2016 Nebraska Alternate Uniforms Reviewed

24 Aug

Once again, we’ve reached a day full of equal parts anticipation and dread:  alternate uniform reveal day.  In a twist, Nebraska will wear their new duds on the road:  September 24th at Northwestern.*

*I’m not sure why Northwestern is becoming the NU Uniform Bowl, with Nebraska wearing all black in 2015, and Northwestern wearing all black in 2014.  The good news is, the team in white tends to win the game.

As is our custom, let’s break it down piece by piece.

Helmet:

sideheaddown

As heavily (and rightfully) criticized as adidas has been for their previous attempts at alternate uniforms for NU, they usually do their best design work on the helmet.  Adidas has found a good groove with maintaining Nebraska’s signature sans-serif “N”, but surrounding it with some trendy elements.  The lone dud was the 2013 version with the thick black stripe and facemask that went from black to red.

This year is no different.  At first glance, it reminds you of the late 1970’s when Nebraska wore grey facemasks – the only thing missing is the traditional red stripe down the middle.  But on closer inspection, you see the “keeping up with the Joneses” touches:  a matte helmet, a chrome facemask, and the “N” rendered in a metallic red instead of the standard red helmet tape.  With a list like that, you might think they overdid it, but it works.  Oh boy, do these work.  I guarantee there will be calls from Husker fans to make this the permanent helmet.

I have a couple of minor nit-picks:  For the numbers on the back of the helmet, I much prefer the current font over the block numerals.  I’m okay with the idea of putting Herbie Husker on the front helmet bumper, but I don’t care for this version of him.  I’d propose giving the defensive players a Blackshirts logo instead.  But any quibbles I have are easily erased by the state decal on the back of the helmet.  That is a keeper.

helmet

Grade:  A

Jersey:

headdown

Last year, I took issue with how the uniforms seemed to be more of a showcase for adidas and their “high performance” gear than a unique expression of Nebraska Football.  I closed by saying “Just simplify the look.  Lose the tire treads, the reflective numbers, the stripes that look like they survived an attack from Freddy Krueger, and you’d really have something nice.”

And for the most part, adidas listened.  Yes, the sublimated tire treads are still there, but they are much less pronounced than past years.  The shoulder stripes still have diagonal slits, but it works here.  I’ll get to the numbers in a second, but overall, this is a nice jersey.  It combines classic and modern better than any alternate Nebraska has ever worn.  That is a giant step forward for adidas.

However…

I have two complaints about the jerseys:

1. The shiny, reflective numbers. We’ve progressed away from the duct tape numbers, but take a look at the picture below.  Even in the studio, there is rather significant glare on the top part of the jersey.  Maybe it’s my aging eyes, but on a quick glance, that 16 looks a lot like an 18.  Frankly, this won’t be as big of an issue for me as it has been in the past – only because I’m unable to make the trip to Evanston.  I’m hopeful that the numbers will be moderately legible on TV, but if past history is any indication, my sympathies for anybody in the stadium.

reflective

2. Take another look at the picture above.  Pretend you aren’t reading this on a Nebraska site, and tell me what team this uniform belongs to.  Maybe you base your guess off of the red numbers and multiple adidas logos (Louisville? NC State? Northern Illinois? Mississippi State?  Troy?) or the B1G logo (Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Rutgers all wear red).  If you happen to know which Big Ten schools currently wear adidas, you could narrow it down to Nebraska or Indiana (Wisconsin is now with Under Armour).  But from there, you’d either need to zoom in to the Herbie on the helmet bumper or flip a coin.  Would it have ruined the look to add the “A Winning Tradition” patch?  Personally, I don’t think so.

Even with those two beefs, this is easily adidas’s best work to date.

 

Grade:  B

Pants

N on pants

As much as I crack on adidas, I really should give them credit for simplifying my job here.  Why?  Because for the third straight year, I can recycle the same comment on the major design element on the pants:  “Putting an “N” in the stripe is interesting.  I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it either.”  The way I see it, if they don’t have to come up with something original, neither should I.

Snark aside, I think the “N” works here.  The diagonal slashes through the “N” and the stripes are unnecessary, but I can deal with them.

This is a good place to address the monochromatic white look.  As a traditionalist, I love the road white jerseys matched up with the red pants.  It is a beautiful look.  As a moderately superstitious fan, I get the angst over Nebraska wearing “surrender whites” on the road.  I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but I believe NU has a losing record in all white.  Yes, those numbers are tainted by the 2002 and 2015 teams who probably would have lost no matter what color pants they wore, but some folks out there still don’t care for the all-white look.

To those people, let me say this:  I hear you.  I am one of you.  I believe the Unicameral should pass a law requiring red pants on the road – even though said law would be impossible to enforce due to every infraction occurring outside of their jurisdiction.  But this look, when taken as a whole works.  Red pants with this ensemble wouldn’t work as well.

Grade:  B+

Accessories

kneeling

Compared to other years, the reveal video and Glamour Shots of the flexing model are rather light on images of the accessories.  But what I see I really like.  Instead of socks with a weird print or pattern – the ones that look cool on a receiver or defensive back, but ridiculous on a lineman – our model has opted for a basic pair of white socks.  The cleats are equally clean and simple.

As part of their ongoing efforts to reduce, reuse, and recycle, adidas once again has the undershirt with a gigantic “N” on it.  If you’d like to read snarky comments about that, feel free to go back to any of my other reviews.  I do find it interesting that I have never seen one of those shirts of sale in any of the Husker shops around Lincoln.

The fact that I only needed to allocate a couple of sentences to accessories is another win.

Grade:  A

Overall

squatting

 

 

Let’s start this final section by indulging me in one more quote from last year:  “In my opinion, this helmet represents what a Nebraska alternate uniform should strive to be:  different, yet recognizable.  Trendy, yet classic.”  For the first four years of the alternate uniform era, adidas has failed to take that idea past the helmet.  The result has been a cookie cutter template that is more about adidas and their latest ‘innovation’ than it is about Nebraska.  For a school of Nebraska’s stature, getting the same treatment as every other adidas school should be taken as an insult.

With that in mind, let’s take a minute and address the thematic inspiration for the “Husker Chrome” alts.  According to the press release / marketing materials, these uniforms are “inspired by the city of Lincoln, Nebraska, also know as the ‘Star City'”.  Remember that picture of the back of the helmet?  I hope you noticed how the “player numbers featured in metallic red and metallic chrome outlining on the back of the helmet, showcas(es) the Star City’s ability to shine.”

No?  You didn’t get that?  Me neither.

Despite that underdeveloped – if not complete reach – of a theme, adidas has done good work here.  Unlike the last few years, I was cautiously optimistic about what we would see this year.  Adidas has produced a number of alternate uniforms for the Nebraska Basketball team that are absolutely beautiful.*  It’s clear that they’ve brought that same talent over to the football side of the house.

*With the obvious exception of the annual train wreck that is the adidas postseason templates.  Yikes.

But most importantly is this line in the press release:  “the new Husker Chrome alternate uniform blends crisp, modernized design with a tribute to Nebraska’s clean, classic signature look.”  Finally, adidas seems to get that gaudy designs won’t play here. Superhero costumes that barely resemble Nebraska Football don’t work here. Numbers that are impossible to read are a failure to the 90,000 passionate fans that show up here.  Seriously, take a look at this picture of I.M. Hipp and tell me you can’t see some of the design inspiration:

1978 IM Hipp

I’ll gladly listen to any cynics who want to (rightfully) point out that NU’s athletic apparel contract is coming up for renewal soon, and this is the uniform equivalent of the washed up veteran putting up big numbers before going into free agency.  With Michigan and Wisconsin leaving the “three stripe life”, adidas views Nebraska as their Rod Tidwell.  Or maybe you want to note that one success doesn’t make up for years of failures.  I get that.  Personally, I don’t think you’re wrong.

But let’s give credit where credit is due.  I have been a big critic of adidas and have used this space to attack their lackluster designs and what I perceive to be disrespect to Nebraska as a premier school. However, they came through here.  It may not be a clear-cut home run, but they are definitely a stand up triple.  That is huge.

There was a part of me that was worried that with alternate uniform alpha dog Oregon coming to town this fall, adidas would use that game to make some big splash – only to end up falling flat on their face.  But I would put these uniforms up against whatever the Ducks bring to town.  They’re that good.

Grade: A

*   *   *

Here are the updated Alternate Uniform Power Rankings

  1. 2016 “Husker Chrome”.  Easily the best.  Easily.
  2. 2009 “300th Sellout”.  Technically, a throwback to the 1962 uniforms, but they looked great.
  3. 2012 “Big N”. The idea was there, the execution wasn’t.
  4. 2013 “Longest Yard”. I actually think these are the ugliest, but they get bonus points for having legible numbers.
  5. 2015 “Back In Black”. The helmet was nice.
  6. 2014 Anarchy“. From the Bo Pelini reveal to the shoes that looked orange, these were all fail.
  7. 2002 “Wide Stripe”. I maintain the best thing Steve Pedersen did at Nebraska was to get rid of these.

 

Surviving the College Football Offseason

3 Aug

We’ve almost made it.

There are just 31 days left until the start of football season.

Yes, I know that football, in the form of college and NFL camps is already here. NFL preseason games will be starting in a week or so, and the first college game will be played before August ends.

But here, in the heart of Big Red Country, football season begins when the Cornhuskers take the field against Fresno State on September 3 – just 31 days from now.

In theory, this should be the easy part.  If you have survived the prolonged football drought between end of the Spring Game and the start of Fall camp, another month won’t be a big issue, right?

Wrong.

I don’t know why, but these last few weeks of the offseason can be brutal.  The anticipation builds, and thoughts of Football Saturdays fill your head, making time pass slower than a snail stuck in molasses.

Fortunately, help is here.  I have mapped out the next 31 days, providing you with a way to get your football fix, as well as help pass the time until kickoff.

Wednesday, August 3

Attend Fan Day, and show the nation how much our fans love this team.  Unless you are getting autographs for somebody under 13, let the little kids cut in front of you.

 

Thursday, August 4

Plan your menu for the season opening tailgate.  Burgers or brats?  Beer or Husker Punch?  Pretzels or potato chips?

 

Friday, August 5

Memorize the name, jersey number, and hometown for every player on the current roster.  Amaze your friends by naming all of the Gretna Dragons on the roster.

 

Saturday, August 6

Freak out about this year’s alternate uniforms and/or adidas.  Flood social media with your thoughts on why Nike / Under Armour / Russell Athletic would be better.

 

Sunday, August 7

Start growing your Ross Dzuris tribute mustache.

 

Monday, August 8

Mondays are the 11 am games of weekdays.  So let’s get fired up for 11 am games by listening to the soothing tones of Beth Mowins.

 

Tuesday, August 9

Donate to Team Jack.  And while you’re there, VOTE to help Jack’s dad Andy Hoffman win $100,000 to help fight pediatric brain cancer.  Be sure to vote every day.

 

Wednesday, August 10

In Nebraska, Football Season cannot start until Road Construction season ends.  Therefore, volunteer your time on road construction crews between your home and Memorial Stadium.

 

Thursday, August 11

Using Photoshop, Illustrator, MS Paint, or crayons, create a series of alternate Husker uniform and helmet concept drawings. Bonus points for creativity and a total disregard for tradition!

 

Friday, August 12

Resist the urge to share those uniform concepts on Facebook, Twitter, or message boards.  Seriously, just delete the evidence.

 

Saturday, August 13

Honor the memories of Sam Foltz and Mike Sadler by making a difference in your community.  #RIP27

 

Sunday, August 14

Vote in every online contest involving Nebraska, as many times as possible – including the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award, which could give $100,000 to the Team Jack Foundation.  Repeat daily.

 

Monday, August 15

Send awkward “#Huskers!  GBR!” tweets to potential recruits.

Actually – don’t do this.

Ever.

Seriously, do not do it.

Instead, stare at the Countdown to Kickoff timer on the HuskerMax home page.  That is more productive – and far less creepy – than sending unsolicited messages to teenage boys.

 

Tuesday, August 16

Finally learn the words to “Hail Varsity”.  Practice in the shower, on the drive to work, or in meetings.

 

Wednesday, August 17

Reread all of my HuskerMax writings from the last four years, or check out some of my other musings here.

 

Thursday, August 18

Start carrying a helium filled red balloon with you everywhere you go.  Just in case.

 

Friday, August 19

Donate your old “My Bo-Friend’s Back” t-shirt to Goodwill.  Replace it with a Calibraska shirt or something that shows your fondness for Jayskers or Iowa.

 

Saturday, August 20

Practice setting up your tailgate spread in the Walmart parking lot.  Bonus points if you stay there all afternoon.

 

Sunday, August 21

Spend the day watching old games on BTN.  Or better yet, try YouTube where you can find forgotten games like this 1989 clash against Northern Illinois.  Gary Gdowski and Ken Clark look good running the option.

 

Monday, August 22

For those of you on Twitter, be sure to follow @ZombieDevaney, @NURadioCaller, @NoCoastHatch@FeitCanWrite and of course, @FauxPelini.  There are dozens of other great NU follows, but these are some personal favorites well worth your time.

 

Tuesday, August 23

Hire a band to play No Place Like Nebraska and March Grandioso for you.

 

Wednesday, August 24

Blame something on Steve Pederson, Bill Callahan, and/or Harvey Perlman for old times’ sake.  Bonus points if they could not possibly be responsible for whatever you’re blaming them for.

 

Thursday, August 25

Write letters to Big Ten West head coaches challenging them to punt to De’Mornay Pierson-El.

 

Friday, August 26

Spend a hilarious afternoon lost in the Tunnel Walk of Shame archives.

 

Saturday, August 27

This is the last Saturday before Nebraska football.  It might not be a bad idea to spend time with your spouse, children, or other loved ones – because January is a long ways away.

 

Sunday, August 28

Attend church, and pray for at least nine wins, zero arrests, fewer turnovers, better decision-making by the coaches, and good weather for the home games.  Bonus points if you yell “Down in front!” when the congregation stands up.

 

Monday, August 29

Revolve this week’s meals around the three basic food groups:  Runzas, Fairbury Hot Dogs, and Valentino’s pizza.

Bonus:  If your Ross Dzuris tribute mustache isn’t panning out, you should be able to get one of these delivered before kickoff.

 

Tuesday, August 30

Obtain a list of email addresses for all Heisman Trophy voters.  Just in case…

 

Wednesday, August 31

Go door to door selling remaining tickets so the sellout streak endures another year.  Collect deposits for the 2017 season.

 

Thursday, September 1

Create a playlist of songs that would be perfect to replace Sirius for the Tunnel Walk.  Keep this playlist to yourself.  Those songs suck.

 

Friday, September 2

Stay up all night worrying about our depth at long snapper, and obsessing because ESPN hasn’t mentioned Nebraska.

 

Saturday, September 3

Game day.  Get there early, cheer loud, and stay positive the first time a drive does not end in a touchdown.

 

I know these next 31 days will not always be easy, but if we work together as a team we can achieve anything – even the dog days of summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Nebraska 30 for 30? Careful What You Wish For

24 Feb

Over the last few years, Nebraska fans have been asking for ESPN to produce a “30 for 30” documentary on the “glory years” Nebraska teams of the mid 1990s.  I lost track of how many times I saw this idea come up on radio shows, message boards, or Twitter.  Finally, those requests have been heard as a film covering the 1994 and 1995 teams is being created.

Just be careful of what you’re wishing for, Husker fans…

On the surface, I understand the appeal.  The majority of 30 for 30 films are excellent.  They provide a great insight into people, places, and moments in time that make up the sporting landscape.  The unprecedented success of Nebraska between 1993 and 1997 (three national championships, with a missed field goal and a team wide flu outbreak standing in the way of five titles in a row) is certainly a memorable time for many college football fans.

What if I told you…

Then there are a personalities from that era:  the consummate winner Tommie Frazier, the beloved backup Brook Berringer, the passionate leadership of Grant Wistrom and Jason Peter, the hard-working in-state walk ons, the list goes on.  And never forget legendary coach Tom Osborne transforming from the guy who couldn’t win the big one to one of the greatest coaches in college football history.

In the eyes of some fans, the documentary would (if not should) be a 90 minute love fest for all things Nebraska.  It would be like those silly hype videos K-State used to produce after they beat Nebraska – just with better production values.

But that assumption is wrong.

There is no drama or national interest in exploring why NU’s walk-on program and a large crop of in-state players were a vital part of that run.  Any discussion of how the 1995 team shut up Steve Spurrier and the ESPN talking heads would probably be left on the digital editing equivalent of the cutting room floor.  Yes, the 1995 team is likely the greatest team of all time, but don’t expect to watch a highlight video.

Instead, a Nebraska 30 for 30 will likely focus on the things that darken that period.  Lawrence Phillips.  Christian Peter.  Tyronne Williams.  Riley Washington.  The tension between Tommie and Brook.  Tom Osborne becoming a “win at all costs” coach.  CBS reporter Bernard Goldberg.  Scott Frost campaigning for a title after Osborne’s retirement.  Where Scott Frost was rumored to be the night Phillips was arrested.  The decline of the program after Osborne left.  Who knows what other skeletons and whispered rumors may come to life that would cast a permanent shadow over an era that Nebraska fans consider sacred?

In 2014, BTN produced “Unbeaten: The Life of Brook Berringer“, a beautiful and moving documentary on the life and playing career of Brook Berringer.  I’m guessing that film inspired a lot of the desire for a 30 for 30 film.

Best case scenario, the documentary is made by a film maker with Nebraska ties or who bleeds Big Red.  The film is a 90 minute highlight reel of the championship teams, with little to no mention on the player arrests during the championship run, and fades to black as Tom and Nancy Osborne walk out of Memorial Stadium the day after the 1998 Orange Bowl.  But do you really think ESPN would make that movie – let alone air it?  I don’t buy into the perception of an ESPN bias against Nebraska, but that film probably goes straight to the Watch ESPN app.

More realistically, expect a 30 for 30 on the 1994 and 1995 Nebraska Cornhusker teams to open with the embarrassing losses to Miami and Georgia Tech, and Osborne’s realization that he needed more speed – especially on defense.  Nebraska gets those players – by taking advantage of Prop 48 rules and taking guys with questionable character.  The film likely spends a chunk of time on Phillips and Osborne’s decision to reinstate him while trotting out the old narrative that Osborne was focused more on winning than helping a troubled kid.  The arrest records of other Husker players are discussed, possibly with more information coming to light on how things were swept under the rug.  Who knows what other skeletons will be found in the closet when people go in with bright lights and high def cameras?

Remember:  a lot has changed in the last 20 years.  The influence of Osborne and the football program – both within the University and in Lincoln – no longer exists in college football.  Crimes by athletes, especially those against women, are handled differently – and usually much harsher – than they used to be.  Things that we accepted as a price of success in 1995 may seem outrageous in today’s climate.  The average viewer is likely to come away from the film thinking “Wow, Nebraska was a great program – but at what cost?”

Will you and I watch it?  Absolutely.  Heck, ESPN will probably never have better ratings in the state of Nebraska then when this thing airs.  Will some fans be upset or disappointed by it?  I’d bet on it.  Will it be a good reflection of Osborne, the program, the University, and an era that fans consider sacred?  Your guess is as good as mine.

Bottom line:  You asked for a 30 for 30, and you’re getting one.  I just hope you know what you asked for.

Husker Hot Takes – 11/6/2015

6 Nov

Head into the weekend with a big portion of Hot Takes:

Is Nebraska in a “rebuild” mode?  In Shawn Eichorst’s letter to fans, he asked for patience and support as Mike Riley “rebuilds our storied program one brick at a time”.  That comment caught many fans off guard as Riley’s role at Nebraska has not been previously described in that manner. Many fans took offense at characterizing Nebraska as a rebuilding project.

First and foremost, we should acknowledge that parsing a single word from a quote, interview, or press release is a risky proposition at best.  That said, “rebuild” is a poor choice of words.*  For many people, “rebuild” brings visions of losing teams with absolutely no chance of winning championships.  When I hear “rebuild” in reference to a sports team, I think of how my Kansas City Royals were in a rebuilding mode for the better part of 15 years, Kansas football since Mangino left, or other perennial doormats.

*Personally, I would have gone with improves, aligns, corrects, or strengthens our storied program one brick at a time.  Given that this was a publicly released letter and not an off-the-cuff interview remark, I assume the use of “rebuild” was intentional, not accidental.

So is Nebraska rebuilding?  Mostly no, but a little yes.

I believe the psyche of this team needs to be rebuilt.  I continuously see the word “toxic” used to describe the program under Pelini.  I think it is rather easy to see that not all of the players have bought in to Riley’s culture (or, they initially bought in but voided their purchase after a few losses).  Between the “us against the world” bunker mentality and coaches who were critical of administrators and fans that was widely acknowledged under Pelini, this shouldn’t be a surprise.

Cleaning this up will take time.  And effort.  And likely, “encouraging” some players to continue their career at a different institution.  The culture, my friends, is something that needs to be rebuilt.

Those who dislike the current A.D. probably already know that when Pelini was fired Eichorst said:  “At the end of the day, I think we have kids in our program that are capable of winning championships.”  I agree.  In my opinion, Nebraska is not devoid of talent.  There are high level athletes at Nebraska.  There are separate discussions to be had on if that high-end talent is a) healthy enough to play, b) being coached and/or utilized correctly, or c) playing to their potential, but NU has some talent.

A key issue in this season has been the depth of talent.  Without singling out a specific player or position group, I can think of some examples where the front-line starter is out (due to injury, suspension, or performance) and there is a noticeable drop-off when the backup is in the game.  In short, I think Nebraska’s first string is as talented (if not more so) than any team in the division.  The second team is not more talented than the rest of the division.  The talent on this team does not need to be rebuilt, rather the depth needs to be restocked.

Adopt Mike Riley?  Fans, are you frustrated with the performance of MIke Riley?  How can you get the message across that you are unhappy?

“For Sale” signs in his yard?  That’s a little outdated – plus, I’m not sure a For Sale sign in the lobby of the Embassy Suites would get your point across.  Register firemikeriley.com?  Sorry – somebody already beat you to that.*

*and if I’m reading the registration from whois.net correctly, firemikeriley.com was created the day Riley was announced at NU.  Sheesh.  You’re either very opportunistic or you have zero faith.

Sure you can voice your opinion on message boards and radio shows, but that won’t get any attention.  You need something fairly original and flashy – like posting an ad on Craigslist.  The ad (which has since been removed) refers to Riley as a pet.  It is a healthy mix of satire and passive aggression:  “He would be better off with a gentler home where less is expected of him.”  Hilarious, right?

Wrong.

Firing a coach in his first year is such an absurd notion that it’s not worth wasting the keystrokes.  It is just not going to happen.  Feel free to re-read the first two sentences as necessary.  Therefore, the only thing this ad accomplishes is making Riley’s tenure look even more precarious than it truly is.  This story got some run nationally, and I guarantee it will come up in the living rooms of potential recruits as they tell kids to avoid a situation where the “greatest fans in college football” think their coach is a joke.

Nebraska’s greatest asset is the passion of its fans.  All of the things that keep Nebraska what it was – and can be again – are directly tied to the fan base.  So when one fan thinks he’s a funny guy, it hurts the reputation of those of us who stand by the program, regardless of who is in charge.  If you really feel that strongly about Riley, there are ways to make your point to the decision-makers (i.e. financially) without causing damage to the program’s reputation.

Do we hear boos this year?  Between the tradition of winning, and the collective class of the best fans in college football, Nebraska coaches and players rarely hear boos at home.  Refs get booed.  Sometimes NU’s opponent gets booed.  But it’s pretty rare to hear boos directed at the guys wearing the “N”.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but the last time there was booing directed at the Huskers was in 2011 against Ohio State.*

*And we remember how well that was received….

Don’t be surprised if we hear some boos against Michigan State or when Iowa comes to town.  If the Huskers get down early, struggle on offense and/or defense, or look similar to how they played against Purdue, expect the boos to rain down from a frustrated fan base not used to losing.

I do not believe in, nor condone, booing college kids.  Period.  If you want to argue that a coach making six figures should be booed for poor performance…well, that’s your prerogative.  I’ll won’t stop you from booing, but I definitely won’t join in.

Will the goalposts survive the season?  To the best of my memory (and Google abilities), the goalposts in Memorial Stadium have not come down since #3 Nebraska beat #2 Colorado in 1994.  Over those 21 years, the goalposts have survived due to a combination of hubris (“we’re Nebraska, we don’t do that”) and lack of opportunities (only six wins over ranked teams at home since the 2001 OU game, and only one against a Top 10 team – #9 Michigan State in 2011).

But could that change?  Michigan State comes into Lincoln ranked #6.  Iowa is currently #10, and should continue to climb as the teams in front of them lose.  Given the poor season NU has had, the thrill of upsetting an undefeated conference team (I initially typed “rival”, but deleted it), and the passion of Husker fans, I could see it happening.  Obviously, there is the sizable hurdle of 3-6 Nebraska finding a way to knock off a Top 10 team, but should that happen, well, don’t be surprised if they come down.

The good news is, even though NU might be out of practice, the goalposts should come down fairly easily.  During the BYU game they showed a shot of the North Stadium posts on HuskerVision.  You could see some rust forming where the upright meets the crossbar.  Twenty-one years is a long time.

 

 

 

 

The Greatest of All Time and the (North)worst of the Year

27 Oct

Thanks for stopping by!  While I am very grateful for those who take the time to read my work, I would greatly it if you read this one on HuskerMax.com.  

Why?  As a writer for the site, I earn a fraction of a penny per page view.  And with three mouths to feed, and a poor wife who becomes a football widow 12 Saturdays a year, I need those penny parts to keep everybody happy.  

Thank you,

Feit Can Write

Continue reading

B1G Power Rankings – Week of 10/5/2015

24 Oct

All season, I’ll be ranking the teams in the Big Ten from one to Maryland.  To see my predictions for how the season will play out, click here.

As always, if you think I’m right, wrong, or clinically insane, let me know in the comments.

Prepare to disagree…

  1. Ohio State.  The Buckeyes can continue to muddle and struggle along for another month as they should be heavy favorites over Rutgers, Minnesota, and Illinois.  But eventually, they’ll have to play championship level football.
  2. Michigan State.  Yes, Sparty’s win was an absolute fluke, but a win is a win.
  3. Michigan.  “Golly gee, what an unfortunate way to lose a game in the final seconds” – Mike Riley, probably.  The Wolverines are the first of four teams taking this week off, which means a lot of time to potentially dwell on that epic loss.
  4. Iowa.  The Hawkeyes continue to take care of business and get a week off to rest and prepare for a stretch run at an undefeated regular season.
  5. Wisconsin.  There is a pretty steep drop off between # 4 and #5 in the league, and one could make an argument for a handful of teams in this spot.  Wisconsin gets the nod for now, but I’m willing to drop them down if another team gets hot.
  6. Penn State.  I’ll be honest, this is probably way too high for the Nitany Lions, but their lone conference loss is to the league’s best team.  Nobody below them can make that claim.
  7. Illinois.  Speaking of being ranked too high, here are the Fighting Illini.  They were idle last week after beating Nebraska and narrowly lowing to Iowa.  Are they a legitimate middle tier team?  This week’s game against Wisconsin will go a long way to deciding that.
  8. Northwestern.  After starting out at a blazing 5-0, the Wildcats are falling apart losing to Michigan and Iowa by a combined score of 78-10.  Pat Fitzgerald’s team usually plays Nebraska tough, so they could get back on track with a win in Lincoln.
  9. Nebraska.  It’s tough to overstate just how important the 48-25 win over Minnesota was for this team.  Not only does it give them possession of the $5 Bits of Broken Chair trophy for the first time, it also takes a lot of heat off of Mike Riley and his team.  Let’s see if they can continue their momentum against Northwestern.
  10. Minnesota.  Good news:  after getting thumped at home by Nebraska, the Gophers have a week off to get things back on track.  Bad news:  their next three games are Michigan, at Ohio State, and at Iowa.  Yikes.
  11. Indiana.  The bottom tier starts out with the confusing Hoosiers.  They go into the Horseshoe and hold Ohio State to 34 points.  Then two weeks later, they allow Rutgers to score 55.  The Hoosiers have an upset opportunity if they can catch Sparty in a Wolverine hangover.
  12. Rutgers.  I missed last week, so I did not get a chance to properly mock Rutgers for losing an upset chance against Michigan State by spiking the ball on fourth down.  It’s a good thing they beat Indiana, as the Scarlet Knights may not win again for another month.
  13. Purdue.  Losers of five straight, the Boilermakers limp into their bye week dangerously close to being the first conference team eliminated from a bowl game.
  14. Maryland.  The Terrapins allowed 42 points to Idle last week.

Playing For Bits of a Broken Season

19 Oct

Thanks for stopping by!  While I am very grateful for those who take the time to read my work, I would greatly it if you read this one on HuskerMax.com.  

Why?  As a writer for the site, I earn a fraction of a penny per page view.  And with three mouths to feed, and a poor wife who becomes a football widow 12 Saturdays a year, I need those penny parts to keep everybody happy.  

Thank you,

Feit Can Write

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