready to call it quits and I expect him to coach into his 50th season. I think that when he hits that milestone he'll officially hang it up marking the end of half a century for one coach. You have to admire how Florida State and Penn State have stuck by these guys for so long, in the current age of "what have you done for me lately" we may never see head coaches lasting for 20+ years. That just shows the evolution of College Football...everyone wants to get titles...but nobody wants to wait for them. Hats off to these guys...I don't like the places they work at but do respect them as a person for what they have accomplished.

3. Husker Volleyball is hot right now...I mean really hot. The Huskers swept every opponent for the month of November, no other Husker Volleyball team every accomplished this feat. Think about how good Nebraska was in 2006...that team never did what they have accomplished. Nebraska hosts the first and second round of the NCAA tournament on Friday. They'll take on Coastal Carolina. It's finally good to see this young team getting it together at the right time. Nebraska arguably is the hottest team heading into the NCAA tournament. I wouldn't want to play them right now. Nebraska can extend its impressive 15 year streak of getting into the third round. No other team in the country has been able to do that. John Cook has instructed his girls to enjoy the tournament...but have fun and play lose. The certainly look like a different team when it was beaten in 5 sets at home by Iowa State in early October. I expect this team to move on to the Omaha regional but will have a battle on its hands if Texas and Iowa State join them...we shall see.

4. We conclude today talking about Nebraska wasn't pretty by any means but Nebraska got a huge 3 point win on the road at USC on Saturday. Nebraska returns home today to play Texas-Pan American. A win tonight and Nebraska would be 5-1 heading into its rivalry showdown with Creighton on Sunday. It was great to see this young team get a win on the road for once. I look at this as a building block that this team needs to be successful this season. Nebraska made timely shots, committed few turnovers, and play stout D against USC...a team that made the NCAA tournament last year. Its still a long season and really this team can't be measured until it gets to conference play...but being a Nebraska Basketball take any win regardless if the national media thinks it wasn't that big of a win. We'll see if they can win on the road again on history has shown that Nebraska hasn't played well at the Qwest the last 3 times they have been there.

Back tomorrow to wrap up the week....Peace

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December 1, 2009

Holy crap...its officially December. Where O where does the time go??? Much to talk about today and we'll dive in with the usual Tuesday Blog.


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

1. Well Nebraska went into last Friday's game as 10 point favorites and came out what looked like a poor 8 point win. It wasn't glamorous, and just was another reason why rivalry week gives soo many teams fits. Especially playing rivals that were 3-8 with nothing to lose. Nebraska fans seem to think that we'll just roll up 50+ points on poor teams, but in reality the way this season has gone Nebraska really just isn't at the level to just show up and roll over opponents. We'll get there soon. To The GRADE OUTS:

Offense: C+
Defense: B-

Offense: It wasn't a great day for the offense. Early in the first half Nebraska had a prime opportunity to drive the ball deep on Colorado and poor blitz pick-up on back to back plays left Nebraska to punt the ball early in the first quarter. The very disappointing aspect of Nebraska's offense playbook was their inability to take shots down the field via the pass. Colorado came into last weeks game having one of the worse pass defenses in the country. Nebraska didn't attempt one pass of over 30 yards. Colorado had surrendered 25 passes of over 30 yards this season. The lone bright spot of this offense came when it decided to feed Rex Burkehead the rock late in the game. Rex ran 8 times on that drive scoring the winning touchdown that put the game out of reach for Colorado. He alone was the lone bright spot, when this team goes back and looks at the tape...they'll have to make major corrections if they are to have a game-plan ready for Texas this weekend.

Defense: It was just ugly for the defense. They surrendered the most yards they had all season and simply let a very mediocre Buffalo team feel as if they could pull of the huge upset. What was concerning that after Nebraska had missed a field goal, Colorado got the ball back and drove 50+ yards and scored a touchdown. The defense looked out of place, sloppy, and unmotivated at times last week. That was very evident on the final play of the game where Dennard gave up on covering Scottie McKnight who then caught a meaningless touchdown pass from Tyler Hansen. That one play pretty much summed up the play of the defense...they took plays off and were just sloppy. No doubt some butts were reamed in the locker room after the game. I expect them to come out with plenty of emotion on Saturday, but the way they played in the last game of the regular season is cause for concern.

2. Big 12 Rankings (Week 14)

1. Texas (12-0) (8-0)
The Longhorns are just one game away from getting a shot at the National Title. The pressure is squarely on their shoulders to deliver a win after getting snubbed last season. A&M exposed a few areas of weakness on this team and how will Texas respond when they are pressed for 4 quarters? We shall see on Saturday how they respond.

2. Nebraska (9-3) (6-2)
Nebraska didn't look pretty on Friday, but really how many top teams really looked that good last week. Nebraska has a healthy 5 game winning streak and comes into Dallas with nothing to lose. Win and you go to the Fiesta Bowl, lose and your in the Holiday Bowl....both seem like great trips for Husker fans after being 1-2 in the conference before Halloween. Suh likely will go down as the Big 12 best defensive lineman that the conference has ever had. 10 wins is a nice star to put on this season.

3. Oklahoma State (9-3) (6-2)
The Cowboys just can't seem to get over the hump of beating Texas and Oklahoma. Gundy is a miserable 0-10 against those team. Cotton Bowl appears likely, but how confident are the Cowboys playing a fast speedy team from the SEC. OU showed what speed can do to this team...a bowl slaughtering looks likely if the Cowboys don't fix their mistakes.

4. Texas Tech (8-4) (5-3)
Mike Leach didn't live up to the lofty expectations that his seniors wanted but going 8-4 after losing Harrell and Crabtree is something to be proud about. The Alamo Bowl appears likely for the Red Raiders along with a big win over any slow 10 opponent they play. With talent back next season, could next year be the year Texas Tech rises to the top of the division??

5. Oklahoma (7-5) (5-3)
Injuries killed whatever high goals were on the board at the beginning of the year. Sun Bowl appears likely for the Sooners. Bob Stoops appears to be staying in Norman, and won't be bolting for Norte Dame. Maybe he should with the talent and questions this team will likely have next season. Another 7-5 season could possibly happen next year....Getting a nice win over OSU on Senior Day is all this team has to hang it hat on this season.

6. Texas A&M (6-6) (3-5)
Jerrod Johnson returns next season along with a core group of talent on offense. The questions will come if this team can stop anybody next season. Mike Sherman may have saved his job this season, but go 6-6 when you might be the best team in the South next year and Aggie fans will scream for a change. Texas Bowl looks likely to take A&M and draw it's fan base to Houston to play Navy.

7. Missouri (8-4) (4-4)
Unimpressive was their win over Kansas on Saturday. Missouri proved why it has struggled most of the season, they can't stop anybody's passing game. The tigers relied on KU's mental downfall to irk out a 2 point win over KU. Hopes were high for this team, but 8-4 is something Tiger fans must get back to being use to. Just make a bowl game. Insight Bowl looks likely with a possible big win over another slow 10 team.

8. Kansas State (6-6) (4-4)
Teams are punching their bowl tickets and K-State has put away it's equipment for the year. Bigger questions appear imminent now that all of Ron Prince's junior college talent has all but left the program. Rebuilding looks likely for Snyder. How long do you think he'll stick around to rebuild this program? Not long, so he better work miracles quickly at 70 years old.

9. Iowa State (6-6) (3-5)
Bowl Eligibility is nice for a program that was 2-10 last season. Iowa State appears all set to go to the Independence bowl and play a bottom level SEC team. Hmmmmm think they can handle the speed of an Arkansas, Auburn, Kentucky, or South Carolina. I don't think a losing season appears imminent for the Cyclones....not a great recruiting tool if you can't get winning seasons in Ames.

10. Kansas (5-7) (1-7)
Seven straight losses have Jayhawk fans sick to their stomach after they were all but certain of being Big 12 North champs. Its shocking how much this team quit early in the year, change is coming. Mangino appears to have worn out his time at KU and losing Reesing, Sharp, Meier, and Stuckey look like huge holes that KU simply won't fill in one season. Another dark and losing season appears likely unless the right head coach is found....and quickly.

11. Baylor (4-8) (1-7)
The Bears are just banking the Robert Griffin can return next season and be healthy. If he is, they quickly become the sleeper in the Big 12 South. 15 years is an awful long time to go without a bowl game...but hope is on the horizon.

12. Colorado (3-9) (2-6)
Dan Hawkins gets to keep his job for another year, but likely won't keep his head afloat if he has another season like this one. Maybe it's best if you keep your "10 wins no excuses" statement to yourself this time. His leash is the shortest of any coach in the Big 12....Tyler Hansen was decent this year, but may not the be savior that the Buffalo faithful want....get back to being .500 should be the top goal in 2010.

3. My New Top 25 (Week 14)

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

Its a wacky top 25 this week as upsets sent North Carolina, Ole Miss, Utah out and Georgia Tech, LSU, Pittsburgh, Clemson, BYU, Texas sliding. USC, Iowa, West Virginia, VT all make the new top 25 this week. Biggest game of the week is Florida vs. Alabama with the winner going to the BCS title game. Texas/Nebraska should be a very good one with Georgia Tech and Clemson doing battle in the ACC title game. Pittsburgh/Cincinnati tangle for the Big East Crown this week.

Back tomorrow.....