Well I'm back and ready to rock out another healthy set of topics again...so lets dive in.
THE HOT LIST:
1. Husker Women's Basketball: What does this season mean?
2. Impact of Losing Mike Nesseth
3. Thoughts on Spring Practice
1. Well what is kinda old news now about the Husker Women being ousted by Kentucky on Sunday night. Nebraska failed to make it to the elite 8. After their loss, what does this season mean for the program, and is this season a success or failure? I think that you have to look at a few things about this season. One, Nebraska simply did the unthinkable this season by becoming the first team in the Big 12/Big 8 era to go undefeated and captured their first regular season Big 12 title. The schools only title. There's no question that this was a magical season for the women but sadly ended quickly with 2 poor losses. When we look back at this season, who's to say that this may have been Nebraska's best team to NOT make the Final Four. I look at this season with mixed emotions. Clearly it was Nebraska's best season winning 30 games and capturing a title but disappointing that Nebraska only made the sweet 16. Lets look at another interesting topic of this season, what if Nebraska takes a major step backwards next season. Nebraska clearly lived and breathed from the play of their best player, Kelsey Griffin. Her play carried Nebraska in games where the rest of the team struggled to get the ball in the net. Who does Nebraska look to for that kind of play next season...the answer is that right now they don't have anyone close to that caliber of a player and really need to develop someone into that role. That kind of player takes 2-3 years to develop in the women's game unless you get some studs to ride like UConn has. Either way Nebraska absolutely needs to make a major step forward next season, or they will be regarded as a one year wonder who didn't make the Final Four.
2. BREAKING news today came out before Nebraska's game against North Dakota as Mike Nesseth was scratched from his start and underwent an MRI today to reveal tendon damage in his pitching elbow. This likely will need major surgery to correct and it was announced that he wouldn't be pitching again in the 2010 season. The impact of this is MAJOR for this team. Look Mike had been struggling to find his groove this season and most would say that he won't be missed because guys have stepped up and filled his role already. But Nebraska has lost too many close games against teams where they failed to get outs in the final innings for wins. Mike was arguably the teams best pitcher, and without him its a different makeup in the clubhouse now. He'll likely be called on to provide insight to the young arms on the team as the season progresses. I think this is major because this likely to be a problem later in the season where Nebraska is facing a must win game and has nobody it can rely on to close out its games. I feel that this loss is major, but you tip your hat to the kid for saying its ok to hang it up for this season, you know it wasn't an easy decision...We can only hope Mike returns to his dominate form for 2011.
3. Husker Football practice is in full swing and Bo Pelini is pushing his troops hard in the past few days with the team being in full pads. Bo has a few positions where he must find ways to keep teammates happy that being Safety and QB. I say QB because think of what Kody Spano, Taylor Martinez, Ron Kellogg III, and Latravis Washington feel if they get buried on the depth chart when Byron Gaines and Jamal Turner join the team. Someone out of this group needs to step out of the shadows and make a name for themselves or contemplate changing positions to see the field. I think Latravis and Taylor are the likely candidates to consider a position change at some point with Washington likely needing to make a serious decision since he's entering his senior year. Look it happens in every program, great talented guys get to college and can't quite mesh with the culture of their programs and leave school having really never getting any decent playing time. Let's face it when it comes down to it, players are remembered for what they did on the field and not what they did sitting on the bench "hoping" for their shot. Washington appears to fall in a line or what I believe was talented players that never got a chance to play at Nebraska.
Coming Back on Thursday to preview the Final Four, Husker Baseball, and Spring Practice...Till Then...Enjoy