Tuesday, August 31, 2010

August 31, 2010

Well I'm back...school is getting crazy busy so at 5:30 p.m. at night I've returned to pump out a nice big blog...

1. Harvey Perlman...A new Hero?
2. Big 10 set to announce?
3. Big 12 Preview: Missouri
4. Big 12 Preview: Iowa State

1. A great article and I mean GREAT article on the details that surrounded Tom Osborne and Harvey Perlman about the days leading up to Nebraska joining the Big 10. It went into great detail about the days leading up to the Big 12 meetings. Essentially you saw both of these guys meeting with Jim Delaney and selling to him on Nebraska joining the Big 10. Yes I'll agree that there really wasn't much into getting the presidents to buy into getting Nebraska into the Big 10. But you do have to realize that when the Big 10 began looking into expansion, Nebraska was nowhere close on their radar. Ultimately I think we as fans are happy with the move, I'm stoked...but when you read into the nitty gritty details about what went into getting Nebraska into the conference, I was amazed at the endless work that both Tom and Harvey continue to put in to make sure that Nebraska was not left out in the ever growing expansion talk. Like before when I stated praise for what Harvey and Tom did in getting Nebraska into a conference that we all know is going to last for a long long time...this article further showed exactly what it takes to run a program at Nebraska and an academic institute like Nebraska. There was a time I moaned and complained about tuition rising on campus every year I was in school. When in reality our leaders did have the best interest of our fans, students, and faculty at heart. This move all but assures Tom and Harvey into lifetime contracts at the school, as they singled handedly ushered in a new era for the University of Nebraska.

2. It appears almost likely that the big 10 will be poised to announce its divisions on the Big 10 network as early as tomorrow night...This news breaks directly from Sports Nightly as I'm listening in. It's hard to say if it's true...guess we'll be tuning into the Big 10 preview show tomorrow night to see...I'm DVR-ing it..

3. Our preview of the Big 12 continues with two more teams today...Missouri is up.
Blaine Gabbert returns as Misery's starting QB. He was impressive as a true starting Sophomore last season passing for over 3500 yards and 24 touchdowns with only 9 picks. The Tigers are silly for not keeping a redshirt on him as likely as a Junior he'll be bolting for the NFL after this season. The biggest concern on offense is the loss of Derrick Washington. The starting RB was charged this week with sexual assault and has been indefinitely suspended pending the outcome of his trail. Likely opening the door for younger guys to get a crack but with losing Danario Alexander at WR after last season. Nine (now eight) starters return on that offense which are leading to big big expectations this season. On defense the loss of dirty player Sean Weatherspoon leaves Missouri searching for a defensive leader. The entire secondary returns but they were miserable in pass defense last season ranking 104th nationally.
OUTLOOK: The Tigers have created a team slogan for this season..."Get Money"...its ridiculous...what in the world does that even mean...the Tigers have always had bad blood with Nebraska but that has been magnified with Nebraska going to the Big 10 and NOT Missouri. The Tigers open with Illinois, McNeese State, San Diego State, and Miami of Ohio...all wins...it's one of the weakest nonconference schedule in the Big 12. Missouri has home games against Colorado, Oklahoma, K-State, and Kansas in Arrowhead with road games at Nebraska, Texas A&M, Tech, and Iowa State. In the conference I see wins over Iowa State, Colorado, and Texas Tech. With losses to Nebraska, Oklahoma, A&M, K-State, and Kansas. I see 7-5 this season on a year where Missouri thinks they'll be going to the Big 12 championship game...better hope you're not playing Navy in a bowl game again at the end of this season...

4. Iowa State is one of the most interesting teams in the conference this season. Paul Rhoads worked magic last season beating Nebraska with 8 turnovers to get a bowl bid and a bowl win. The Cyclones return one of the most prolific offenses in the Big 12 with Austin Arnaud and Alexander Robinson at Running Back. The duo could put up huge offensive numbers this season. The major issue comes with the defense which returns only 4 starters. Replacing all three linebackers is a huge concern to getting better to stop the run. Only David Sims with notable talent returns at Strong Safety. Iowa State must learn to stop teams or no matter how much they score they'll likely lose every game.
OUTLOOK: The Cyclones have the toughest schedule in all of College Football this season. Paul Rhoads talked about how much more improved this team could be this season but likely will end up with a worse record this season. Nonconference opponents Northern Illinois, Iowa, Utah, and Northern Iowa don't make things easy. I see 1-3 to those opponents (only win against Northern Iowa) but they could lose all four. Home games against Nebraska, Texas Tech, Kansas, and Missouri are brutal with road games at Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, and K-State in Arrowhead. I see the Cyclones winning only 1 game in the Big 12. Colorado....which would drive a knife into Dan Hawkins side. Final record: 2-10. It's a dismal year for the Cyclones...because I expect many blowouts this year.

Back Tomorrow...enjoy....

Friday, August 27, 2010

August 27, 2010

As promised I've returned for another lovely blog...so we won't delay...


1. Big 10 Divisions...its heating up
2. Big 12 Conference Preview: Baylor
3. Big 12 Conference Preview: Oklahoma State

1. The Big 10 is heating up with lots and lots of division talk. Reports have surfaced recently about Ohio State and Michigan being in separate divisions along with likely Iowa and Wisconsin are looking like being in different divisions too. What's becoming the major issue is where Iowa has rivalries with Minnesota and Wisconsin. They have voiced their opinions about staying in the same divisions to keep its long traditions with those two schools. You're beginning to see that teams with trophies are getting snippy about keeping their games with those schools going. The hot button topic has been what to do with Michigan and Ohio State...split them up...or keep them in the same division. I think you split them up because no matter how you look at it the Big 10 wants its 4 major programs to be playing each other as much as possible. I think you split it up where Nebraska plays Michigan and Penn State each year in a protected rival game. Penn State and Nebraska could be a great rival because they absolutely hate us for stealing the national title away from them in 1994. That also ensures that Nebraska will be playing Iowa and likely Minnesota each year as well. The lone school out is Wisconsin...they badly wanted to create a trophy game with Nebraska and likely won't get a chance to, as Wisconsin and Iowa have been tabbed as the next two teams in the tier just below the big four. No matter how you slice the teams in the new Big 10...Nebraska arguably will have a tougher schedule to go with in 2011...thus pushing the urgency to make some serious noise in the final year of the Big 12.

2. Our Big 12 preview continues today with the Baylor Bears. Expectations were through the roof last season after what Robert Griffin did at QB. I bought into the hype...I picked them to win 7 games last season. All that came crashing to an end when Griffin was lost for the season due to an ACL tear. He's back and states he's fully recovered.....but Dennis Dixon can certainly attest to what the impact of this kind of injury is to the psyche. He is the key to any success that this team could have. The return of Jay Finley at running back along with Kendall Wright gives Baylor weapons outside of Griffin. I think the key for them this season is simple...spread the ball around...Last season it became obvious that the team relied waaaay to much on Griffin's feet. Thus you saw what happened...he got hurt and their bowl hopes when crashing down. The defense returns playmakers at DT with Phil Taylor and Tracy Roberston. LB Antonio Johnson, CB Chance Casey and FS Tim Atchison give some mobile players behind their defensive line. The key with this unit is can they actually stop someone. You can't beat the big boys in your division unless you can stop them from scoring points. I don't think they can do that on a consistent basis but they will be competitive and shouldn't be taken lightly...just as Missouri from last year...

OUTLOOK: Baylor opens with one tough game in the nonconference with TCU on September 18th. They should be 3-1 after beating Sam Houston State, Rice, and Buffalo...Opening up with Kansas at home is win this year...the Jayhawks have a lot to deal with this season...Texas Tech exposes Griffin and uses that defense to contain him but playmakers help him win...5-1...At Colorado...win...6-1..congrats you're going bowling this year...then comes the meat of the schedule with K-State, at Texas, at OSU, and Texas A&M and OU at home to close it out...the beat K-State to get to 7-1 but four straight losses to end the season puts them at 7-5 and bowling this season....I thought I called it last year...don't make me look like a fool again Baylor...

3. Oklahoma State is an intriguing team this year...riding the high of being preseason in the top 15 with Zac Robinson a stud QB...he's gone...so is Dez Bryant who sat out all of last season due to lying to the NCAA..real smart guy...The biggest disappointments came with Kendall Hunter who was banged up all season and didn't perform like a first team All-Big 12 performer. Losing Russell Okung to the draft hurts on the OL as well. Brandon Weeder steps into the spotlight in a new offensive system ran by the same coordinator who let Case Keenum light up OSU last season. Weeder is older (26), more mature, and ready to lead OSU to a bowl win...getting trounced by Mississippi State has left a bitter taste in the Pokes mouth. WR Hubert Anyiam returns but must get the confidence to make the big time catch. At times last season he had a chance to make the play and dropped the ball. Now he's the leader...needing to perform like a leader. Defensive returns talent but second year defensive coordinator Bill Young still feels like this unit can make big plays but isn't ready to fully say they will every Saturday. Ugo Chinasa(DE), Chris Donalson(DT) and Jamie Blatnick(DE) help anchor an experience DL. SS Markell Martin has express wanting to make bigger plays from his position in 2010. He'll need to do it...the best teams in the Big 12 have a SS that can come up and knock running back on their back anytime they want....lofty expectations to fill there bud..

OUTLOOK: OSU opens with three straight wins against Wash St, Troy, and Tulsa. Getting A&M early on Sept. 30th is a trap game and I feel the Aggies are just too talented to be beaten...expect a lot of points scored in that game. Win against Louisiana puts them at 4-1 before playing Texas Tech. I'm not sold on Tubberville's system but this is one I feel they get at home...again...against the pokes...Nebraska the following week leaves a bitter taste as they lose again and again the next week to K-State....they get back to winning against Baylor but lose to Texas and beat Kansas to end the season...final record 7-5 and likely a bowl game. That will keep the angers of pokes fans quite...for now but Mike Gundy might have to get them back to winning 8+ games a season if he is to keep his job in the next 4 years.

Not planning to blog over the weekend but we'll see...I'll return Monday...enjoy...game week starts on MONDAY!!!! GO SKERS!!!!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

August 26, 2010

Hello hello hello...I've returned...for those of you who have been anxious in following myself...sorry for such the delay...I now live in Scottsbluff so the move and getting set up with the new job was a challenge but I'm ready to rock and roll. Much to dive into today...


1. Bo Pelini's Job Security...will he ever leave???
2. Thoughts on Fall Camp
3. Big 12 Conference Preview: Kansas State
4. Big 12 Conference Preview: Texas

1. We begin with a very interesting article that jumped out at me from the Omaha World Herald. The article stated information about how Bo feels heading into his third season at Nebraska. Did you know that after this year, if Bo stays this will be the longest tenure job he's ever had in his coaching career. Interesting to think about when you look at the remarkable success that he has had a Nebraska in just 2 short years. The article also dove into topics about maybe his interest in leaving Nebraska for LSU or Ohio State. As we know Ohio State is his alma mater, and with Jim Tressel's increasing age...people in Buckeye land are beginning to think that his time is drawing to an end in 4-6 years. LSU brings the place where Bo was on top of the world winning a national title as the Tiger's defensive coordinator before coming to Lincoln. Bo simply stated that he doesn't see Nebraska as a stepping stone to something else. "Once we become great, why would you want to leave?" Couldn't agree more. Nebraska has everything that a top national program has. It's hard for me to sit here and say that we have a coach that will stay for the remainder of his career, but at 42 and given the current landscape of college football you can never say that things are for certain. Places like Texas and Oklahoma are reaping the benefits of keeping their staffs mainly intact. Gary Pinkel got a nice wakeup call of what happens when your coordinators are raided from your program. I think that as long as Bo has the drive to win a national title he'll continue to stay here. After he makes it to the top of College Football...will he stay??? I think so, he has young kids and his wife is well connected in the community. They loved living in Lincoln back in 2003 and I can honestly say that they would stay in Lincoln as long as Bo has a job. Ohio State would be out because you don't see coaches switching teams in the same conference. LSU is interesting because I see Les Miles going to Michigan after this season. If we are successful this season, I think teams come knocking...but Bo remains committed to the Husker family and stays...

2. Fall camp has been interesting to watch and follow. Obviously the heated race with all eyes watching has been the QB's. Bo stated yesterday that really nobody would know the starter till he walks out on the field on September 4th. You can tell he's getting testy answering the same questions every day. I'm not as concerned with the injuries that the team has endured this year due to the great depth that Bo and his staff have developed. Sean Fisher might be the biggest blow, I felt like he was poised to make a huge impact and have a breakout season. But last season, the defense was in a lot of 4-2-5 looks due the vast spread offenses in the Big 12. I assume that Eric Hagg will get a considerable amount of playing time this season. Guys like Eric Martin and Lavonte David are pressed into the mold of getting a shot. You have to rise up and take those chances because they don't come around often. It's been nice hearing praise about Quincy on the WR front. Nebraska desperately must get another legit playmaker at WR outside of Nile Paul. I feel given this kid's size and speed he'll have a chance to make an impact this year. He must block downfield well and, of course, catch the ball....I'm not sold on Kinnie yet till I see more production out of him...More tomorrow.

3. As we did last season we'll break down each team in the Big 12 (last time). I want to get it all done before opening kickoff so we'll hit a two-fer each night. First is the K-State wildcats......
Offense: Much was expected out of this team last year with the legend Bill Synder returning last season....Who would of thought they would be 6-6 with the roster that Ron Prince put together. What hurts this season is the loss of their top 3 WR's including Brandon Banks...a small speedy kid that was a nightmare matchup for teams in the special team game. Also losing to TE gives Carson Coffman or whoever starts at QB virtually no experienced playmakers to throw to. K-State no doubt will rely heavily on Daniel Thomas who led the conference in rushing with 1,245 yards and 11 touchdowns a year ago. He returns with an offensive line with four returning starters. Running the ball will be the key for the Wildcats to win games...do it and they have a shot...don't and it spells a long long day with likely a poor passing game.
Defense: Defensively K-State improved last season overall and return Freshman All-American Brandon Harold. He needs to stay out of academic and injury trouble first to be a major impact on this team. The Wildcats bring experience in Safeties Tsysn Hartman and Emmanuel Lamur. The defense is scrappy and hinges on LB play for overall success. In a league that spreads the ball and run draws, LB play is key for great defenses. K-State must answer this defensive concern to right the ship this season and get to a bowl game.
Schedule: It's hard to think that this team can get to a bowl game but it's possible without two D-IAA opponents that they had on their schedule last year. Non-conference games with UCLA, Missouri State, Central Florida, and North Texas is ok but not stellar...Big 12 home games have Nebraska, Texas, OSU, with Iowa State in Kansas City...tough road games at Colorado, Missouri, Baylor, and Kansas.
Outcome: I think that K-State loses its opener against UCLA. The Bruins have too much talents and K-State has way to many question in the passing game to win out of the gate....They get wins over Missouri State, ISU, and Central Florida to get to 3-1 but lose badly at home against Nebraska, that starts a tailspin causing them to lose their next 2 in a row to Baylor, Kansas. They get a W against OSU but get pummeled by Texas at home the next weekend...Losses to Missouri and Colorado followed by a pump up win against North Texas gives them an overall record of 5-7 this season and no bowl game for the kitty cats this season.

4. Our Big 12 preview continues with that hated team in burnt orange. Every Husker fan has October 16ht on their calendars circled in red. Texas must replace stars in Colt McCoy, Jordan Shipley, Earl Thomas, Sergio Kindle, and Roddrick Muckelroy from last season. Mack Brown has been able to replenish his talent with his high recruiting classes. This season they lean on Garret Gilbert...a highly touted sophomore who got exposed in the national title game last season. He's good...and could be really good if the offense develops a running game this season. That has been the Achilles heel for Texas is lack of run production in games. That has allowed defenses to sit on them and blitz heavily in obvious passing downs. Texas might have the most experience in their secondary with Aaron Williams, Chykie Brown, and Curtis Brown all returning but replacing Earl Thomas is a huge task this season for Texas.
Schedule: Its never easy for Texas when you have to play Oklahoma every season but opening against Rice and Wyoming give them two easy wins to get things started right before traveling to Texas Tech. Its an early test on September 18th that will show if the Longhorns are legit top 5 team or vastly overhyped. Home games also include: UCLA, Iowa State, Baylor, OSU, A&M, and Florida Atlantic. Road test are: at Nebraska, Tech, K-State, Rice, and OU in Dallas.
Outlook: Texas gets started off right winning against Rice and Wyoming...too much talent for those teams to get the upset....Texas Tech is the interesting game but I don't see a first year Tubberville team having it all together to nip the horns at home that night. UCLA the next week is a win giving the Horns a nice 4-0 start. Going into the Red River Rivalry I don't see them extending their winning streak and the Sooners thump them...good. Two weeks to prepare for Nebraska doesn't work for Gilbert who gets eaten alive in truly his first major Big 12 Road game...Iowa State, Baylor, K-State...all wins...and winning out with OSU and Florida Atlantic....Thanksgiving day brings the hated Aggies to town but I feel the Aggies could be a real legit talent and beat the Horns giving them a 9-3 regular season...a bowl game is in reach but for the first time in years the Longhorns won't be in the BCS or even in the hunt...likely Holiday or Alamo bowl in store this season...likely disappointing to a team preseason ranked in the top 5 and smelling a national title run...

Back tomorrow with Big 12 Preview of OSU and Missouri...plus practice talk...and more....catch ya tomorrow readers...SKOCZ OUT!!!